Peru: Cusco: Eco Social Encounter in Cusco
Experience the unique lifestyle and breathtaking nature of Southeastern Peru. Cusco, as well as its surrounding cities has infinite opportunities to learn about history and culture.
Upon your arrival this morning, you will be transferred to Eco Inn Cusco so that you can acclimate and rest.
After you have had time to settle in you will meet your guide for a private tour of the city. During the afternoon, we will walk to appreciate the colonial city of Cusco, built over the foundations of Incan palaces. You will have the opportunity to visit the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, where you will be able to appreciate the magnificent building work; and the Main Square, where we will visit the Cathedral, with impressive carvings. Lastly, we will visit the artist neighborhood of San Blas.
This evening visit Cusco Planetarium, an experience that revolves around stargazing and learning about the worldview of the Incas. The planetarium is located in a private reserve next to Sacsayhuaman, 15 minutes from Main Plaza. The evening will provide a good foundation for the rest of your visits.
In the morning, you will be driven to San Pedro Market, where you will see the many varieties of potatoes, meats, juices, fruits and vegetables available to the locals. Upon arrival at the market, you will receive a “budget for lunch” that mirrors the budget of a local Cusco family – between $1.50 and $3.00 per person. With this budget you will cook a full menu: an appetizer, main dish and dessert. Guided by a chef, you will buy all the ingredients and you will try to bargain with the sellers to get special prices, as the Cusco housewives do. After you have all the ingredients, you will go to a local house where you will have a culinary session. The chef will give your instructions on how to cook a typical Peruvian dish.
After lunch you will enjoy a truly unique experience. You will learn from the hand of a famous Cusco potter the different techniques for making lovely pieces of pottery, inspired by Andean and Colonial art motifs. After the class you choose one piece of pottery to decorate by yourself and take it with you as a beautiful souvenir of your time there.
You will have the evening at your leisure.
This morning, after a buffet breakfast at your hotel you will have a private tour of a sacred valley community. The excursion begins in the community of Misminay, elevation 3700 meters, in the Urubamba Valley, where the townsfolk will greet you. You will be able to join the families as they perform their daily tasks — plowing or harvesting, depending on the time of year. You can also participate in an offering to the earth (a rite that honors the earth mother) and enjoy a traditional lunch made by the community women from ingredients organically grown in their fields. In addition, you will see them spin and dye wool thread using natural dyes as well as weave fabric following their ancient techniques. If you wish, walk up to the close hill (30min) for a great view of Moray ruins.
After buffet breakfast at your hotel, you will spend the day with a private local guide. Awaiting you today is by far and away one of the high points in world travel: Machu Picchu. Your adventure starts on a train ride to the city of Aguas Calientes, where you disembark and then board a bus that drives you to the actual Machu Picchu archeological site. The visit includes every aspect of this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site; afterwards, there is some free time for you to explore the site on your own, to relax, or to meditate. At the agreed upon hour, you will descend to Aguas Calientes for a buffet lunch at El Mapi by Inkaterra restaurant.
You will have the evening at your leisure with dinner included at your hotel.
After buffet breakfast at your hotel, you will once again meet your private local guide. The best way to take advantage of being in Machu Picchu is to visit twice. Return to Machu Picchu and, after your own explorations, you can choose to come back this to hike to INTI PUNKU – Quechua for “Sun Gate” -which is the last part of the Inca Trail, used by royal members of the Incas, on the eastern side of the Central Cordillera. After this you can also take a one-hour hike to the Inca Bridge, a part of a mountain trail that heads west from Machu Picchu. The trail is a stone path, part of which is cut into a cliff face. A twenty-foot gap was left in this section of the carved cliff edge over a 1,900 feet drop that could be bridged with two tree trunks, otherwise leaving the trail impassable to outsiders.
Later that afternoon, you will board the bus back to Aguas Calientes for check out and to have lunch. Following lunch, ride the VISTADOME train back to Cusco, where you will be picked up and driven to your hotel.
This evening enjoy a buffet dinner and folklore show at Tunupa restaurant.
Following your buffet breakfast, we will pick you up and transfer you back to the airport at the scheduled time so you can board your flight back to Lima and connect for your international flight or on to your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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