The ancient city of Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s most highly prized treasures. Built in the mid-fifteenth century, it is believed to have been one of the residences of the ninth Inca Emperor, Pachacutec, although there are also remains of a temple. The city’s name means old mountain, which alludes to its location at 24,53 meters above sea level on a rocky promontory between Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Currently, this Inca gem is one of Peru’s principal tourist attractions. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world and was declared patrimony of humanity in 1983.
The name Sacred Valley applies to a section of the Urubamba river valley that includes the towns of Pisac, Calca, Yucay, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. Here, the river flows between cultivated fields and steep terraced mountainsides also used for crops. The tallest rocky promontories are crowned with imposing ruins of fortified cities. Above, the mountains of Pitusiray, Shuasiray, Veronica, and Chicon raise their perpetually snow-capped peaks into the Andean sky. Just like Machu Picchu, the most important ceremonial centers in the Sacred Valley were built in the mid-fifteenth century, during the reign of the first Inca emperor, Pachacutec Yupanqui (1438 – 1471). The ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo are testimony to the uncanny ability the Inca developed to combine the shape of the natural landscape with their ceremonial architecture.
The road between Cusco and Machu Picchu is one of the most travelled in South America. The routes between one place and another, however, are many, and offer more than what many travelers expect: an enchanting Sacred Valley, colonial towns, indigenous markets, Inca ruins and impressive mountains. Cusco, the starting point of this tour, is a city that is sure to surprise you. Located amid the Peruvian Andes, in a valley at 3,400 meters in elevation, the old capital of the Inca empire offers a colorful blend of street markets, baroque churches, an colonial buildings. All these features make it the perfect place to get used to the high altitude before heading out to the citadel of Machu Picchu, which is 112 kilometers away.
Lake Titicaca is 3,800 meters high and is home to the Uros people who live shrouded in lake’s mysticism. Legend has it that Titicaca, meaning stone puma, was the place where the Sun God Viracocha appeared and directed Manco Capac to Cusco found the prosperous Inca civilization. The Uros themselves were one of the earliest civilizations in the Andean high plains, and their origin dates back to pre-Incan times. According to some theories, they emigrated from Bolivia to the lake’s coast after severe droughts between 900 and 1200 A.D.; at first they lived on land around the lake but decided to build the floating islands to avoid being invaded by the Tiahuanacos, Collas, and Incas.
The former capital of the Inca empire has an incalculably rich historic and artistic patrimony. From this time period, one of the most important archaeological sites ever found has been preserved: Machu Picchu, the ancient Andean settlement dating to the fifteenth century. A masterpiece of engineering and architecture, it was declared patrimony of humanity in 1983.
The cultural mixture resulting from old Inca traditions and subsequent Spanish colonization can be found in many of Peru’s cities, including Lima, Cuzco, Arequipa, and Trujillo, among others. Peru’s natural environment is another of its unique attractions. The Peruvian Amazon is among the most bio-diverse regions in the world, while the Andean mountain range, where Peru’s highest mountain peaks and volcanoes are found, offers unparalleled landscapes.
Machu Picchu is one of the world's most awe-inspiring sites. The sacred citadel was abandoned by the Inca, reclaimed by the jungle, and lost to history until it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and excavated with support from the National Geographic Society. Discover the mysteries of the "lost city of the Inca" on a guided walk of the citadel. Machu Picchu is formed of buildings, plazas, and platforms connected by narrow lanes or paths. One sector is cordoned off to itself by walls, ditches, and, perhaps, a moat—built, writes Lumbreras, "not as part of a military fortification but rather as a form of restricted ceremonial isolation.
The Rainbow Mountain of Peru, also known as Vinicunca, are stunning and can be seen on the spectacular Ausangate Trek. Ausangate mountain itself is considered a holy mountain (or mountain spirit) by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.
Most trips that allow you to see the Rainbow Mountains require a trek of at least 6 days. That has changed with this brand new itinerary. We have designed this hike so that it can be done as a day trip!On this trek you will see quaint villages, beautiful adobe style houses, herds of llamas and alpacas and you will have magnificent views of the Ausangate Glacier (6,385 m / 20,945 ft), the highest mountain in the Cusco region. With uninterrupted beauty and solitude, this is a spectacular trip for trekkers who love a true outdoor adventure
A new alternative tour more for enjoy your days in Cusco, during the trip to the condor canyon you can see beautiful natural and cultural attractions such as: The archaeological site of Tarawasi, the Archaeological Zone of Killarumiyoc and different natural attractions such as mountains, rivers, streams, snowy.
The condor canyon is a place where we can locate the Andean condor, called sacred bird of the Incas, This place offers visitors the majestic flight of the condor in its natural habitat and the impressive Apurímac canyon with more than 1500 meters depth, here is the home of the condors where they sleep and nest.
If you want to combine the culture and natural beauty, this trek is perfect! Enjoy the most beautiful view of the snow-capped Salkantay (6264m/20551f), wich is the most important mountain of the mountain range of Vilcabamba, and the variety of the ecosystem. During the trek, you can feel time go back to Incas´ time and aware the spirits of mountains such as the Tucarhuay or the Humantay which peak is higher than 5000m (16404 feet). Altitude: 3000 – 4220 m/9843 ft – 13845 ft.
See the highlights of South America's two most diverse, beautiful and culturally rich countries at the heart of the Andes and the source of its ancient civilizations. We visit Lima, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Uyuni, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, staying most of the time in comfortable three-star hotels.
Peru is a very old country. The earliest inhabitants arrived there about 15,000 years ago. Societies emerged on the west coast more than 5,000 years ago and began to spread inland. These included the Chavín, the Moche, and the Nasca. One of the most important Peruvian cultures was the Inca, who lived in Peru around 600 years ago. Their capital, Cusco, is still a major city today. The Inca also built Machu Picchu, a famous and mysterious ancient city in the Andes. They thrived for centuries before being conquered by the Spanish in 1532.
Every year, on June 24th, Cusco stages Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun. It is a re-enactment of the Inca Empire’s feast on the occasion of the winter solstice, a time of great ritual significance. The modern-day version of Inti Raymi has been celebrated since 1944, and among travelers from abroad and from within Peru, it has become a major reason to visit to Cusco in late June.
The “scientific discovery” of Machu Picchu in 1911 focused the world’s attention on the remote mountaintop sanctuary and on the civilization that engineered this daring architectural feat. Locally, Machu Picchu also bolstered a burgeoning sense of pride in Cusco’s Inca past. Versed in Quechua oral histories and steeped in the chronicles of the conquest, Cusco’s intellectuals found this a precipitous time to recuperate the city’s lost traditions and, when there were gaps in the archival record, to invent new ones based on deep study of Inca history and culture. Inti Raymi is the product of this revival. (For more on the history of this celebration, read our older post on the Inti Raymi Festival.) In a city that does not lack for festivals to fill the cultural calendar, Inti Raymi has become one of the largest and most important celebrations in Cusco, perhaps precisely because of its local significance. More than 500 actors, organized by university, professional, or neighborhood affiliation, prepare and practice for months beforehand, designing elaborate and ornate costumes, refining dance sequences, and coordinating the most minor details or the procession, all in order to give full homage to the Inca past.