Journey to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca & the Uyuni Salt Flats
(This sample itinerary will be customized to suit your personal interests and budget.)
Day 1 ~ Lima, Peru
International flight arrival to Lima. Personal greeting at the airport by our local representative who will go over details for the next few days of your trip.
Transfer to your hotel where you will spend one night.
Day 2 ~ Cusco / Sacred Valley
Morning transfer back to the airport for a domestic flight to Cusco. As Cusco is over 11,000 ft., and you are coming from sea level, you will be picked up by your private guide and taken down into the Sacred Valley. Stop on the way at Pisac Market, an authentic Andean market, famous for pottery and handicrafts. Lunch at a local restaurant with a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration.
Spend 2 nights in the Sacred Valley. GL Tours works with a wide variety of hotels in this area, discuss the options with our travel experts to find the best match for you.
Day 3 ~ Chinchero Market / Maras & Moray
This morning, visit the colorful local market in the town of Chinchero. This is one of the most traditional markets in all of South America, and you will be surrounded by locals in their traditional dress all buying and selling their produce. Next, drive with your guide to the Salineras de Maras, thousands of individual ancient salt mines that form unique terraces in a hillside. The mines, small pools thickly coated with crystallized salt have existed in the same spot since Inca days and are still operable. Families pass them down like deeds. Enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, visit one of the wilder Inca sites in Peru, the concentric ring terraces found in Moray. The site is not the ruins of a palace or fortress or typical temple, but what appears to be a large-scale environmental art installation. Three main sets of rings, like bowls, are set deep into the earth, forming strange sculpted terraces. The site may have had ritualistic purposes, but most likely, it was an agricultural experimental station.
Day 4 ~Machu Picchu
Transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station and board a Vistadome train, with your private guide, that will take you to the town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu. You will be riding along the gorge of the mountain. Travel by bus up the mountain to the entrance to Macho Picchu. Private guided tour of the ruins.
Enjoy lunch at the lovely Sanctuary Lodge and explore Machu Picchu more, as you wish. In the afternoon, take the bus down the mountain and then take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Your guide will deliver you to your hotel in Cusco where you will spend the next 2 nights. GL Tours works with a wide variety of hotels in this area, discuss the options with our travel experts to find the best match for you.
Day 5 ~ Cusco
Private half-day city tour of Cusco with your personal guide. On this tour, you’ll see the Plaza de Armas, the Inca Wall, the Templo de Sol, the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where religious ceremonies were performed, the Inca Baths, with a sophisticated canal system, the Kenko Amphitheater and the Koricancha Temple.
Balance of the day at leisure to explore Cusco on your own.
Day 6 ~ La Paz, Bolivia
Early morning transfer to the airport in Cusco and fly to La Paz, Bolivia.
Upon arrival in La Paz, you will be met at the airport by your private guide. Visit the pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku en route to Huatajata. The magnificent ruins represent one of the oldest civilizations in the Americas. The Sun Gate, the Temple of Kalasasaya and the Pyramid of Akapana are a sample of a glorious past. Continue on to Huatajata Harbor on Lake Titicaca and check into your hotel.
Enjoy a candlelight dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. You will have time before dinner to visit the “Andean Roots Eco Village,” which is attached to your hotel, and learn about the cultural heritage of the Aymaras and the Incas. After dinner, you can visit another exhibit, “The Mystic World of the Kallawayas,” natural healers of Bolivia. Optional night visit to the native observatory, “Alajpacha.” Learn from the Aymaras Cosmovision and watch the Southern Constellations.
Spend 2 nights on shores of Lake Titicaca.
Day 7 ~ Moon Island / Sun Island / Urus Indians
Travel by hydrofoil to Moon Island. Visit the Sun Virgins’ Temple, Inak Uyu. Afterwards, travel by hydrofoil to Sun Island to visit “Pilcocaina” Sun Temple. Visit the Inca Staircase & Sacred Fountain. Taste the sacred water believed to give eternal youth and happiness. You’ll stop for lunch, then visit a small handicraft market. Continue by boat to the URUS-IRUITOS ISLANDS, home to the Urus Indians—one of the oldest Bolivian cultures and dating back to 8000 BC. These islands are completely made from reeds, which are continually added to as they disintegrate to the bottom of the lake.
Day 8 ~ Uyuni
Personal transfer to the La Paz Airport, stopping at the “Witches’ Market” on the way. Domestic flight to Uyuni, then transfer to Colchani where you’ll spend 2 nights.
Day 9 ~ Uyuni Salt Flats
The largest salt flat on earth offers stunning sceneries. It is a once-in-a-life time experience. Drive to the famous Isla Incahuasi (also known as Fish Island, for its shape). The island is covered with huge cactus and home to endemic bird species. Lunch on the island. Stop at Lagoons full of flamingos. Laguna Colorada is a lake colored red by the algae that lives there. Other Andean fauna found in this region are vicunas, llamas and alpacas.
Day 10 ~ Uyuni / La Paz
Morning at leisure to enjoy the lodge and surroundings.
Then, in the afternoon transfer to the Uyuni Airport and fly to La Paz. Overnight in La Paz, then depart from La Paz for your international flights home.