This is basically a follow-up on my previous blog “Tour Companies vs doing it yourself”, that blog was mainly about the cost difference and I have had many requests for the Itinerary that I used, so due to the large number of requests I have decided to do a new blog and concentrate more on the actual itinerary. The below is not the same Itinerary that I used for the previous blog, but instead is one that is more related to Cusco, as this seems to be what most people have asked for.
Below is an itinerary for 7 days in Cusco and covers the more popular locations as well as some that are less known. This itinerary can be done for approximately $887.00 USD per-person, and is based on 2 people traveling and staying here at GringoWasi, so without further delay here is the Itinerary.
Day 1 – You will be picked up in Cusco and transported to Huarocondo for check in at GringoWasi, you will then have the remainder of the day to relax or explore the town and valley, followed by dinner in the evening.
Day 2 – After breakfast in the morning you will be transported by private car to Cusco where you will visit the sites on the hill above the city (Saqsaywaman, Q’enqo, Tambomachay and Pukapukara). After visiting these sites you will be dropped at the Plaza De Armas in Cusco where you will have the rest of the day to explore this historic city. In the evening you will be picked back up from the main plaza at 6:00pm and transported back to GringoWasi for dinner.
Day 3 – After breakfast you will depart by private car for Lake Huaypo which is the largest lake in the Cusco region and also known to be a hot spot for UFO activity. You will then continue on to Chinchero, an Andean weaving community where you will visit a local weaving cooperative and be shown the traditional process of spinning, dying and weaving, next you will visit the local church and terraces. You will then descend to the Salt Mines of Maras where salt has been harvested since the Inca times; you will also take a break for lunch before continuing to your last stop. Moray is the final stop of the day here you will enjoy the unique circular terraces of this site, believed to be an ancient Inca laboratory. At this point you will return to GringoWasi to relax and enjoy a quiet dinner.
Day 4 – Today you will depart after breakfast by private car, but this time to the East, with the first stop being Pikillacta; this is a pre-Inca site, originally occupied by the Wari civilization and thought to be used as a government or ceremonial center. You then will travel to the Church of San Pedro in Andahuaylillas, this church is often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, next to the church you can also visit a small museum that houses several interesting mummies and skulls as well as the famous “alien baby skeleton”. The last stop of the day is Tipon, an Inca site thought to be an Inca water worship site, after this you will return to GringoWasi for dinner.
Day 5 – After a hearty breakfast you will depart at 8:00 am by private car for the Sacred Valley, your first stop will be the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, here you will see many different Peruvian animals including the Andean Condor. Next is the archeological site of Pisac, here you can hire a guide for a short tour or explore the site on your own. After visiting the site of Pisac we will head West through the Sacred Valley and make a stop at the Inkariy Museum, here you will see exhibits centered around 8 different Peruvian cultures, after which you will enjoy a typical Peruvian meal for lunch. Your last stop is the living Incan city of Ollantaytambo; here again you can hire a guide for a short tour or explore the site on your own. After visiting the site you will need to be at the train station by 6:30 pm to catch your 7:00 pm train to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will be met by someone from your hotel who will take you to where you will spend the night, and then you will have the rest of the evening to explore Aguas Calientes.
Day 6 – After breakfast (continental) you will proceed to the bus terminal to purchase your bus ticket and then board a bus that will take you to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Once at the entrance you can enter the site and explore the ancient citadel. At the end of the day you will have to be at the train station by 6:15 pm to board your 6:45 pm train, the train will take you back to Ollantaytambo where you will be met by our driver who will then return you to Huarocondo arriving at approximately 10:00 pm.
Day 7 – Morning breakfast followed by transfer back to Cusco.
So for those wondering, the price that I mentioned above is basically all inclusive, I have included all transportation, basic lodging, tickets, meals and even round trip flights between Lima and Cusco. The price of $887.00 USD per-person is also based on a few variables which include current pricing as of January 23, 2015, the current exchange rate of $1 USD = S/3 PEN, and flights on Peruvian Airlines booked in Peru, departing Lima on May 1st 2015.
The only things I did not include were some of the optional activities and upgrades like Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu, room upgrade, early return train and guides at the sites as most of our guests have preferred to explore the sites on their own.
So considering the basis of this itinerary price is based on the GringoWasi 7 day Incan Explorer package, those that wish could book this same itinerary for less with just a little work. If on the other hand you would prefer the simple approach to booking your trip and find the $887.00 per-person is a reasonable price, are interested in an itinerary with more or less days, or if you have more or less than 2 people in your party and would like a quote, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org