CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY & MACHU PICCHU: 4D3N
Type: Historical tour
Visit Inca ceremonial religious and administrative sites,military stations and astronomical observatories. Remote short Inca Trails, hiking adventures and historical tours explorations, nature and different ecosystems, flora and fauna.
The Inca Civilization, the Great Empire:These people were descendants of the Sun in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac, founded the Kingdom of Cuzco around 1200. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities. In 1442, under the command of Patchacutec, who founded the Inca Empire “Tawantinsuyu”, the Incas began a far-reaching expansion, which became the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.
We pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel to catch up on your sleep and a cup of coca tea, which helps with acclimatizing to the altitude. The rest of the morning is free. During the afternoon, after a good lunch, we shall start the City Tour to see part of the capital of the Inca Empire. We will visit several religious retreats and sanctuaries dating from Inca times. The Temple of Koricancha “The Temple of Gold” was the center of the Inca religion as the formal temple of the Sun it figures among the different temples that were dedicated to various gods of the Inca religion. We will visit the fortress of Saqsayhuaman, which was a Militar, ceremonial, religious and astronomical site. We will visit several shrines, or huacas such as “Qenqo”, which were ceremonial and ritualistic places and we will see a section of an original Inca trail that was part of the network of routes called “Capac Ñan” in Cusco, the Capital of the Inca Empire. Here there will also some good opportunities to see the Giant Hummingbird “Patagonia Gigas”, the Rufus-Collared sparrow “Zonotrichia Capensis”, the native tree called Queoña “Polilepis sp” and the Chachacomo “Scallonia recinosa” all from pre-Colombian times and found in the Andes.
Also in this area are the Great Thrush, Flower Piercers, Tanagers, Seedeaters, Stripe-Headed Brush Finch, Kestrels, Siskins, Fly-catchers, Tangaras, and more.
The flora includes many species of Bromeliads “Puya Densiflora”, Passiflora, Begonias, Fuchsias, and numerous Compositae. There are countless numbers of Orchids including varieties of Wiñay Wayna “Epidendrum Secundum”, many of the Solanaceae, Myrtaceae, Scrophularias, and moreNote: We can recommend the best and comfortable hotels for you or we can book the hotel for you.
We pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and after an invigorating cup of coca tea, we travel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will visit an Alpaca and Llama breeding and fiber producing farm to see aspects of the carding, spinning and weaving process. Later we visit a traditional farm and an Indian market. Then we will go to the Inca outpost built in the 1200s for a nice tour and hike. We have a typical lunch in the Valley and in the afternoon we will visit the Inca archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, an Inca fortress and remains that were built in the early 1400s. After our hike and tour we go to our hotel in the valley only 20 minutes away and have rest of the afternoon free, then dinner is at the hotel. There is a great opportunity to see the wildlife near the hotel. We may see the great thrush “Turdus Furcater” and the Sparkling violet ear “Colibri Coruscans” hummingbird and some flora such as a bromeliaceae called Maquey or “Furcraea Andina” and the Andean bush called Chillca or “Bacharis Latifolia”. Later there is an optional visit to a local pottery workshop and kiln.
After breakfast we will ride the train for an hour and a half to the town of Aguas Calientes in the vicinity of Machu Picchu. We go to the hotel to freshen up and then up by bus to the Inca city of Machu Picchu, the Inca palace of Pachacutec, King from1438-1471, according to John Rowe (1990) and probably a Royal Inca city with astronomical and religious retreats and experimental agriculture because of the proximity of two different ecosystems suited to growing coca plants, and an abundance of other natural resources. This site exists as part of the expansion of the Inca Empire during the Imperial Inca times, under the control of Pachacutec as emperor. There will be a fascinating tour of the sanctuary, later in the afternoon there is time for a good 2-hour hike on part of the original Inca trail to The Sun Gate, about for incredible views of Machu Picchu and opportunities to see the local orchids such as the Bamboo orchid “Sobralia Dicotoma” and the “Masdevalia Vietachina” and the native bromeliad called Puya “Puya Densiflora”, and several species of birds.
day we go back to further explore Machu Picchu. Afterwards we will have the choice to hike and climb one of the other Sacred Mountains in Machu Picchu. The optional hikes for today are the mountain called Huayna Picchu, the young mountain, for about 2 hours and 30 minutes round trip, or go to the mountain called Machu Picchu, the old mountain, about a 3-hour round trip. In this hike you will see the beautiful granite stonework from the Inca times. In theses hikes we will have different views of Machu Picchu from above. There is abundant birdlife including many hummingbirds such as the giant “Patagonia Gigas”, the Sparkling Violet Ear “Colibri Coluscans”, the Bronzy Hummingbird, Tyrian Metaltail, Long-Tailed Sylph, and others. In the Troglodytae Family of Wrens we see the Inca Wren and “Thryothorus Eisenmonni”. There are over 450 varieties catalogued within the Machu Picchu Park, 100 of them along the way from the ruins to river range. There is also the Aplomado Falcon “Falco Femoralis”, Finches, Tyrannulets, the Great Thrush, Flower Piercers, Tanagers, Seedeaters, Stripe-Headed Brush Finch, Kestrels, Siskins and Fly-Catchers, Tangaras, and others.
The flora includes many species of Bromeliads “Puya Densiflora”, Passiflora, Begonias, Fuchsias, and numerous Compositae. There are countless numbers of Orchids including varieties of Wiñay Wayna “Epidendrum Secundum”, many members of the Solanaceae, Myrtaceae, Scrophularias, and more.
Note: We can recommend the best and more comfortable hotels or we can take care of the reservations for you.