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Best Peru and Machu Picchu Itinerary

Best Peru and Machu Picchu Itinerary

Peru and Machu Picchu are some of the most fascinating destinations in the world.  Mysterious, beautiful, and adventurous, it is a favorite Traveling Professor small group tour.  Here is a sample itinerary for a visit to Peru and Machu Picchu.

3 Nights in Lima:  The Professor finds Lima to be more European than most European cities.  The old historic town is walkable.  Make sure to see the Cathedral and the final resting place of Pisarro.   Hopefully you will see a parade at the Presidential Palace.  If you have the opportunity, visit the Archishop's Palace.  The Basilica and Convent of San Francisco is usually the more popular tourist attraction, but we like the the Basilica y Monasterio de Santo Domingo where St. Rose of Lima walked.  Visit both of them!  Outside of the historic district is the Larco Museum, full of Inca artifacts.  A stroll in the Miraflores and Barranco areas of Lima is very well worth the time.  In Lima, we like to stay near Kennedy Park at Jose Antonio Deluxe because of its great location.  Dine at the ruins at Restaurante Huaca PucllanaAstrid & Gaston gives the traveler to experience one of the highest rated restaurants in the world at a very affordable price. 

2 Nights in Cusco:  Take the morning flight from Lima to Cusco.  At 11,000+ foot altitude, take it easy the rest of the day.  Maybe a stroll over to the San Pedro Market will do it for you.  Pickup some souvenirs and coca leaves in this fascinating market.  If feeling up to it, visit the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco de Asís.  Don't forget to go up to the bell tower for a view of the city.  The next day, get a guide with a car and visit the stones at Sacsayhuaman, the Statue of Christ, and the temple at Tambomachay.  Back in town the Qorikancha is a Spainish religiious site built upon an Incan temple. At the Plaza de Armas is the the Cusco Cathedral with the famed last supper featuring the Cusco delicacy of cuy (guinea pig) served as the last meal.  There are far too many good eating spots in Cusco including Hanz Craft Beer & Restaurant, Chi-Cha, and Incanto and Cicciolina. We always stay at the best kept luxury secret Hotel Aranwa with it's "intelligent oxygen system" that helps in preventing altitude sickness issues.

2 Nights Machu Picchu:  We take the early train from Cusco's Poroy station all the way to Aguas Calientes where the Citadel is located.  When getting off the train we check in and have lunch at either the El Mapi Hotel or Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.   From there we do an afternoon guided tour of Machu Picchu.  The next morning we are up and at 'em at about 4:30 a.m. to have breakfast and catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu again to follow the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate.  There is possibly no more beautiful site in the world to see the clouds rise above Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate. 

1 Night in Cusco:  Take the train from Aguas Calientes, but pick up a guide with a vehicle at Ollantaytambo.  Visit the ruins there and have a wonderful Peruivian lunch in the Sacred Valley at Tunupa.   Every guide wants to stop at the Pisac Market on the way back to Cusco, but forget it.  It is a bunch of touristy trinket markets.  Instead, insist on a stop at the animal sanctuary at Cochahuasi

3 Nights Amazon Jungle:  This may very well be the best part of your trip.  For some, it outshines visiting Machu Picchu.  Fly in from Cusco to Puerto Maldonada.  The Inkaterra Amazonica lodge is your host and they will pick you up at the airport and get you to this world-renowned luxury resort by river boat.  The cabanas are comfortable and the all-inclusive food options cannot be beat.  Licensed guides offer excursion such as twilight river cruises, a jungle canopy, medicinal jungle walks, bird watching, fishing, nature walks and more.

Join The Traveling Professor on a small group tour to Peru

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