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Title:The mysterious sand
Date of publishing:February 22, 2015
Category:Other content
Also available in the following languages:Spanish

The mysterious sand

A breathtaking journey through Andean culture, the arid desert of Nazca, where Pre-Inca inhabitants left cultural testimonies through the mysterious lines drawn in the desert sand and potentially seen only from the air. We will connect these mysterious lines with the no less magical and mythical city of Machu Picchu, following Inca footsteps, by hiking the Royal Inca Trail which awaits us with its beauty through the haze of the cloud forest, filling our hearts and minds with the feeling and grandeur of the Andean culture.

On this journey we will also explore other ruins of the Inca Empire such as Saqsayhuaman, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo, Moray and the stunning landscapes of the Sacred Valley before returning to Cusco.

Itinerary : Lima /Paracas/ Nasca/ Cusco/ The Sacred Valley/ Machu Picchu/ Cusco/ Lima.

1st Day : - Home/ Lima City Tour/ Lima

Upon arrival you will be met and assisted by our English-speaking representative. He/ she will accompany you to the Hotel and help you with your luggage and hotel registration.

In the afternoon a trip to the essential Lima, “The City of Kings” includes the most important architectural icons of the city, such as the Main Square, where you can find the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace. Then, we continue with a visit to the San Francisco Convent, an architectonic jewel dating back to the 16th century. On our way to the modern area of the city, we will cross the exclusive district of San Isidro, the new financial heart of the city, to take a look at pre-inca Huaca Huallamarca. Finally, we conclude our circuit in Miraflores an excellent spot to enjoy a great view of the Pacific Ocean.

2nd Day : Lima/Paracas

You will be picked up from your hotel in Lima at the scheduled time, transfer to the bus station, then you'll take a bus to the Paracas Bay (3hrs), where our two-hour motorboat excursion to the Ballestas Islands will begin. These beautiful islands, located in front of the Paracas National Reserve, one of the best marine reserves, is the biggest natural sanctuary on our shores and are home to thousands of migratory birds, which share their habitat with huge groups of sea lions and fur seals. During the excursion you will find a mysterious design, on the hillside, called “El Candelabro” (The Chandelier). At the scheduled time, transfer to the station to take the bus to Ica (4 hrs. aprox.) Upon arrival you will be assisted with check-in and accommodation at the hotel.

3rd Day :  Paracas/Nazca/Lima

You will be picked up from your hotel and then be taken to the local airport to take a light aircraft and enjoy a flight over the Nasca Lines. There, you will spot various figures drawn on the sandy soil. Cut into the stony desert are a large number of lines, not only parallels and geometrical figures, but also animal designs such as an enormous monkey, a bird with a wing span of over 100 metres, a spider and a tree recorded over the land and preserved for almost 2000 years, according to the specialists. The lines, that represent some sort of vast astronomical pre-Inca calendar, are best seen from the air, you will take a half hour flight above the Lines (Airfare included).

Then you'll visit the Chauchilla cemetery, where skulls, mummies and pottery shards litter the desert. Back to Lima, Hotel

4th Day :  Lima/Cusco/ Transfer Valley of Pisac

Once you arrive at Cusco Airport, your guide will be waiting for you and will take you straight to the Sacred Valley area as we consider this is the best way to avoid high altitude sickness. The valley is a tranquil area, rich in cultural, historical and agricultural diversity, just 45 minutes from Cusco and a few thousand feet lower in elevation. You will make a short stop at the Living Weaving Museum of Awanakancha, where you can find weavers, Incan agricultural terraces, and the South American camelids, which include the Vicuña, Guanaco, Llama, and Alpaca.

5th Day : Maras/ Moray/ Ollanta.

Breakfast in the Hotel. We will pick you up at 9 a.m. to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas. On the journey we will admire typical towns and varied landscapes. We will start with Moray, an archeological site, with a small biological laboratory specialized the cultive of different kinds of seeds, then we will continue to the Maras Salt Pound area. Lunch will be taken in a restaurant en route to the “Vilcanota River”. In the afternoon we continue the journey towards Ollantaytambo, a colonial town, built on the foundations of an Inca city and then the archaeological area with the same name. Hotel in Ollantaytambo. Free time to enjoy the hotel facilities or walk around.

6th Day :  Royal Inca Trail

Wake up early in order to board the train that will transport us to the Km. 104, where we start our walk in a landscape of sub-tropical forest. We will visit the archaeological group of Chachabamba (2150 metres) and after approximately 4 hours of walking will arrive at the impressive Wiñaywayna complex, consisting of an agricultural centre with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, where we will have our lunch. From Wiñaywayna we will descend toward Machupicchu, after approximately 2 hours, we will have our first panoramic views of this magical place, later on we will take the bus towards Aguas Calientes. Accommodation during the night in a previously selected hotel.

7th Day :  Machupicchu. This morning we will have a guided tour of this impressive Inca City, where we can appreciate the magnificent social organization, the urban lines and the incomparable architecture of the Inca state. Lunch and free time to explore Machu Picchu by yourself, mid afternoon the train will take us back to Cusco city.  Return to Hotel.

8th Day : City Tour Cusco. Breakfast in the Hotel

We will start around 9.00 am with the Cusco city tour:- Cathedral, Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha. We also will visit the Saqsaywaman Archaeological National Park, where we will appreciate four of the archaeological and most representative centres of this park:- Saqsaywaman, Quenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. Free afternoon.

9th Day :  Breakfast . Time to say good bye to the navel of the world and transfer to the airport to board your flight from Cusco to Lima. Upon arrival at Lima airport our representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel and help you with your luggage and hotel registration.Free day Lima. If you wish to explore more of Lima you can have an assistant and rent a car.

10th Day : Lima / Home.  At the appropriate time you will be transfered to Jorge Chavez Airport for your international flight home.