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Day 1: Port of Call - Aguas Calientes
Disembark from your ship and make your way to the main gate of the port, where our driver will be waiting to transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Our services commence at the time our driver picks you up at the main gate. We advise you to take the ship shuttle from your ship to the main gate. Arrive in Cusco, where our driver will be waiting to transfer you through the majestic and picturesque Sacred Valley to the train station in Ollantaytambo. Take the evening train to Aguas Calientes, and walk to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy dinner in the village at a restaurant of your choice. (Or ask about upgrade hotel which includes dinner.) Overnight at the hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Day 2: Machu Picchu - Cusco
After an early breakfast, you'll meet up with your guide and make your way to the shuttle bus stop, where you board and ride for 30 minutes to the main entrance of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a private guided tour of the majestic citadel at your pace. (trekking poles available on request). Inspect the temples and stone structures up close to learn the hidden secrets of ancient Inca societies. How were the Inca able to construct these monuments of solid rock? Your guide will bring the stories to life as you learn about King Pachacutec, whose brilliant vision led to the design and building of these ruins. Return to the village (and have lunch on your own), retrieve your overnight bag, and continue to the train station. Take the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo station, where our driver will be waiting. Transfer 2 hours by car through the Sacred Valley to your hotel in Cusco. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choice. Overnight in hotel in Cusco.
Day 3: Cusco - Port of Call (or fly home)
After an early breakast in the hotel, our driver will arrive to transfer you to the airport in Cusco for your flight to Lima. Continue by car to the main gate of the port where your ship is docked. A stop for lunch may be included if your ship is docked in Pisco. (lunch is at your own expense). Our services conclude at the time you are dropped off at the main gate of the port. Take ship shuttle from the main gate to your ship.
Got questions? Call Jacquie Whitt in our US office in Virginia. 757-714-6649
For anyone interested in saving on the cost of their trip, we offer discounts for small groups.. Click here to get more info about "Becoming a Group Leader."
Frequently Asked Questions
It's common for most people coming from sea level to experience at least mild symptoms of altitude sickness when they arrive in Cusco, which is 11,000 ft/3430 m above sea level. Age is not a factor for the severity of symptoms one can experience. But fitness can be. Symptoms vary from person to person, but can include:
- loss of appetite.
Treatments may include:
- OTC pain reliever - bring your own favorite remedy for pain relief
- Oxygen. Most hotels have oxygen tanks in their lobby. Some local pharmacies sell an individual size O2 tank for personal use.
- Coca Leaf. Locals believe that drinking coca leaf tea will help and you will find the tea leaves readily available in hotel tea bars as well as restaurants.
- Water. Drink extra to keep your blood flowing freely. Dehydration leads to sludgy blood and may contribute to your discomfort.
- Diamox. (AKA "Acetazolamide") can be purchased by prescription in some western countries or over the counter in Peruvian pharmacies.
- Treatments may alleviate the symptoms as you adjust in the first 24-48 hours. But you cannot expect the feeling of breathlessness to completely disappear, no matter how you treat it. In rare cases, individuals may need to seek medical attention. Clinics are located in Cusco.
Is it safe to drink the water?
Tap water in Lima, Cusco and other larger cities is consumed by local people every day. But is it safe for you? There's only one way to find out and we suggest that you not drink the tap water or use it to brush your teeth. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere including small towns and villages. We support Travelers Against Plastic to reduce the use of disposable water bottles and encourage you to bring a purification device to make your own safe drinking water. The device should be rated to purify water from microbes and viruses, not just for taste. Purified drinking water is provided on all the multi-day hikes and during your stay in the Amazon jungle lodges.
Should I travel to South America if I have a life-threatening allergy?
We've learned that there are different kinds of allergies; from hayfever to insect stings. IF YOU HAVE A LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGY TO ANY FOOD, INSECT, MEDICATION OR NATURAL ELEMENT, WE REQUIRE WRITTEN, ADVANCE NOTICE WITH FULL DESCRIPTION OF THE ALLERGEN AND THE TREATMENT. Be aware that Epi-pens may only useful in areas where you are close to medical services like Lima or Cusco.
What is the best way to travel between Lima and Cusco?
We recommmend flying between the cities because other means requires more time or is not practical for short vacations. There is no train service between Lima and Cusco. And while there is bus service, the drive is almost 24 hours long over paved, but winding mountain roads. There is no speedy highway. The cost of round-trip air tickets varies from around $250 pp on the domestic carriers, including STAR PERU AIRLINES and PERUVIAN AIRLINES, to $450 pp on LATAM AIRLINES and somewhere in-between on AVIANCA AIRLINES. The majority of the flights between the cities occurs in the morning early evening hours. We don't recommend booking the last flight of the day due to the risk of delays because of mountain weather conditions.
Where should I stay if my international flight arrives in Lima in the evening?
There are no late evening flights from Lima to Cusco. And there is only one hotel at the Lima airport. The Wyndham Hotel is connected to the arrivals terminal by a skybridge on the 2nd floor. It takes literally 2 minutes to walk from the terminal to the lobby of the hotel. The hotel is expensive by Peruvian standards (in excess of $250 per double room per night). We've seen good rates on Booking.com and Expedia. The hotel will accommodate as many as 3 to a room, but not 4.
This hotel is best for groups who arrive in Lima late evening and plan to depart again by air the next morning. For groups planning to stay in Lima, it's best to pre-arrange a transfer to a hotel outside the airport, unless you don't mind paying the "gringo rate" when you negotiate on your own. The travel time is about 45 minutes each way when the traffic is moderate. And the cost ranges from $35 each way and up. If your group is larger than 3 persons, you may need a transfer in a mini-van or two taxis.
Do I need vaccinations to visit Machu Picchu?
The altitude of Machu Picchu is 8000 ft/2440 m and higher. Disease-carrying vectors do not thrive at higher elevations. US passport holders are not required to get Yellow Fever vaccinations or prophylactic Malaria treatments. Although there have been no recent cases of Yellow Fever in Peru, some countries, including the US, recommend that visitors get Yellow Fever vaccinations prior to visiting the Amazon Rainforest including Tambopata Reserve or Manu National Reserve. We recommend that travelers check the regulations for re-entry for any countries they will pass through after leaving Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador. Bolivia requires all foreigners to have proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry if you plan to travel to the Bolivian Amazon jungle. (Some countries including Australia, require their citizens to get yellow fever vaccination if they enter Peru, even if they are only visiting the higher elevations)
This Adventure Includes
- Ground transportation starting and ending at the main gates of 2 ports of call - arrival and departure
- 2 nights in 3* accommodations with private bath and hearty Peruvian-style buffet breakfast
- 1 Entry to Machu Picchu
- Round trip train tickets
- Round trip shuttle bus tickets
- Full-time English speaking guide
- Guided tour of the ruins
- Domestic flights LIM-CUS-LIM (we will help you book the best local flights for your trip)
- Lunches, dinners, or bottled water
- Travel insurance (due to the nature of this itinerary, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance)
- Guided tours in the Sacred Valley and Cusco can be included if time permits
- We will assist you in booking the roundtrip flights between Lima and Cusco
- Price quoted is the minimum price for a cruise excursion in and out of Lima port of call, and cost may vary based on ports of call.
- Itinerary is subject to change.
- Add-on trips are available.
- Upgrade hotels available upon request and at additional cost.
- Minimum of 3 days is required for ships arriving / departing Lima or Pisco