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This is an excellent 8 days trip of Cusco and Amazon Rainforest. We offer this complete tour package where our guests can get the most of the Southern Peru in 8 days.
We are a fully locally owned tour operating company based in Cusco. All our guides are locals with an extensive knowledge on history and culture. We have dedicated tour guides for each tours. They are fluent in English and are aware of the culture and traditions of Andean people.
We offer both private and group tour.
Do take a moment to see our review on TripAdvisor.
Qorikancha, a revered Incan temple in Cusco, Peru, epitomizes the blending of ancient Incan spirituality and Spanish colonial architecture. Its golden walls, adorned with intricate carvings and mosaics, once symbolized the Incan Empire’s spiritual significance. Today, visitors can explore the fascinating fusion of cultures and history that makes Qorikancha a captivating testament to Peru’s rich past.
Sacsayhuamán is one of the most amazing buildings in the world. One thinks that it began to be constructed during the government of Inca Pachacutec in century XV. It is believed that more than 20 thousand men extracted the stones from the nearby quarries and moved it 20 kilometers to the hill of the city of Cusco.
Today, it is estimated that Sacsayhuaman retains only 40 percent of its old structure. Even so, the site has structures of up to 125 tons of weight. How the Incas built Sacsayhuaman with structures of an unlikely weight and size for the time? Many questions are still a mystery. There lies the beauty of this archaeological site.
The Incan Empire was completely destroyed by European forces in the 16th century. Many of their massive temples, fortresses and cities were left standing, but without any clues as to their purpose. Qenqo Temple, fifteen minutes from Cusco is similarly mysterious and a dark account has formed in the historical vacuum. In Quechua, Qenqo means labyrinth or zig-zag and the temple is named for the crooked canal cut out of its rock. Although it is clear the canal carried some sort of liquid, researchers have been forced to guess at its purpose, and at what liquid it transported. Hypotheses range from carrying holy water, chicha (corn beer), or blood. All three indicate that Qenqo was used for death rituals, possibly to embalm bodies or detect whether a person lived a good life by the course the liquid followed.
Qenqo is a unique temple in its construction as well, having been entirely carved out of a gigantic monolith. Stretched across a hillside, the temple is carved out of rock and marries the man-made tunnels with natural chambers. One of these chambers features 19 small niches and is set up as an amphitheater. Once again, the purpose of the theater has been lost over time, but most agree the area was used for some type of sacrifice to the sun, moon and star gods who were worshipped at the site. From the information available, it appears Qenqo Temple was an extremely holy site for the Incas. Their dead were judged and possibly embalmed in Qenqo’s winding tunnels, and blood sacrifices were offered to the heavenly gods. Despite the probable grisly purpose of the temple, its carved tunnels and chambers are an amazing work of ancient architecture, and a trip to Qenqo is sure to turn the wheels of mystery inside every visitor.
The complex holds numerous halls, inner plazas, aqueducts, watchtowers and paths. Its role would have been a “tambo” or a place of rest and lodging. According to legend, each time the Inca visited Tambomachay, he was accompanied by a large retinue that stayed in Puka Pukara. Its fortified appearance led to it being called a fortress.
4.5 miles northeast of Cusco stands Tambomachay. At 12,350 feet above sea level, the architecture of this Inca bath consists of a group of structures built with precisely cut stones. Water from nearby streams runs through the site in aqueducts and small cascades. Tambomachay was linked to the veneration of water, an important element in the Andean world view.
For that reason, it has two aqueducts with artistic engravings in the rock that transport and supply a constant flow of clean water all year round. Its name, which means “place of rest,” leads experts to believe the Inca came to this bath to rest. Today it is one of the best hiking routes because it offers tourists an adventure amid fascinating natural scenery.
Chinchero is a small Andean Indian village located high up on the windswept plains of Anta at 3765m about 30km from Cusco. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Its major claim to tourism is its colourful Sunday market which is much less tourist-orientated than the market at Pisac.
The village mainly comprises mud brick (adobe) houses, and locals still go about their business in traditional dress. The village may have been an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. The construction of the wall and many other ruins and agricultural terraces (which are still in use) are attributed to Inca Tupac Yupanqui who possibly used Chinchero as a kind of country resort. In the main plaza an adobe colonial church, dating from the early seventeenth century, has been built upon the foundations of an Inca temple or palace. The ceiling and walls are covered in beautiful floral and religious designs. The church is open on Sundays for mass.
The town of Maras lies approximately 40km (25 miles) north-west of Cusco just off the Cusco-Chinchero-Urubamba road. The town is best known for its nearby salt evaporation pools known as the Salinas de Maras (Maras salt pans) or Salineras which lie less than a kilometre north of town. The town of Maras itself is pretty uneventful but does have one or two stores where you can buy snacks, bottled water or soft drinks. The salt pans are well worth a visit, they are certainly unusual and there’s nothing else quite like them anywhere else.
They date back to pre-Inca times and are still being worked today. Warm salty water appears from a natural spring in the side of the mountain and is cleverly directed into hundreds of shallow terraced ponds via an intricate system of narrow channels. The flow in and out of these ponds is carefully controlled by the workers. When the water becomes supersaturated with salt the flow of water into the pond is closed off and the pond allowed to dry out in the sun, leaving behind a deposit of salt crystals. The salt is then collected by hand into sacks and carried away by mules or donkeys to the nearby town of Maras. Each salt pond is managed by a separate family from the local community, the number of ponds allocated depends on the size of the family. However, after the salt is collected, it is then sold cooperatively.
Moray is a fascinating archaeological site which lies approximately 45km (28 miles) north-west of Cusco and about 6km (4 miles) west of the village of Maras. The site consists of several enormous circular depressions made from concentric circular stone terraces which diminish in size towards the middle in a similar fashion to an amphitheatre. The largest depression is almost 30m deep. The purpose of these structures is uncertain but their design and orientation create a range of micro-climates with temperature differences of as much as 15 C (27 F) between the top and bottom terrace.
Experts have suggested that Moray may have been some kind of Inca agricultural experimental station to study the effects of the different climatic conditions on crops and possibly helping to domesticate and acclimatize certain crops for use at high altitudes. Crops from warmer climates could have been planted in the lower terraces which are warmer and more protected from cold winds and frosts. The seeds from the healthiest plants could then be introduced into the next highest terrace and this process of acclimatization and genetic domestication repeated until suitable plants could be bred that could survive outside of the terracing. Hence these giant circular structures are often referred to as the “Inca Greenhouses”. One of the structures has been planted with various crops.
We will stop here for lunch
Ollantaytambo is an attractive little town located at the western end of the Sacred Valley (about two and a half hours by bus from Cusco). The town has been built on top of original Inca foundations and is the best surviving example of Inca town planning. The town is divided in canchas (blocks) which are almost entirely intact. Each cancha has only one entrance (usually a huge stone doorway) which leads into a central courtyard. The houses surround the courtyard. Good examples of this construction can be found behind the main plaza. From Ollantaytambo, we will take the train to Aguas Calientes(Machu Picchu Town).
Upon reaching Aguas Calientes town, our representative will meet you at the train station and transfer you to the hotel.
After breakfast, early in the morning we will go up by bus to Machu Picchu entering in the first turn. We will have a guide tour for two hours, and then you can go as long as you want. In the afternoon we return by bus to Aguas Calientes, from Aguas Calientes we will take the return train to Ollantaytambo, from Ollantaytambo by bus to the city of Cusco, and finally to the hotel
We will leave Cusco very early in the morning in one of our vehicles. We will cross interesting valleys between the mountains of the Andes and picturesque rural communities. We will visit the pre-Incan tombs of the Lupaca culture and then we will stop in Paucartambo, a beautiful colonial city, and visit the interesting museum of the town. On the way, we will have lunch in the cloud forest. We will continue our descent through the cloud forest, an area rich in endemic species, such as the spectacled bear and the rooster of the rock, the Peruvian national bird that performs a ritual of unique courtship. We can also see orchids, bromeliads, ferns, etc. We will continue to observe the spectacular nature throughout our trip until we reach our hostel, Pilcopata Inn, where we will spend our first night.
We will have breakfast very early and then we will take a walk, during which we will be able to observe the fauna of the forest, like monkeys and birds. Then, we will visit a coca plantation and a wildlife rescue center. After this, we will travel to Puerto Atalaya, located along the banks of the Alto Madre de Dios River at 500 meters above sea level. There we will begin our descent by boat to observe the enormous diversity of bird species, such as herons, vultures, cormorants, etc. until we arrive at Amazon Manu Lodge. There, we will bathe in the river and have lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit a swamp where we can observe birds such as toucans, woodpeckers, macaws, etc. At night, before dinner, we will observe the eyes of the alligators, which stand out at night. We will spend the night in the hostel.
Very early in the morning, we will board our boat and head to the macaw clay lick, a wall along the riverbank where different species of parrots, such as the blue-headed parrot, the white-eyed parakeet, the macaw with chestnut front, among others, meets every morning. Here they eat clay, which is rich in minerals and helps them digest and eliminate toxins from their bodies. After, we will return to our lodge for a delicious breakfast. Afterwards we will take a walk through the forest for 2 to 3 hours. We will return to the cabin for lunch and then rest or swim in the river. After lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit Lake Machuwasi, where we will explore rafts to observe birds, such as the prehistoric hoatzin and, with luck, other animals such as monkeys and capybaras. Then we will make a nocturnal walk through the forest to look for insects and amphibians. After the night walk, we will have dinner and spend the night in the Lodge. * Optional free activity – zip line: Our guests at the Amazon Manu Lodge have the opportunity to appreciate a unique and impressive view of the jungle as they fly through the jungle canopy between platforms built high up in the trees. All the equipment used is of high quality and safe. After sliding at high speed through the treetops of the incredible Amazon rainforest, you can make a 25-meter-high rappel to the ground.
After breakfast, we will go to enjoy a swim in the hot waters of atalaya and then we will board our boat back to Puerto Atalaya where our car will wait for us to return to Cusco. We will have lunch along the route back to Cusco, and we will arrive around 5:30 p.m. at 6:30 p.m.
We will pick you up between 03:00 – 03:15 am. Then we will drive through the South Valley. The drive takes around 3 hours to get Hanchipacha community where we will stop for breakfast. We will then drive for 15 minutes to Quesiuno community (4,326 m / 14,189 ft.), where we will start the trek for 3 hours approx. to the rainbow mountain (most of the way is going up). On the way up will be rewarded with breath taking sights of herds of alpacas and llamas, the Ausangate Mountain, many red mountains and traditional local houses.
When we finally reach our destination, the Rainbow Mountains (5,020 m / 16,466 ft.), you will have time to explore the area and take pictures. We will spend approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your trekking speed and weather conditions).After the spectacular sights from the top we will go down to the starting point, that will take approximately 2 hours. (Quesiuno community) from where we will take the transport to Hanchipacha community to have lunch. Then we will start our journey back to Cusco.