Peru is the land of the Incas and much much more and is the perfect backdrop for a volunteer travel experience consisting of culture, history and archeology. It is also the cradle of several highly developed cultures – the most famous being, the Inca civilization. Your Best of Peaceful Peru trip will consists of visits to Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Puno where you will explore the country and meet the people of the land of the Incas.
Day 1: Lima
Welcome to Peru!
Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own.
Day 2: Lima
Today you will discover the history of Lima from the Pre-Columbian era to the present, starting in the historic downtown district. Your guide will take you to beautiful Plaza Mayor (“Main Square”), which is surrounded by the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and City Hall. While strolling the old streets lined with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies, you will also visit a convent that is an icon of colonial architecture. Then head to the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores. San Isidro is an upscale residential and commercial neighborhood, which houses the Huaca Huallamarca a pyramid shaped pre-Hispanic sacred structure. Next visit trendy Miraflores with its chic shops, restaurants and casinos, and lovely boardwalk. At the end of the tour, return to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure to explore Lima on own. [B] Hotel: El Pardo Doubletree
Day 3: Lima, Cusco (Archaeological Ruins)
At agreed time, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Cusco. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Relax for a couple of hours to acclimatize to the altitude.
Get ready to explore Cusco a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Start at the Koricancha temple, an ancient Incan palace and a place of worship for the Sun God, which in the past was fully covered in gold. Over its ruins, the Dominicans built a beautiful church that remains intact. Your next stop is the Plaza de Armas. Here you find the Catholic Cathedral and the picturesque Church of the Society of Jesus, among other colonial buildings. Continue your journey to the colonial church of San Cristóbal, a picture perfect site with panoramic views of the city. Then proceed to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an Incan building known for its 30-foot tall walls made of hewn stone. This fortress that was built atop of a hill offers a scenic view of Cusco. Finish your tour with a visit to the archaeological complexes of Qenko, with its stone labyrinth and sacrificial altar, and Puca Pucara, a site of military ruins, an architectural marvel of rooms, waterways and aqueducts. [B] Hotel: Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco
Day 4: Cusco, Sacred Valley (Chinchero, Raqchi, Ollantaytambo)
Visit Chinchero, a small picturesque Andean village. Enter the home of a textile artisan, where you will see some of his original work and learn about their techniques, as well as their creative process. Then visit its significant Inca ruins dating from the end of the 15th Century, as well as a beautiful traditional church. Afterwards, on the road to Ollantaytambo, you will stop at the Raqchi viewpoint, for one of the best views of the Sacred Valley. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Then head to Ollantaytambo, one of the most representative complexes of the Inca Empire and site of one of the Spanish Conquistadors’ rare strategic defeats. Famous for its terraced fields, Ollantaytambo was a very effective fortress and also a religious center. Finally, you will stop at the village of Ollantaytambo, known as “the only living Inca town”. It is the best surviving example of Inca urban planning, with stone-paved streets that have been inhabited since the 12th Century. [B/L] Hotel: Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco
Day 5: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco
Your day starts with an early transfer to Ollanta train station where you board the train to the small city of Aguas Calientes, gateway to the Citadel of Machu Picchu. Disembark and board a bus headed for the amazing Machu Picchu archaeological site. Go back 500 years in time and immerse yourself in the history of the Incan civilization, provided by your expert guide. Learn why Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Afterwards, you have free time to explore the site on your own, relax, or meditate. Later, descend to Aguas Calientes, have lunch and board your train back to Cusco or Sacred Valley. You be met at the train station and transferred to your hotel. [B/L] Hotel: Aranwa Sacred Valle
Day 6: Cusco, Puno (Bus drive)
At agreed time transfer to bus station to depart for your full day trip to Puno.
This ride is filled with astounding backdrops. Your first stop will be at Andahuaylillas, a town where a precious church from the 17th century boasts an amazing organ decorated with angels and cherubs. The next stop will be the Racchi ruins, known as “The Temple of God Wiracocha”, and the last stop will be La Raya, the highest point on the road between Cusco and Puno. Get your camera ready to take amazing pictures. Then on to Puno where your guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel. [B/L] Hotel: Casa Andina Premium Puno
Day 7: Puno (Taquile & Uros Islands)
The trip begins early as you head out of the city of Puno towards Taquile Island. The culture on the island is old, dating back to Pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors and are world-renowned for their lovely outfits and incredible textiles. In fact, UNESCO has declared the textile art of Taquile Island as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Next, visit the community of Huayllano with its kind people who are very proud of their traditions and love sharing their ancient knowledge with visitors. Enjoy a box lunch and sail to the famous Uros Islands, a set of man-made floating islands made of totora reed in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you will meet the islanders, who still live from hunting and fishing in this area. At the end of this amazing day you go back to the hotel. Your volunteer project will take place here [B/BL, D] Hotel: Casa Andina Premium Puno
Day 8: Puno, Lima, USA
Today you go back to Lima. En-route visit the Sillustani archeological site.
On the road that connects Puno with Juliaca, where your flight departs from, stop at the Sillustani archeological site, an ancient burial ground featuring giant cylindrical funerary towers built by a pre-Incan people, and in the background the lovely Lake Umayo. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.
At the end of the evening, travel back to Lima, onward to the airport to board your flight to Lima with connections. [B]
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