High Plains of Cusco

High Plains of Cusco Full day

High above Cusco’s Sacred Valley, the living culture of Peru and vestiges of Inca culture. On the fertile plains high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is possible to visit a traditional weaving community, saltpans that have been exploited sustainably since Pre-Inca times, and an agricultural research station used by the Incas to develop new higher yield crop varieties.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Chinchero – Maras – Moray – Cusco

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco for the drive to the village of Chinchero. The community of Chinchero is famous for weaving cooperative run by its women, who have managed to conserve traditional weaving techniques and pass them on to new generations of young women.  

Traditional Peruvian textiles are made from alpaca, llama and sheep's wool. The wool is processed as it always has been; by hand. In the majority of Peru's towns and villages the weaving tradition is slowly being lost as cheaper synthetic fabrics are introduced. In Chinchero, the art of weaving has been conserved by the expert weaver Nilda Callañaupa, who has had a profound influence on people in the highlands and encouraged them to keep their tradition alive. 

From Chinchero, we will continue our drive to Moray. Here, the Incas built concentric agricultural terraces, forming a 150-meter-deep amphitheater, with each level reproducing the temperatures found in different parts of the Inca empire, enabling the Incas to develop new crop strains and increase yields.

From Moray, it is a short drive to Maras. The salt pans of Maras have been exploited since pre-Inca times. This series pools constructed to evaporate the salt water produced by a subterranean stream offer visitors a uniquely photogenic sight, with their flat, white surfaces contrasting with the surrounding green, vertical scenery. Our guide will explain how these ancient salt pans remain important to the local economy. After the tour we will have lunch at a local restaurant, before returning to Cusco in our private vehicle in the late afternoon. 

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

MACHU PICCHU Full day 
Visit Machu Picchu, South America’s most iconic attraction, on a one-day excursion, traveling by train on one of the world’s great railroad journeys. Located at the top of a steep, forested hill overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was hidden by thick cloud forest vegetation for centuries until the American explorer Hiram Bingham began to clear the site after its rediscovery in 1911. Today the city has been extensively restored, creating an unforgettable sight for visitors like you who arrive from all over the world. 

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • All land transport (private vehicle)
  • English speaking guide
  • Lunch
Not included
  • Moray entrance fee 
  • Maras salt pans entrance fee
  • Tips
What to bring:
  • Passport
  • Daypack
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm jacket for the late afternoon 
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Sun block 
  • Water
  • Camera
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

What is the best thing to do in cases of altitude sickness?

Our guides are trained to assist travelers in the event of acute mountain sickness. They can provide an emergency oxygen bottle and first aid kit; however, travelers should carry their own personal medication, such as treatment for headaches or stomach ailments.

How can I prepare for high altitude?
The best way to deal with high altitude is by allowing the body time to adapt. We recommend at least one day at altitude with minimal activity, to allow the organism to begin to adjust. During your first days at altitude, your metabolism will be working hard to produce more red blood cells and carry the limited oxygen available around your body more efficiently. Be sure to eat lightly during your first few days at altitude, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.

What about payment, do I need to make a deposit?
After we have confirmed your booking you will need to pay a deposit, the amount of which will depend on the tour you book and the size of your party. The remaining balance must be paid at our office in Cusco at least 2 days prior to the scheduled departure date, before 19:30. Payment should be made in US dollars or local currency. When we confirm your booking, we will send you more details about how to complete payment.

If I cancel my trip, can I get a refund?
Refund are available up to a certain date, after which only a percentage of the amount paid can be refunded. Please ask us for our booking conditions at time of booking.

Do I need a visa to enter Peru?
Travelers with a US, UK, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport do not need a visa to enter Peru for tourism or business for up to 90 days. For those traveling on another passport, information on visa requirements for Peru is available at http://www.projectvisa.com/visainformation/Peru

Is my passport valid?
We recommend that visitors to Peru travel on a passport valid for at least six months after the scheduled end of their trip.

Do I need vaccinations?
No vaccinations are mandatory for entering Peru. However, most international travelers choose to vaccinate themselves against hepatitis A, typhoid fever and tetanus. If you are planning to travel to the Amazon basin, you should consider malaria prophylaxis and yellow fever vaccination. Check with your physician or local clinic before traveling.

Will I be met at the airport?
Yes, if your itinerary includes transfers or you have asked us to pick you up, our staff will be at the airport to meet you and transfer you to your hotel. We can also provide airport transfers at the end of your itinerary.

Should I travel with cash or cards?
Cash is easy to exchange for local currency, and at popular tourism destinations US dollars are readily accepted. If you plan to use cards, inform your bank before departure that you will be using your cards overseas. Current exchange rates can be checked at https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

Are ATMs available?
ATMs are available at most of the destinations included in our itineraries, providing both US dollars and local Peruvian currency. The most secure ATMs are those located in banks, hotels, restaurants or stores.

What kind of weather should I expect?
Weather in Peru varies according to the geographic region you are traveling in, and also altitude. In the Andean highlands (Cusco, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca), where UV levels are high, daytime temperatures peak at between 15 to 21 Celsius (60 and 70 Fahrenheit), while nighttime temperatures range from 1.1 to 5.5 Celsius (30 to 42 Fahrenheit). During the dry season (from April to October), the weather tends to be clear and sunny. The rainiest months are January and February. In the Amazon basin the hottest and most humid months occur during the wet season (from December to April), with the rainiest months being January and February, although of course it can rain at any time in tropical and subtropical forests. Peru’s desert coast is warm all year round, although Lima and the surrounding coastal belt are usually overcast outside the summer months (January to March). There is almost no rainfall in Lima, but humidity is high. Machu Picchu is situated at around 2400 meters (7875 feet) above sea level in an area of subtropical cloud forest. Daytime temperatures range from 26 to 29 Celsius (80 to 85 Fahrenheit). There is the chance of rain at any time of year. The driest months are May to September.

Who will guide me?
At Andean Adventures Peru, we work with experienced local guides, all of whom have graduated in tourism after a 5-year course at a Peruvian university. All our guides speak English and Spanish and are knowledgeable, patient and informative. Guides in other major languages are also available upon request.

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