Cuzco & Machu Picchu Overland Adventure - Gold (Double)
Peru, the Kingdom of the Sun, captures a mix of native and European cultures. It is a country of antique cultures, where the traditional way of life is still evident, and of great scenic contrasts. It’s easy to accept that Peru is one of the greatest treasures of the Americas -- of 103 possible ecological zones on earth, 83 are represented here. The Spanish conquistadors came to Peru in search of gold, but they never found the most elusive prize of all -- the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Day 1 (L/D)
Leaving the ship in Callao, you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco. Meet your guide upon arrival and tour Cuzco. Visit the Coricancha Temple of the Sun, built by the Inca Pachacutec (1438 - 1572). The Spaniards later built the Convent of Santo Domingo over the top of it.
Admire the cathedral in the Plaza de Armas. This is one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America. It is shaped like a Latin Cross and houses about 400 colonial paintings from the Cuzco art school, and impressive gold, silvers and precious stone works. Its construction began in 1560 and ended almost a hundred years later.
Transfer to the hotel for check in and a buffet lunch with beverages included.
Later, you will transfer to a local restaurant for dinner. Ancestral music and folk dances complement the novo-Andine buffet. Overnight in Cuzco in a superior room.
Day 2 (BR/S/D)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel; then transfer to Poroy Station. The Gold Option includes a memorable train ride on the Hiram Bingham railway to Machu Picchu. The timing of this very special adventure enables you to explore Machu Picchu during a less crowded time, for a more intimate and up-close look at this remarkable historic landmark.
Your trip to Machu Picchu today begins with a bus ride from Cuzco followed by a train ride along the Urubamba River. Urubamba River is located in the Sacred Valley approximately 9,350 feet above sea level. The railway is an adventure in itself. You will enjoy brunch upon boarding the train, and relax for three hours. Warm hues, elegant upholstery, two dining cars and a bar make the Hiram Bingham train, named for the explorer who ‘discovered’ Machu Picchu almost a century ago -- a pleasant experience indeed.
From the train station, it is just a short walk to the bus loading area, and a 25-minute coach ride to Machu Picchu -- the Lost City of the Incas -- at an elevation of 7,874 feet. The bus ride is on unpaved roads but the end reward is to immerse yourself in the timeless history and intangible magic of this strange and wondrous ancient citadel. Your guided tour is an awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Upon arrival at the station near Machu Picchu, travel with your guide by coach up to the ruins. You’ll arrive just as many of the visitors are leaving for lunch, and you will have plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu in relative peace and quiet. This stone city was constructed by incredibly sophisticated techniques with huge blocks of stone fitted together perfectly -- an example of precision that is elusive even with laser technology used in building today.
After a guided visit to the ruins, enjoy an afternoon tea buffet at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, transferring back to Aguas Calientes to re-board the Hiram Bingham train. On the train ride back to Cuzco, relax over a cocktail; then, dinner will be served in the dining car.
You will arrive back in Cuzco in the late evening after a day of dazzling sightseeing and wonderful memories. Overnight in Cuzco in a superior room.
Day 3 (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport in time for a flight to Lima.
Upon arrival in Lima, set out on a sightseeing drive through the historic center of Lima -- also known as the City of the Kings and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the vast open space of Plaza Mayor and take photos before the drive to Callao, where you will meet up with the ship.
You must book this overland PRIOR to sailing. The cut-off date is 60 days prior to the call at Callao. Due to the popularity of this tour and strict booking conditions, cancellations inside of 60 days are non-refundable. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for guests with mobility limitations. The tour to Machu Picchu requires traveling from sea level to an elevation of 11,200 feet, which may cause altitude sickness for some guests. Touring the ruins of Machu Picchu requires climbing many stairs and negotiating uneven and rugged terrain in rarefied air. Guests with a heart condition and/or known respiratory difficulties should consult their physician prior to booking this tour. There are two paths at the ruins from which guests may choose; both are fully guided. One requires moderate walking and the other requires considerable walking. If you cannot keep up with the group, or if you would rather tour the site independently, you will be given the appropriate information regarding where and when to meet back up with the guide. Bring comfortable, casual clothing in natural, breathable fabrics. Temperatures will change as elevations and time of day change, so it’s best to bring shorts as well as long trousers, and clothing you can layer. A sweater or lightweight jacket will be needed for the cooler evening temperatures common in upland regions. Heavy, unpredictable, seasonal rainfall can change some operational aspects of this tour. Should this occur, Holland America Line will notify guests in advance of any significant changes and participants will be given the opportunity to cancel their reservation without penalty. Important: It is each guest’s sole responsibility to obtain (before traveling) any visas, vaccinations and/or tourist cards that are required for participating in overland adventures or overnight tours, unless noted otherwise in the description. Please be aware that you may need a visa for any and/or all countries that you will depart from and travel through as part of your overland adventure or overnight tour, and for the country in which you will re-join the ship. You will return to the pier for your luggage and then be transferred to the airport for your flight home.