The Train To The Clouds

15D - 14N

Lima - La Galera - Huancayo - Ayacucho - Andahuaylas - Abancay - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Puno - Lake Titicaca - La Paz - Uyuni

Itinerary

Day 1 Lima - Huancayo

At 07:00 hours, early in the morning you will rush to arrive at the “Desamparados” Train Station, located behind the Government Palace in Lima. A breathtaking journey through beautiful landscapes and traditional towns in the Peruvian Andes. You will arrive at San Bartolomé, from here the breathtaking 117 kilometer ascent begins. The structure of the railway line was constructed by bridges, tunnels, and zig-zags. The railway passes through the Galera tunnel, constructed in the late 19th century. With a length of 1,177 meters and sitting 4,782 meters above sea level, this tunnel stands as the highest in the world. We make our first stop in Matucana to visit the Plaza de Armas and artisanal crafts fair.  Arriving at la Galera, the highest railway station in the world (4,781 masl). The train then starts down along the Mantaro River. You will pass by Oroya (3,276 m). And descend facing Jauja to 3,552 meters and finally arrive in Huancayo (3,261 m). After approximately 14 hours of travel we arrive in the city of Huancayo. Private transport from the train station to the hotel. Assistance for lodging. Overnight in hotel.

Day 02  Huancayo 

Breakfast in the hotel.
At 09:00 hours you will visit the Train workshop, where you will see very old steam locomotives and all the equipment used in the operation of these trains. Full day excursion visiting Hualhuas.  You will visit this beautiful community where the fine hand woven alpaca and sheep textile work is most impressive. You will continue on to San Jerónimo of Tunan with its filigree art, all handcrafted from gold and silver. You will pass by the Paca Lagoon, Iglesia de Cristo Pobre (Church of Christ the Poor), and an Indian figure asleep. Lunch in a touristic restaurant. After lunch you will visit the beautiful Ocopa Convent, a Franciscan convent founded in 1725. Where you can appreciate its unmatched library containing over 20,000 volumes, an Art Gallery, Museum of Natural History, Catacombs, Cloisters, and an Olive tree.  
Visit to the Paca Lagoon, it is located just 3.5 kilometers from Jauja. It is a quiet and tranquil lagoon of which many legends have been woven. One of them tells of how deep in the lagoon lie lights of cargo of gold and silver that were thrown there by Incan subjects that came from Cusco to find out that Atahualpa had been killed. Then you will return to our hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 03 Huancayo - Ayacucho  

Breakfast in the hotel.
You will get our 4x4s and be ready for our new adventure towards the heart of the Andes. Leaving Huancayo the road takes us through large fields of wheat that stretch all the way to the Mantaro River, which runs to the jungle. Thus, we come to Izcuchaca, a small old town, full of history and legends, located about 2,825 masl. It has a beautiful colonial bridge, with just a single arch of stone, and a story square lookout point. The weather will be a bit warm and might even become a bit hot. A point of great interest on the way to Huancavelica, passing La Mejorada, is the imposing Tablachaca dam on the Mantaro River. Here we can observe the Mantaro River as it races violently towards the jungle and forms three curves through the peaks and chasms, creating a well known figure in Peruvian geography, referred to as the fluvial peninsula of Tayacaja.  From this point the road continues, passing by Huanta, to the city of Ayacucho. Arriving in Ayacucho, you will leave the 4x4s in the parking area to go walking a bit through the city and get some lunch. Back to the hotel and rest.
Overnight in the hotel.

Day 04 Ayacucho   

Breakfast in the hotel.
Today will be dedicated entirely to exploring the attractions of Ayacucho. Very early in the morning you will head out on our 4x4s units to the archaeological city of Vilcashuamán (118 kilometers / 03 hours). Vilcashuamán was an important Inca city; build on the capital of their mythical rivals, the Chanca Confederation. Erected in the time of the Incas Tupac Yupanqui and Huayna Capac (1400 - 1500 CE), it was one of the most important administrative centers of Tawantinsuyu. Serving as the head of the province, and housing up to 30,000 men in garrisons. Here we will visit the principal Plaza, the Temple of the Sun and Moon, and can’t miss the impressive Inca pyramid, better known as the Ushno, a ceremonial place, the Pumaqocha Lagoon where archaeological remains of the Inca culture such as the Sun Door, Inca Baths, Acllayhuasi and others can be seen. Also the most admired plants await us, known as The Puyas of Raymondi. Lunch and return to Ayacucho. You will park the 4x4s and head back to our hotel for some rest and relaxation.  Overnight in the hotel.

Day 05 Ayacucho - Andahuaylas

Breakfast in the hotel.
Early in the morning you will head out on our 4x4s towards Andahuaylas. Making headway on the paved highway passing through Tambillo and Chiara until hitting the citadel of Matara. From here you will find a stretch of dirt road that will take us to the town of Chincheros. Heading out again you will hit the paved road and continue on the route to Andahuaylas. Transport to the hotel, check in. Overnight at hotel.

Day 06 Andahuaylas - Abancay

Breakfast in the hotel.
Another day in our 4x4s adventure. This route (138 km / 06 hours), is part of a greater route that ends in Cusco, the section between Andahuaylas and Abancay, is an incredible stretch where you will find huge mountain chains, vertical cliffs, and extensive fields of the huayro potato. Following a dirt road where the dust abounds during the dry season just as the mud does in the rainy season. Finally, we arrive in Abancay. We’ll park our 4x4s at the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.

 

Day 07  Abancay - Sacred Valley

Breakfast in the hotel.
After breakfast you will again take out our 4x4s and head to the Archaeological complex of Saywite. This complex was possibly a religious center for the worship of water. The Saywite monolith is a sedimentary stone carved in high and low relief from 2.28 meters high, with a circumference of 11.14 meters at its greatest point and 8.14 meters at its smallest, from the observation platform one can see geometric and zoomorphic representations of a feline such as the Puma, along with snakes, frogs, monkeys, crabs, spiders, and also irrigation, terraced agricultural fields, lagoons, and stairways, etc. At 300 meters up there are also some smaller monoliths such as Rumiwasi or stone house with stairs and geometrical shapes and channels, we can also see the Ushnu ceremony to Pachamama, also included is the tour of a ceremony to Mother Earth and finally the visit to Intiwatano or the sun dial that was likely an Inca observatory used to see astronomical movements such as the seasons of the year for planting and harvesting crops, etc. You will also visit along the way the archaeological complex of Tarawasi, also called Rimactambo. Then you will continue on to the Sacred Valley. Arrive and transfer to the hotel. Rest and overnight in the hotel.

Day 08 Sacred Valley: Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo

Breakfast in the hotel.

Today is dedicated to exploring the Sacred Valley and its most splendid attractions. You will start out on our 4x4s visiting the town of Maras, located in the Urubamba province at 3300 m.a.s.l., from there you will be able to see the Vilcanota mountain chain and its snow covered peaks: "El Chikón" (5530 m.a.s.l.), “Putukisi” "La Verónica" (5682 m.a.s.l.). Today this picturesque town holds many attractive Pre - Hispanic, colonial, and post - independence attractions, emphasized throughout the town in its streets and colonial doorways with coats of arms of the nobles and chiefs of the 17th and 18th centuries. Moray is located some 7 kilometers southeast of Maras and 53 kilometers from Cusco with an altitude of 3,385 m.a.s.l., it is a unique archaeological group of its kind in the region. It has huge natural holes that were used by the Incas, who constructed agricultural terraces (andenes) with their respective irrigation canals, thus serving as a kind of prototype greenhouse, here amazing agricultural progress was made. Lunch in Urubamba, you will also visit Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes in the Incan Empire, named after the famous legend about the rebel general Ollanta. Its design as the foundation of most of its buildings corresponds to the original lines of the time of the Inca (the streets still maintain their Incan names). Return to the hotel. Return the 4x4s and time for rest and relaxations.  Overnight in the hotel.

Day 09 Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Breakfast in the hotel.
Excursion by train to Machu Picchu. You will be leaving very early from Ollanta train station heading to the majestic city of Aguas Calientes; travel time will be approximately 01 hour and 30 minutes. The panoramic windows in the walls and ceilings of the cars make the connection to the outside environment a most vivid and unforgettable experience! You will be able to appreciate diverse natural landscapes in accordance with the changing altitude, arriving at Ruinas Bridge Station located in Aguas Calientes, from here you will take buses for the ascent to The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, you will begin the visit observing the huge expanse landscape that surrounds us. At one point it may have been a vestal center or refuge of the Ñustas (Sun Virgins) that escaped to this secret place in the Andes. The tour is 02 hours and 30 minutes, after which you will descend down back to Aguas Calientes in order to have lunch and do some shopping.  Then you will return to Cuzco by train in the afternoon. Overnight in hotel.

Day 10 Cusco - Puno

Breakfast in the hotel.
Today we cross the Andes by the Cusco - Puno route, arriving at Lake Titicaca, aboard the Andean Explorer train, which makes the experience even more pleasant (350 kilometers). You will have an open-air observatory car on the train, which allows you to enjoy the majestic landscapes accompanied by music and traditional dances from the mountains and highlands of Peru. The route that the Andean Explorer train crosses is considered by many specialized magazines as one of the most beautiful in the world. The whole trip lasts about 10 hours and 30 minutes. The crossing starts with a welcome to the Wanchaq Station (Cusco) or in the Puno Station, where musicians from the area will accompany us aboard the train. During the trip you will enjoy a gourmet lunch. You will stop at the 210 kilometers, La Raya 4,321meters above sea level; this is the highest point of our journey; a cold and remote place where the mist or light rain often hides the snowy peaks around us, whose silence is attributed to the dizzying heights that typically plugs the ears of the passengers.
After crossing this huge slope, the train passes through a sea of seemingly endless grasslands and villages that appear to be frozen in time.
The Andean Explorer leaves Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, during the months of April to October, and from November to March. Arrival in Puno. Transport to the hotel.
Overnight in the hotel.

Day 11 Puno

Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

WHAT TO DO TODAY?
Recommendations for seeing the best of Lake Titicaca.
The legendary Uros, Taquile, Amantani, and Cootos Islands: Can be visited in the legendary Lake Titicaca. Here you meet with families of the region. On the Uros Islands - the inhabitants of these islands which are constructed of handmade reeds, call themselves “kot-suna” or people of the lagoon and say that they have “black blood” which they believe gives them such immunity to the cold, and consider themselves “owners” of the lake. Sailing the intense blue waters, we’ll glide nearly 4,000 meters high, which will appear like a mystery dream of soothing serenity. After exploring one of the stunning islands, we’ll run the length of a rural road along the lake and enjoy its unique scenery, where you can observe the rural daily life of the villagers, you’ll see them washing their clothes, grazing their animals and caring for their children. You will also spend a great time outdoors marked by your own pace and direction.
Amaru Muro Tour: You will visit three archaeological complexes from the Aymara civilization. The Inca Anatawi complex (Q’inq’u in the Aymara language), where you need to scale a rocky mountain to reach the remnants of the Inca Trail.  Polished stone monuments of the Incas, where you will enjoy the panoramic view of the lake. You will visit the Copamaya community for a short rest break and to see their colorful textiles. And finally, you will visit door of Amaru Muro, believed to be an inter - dimensional portal by the shamans. You will finish the Aymara Archaeological route with a visit to the Chullpas de Molloco, funerary relics that protrude from a vibrant green field. Return to the hotel.  Overnight in the hotel.

Day 12 Puno - Island of the Sun - La Paz

Breakfast in the hotel.
At 6:00 hours, pick - up from the hotel in Puno and transported by the highway to Lake Titicaca, there you will board a catamaran style cruiser, sailing to Island of the Sun, cradle of the Incan Empire. On this legendary island we’ll visit the Gardens, Steps and Fountain of the Incas, then our itinerary includes a visit to the Inti Wata Cultural Complex, the principal private tourist attraction in Bolivia which includes the Ekako subterranean museum, the traditional medical centers, and the construction of reed rafts, the Incan agricultural terraces of Pachamama, an artisanal center, the Intica refuge, and the largest variety of Andean Camelids located at the lookout point "Manco Kapac".  The trip to the Inti Wata Complex also includes the possibility to sail aboard an immense balsa raft and witness a panoramic view of the Pilkokaina Inca Palace. Later you will board again the catamaran to go to the port of Chua, to enjoy a lunch buffet, where you’ll then take the bus that will bring you to the city of La Paz. Arrival in La Paz and rest. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 13 La Paz - Tiahuanaco - La Paz

Breakfast in the hotel.
Today you begin our tour with the gathering of our tourists from their hotels in La Paz, to then head to the paved highway which will lead us to Tiawanaku, located 72 kilometers. From the city of La Paz, upon arrival you will visit the “Stone and Ceramic” Museums, and then on to visit the Tiawanaku Archaeological site and its principal ceremonial centers such as, The Akapana Pyramid, Semi - Subterranean Temple, Kalasasaya Temple, The Sun Door, etc. The duration of this guided tour is approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes, after which we will enjoy a traditional lunch and then return to La Paz. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 14 La Paz - Uyuni

Breakfast in the hotel.
Transport to the airport. La Paz - Uyuni flight. Arrival at Uyuni and reception. Our fabulous trip to Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flats) begins immediately. One of the most spectacular regions on our planet. The salt flat is surrounded by mountains and volcanos that reach 5,000 meters above sea level, the Uyuni Salt Flats, not only offer landscapes of indescribable beauty, but also one of the largest Lithium reserves in the world, estimated to contain some 10 billion tons of the mineral. As part of our trip you will visit Fish Island, also called “Incawasi”, an oasis in the middle of the islands with algae formations and fossils covered by thousands of 12 meters tall giant cacti. In the afternoon we return to Colchani, with accommodations at the Luna Salada Hotel. Overnight

Day 15 Uyuni - La Paz

Breakfast in the hotel.
A visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Trains. Skeletons of locomotives and wagon cars scattered about on the icy soil of the Potosí Highlands, abandoned in their own indifference. During the 19th century it was a working railway connecting Uyuni with Antofagasta (present day Chile). Today the discolored rust - worn parts of a hope known as Cemetery of forgotten trains. Transport to the airport. Flight to La Paz. Reception and assistance with your connecting international flight or the continuation of your itinerary.

 

Include

Include:

  • Train tickets from Lima - Huancayo, Ollanta - Machu Picchu - Ollanta and Cusco - Puno.
  • Transport to and from the train station and hotel.
  • 14 Nights of hotel accommodations of your choice with breakfast included.
  • Individual transport in each city in the tour package.
  • Entrance fees for all the tourist attractions.
  • 4x4 (4 wheelers) tour on the Andean routes.
  • Catamaran sailing tour on Lake Titicaca.
  • Airfare (tickets) La Paz / Uyuni / La Paz.
  • Tours and entrance fees, professional local guides.
  • Permanent assistance.
  • Tourist transport for all excursions.
  • Specified meals.

Not Included:

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