Rio Apurimac & Inca Trail Extended Trip Options

Machu Picchu

Stretching over a massive area throughout the Peruvian Himalaya, the Inca road system covered nearly 14,000 miles. Portions of the network remain today, providing trekkers with access to some of the most spectacular mountain passes and to a multitude of pre-Columbian ruins. Among the most impressive of the Incan ruins is the renowned Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Machu Picchu, built between 1460 and1470 AD by Incan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, was most likely a royal estate and religious retreat. Situated within a stunning valley at 8,000 feet in elevation, these pristine ruins are nothing short of magical., the greatest of the Incan establishments beckons visitors from around the world, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The site officially encompasses 325 square kilometers and features marvelous well-preserved stone structures, religious sites, gardens, and walkways.

 

Arequipa

Situated in the Andes at an altitude of 7740 feet, Arequipa was founded in 1540 by Spanish explorer Manuel Garci de Carbajal, and remains one of the most charming cities in South America. Derived from a Quechua phrase translated as “come and stay” Arequipa beckons visitors with its stunning architecture, being constructed almost entirely of sillar, a dazzling white volcanic stone. The districts of “La Ciudad Blanca (The White City,)” as the city is commonly known, contrast between native influence and colonial heritage. Three snow-capped volcanoes, El Misti, Chachani, and Picchu Picchu encompass the metropolis. The convent of Santa Catalina, constructed as a city within the city in 1580, housed 450 nuns for more than four centuries. Stories and legends circulated throughout the city about the mysterious convent until it opened its doors to the public in 1970; today it stands as a curious attraction. UNESCO named the historic city center of Arequipa a World Heritage Site in 2000.

 

Cusco

The ancient town of Cusco was the political capital of the Incan Empire. Positioned at 11,500 feet high in the Peruvian Andes, the picturesque town offers a combination of enchanting old-world character and simple modernity. The town remains the starting point for Machu-Pichu/Incan tours, and hosts a variety of sites within the city, including the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. The impressive Spanish Cathedral of Santo Domingo serves as a reminder of the area’s post-Columbian heritage. Visitors interested in Incan history must pay a visit to the Incan center town of Cusco!