In the 15th century, the Inca landscape was a sacred space, conceived according to the alignments of “huacas” — mountains, springs, rocks and shrine deities — integrally connected to a lunar-stellar calendar. Inca priest-astronomers read the sky, lining up natural and man-made markers on the horizon that radiated out from Cusco, the navel of the universe.
This 5-day program sets your sights on that celestial sphere. The ancient Inca cosmo-vision will be front and center in your mind as you visit the incomparable ruins of Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Prices available upon request.
💡 If you’re interested in astronomy and the power of ancient myth, or simply want to learn about the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, this Cusco vacation is for you. Click here to learn about one striking example of how ancient celestial beliefs are still practiced in Peru’s highlands.
- Airport pickup and return
- Four nights in three star hotel with buffet breakfast
- English-speaking guides
- Nighttime excursion to Planetarium Cusco: Interpretation Center for Inka Astronomy and Southern Skies
- Cusco city tour
- Sacred Valley tour with lunch
- Orient Express Expedition Train
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu with lunch
- Entrance fees to historic and archaeological sites
Ancient Inca Land Star Gazing Vacation – 5 day Astronomy Tour
DAY 1 Planetarium Cusco: Inca astronomical inerpretation
Pickup at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Because of the high altitude, 11,152 feet above sea level (3400m), it is highly advisable that you take a short rest to acclimatize.
In the evening, dress warmly. You will be picked up from your hotel for transport to the Planetarium Cusco: Interpretation Center for Inka Astronomy and Southern Skies for a fascinating night of Inca astronomy, history, mythology, architecture and — weather permitting — some amazing star gazing.
DAY 2 City Tour
During the afternoon, you will be taken on a city tour highlighting Cusco’s historic past, the fusion of Inca and Spanish architecture. The excursion features walk-thru tours of the Cathedral and the ruins of Koricancha (or Temple of the Sun), which was looted and razed by the Spanish, who then constructed the Santo Domingo Church on its massive foundation.
Then you will visit the four major archaeological ruins above the city: the Sacsayhuaman fortress, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay. (B)
DAY 3 Full-Day Excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Inca
Breakfast. Excursion to The Sacred Valley of the Inca. The first stop, Pisac, is famous for its Sunday Mass and daily outdoor market. The excursion is best when taken on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, when the market is expanded and attracts traders from surrounding communities.
The Sunday mass is held very early in the morning in the native language, Quechua, and is attended by the community elders from neighboring villages, wearing traditional dress. (Note: Special arrangements can be made in private service to witness this weekly religious event, as well as to hike to the impressive Inca ruins of Pisac, which towers above the village.)
After lunch, visit the Inca Citadel at Ollantaytambo, a sprawling complex of ruins characterized by fine masonry, terraces, canals, fortress walls, and the Temple of the Sun. (B/L)
DAY 4 Full-day Excursion to Machu Picchu
PeruRail Expedition Train Breakfast at the hotel, then pickup and transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo to board the Expedition Train. Experience this mysterious ruins, with its ingeniously engineered underground water canalization and its sacred citadel of temples, mausoleums, squares and royal houses.
Widely believed to have been built in the mid-15th century by Inca Pachacutec, Machu Picchu was the secret city of the Inca, never discovered by the Spanish. Its rediscovery for the world was made in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham, and it remains South America´s most spectacular archaeological site. Buffet lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Return by rail and overland to Cusco via Ollantaytambo. (B/L)
DAY 5 Farewell
Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. (B)
(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
Terms & Conditions
- Prices per person based on double room occupancy and group excursions and tours.
- Prices subject to IGV tax for Peruvian citizens and legal foreign residents of Peru.
- Prices and availability subject to change until booking is completed and paid.
- Rate does not include domestic or international airfares.
- Some date restrictions may apply
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