Explore Machu Picchu during the Incan Festival of Inti Raymi

Experience the dynamic culture, history and landscape of the Andes on a journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu during the ancient Incan festival of the Inti Raymi. Cusco’s breathtaking Inti Raymi or “sun festival,” honors the sun and celebrates the winter solstice drawing natives from the 4 Incan regions to participate in the largest and most elaborate festival held in Peru. Adventure Life Journeys’ offers special departures of the Machu Picchu by Train 7 day trip that includes an extra day in Cusco designed specifically to coincide with the Inti Raymi and other Peru itineraries, which may be coordinated to include the festival as well. The easy paced week-long tour takes visitors from Cusco to Machu Picchu to explore the most important Inca ruins such as Sacsayhuamán, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo and is perfect for anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure. Special departures for the Inti Raymi begin June 18 and June 22, 2004.

The journey begins in Lima where guests will overnight before heading to Cusco. Andean history comes alive in Cusco where the Inti Raymi festival takes place. Here Quechua speaking descendants of the Incas fill the streets and markets and colonial Spanish churches sit atop ancient Incan foundations. The vibrant city, at 11,000 ft., is one of the highest cities in the world and is still called “The Navel of the Universe,” just as it was in Incan times. Historically, Cusco was the major center of Incan activity and business. Today, it serves as the major entry point leading to the Sacred Valley, the Urubamba River, the Incan Trail and Machu Picchu. Here the tour takes visitors to Cusco’s largest open market and the adjacent Witches Market and after tasting a few unique local foods will head off to the old neighborhood of San Blas.

The next leg of the trip begins the journey down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The morning train ride winds past snowcapped mountains to arrive in Pisac, where Inca terracing climbs the steep valley walls. Ruined temples command panoramic views of the sharp granite mountains. Here guests may test their bargaining skills with the locals and enjoy one of the best textile markets in the Andes and after lunch head off the beaten track to explore the seldom-visited towns of Maras, the pre-Columbian salt mines of Moray and overnight in Ollantaytambo.

The next leg of the journey follows the Urubamba River as it makes its way towards the Amazon and the sacred city of Machu Picchu. After visiting the ruins guests will return to Aguas Calientes to soak in the hot springs and dine on local trout fillets. The next morning brings opportunities to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu and later climb the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or take a walk through the lush cloudforest to the Temple of the Moon.

On the last leg of the trip visitors will depart for the return trip to Cusco. The old capital of the Inca Empire offers everything from traditional markets to quality textile and art shops to one-day tours of white water rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. In the evening visitors will relax to enjoy a meal and have the opportunity to test their bravery by trying an Andean delicacy called cuy—roasted guinea pig, or sip the local Pisco sour before the next day’s flight to Lima and returning home.

Come join Adventure Life Journeys for their unforgettable exploration of Peru during the celebrations of the Inti Raymi. They offer unique and incredible combination adventures that will deepen guests appreciation of nature, ecology and the surrounding culture. To find out more about Adventure Life Journeys and their offerings contact them at 1-800-344-6118 or visit their website at http://www.adventure-life.com/

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