Hike to the mystical ruins left behind by the Incas and savor traditional Peruvian cuisine on this new Active Journey to Peru's Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

Starting at: $4,445 * Price includes special offer Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Enjoying the view of Machu Picchu  The impressive stone walls of Sacsayhuaman  The site of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley  The iconic site of Machu Picchu

Hikes and Cuisine of Peru's Sacred Valley

9 days from $4,445

Hike to the mystical ruins left behind by the Incas and savor traditional Peruvian cuisine on this new Active Journey to Peru's Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

or Call 833-254-6678

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Palacio del Inka

Cusco, Peru

Set in a restored palace with elements dating from the 15th century, this hotel is situated near the remains of the Koricancha temple. The elegant rooms feature locally inspired artwork as well as flat-screen TVs and balconies or terraces.

Number of nights: 3

Lamay Lodge

Lamay, Peru

Lucky travelers who have booked their trips with Mountain Lodges of Peru get to stay in the company's chic lodges en route to Machu Picchu. Lamay Lodge is one such lodge. The property boasts open mountain views, bright, contemporary furnishings, a hot tub, and a pair of resident llamas. 

Number of nights: 1

Huacahuasi Lodge

Perú, Peru

The Huacahuasi lodge is one of Mountain Lodges of Peru’s stunning accommodations. The wall of windows in the lodge’s main room offers spectacular views of the clouds rolling through the valley in the evenings. The bright, colorful space was decorated with local design in mind. The lodge has an on-site masseur and each room has a private soaking tub with views of that impressive ridgeline.

Number of nights: 1

K´uychi Rumi Lodge

Urubamba, Peru

Voted the best hidden gem in South America by Tripadvisor readers in 2006, the six uniquely designed cottages of this original hotel are nestled in the Andes Mountains among lush and colorful gardens that attract many varieties of hummingbirds. The comfortable, cozy Andean casitas come fully equipped including fireplaces and wi-fi. Here you can be sure to receive the best personal attention for your special needs and travel arrangements for all of Peru.

Number of nights: 1

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), Peru

This Andean village-style hotel, situated amid a cloud forest, features 12 acres of gardens laced with lush plantings, stone paths, and small water features. Amenities include cozy casitas, a refined restaurant with views of the Urubamba River, and posh spa with a plunge pool fed by spring water. Amenities of this 83-room hotel include a restaurant, café, and bar; spa; gift shop; Internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Individually decorated guest rooms feature wood furniture designed and handmade by local artisans, as well as private bath with hair dryer, air conditioning, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Activity Level 4:  Active 


Expectations:  This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection. These trips feature a daily schedule of physical activities—such as walking, hiking, kayaking, rafting, or bicycling—in addition to activities designed to offer cultural or historical context. Each trip entails a different level of physical expectations. Please review the following activity level description—and feel free to contact an Active Journeys Specialist to discuss the trip at more length—to ensure this Active Journey is right for you.

Daily hikes of 2 to 7 miles (up to four hours a day) are taken at a leisurely to active pace over various types of terrain, including well-groomed trails, stone stairs, and forests. However elevations can range from 7,970 feet (Machu Picchu) to 12,362 (Puka Pukara outside Cusco) to 12,600 (Huachuasi Lodge). A few long travel days with early morning departures should be expected. Hiking boots and day packs for daily necessities are a must; hiking poles are also highly recommended. 

Almost every day features a cultural site associated with the hike, such as an archaeological site, meeting with local people, or such. Some hikes feature a support vehicle at various points along the trail. It is also feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel if desired.

Transport between hotels is by a small coach. Accommodations feature comfortable lodges and city hotels. The highest elevation reached is approximately 12,600 feet.

Reading List
Smithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Peru
By: Smithsonian Journeys
For the savvy, cosmopolitan traveler who wants to delve into Peru's history and cultureSmithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Peru is a travel guide like none other: it gives a vital overview of the history, geography, foodways, and culture of this remarkable destination. This e-book original from Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's worldwide educational travel program, provides all the cultural and historical information travelers need to inform their visit to Peru.Readers discover the rich tradition of Peruvian trade so they can see it at play in the contemporary markets they will visit, such as the Mercado Indio in Lima. They learn all about the diverse plants and wildlife of the region so they can spot a Quetzal bird, pinpoint a blade of Ichu grass, and even distinguish between an alpaca and a llama. They study the Incas' monumental achievements in architecture, astronomy, art, and engineering so they will be even more awestruck at the base of the mighty Machu Picchu.Peru lives up to its name--in the ancient Quecha language of the Incas, it means "land of plenty"--and Smithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Peru lives up to the reputation of the Smithsonian by providing travelers with the knowledge they need to make the most of the journey of a lifetime.
Lost City of the Incas (Phoenix Press)
By: Hiram Bingham
A special illustrated edition of Hiram Bingham's classic work captures all the magnificence and mystery of the amazing archeological sites he uncovered. Early in the 20th century, Bingham ventured into the wild and then unknown country of the Eastern Peruvian Andes--and in 1911 came upon the fabulous Inca city that made him famous: Machu Picchu. In the space of one short season he went on to discover two more lost cities, including Vitcos, where the last Incan Emperor was assassinated.
Insight Guides Peru (Travel Guide with Free eBook)
By: Insight Guides
Insight Guides: all you need to inspire every step of your journey.An in-depth book, now with free app and eBook.With its astounding natural diversity, eclectic blend of cultures and outdoor activities of all kinds, Peru is endlessly surprising. Be inspired to visit this enthralling country with our updated edition of Insight Guides Peru.· Over 345 pages of insider knowledge from local experts· In-depth on history and culture, from the Incas to life in the Andes, Peruvian crafts and wildlife · Enjoy special features on the Amazon by riverboat, jungle lodges and pottery, to name a few· Includes innovative extras that are unique in the market - all Insight Guides to countries and regions come with a free eBook and app that's regularly updated with new hotel, bar, restaurant, shop and local event listings· Invaluable maps, travel tips and practical information ensure effortless planning · Inspirational colour photography throughout· Inventive design makes for an engaging reading experienceAbout Insight Guides: Insight Guides has over 40 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps as well as picture-packed eBooks and apps to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture together create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.
Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Roberto Esposto
Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Latin American Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Mingle with locals at a colourful Latin American mercado, spend a night out dancing to live music, or enjoy a meal in an out-of-the-way restaurant; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-color throughout User-friendly layout organized by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features 5 Phrases to Learn Before You Go 10 Ways to Start a Sentence 10 Phrases to Sound like a Local Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q &A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodations, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice:Lonely Planet Latin American Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. The world awaits!
Stone Offerings: Machu Picchu's Terraces of Enlightenment
By: Mike Torrey
Over 100 stunning color photographs of Machu Picchu taken at both the June and December solstices by architectural photographer Mike Torrey. With hardly any visitors evident, these photographs appraise the artistry of the man-made celebrating the natural, as well as the mystery of how, why, when this magical place was constructed. Includes a photographic map of site plus points of interest descriptions, and a complete index of photographs. Marie Arana's passionate introduction appears in both English and Spanish and illuminates the inspirational essence of this wonder-of-the-world. Author's Note describes how photographer created images without showing all the visitors.
The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen
By: Ricardo Zarate, Jenn Garbee
Popular L.A. chef Ricardo Zarate captures the flavors and excitement of Peruvian food, from rustic stews to specialty dishes to fabulous cocktails Lima-born Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Ricardo Zarate delivers a standout cookbook on the new "it" cuisine—the food of Peru. Zarate has been called "the godfather of Peruvian cuisine" for good reason: He perfectly captures the spirit of modern Peruvian cooking, which reflects indigenous South American foods as well as Japanese, Chinese, and European influences, but also balances that variety with an American sensibility; his most popular dishes range from classic recipes (such as ceviche and Pisco sour) to artfully crafted Peruvian-style sushi to a Peruvian burger. With 100 recipes (from appetizers to cocktails), lush color photography, and Zarate’s moving and entertaining accounts of Peru’s food traditions and his own compelling story, The Fire of Peru beautifully encapsulates the excitement Zarate brings to the American dining scene.
Peru: The Cookbook
By: Gastón Acurio
The definitive Peruvian cookbook, featuring 500 traditional home cooking recipes from the country’s most acclaimed and popular chef, Gastón Acurio.One of the world’s most innovative and flavorful cuisines, Peruvian food has been consistently heralded by chefs and media around the world as the "next big thing." Peruvian restaurants are opening across the United States, with 20 in San Francisco alone, including Limon and La Mar.Acurio guides cooks through the full range of Peru’s vibrant cuisine from popular classics like quinoa and ceviche, and lomo saltado to lesser known dishes like amaranth and aji amarillo. For the first time, audiences will be able to bring the flavors of one of the world’s most popular culinary destinations into their own kitchen.
The Conquest of the Incas
By: John Hemming
“Distinguished by an extraordinary empathy, a feeling of one’s way into the minds of the sixteenth-century Spaniards and Indians . . . Provocative.” — New York Times“An extraordinary book. Combining rigorous historical research and profound analysis with stylistic elegance, this work allows the reader to appreciate the tragic and fabulous history of the Incan empire in all its richness and diversity. It reads like the most skillful novel.” — Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize in literatureIn 1532, the magnificent Inca empire was the last great civilization still isolated from the rest of humankind. The Conquest of the Incas is the definitive history of this civilization’s overthrow, from the invasion by Pizarro’s small gang of conquistadors and the Incas’ valiant attempts to expel the invaders to the destruction of the Inca realm, the oppression of its people, and the modern discoveries of Machu Picchu and the lost city of Vilcabamba. This authoritative, wide-ranging account, grounded in meticulous research and firsthand knowledge and told from the viewpoints of both protagonists, “keeps all the complex issues to the fore . . . the deeper wonder of the conquest and the deeper horror of its results” (Washington Post). “The bible for historians and archaeologists studying the final days of the Inca. For the past thirty years, The Conquest of the Incas has remained the most influential book for Inca scholars. There is no other book which is even in the same class.” — Brian S. Bauer, professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, leading archaeologist of the Inca
The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire
By: Ramiro Matos Mendieta, Jose Barreiro, David Penney, John Oschendorf
This compelling collection of essays explores the Qhapaq nan (or Great Inca Road), an extensive network of trails reaching modern-day Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. These roads and the accompanying agricultural terraces and structures that have survived for more than six centuries are a testament to the advanced engineering and construction skills of the Inca people. The Qhapaq nan also spurred an important process of ecological and community integration across the Andean region. This book, the companion volume to a National Museum of the American Indian exhibition of the same name, features essays on six main themes: the ancestors of the Inca, Cusco as the center of the empire, road engineering, road transportation and integration, the road in the Colonial era, and the road today. Beautifully designed and featuring more than 225 full-color illustrations, The Great Inka Road is a fascinating look at this enduring symbol of the Andean peoples' strength and adaptability.
Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas
By: Yale University Press
Situated high in the Peruvian Andes, the fifteenth-century Inca palace complex at Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. In this beautifully illustrated book, leading American and Peruvian scholars provide an unprecedented overview of the site, its place within the Inca empire, the mysteries surrounding its establishment and abandonment, and the discoveries made there since the excavations by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in the early twentieth century.Drawing upon the most recent scientific findings, the authors vividly describe the royal estate in the cloud forest where the Inca emperor and his guests went to escape the pressures of the capital. In addition to Bingham’s exciting account of his first expedition in 1911, the book includes new and archival photographs of the site as well as color illustrations and explanations of some 120 gold, silver, ceramic, bone, and textile works recovered at Machu Picchu.
The Heights of Macchu Picchu: A Bilingual Edition
By: Pablo Neruda
The Heights of Macchu Picchu is the finest and most famous of Neruda's longer poems and provides the key to his earlier work. It was inspired by his journey to Macchu Picchu, the Peruvian Inca city high in the Andes. Neruda's journey takes on all the symbolic qualities of a personal "venture into the interior" as the poem progresses, exploring both the roots of the poet's identity and the history of Latin America. This translation has been rendered by the distinquished poet Nathaniel Tarn and is presented in a bilingual edition, with the Spanish and English texts on facing pages.
Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness
By: Peter Matthiessen
A classic work of nature and humanity, by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed 20,000 miles of the South American wilderness, from the Amazon rain forests to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, down to Tierra del Fuego and back. He followed the trails of old explorers, encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins, and discovered fossils in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. Filled with observations and descriptions of the people and the fading wildlife of this vast world to the south, The Cloud Forest is his incisive, wry report of his expedition into some of the last and most exotic wild terrains in the world.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Perennial Classics)
By: Thornton Wilder
A beautiful edition of Thornton Wilder’s classic novel featuring previously unpublished notes and other illuminating documentary material, along with a foreword by acclaimed author Russell Banks. On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below. With this celebrated sentence, one of the towering achievements in American fiction, and a novel read throughout the world, begins.By fate or chance, a monk has witnessed the collapse. Brother Juniper, moved by the tragedy, embarks on a quest to prove a higher order is at work in the deaths of those who perished. His search leads readers on a timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.
Travellers' Wildlife Guides Peru
By: David L. Pearson, Les Beletsky
From the world-famous Machu Picchu Incan ruins high in the Andes Mountains, to Lake Titicaca in southern Peru, to the Iquitos area of Amazonian northeastern Peru, travellers want to experience tropical forests and other stunning habitats and catch glimpses of exotic wildlife. In this book is all the information you need to find, identify, and learn about Peru's magnificent animal and plant life.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Provided With Your Tour

  • Expertise of select speakers, Adventure Guide, and local guides throughout the tour as described in each itinerary
  • All gratuities for all tour staff
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • International and in-country airfare and departure taxes
  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s) and medication(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Communication charges (e.g. phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full by the tour operator. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing accommodations. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised at the time of final invoicing.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of written notice. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

This policy also applies to pre and post tour extensions. If we cancel a Tour, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participant in his/her preparation for the Tour (e.g. nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, if applicable, clothing, equipment and medical expenses, etc.).

If you have scheduled your own airfare and it is delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details. 

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, the tour operator will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

Smithsonian Journeys strives to offer programs that optimize our travelers' time and enjoyment, and we want participants to be aware of the physical requirements involved. By registering for a Smithsonian Journeys tour, the participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility or trip participation. Participant further certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. For Tours that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet), participant certifies that he/she does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac or circulatory disorder. Participant must notify tour operator of any medical issues well before departure. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Tour at any time during the Tour. In the event of removal from a Tour, refunds are not given. Hospital facilities or appropriate medical facilities or doctors are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Participants will receive appropriate health information and provide the tour operator with his/her medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested on the Personal Information Form. On certain designated Tours, a Physician Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it.

Each tour carries an activity rating from Level 1- Level 5. For the most satisfying experience (and in fairness to your fellow travelers), please carefully review the itinerary and physical requirements for your specific trip. If you have questions about the physical demands of your itinerary, call us at 833-254-6678.

Please be aware that healthcare standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform tour operator in writing of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, and services for any stated in the itinerary. We will not be responsible for providing any reimbursement for delays in the Tour due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, or government intervention.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Accommodations (hotels, lodges, tents, etc.) are always reserved for single participants, however, the number available on a tour may be limited. Therefore, we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender to share with you. If a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy 

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

Responsibility Statement

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, and safety of our travelers.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

Responsibilities of Participants

Participant is responsible for understanding the conditions as described in the Tour Itinerary and selecting a Tour in consultation with us that is appropriate to his/her interests and abilities. In addition, the participant should prepare for the Tour by reading the Tour Itinerary and supplemental Tour information in the pre-Tour materials and bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. The participant should also consult his or her physician to determine his/her suitability for the Tour and to discuss any over the counter or prescription medicines he/she should consider taking in the case of Tours which travel to higher altitudes. Screening for fitness (for Tours rated “Level 4 or Level 5”) is made during the confirmation of booking. In addition, we strongly urge all participants to review any State Department warnings, alerts, advisories, and destination specific information at www.travel.state.gov as well as specific health information for their destination at www.cdc.gov.