Journey into the realm of the ancient Inca, discovering the fortresses and temples—and the present-day culture—of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and encountering the extraordinary citadel of Machu Picchu.

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 Enjoying the view of Machu Picchu  Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River  Terraced landscape of Písac in the Sacred Valley  The site of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley  The capital of Cusco  Andean woman walks across a ridge near Chinchero. Credit: Christopher Newman

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley: A Tailor-Made Journey

8 days from $5,810

Journey into the realm of the ancient Inca, discovering the fortresses and temples—and the present-day culture—of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and encountering the extraordinary citadel of Machu Picchu.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The tailor-made travels that we undertook in Peru were spectacular! Although we moved quickly from city to city (we had packed a lot into our 12 day trip), we never felt disoriented, as there was always a helpful tour guide to meet us and take care of us at every step.

- Annette E.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

This following itinerary is a sampling of the experiences that we offer on a tailor-made journey to Peru. Working with our country specialists, you can customize your itinerary to fit your timing, your budget, and your interests, including accommodations, activities, and the places you visit.

Enjoy a close-up look at the legacy of the Inca while exploring historic sites from Cusco to Machu Picchu with a private guide. From your base in the heart of Cusco, delve into the fascinating history of this Inca capital and its contemporary culture. Spend two days exploring the villages, ancient ruins, and stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Then settle in at the base of Machu Picchu and enjoy plenty of time to explore this legendary site with a guide and on your own.

Highlights Include:

  • Embark on private guided tours of some of the most important Inca sites, including Ollantaytambo and the incredible citadel of Machu Picchu.
  • Explore the enchanting town of Cusco with a private guide, from its historic sites to its lively street food scene.
  • Enjoy a full day to experience the beautiful Sacred Valley as you wish: by bike, or horseback, or on a variety of hikes.
  • Stay in stunning properties, from a 16th-century manor house in Cusco to a charming adobe casita in the cloud forests below Machu Picchu.

The tailor-made travels that we undertook in Peru were spectacular! Although we moved quickly from city to city (we had packed a lot into our 12 day trip), we never felt disoriented, as there was always a helpful tour guide to meet us and take care of us at every step.

- Annette E.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Lima

Arrive in Lima and meet your private guide for the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an evening at leisure to rest up for your journey.

Day 2 - Cusco

If time permits, head out with a guide on a tour of Lima this morning. We'd recommend one that combines historic sites like the 16th-century cathedral with some of the city’s culinary traditions—but you’ll have a number of options to choose from. Later, fly to Cusco and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day and evening will be yours to relax or take a leisurely walk around the Plaza de Armas as you acclimatize to the high altitude (11,200 feet). (B)

Day 3 - Cusco

Head out on a private tour of Cusco, considered the “navel” of the universe by the Inca. Here, the Spanish colonial town rose up on the foundations of the Inca capital, and the blending of Spanish and indigenous cultures is still evident today. Visit Cusco’s baroque cathedrals, and see remnants of Inca walls and temples, including the Koricancha, dedicated to the Sun God. On the outskirts of town, explore important Inca sites such as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a stunning example of Inca stone masonry. This afternoon, see Cusco from another perspective discovering the street food scene with your guide. Try out some Andean favorites, from cuy (or guinea pig) to a traditional maize beer called chicha, as well as an array of local sweets. (B, L)

Day 4 - Sacred Valley

Travel into the beautiful Sacred Valley with your private guide today, making stops at a range of interesting sites. Venture into Pisac, known for its immense Sunday market but also home to impressive Inca ruins. View the enigmatic agricultural terraces of Moray, and continue to Maras to see pre-Inca salt pans stacked up the mountainside. Settle into your lodge in the Sacred Valley later this afternoon. (B, L)

Day 5 - Sacred Valley

The emerald slopes of the Andes beckon hikers of all levels, and the Inca Trail, one of the world’s most renowned trekking routes, passes through here. From your lodge, you’ll have a range of options for exploring the valley today, from hikes to mountain biking or horseback riding. We recommend joining a guide on a spectacular full-day hike from Chinchero to Urquillos. This is a popular, moderately active hike, but there are many other trails available if you prefer something more leisurely or more strenuous. Alternatively, enjoy a morning walk followed by a shared visit to an Andean weaving workshop, where you can learn how artisans use natural dyes to produce traditional textiles. (B, L)

Day 6 - Ollantaytambo / Machu Picchu

Begin the day touring the ruins of Ollantaytambo with your private guide. Set in a narrow gorge, this charming town is flanked by Inca defenses and temples that saw some of the most dramatic moments of the Spanish conquest of Peru. Then board a train for a scenic journey that follows the roiling Urubamba River deep into the mountains that harbor Machu Picchu. Your guide will point out numerous Inca sites along the way. Disembark in Aguas Calientes and ride a shared bus up the hillside to Machu Picchu. Delve into the history and symbolism of this mystical citadel while exploring with your private guide(B, D)

Day 7 - Machu Picchu / Cusco

This morning is unscheduled so that you can return to the citadel if you wish. Or join one of the lodge naturalists for a birding walk or a tour of the many orchid species growing wild on the property. Take the train back to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon, where your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Cusco. On your final evening, wander through the historic heart of this enchanting town and stop in one of its excellent restaurants—we’ll have recommendations for you. (B)

Day 8 - Depart for home

This morning, your driver will escort you to the airport in time for your flight to Lima, and your onward international connection. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)