PE1 Classic Peru Tour

Machu Picchu, Cuzco & the Sacred Valley

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Larco Museum, Lima; Exploring Urubamba, "Sacred Valley of the Incas"; Mysterious Machu Picchu-a must see!; Scenic 'Vistadome' train to Cuzco; Beautiful, ancient Cuzco

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Fri 21 Jun 2019Fri 28 Jun 2019 $2680 USD
Fri 20 Sep 2019Fri 27 Sep 2019 $2680 USD
Mon 28 Oct 2019Mon 04 Nov 2019 $2680 USD
Mon 13 Jan 2020Mon 20 Jan 2020 $2680 USD
Mon 17 Feb 2020Mon 24 Feb 2020 $2680 USD
Fri 19 Jun 2020Fri 26 Jun 2020 $2680 USD
Fri 11 Sep 2020Fri 18 Sep 2020 $2680 USD
Mon 05 Oct 2020Mon 12 Oct 2020 $2680 USD
Mon 09 Nov 2020Mon 16 Nov 2020 $2680 USD

Final balance payments by cheque or wire deduct $125 USD per person!

Optional Single Supplement: $316 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


On our Classic Peru tour the sight of Peruvian villagers going about their daily business amid their mud-brick houses that stand in the foreground of the mighty peak of Salkantay is a sight that is perfect material to fill the many pages of our photo-albums once you have arrived back home.

The image of the clustered ruins of Machu Picchu enveloped by the lush green grass that grows high on the slopes of the Andes will definitely provide a photograph rich in colour.

While in the capital city of Lima, take the time to inspect the winding streets lined with many wooden balconies brimming with flowers and let this picture soak into our memory.

The Cuzco area provides imagery that is something truly worthy of wonder, but it also contains antiquity that teaches us more about the country's vibrant past.

The Sacsayhuaman's massive stature shows us the power and influence of the ancient civilizations of this glorious land.

Regions visited: South America
Countries visited: Peru


Testimonials


(Calgary, AB, CA)

Particularly enjoyed Machu Picchu. Excellent local guides- very knowledgeable and informative. Tour bus extremely clean. Excellent driver. Train ride was very enjoyable. Excellent flights. Our tour leader was very attentive to individual needs. Well organized. Very knowledgeable. Hotels on this tour was excellent. Great experience.

(Arlington, VA, US)

Machu Picchu is Machu Picchu, so I won't say anything about that other than it's an incredible site. Two of my favorite excursions were the Peruvian Paso horses outside of Lima and the llama farm outside of Cusco. I wasn't expecting to be interested in either of these and found I loved them both. I also really enjoyed the Love Park in Lima with all the sayings from Latin American poets embedded in the mosaic wall. Transportation was consistently excellent. The meals more than met my expectations. I live in the Washington, DC area and many of the meals we had were as good as any you can find here. That's saying a lot! I was expecting a kind of rice and beans fare and instead found haute cuisine. One of the things about the trip that was outstanding for me was that the group "gelled", at least from my perspective. We just had a lot of fun.

(Sarnia, ON, CA)

Machu Picchu was the highlight -- also, being able to go back the second day & hike to the Sun Gate was amazing. Loved it so much. Would not eliminate any of the excursions. Enjoyed all the historic places. Had 2 local guides: Ricardo for the city tour in Lima and Jackie from Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & back to Cuzco. Both were very knowledgeable & did an excellent job. Paid attention to detail. Bus tour around Lima & the Sacred Valley -- very good. Enjoyed the train ride to & from Ollantaytambo to Aquas Calientes. All the restaurants chosen by our tour leader Pablo were excellent. Lots of variety of food, all very good. Really enjoyed the evening & dinner at the Casa Hacienda (with the Paso horses) outside of Lima. Dinners in Cuzco were also well selected -- enjoyed the music by Peruvian players one evening. Loved the tour. Enjoyed having a smaller group

(Granbury, TX, US)

Very knowledgeable. Not only related to the tour highlights but also general info. I didn t hear him unable to answer any question that was asked of anyone in the tour group. Was very attentive to clients needs and desires. Daily asking how we felt about the tour and how we were doing.

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrive in Lima
Today we arrive in Lima, Peru.

In recent years, this city has undergone some wonderful restorations of the plazas, ornate facades, and wooden balconies for which it is famous. Named the 'City of Kings' by the Spanish Conquistadors, Lima is the capital of Peru. Founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, where the River Rimac meets the Pacific Ocean, this was the most important Spanish city during the colonial era with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants. Today the city is home to more than 7 million people.

NOTE: As most flights into Lima arrive close to midnight, we suggest that you consider adding an extra night in order to rest up. The hotel is comfortable and well-located, and our start time on Day 2 is likely an early one.

Overnight in Lima (Miraflores).

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Lima: City Tour
This morning we start our tour with a visit to San Francisco's Church to visit the extensive catacombs that lie underneath. We then continue to the Plaza de Armas, the most important plaza in Lima. The oldest surviving part of the plaza is the impressive bronze fountain, erected in 1650. Surrounding the plaza is the exquisite Archbishop's Palace, the cathedral, and the Government Palace where handsomely uniformed presidential guards are on duty all day. We visit the cathedral where the great conquistador Francisco Pizarro's tomb lies.

We then proceed to the Larco Museum, which showcases remarkable chronological galleries and an excellent overview on 3,000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Features the finest gold and silver collection from ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions. For an unforgettable experience, Larco is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can also choose to enter the storage area with its 45,000 classified archaeological objects.

Later we head to the trendy area of Miraflores where people stroll along the cliff tops and watch the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean. The best location is the new "Love Park," with its magnificent monument to lovers at its centre. We continue to the Hacienda Mamacona for an exhibition of beautiful Peruvian Paso horses, accompanied by a delicious dinner of Criollo food and a folkloric show.

Overnight in Lima (Miraflores).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Lima - Cuzco - Urubamba Valley - Ollantaytambo - Yucay
Early this morning we fly to Cuzco, located in a fertile valley at 3354 m (11,004 feet). This is the archaeological capital of the Americas and the ancient capital of the Inca Empire that, at its height, stretched from Colombia in the north, through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and down to central Chile in the south. Although the empire already existed in the 12th century, it remained small until the mid-15th century. Over the next 100 years, it expanded massively but declined due to the civil war and the conquest by the Spanish conquistadors under Francisco Pizarro in 1533.

On arrival we will travel by road into the Urubamba Valley, or "Sacred Valley of the Incas," along one of the most scenic drives on our trip, to the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo located on a spectacular ridge with deep valleys on either side. We can admire the carefully constructed and maintained farming terraces on the surrounding hillsides.

We continue to the town of Yucay on the bank of the Urubamba River (2300m / 7,590 ft). This is an attractive little town of particularly fertile lands whose name translated into Spanish means "deceit" or "bewitchment". According to legend, in the middle of the 15th century, the Inca Huayna Capac was captivated by the incomparable magnificence of Yucay's setting and decided to settle here.

Overnight in Yucay.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Yucay - Machu Picchu Area
Today we take the early morning train* from Urubamba to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. The train journey to Machu Picchu is a highlight of any trip to the Andes; the scenery is simply spectacular, and the train allows you to enjoy it in comfort. The +/- 3 hour trip takes us through a changing landscape with wonderful vistas of the mountains and, deep in its dramatic canyon, the beautiful Urubamba River. Our early arrival from Urubamba ensures that we are at the site before the tourist throngs arrive on the train from Cuzco later in the morning.

Upon arrival at the Aguas Calientes train station, a bus will take us on the 6 km (4 mile) twisting journey up the mountainside to the site of Machu Picchu. Having already dropped our baggage at our hotel, we proceed immediately for a guided 3-hour walking tour of the ruins (please be prepared with all that you need for our tour). We will enter the site through the House of the Terrace Caretakers, which flank the agricultural sector. Once on the site, we will see, among other features: the Temple of the Sun, the Fountain Caretaker's House, the Royal Sector, and the puzzling Temple of the Three Windows. We will also see the Common District, the Sacred Rock, and the prison-like Temple of the Condor.

Machu Picchu, popularly known as the 'Lost City of the Incas,' is an ancient city of stone palaces, towers, temples and staircases. It is a very mysterious place, and to this day our knowledge of it remains sketchy. There are no records or artifacts on the site to indicate what any of the buildings were used for. Archaeologists have ascertained that the site was most likely a ceremonial centre and possibly used for administrative purposes for the populous region.

After our tour, you may choose to proceed to the hotel or remain on the site for some independent exploration (your ticket is included and good for the day), and return to the hotel on your own using the return portion of your bus ticket.

* PLEASE bring an overnight bag for this one night at Aguas Calientes as the train enforces strict luggage limits. Our larger bags will be transported back to Cuzco for us. Please also note that, due to group size limits, groups exceeding 15 participants will be split between two guides for today's site tour.

Overnight at Agua Calientes (near Machu Picchu).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Machu Picchu Area - Cuzco
A large part of the beauty of Machu Picchu is created by its setting on a mountain top surrounded by deep valleys. By staying for a second day to visit Machu Picchu, rather than visiting as a day trip from Cuzco, we are able to savour the atmosphere of this very special place.

In the early morning of our second day at Machu Picchu,* most group members choose to take the bus back up to the site with the weather-dependent hope of seeing the mist-clad mountains greet the morning sun. Weather notwithstanding, the best thing about going up the second day is being there early when there are fewer people, allowing time to "soak it in," as well as the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu and/or to the Sun Gate.

During our time at Machu Picchu, we will also include a visit to the Manuel Chavez Ballon Site Museum, which focuses on the "discovery", excavation, and history of Macchu Picchu. On display are historical photos, including photos of Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu shortly after he came across the ruins, informative write-ups on the construction of Machu Picchu and the life of the Incas, and artifacts found at the site. Outside the museum is a very lush botanical garden running along the river; some plants are labelled and there are a few short trails. This is a nice shady area to rest on a hot day and is an easy 25 minute walk from Aguas Calientes down the road leading to Machu Picchu.

Later in the afternoon we board the VISTADOME train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo Station (1.5 hours) from where we bus back to Cuzco.

* DUE TO strict limits on the number of visitors daily, if you elect to visit again today (optional - at your expense), you will need to book well advance online via www.ticketmachupicchu.com. You will need to choose the EARLIEST options for Machu Picchu only OR Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu if you want to hike Huayna Picchu.

Overnight in Cuzco.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Cuzco Area
This morning we visit some of the most important Inca sites in the Cuzco area.

Sacsayhuaman is an impressive complex which, like so many others of that time, had both a religious and military purpose. The fortress known as the 'storehouse of the sun' incorporates some of the largest stones ever used in a building. The zig-zag walls represent the teeth of the sacred puma and provide an excellent defensive structure. The stones fit so perfectly together without mortar that not even moss can grow in the cracks!

In the afternoon we return to Cuzco and enjoy a tour of the town. We visit Coricancha, the temple of the sun which was the most important location in the Inca empire. Entombed in the closed cloister of the Sto Domingo Church, these sacred walls were hidden from modern civilization until the colonial walls were brought down in 1950 by a powerful earthquake. We also visit the church of San Blas with its fabulously carved pulpit. Wandering the narrow streets of the San Blas artisan region we make our way to the cathedral which towers impressively over the Plaza Mayor. Inside we find precious paintings from the Cuzco School of Art, one of the most prolific of its era.

This Inca city was laid out around a great central square in the shape of a puma, the god of lightning. Today, stone walls built by the Incas line most of Cuzco's central streets and form the foundations of colonial and modern buildings. The Inca buildings were so well built that the Spaniards simply knocked down the upper parts of the Inca temples and palaces and built their churches and mansions on top of the Inca walls. Shortly after the Spanish conquest, the capital was moved to Lima on the coast. Thus Cuzco has retained a wonderful, untouched colonial atmosphere. The culture is also very much alive here, and is evident in the music, clothing and handicrafts of the people.

We have dinner at a local restaurant where we can try some typical Peruvian dishes. One may wish to try the "Pisco sour", a powerful drink made with a Peruvian liquor distilled from white grapes.

Overnight in Cuzco.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Cuzco & Pisac
This morning we visit the ruins at Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara and Qenko. The latter is an Inca sacrificial site carved with inscriptions.

We continue to Pisac with its lively market where you will encounter traditionally dressed locals with whom you can barter for colourful craft items. You will see many unique Andean musical instruments as well as dazzling textiles. Peruvian woolen items are justifiably famous for their imaginative designs, based on Inca art and the local flora and fauna. You can buy sweaters and caps made from the extremely warm wool of alpacas and llamas.

We return to Cuzco with balance of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Cuzco.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Cuzco - Lima - Departure
Today we fly from Cuzco to Lima; departure from Lima.

You may being saying farewell to your Tour Leader in Cuzco, as s/he may be continuing with travellers booked on our Bolivia extension.

LAND ONLY CLIENTS: In order to provide adequate connection time, please ensure that your return flight home from Lima does NOT depart earlier than 9:00 pm (most flights northward depart near midnight).

BUEN VIAJE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Casona de Yucay

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Yucay
Country: Peru

53 comfortable and cozy rooms, all of which are decorated in a local style. Rooms with ample windows with views
... colourful gardens, mountains, and countryside. Rooms feature heat and hot water, safety deposit box, telephone, private bath.



Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

El Mapi Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Agua Calientes
Country: Peru

El Mapi is located in the charming village of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. This centrally located
... is only a few minutes away from the train station "Puente Ruinas", where the buses leave for Machu Picchu.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Royal Inka II

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Cusco
Country: Peru

This charming colonial property offers local flavour and friendly service. Modern rooms offer individual heating, colour TV, international telephone.


Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and local restaurants). All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuity, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered throughout the year. The cool and dry season runs from May to October; outside this time you will encounter warmer but perhaps rainy / misty conditions in the mountains. Serious heat / humidity are only a consideration in Lima.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Road transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Numerous walking tours on uneven surfaces. Most of this tour occurs at high altitude and, though our itinerary spends a night at Yucay before climbing higher to Cuzco, some people are affected-check with your doctor. Scenic VISTADOME train from Aguas Calientes to Cuzco. Internal flight via scheduled local carrier.

Accommodation

Well-located, heated / air-conditioned, mid-range (3 star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than doubles. Porter service is usually available though you should be independent with your luggage, especially at airports and train stations.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, driver/s, and local step on guides.

Group Size

Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

PE1 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION8 days

TOUR STARTLima

TOUR ENDLima

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