Set off on this 7-day adventure through colorful Cuzco and the adventure-filled Sacred Valley. Learn about Incan history and experience daily life before culminating your journey at Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world.
Guides take you hiking to remote villages in the highlands outside the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you learn about weaving, farming, and traditional food. Traveling through the land of the Incas, you’ll stay in comfortable boutique hotels – including the cozy Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, with options to upgrade hotels throughout the itinerary to create a more deluxe, custom itinerary.
When you book this trip, from the moment you land, your entire trip will leave a neutral carbon footprint. For each day you are in Peru carbon credits will be purchased to offset your impact by protecting some of Peru’s most beautiful and diverse forests threatened by mining, hydrocarbon, and infrastructure expansion projects.
DAY 1: LIMA
Arrive in Lima. Airport assistance and to your hotel just a short 2-minute walk outside customs.
DAY 2 : CUSCO
Assistance with early morning check-in for one hour flight to Cusco. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon half-day guided orientation of ancient Inca temples, Spanish churches, the artisan San Blas neighborhood and the surrounding hilltop ruins of Sacsayhuaman which offer a panoramic view of Cusco. Your guide will also direct you to shops, museums, markets and restaurants where you can shop, dine and explore on your own.
DAY 3 : URUBAMBA
Full day private guided exploration through the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting Quechua villages where highland Indians tend their fields and sell their food products and handcrafts in outdoor markets. Explore the hilltop Inca ruins of Pisac and hike down through the Inca terraces (or optional drive) to the village of Pisac with its colorful market. After lunch explore the spectacular fortress of Ollantaytambo and walk through the narrow streets of the town below, one of the few Inca towns that have survived much as the Incas designed it hundreds of years ago. Here we can see Inca canchas (stone corals), enclosures of multi-family living quarters that share just one exit to the street, ingenious stonework, original cobblestone streets, and an extensive communal water system that survives to this day.
DAY 4: PATACANCHA VALLEY HIKE
Drive through the Urubamba Valley past the town of Ollantaytambo to a narrow dirt road leading up the Patacancha Valley (1 hour) until reaching the community of Pallata (12,000’ elevation). Here you can observe the native Quechua way of life in the high Andes where crops are sown and textiles woven with simple hand tools that have been in use for centuries. A short, steep ascent to the road head brings us to the small archaeological complex at Pumamarca, a former Inca settlement that managed the irrigation system of the Inca terracing below. After visiting this site we will begin hiking down through the ancient Inca terracing complex of Choquecancha, still used today by local Quechua farmers, overlooking spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and Urubamba Valley below. A three hour descent through these farmed terraced areas will bring us to the outskirts of Ollantaytambo Village. Picnic lunch will be served en route. Overnight at the Hotel Sol y Luna.
DAY 5 : MACHU PICCHU
Transfer to catch the morning train to Machu Picchu. After assisting with your hotel check in, your guide accompanies you on a private tour throughout the principal temples and important sectors of Machu Picchu leaving you free to photograph and explore on your own time. Includes first-class reserved train tickets, bus tickets up and down the mountain, lunch and one-time entrance fee.
DAY 6 : CUSCO
Be among the first to arrive at Machu Picchu on the early shuttle bus. Enjoy contemplating, exploring and photographing the most impressive archaeological monument in South America on your own time wandering through the mysterious maze of streets and stone buildings in this magnificent citadel. Hike up the towering Wayna Picchu peak (permits are $63 and must be purchased in advance), or up the Inca Trail to the Intipunku, Gate of the Sun entrance. Late-afternoon return on the train to a station in the Urubamba Valley where you transfer to a private vehicle back to Cusco arriving by evening to your hotel.
DAY 7 : LIMA
Transfer to Cusco airport for flight to Lima.
Note: Optional half-day tour of colonial Lima and its museums available upon request. Observe the blend of cultures in one of South America’s oldest capital cities on a tour of the old colonial center of downtown Lima, the church and catacombs of San Francisco and the cathedral of Lima. The most comprehensive museums in Lima that feature Peru’s archaeological heritage are the Gold Museum and the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. We can also arrange a culinary market tour and cooking class, pisco tastings or a special farewell dinner at one of Lima’s premier Nuevo Andino restaurants before you depart.