Peru Highlights: Machu Picchu, Cusco & the Sacred Valley

Explore this fascinating country’s most iconic sites

Itinerary at a Glance


  • Lima, 1 night – World class cuisine, superb museums
  • Sacred Valley, 2 nights – Andean life and ancient ruins
  • Machu Picchu, 2 nights – An in-depth visit to this stunning icon
  • Cusco, 2 nights – Spend time in the former Incan capital
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English speaking private guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary


(Included meals as indicated in parentheses: B,L,D)

Day 1

Lima

Miraflores District

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.

If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine or art tours for those with special interests.

Accommodations:
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
(upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2

Fly to Cusco / Sacred Valley of the Incas / Pisac Ruins

Sol y Luna hotel

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.  When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long fertile river valley surrounded by snow capped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

You’ll have the chance to visit remarkable Incan sites and small towns at Pisac, and stop for a lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef.  Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.

Accommodations:
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3

Sacred Valley (Maras / Moray / Ollantaytambo)

Terraces at Ollantaytambo

Today you have a full day of exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.

First you will make a visit to the unique Incan site of Moray, and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After your picnic lunch, you´ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.

Accommodations:
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 4

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Today you travel to Machu Picchu. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the train station, where you catch the train to Machu Picchu.

You will visit this remarkable site with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.  (Your hotel in Aguas Calientes is one of the most highly regarded in South America; dinner is included at the hotel.)

Accommodations:
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu view

Today you make an unguided return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. If you take the earliest shuttle up to the site, you can be at Machu Picchu at dawn.

You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate).  There is a lot to see in and around Machu Picchu.

Accommodations:
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,D)

Day 6

Return to Cusco

cuatro-bustos-main-courtyard1

In the late morning you will take the train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel, located in the historic San Blas district.  You will arrive back in Cusco by mid to late afternoon and have time to explore a bit on your own and eat out at one of the city’s excellent restaurants.

Cusco is another of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital.  You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city.  The city also has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.

Accommodations:
Palacio del Inka (B)
(upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas is available)

Day 7

Cusco/Sacsahuaman

Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights.

Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area.

You have the afternoon free to explore some more of the city on your own.

Accommodations:
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 8

Fly Home

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home.

If you have extra time before your international flight, we often arrange a driver for our travelers so they can go out to eat and see some of Lima before their flight.
(B)

 

Some Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary:


  • Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Lake Piuray.

  • Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon or Lake Titicaca, both easily accessible from Cusco.

  • Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Hike to Machu Picchu: Get off the train at Kilometer 104 to walk the last four to six hours along the famous Inca trail. Or see our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

 



HAVE QUESTIONS?    TALK TO AN EXPERT.    CALL US: