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Peru Highlights Active: An active exploration of the country's most famous highlights

Days: 8 | From: $4,090/per person

Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then get off the beaten path with downhill mountain biking through the Sacred Valley and a hike along the classic Inca Trail to a magnificent view of Machu Picchu.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Lima
    1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
  • Sacred Valley
    3 nights: Andean life and ancient ruins on foot and by bike
  • Machu Picchu
    1 nights: spectacular day hikes to and around this stunning icon
  • Cusco
    2 nights: walk the streets of the captivating former Incan capital

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Lima

Miraflores Beach, Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, 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.

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: Hotel de Autor

Located in the center of Miraflores, the 4-suite Hotel de Autor is a set in a beautiful private house. Each of the suites features either a private balcony or an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub; the suites are large rooms with charming details and local artifacts. Definitely a unique experience, being in the Hotel de Autor is more like staying in a private home than a commercial hotel.

Upgrades and alternatives: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Day 2:

Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Road into the mountains of the Sacred Valley

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Visit remarkable Incan sites and small towns at Pisac, and do some hiking down from the ruins. Afterward you will 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

The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Upgrades and alternatives: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who prefer to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Day 3:

Hike to Incan Sites and Ancient Villages: Purmamarca and Ollantaytambo

Ruins at Ollantaytambo

Hike to the Pumamarca Ruins, a less-visited Incan site that has managed to stay off the typical tourist route. Enter an area still steeped in Andean tradition; it’s a great place to explore on foot and appreciate the Andes and the way of life of the people who have lived there for thousands of years.

Enjoy a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the Sacred Valley, then visit the ruins and town of Ollantaytambo, one of the only towns that has maintained the same layout since Incan times.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4:

Mountain Bike Through Unbeatable Scenery

Mountain biking in the Sacred Valley

Continue your adventure with one of the best one-day mountain biking trips you could find anywhere. Non-technical and mostly downhill, you start near the town of Chinchero and descend past the unique Incan site of Moray and the village of Maras, and finally past the ancient salt pans below Maras to the valley floor. Celebrate your arrival with a first class picnic lunch.

Not just for serious mountain-bikers, this is an accessible but excellent mountain biking experience, visiting some off-the-beaten-path locations.

Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5:

Hike the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

Looking down toward Machu Picchu

Catch the morning train toward Machu Picchu, but disembark at Kilometer 104 to start your 5-6 hour hike to Machu Picchu along the last part of the Inca Trail (6-7 miles in total).

Hike upward at a gentle grade for a few hours, passing the large Incan site of Winay Wayna. After about 2 more hours of hiking along the classic Inca Trail, you will find yourself at Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, with a magnificent view of Machu Picchu.

After descending to the ruins along the final stretch of the Inca Trail, catch a shuttle down to the town of Aguas Calientes for the night.

Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located in natural surroundings, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins, but just outside the town, which is quite touristy. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Unlike the other hotels in Aguas Calientes, the Pueblo is set in a natural cloud forest, allowing you to experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem during your stay.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:

Machu Picchu and Cusco

Sun behind the ruins at Machu Picchu

Return to Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to explore the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours round trip).

After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka
Day 7:

Private Tour of Cusco: History, Culture, Architecture, and more

Sacsahuaman Fortress

Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, visiting the historical highlights of this fascinating city. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. Afterward enjoy the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own.

Cusco is one of the highlights of a trip to Peru, an intriguing place 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 has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.

Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 8:

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Peru Mountain biking in the Sacred ValleySol y Luna Hotel at nightMorayOllantaytamboSacred Valley - Willoc GirlInca Trail Grass StepsHikers at the gate over Machu PicchuMachu Picchu Ruins Close UpLlama at Ruins in Machu PicchuInkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel - Bridge (photo credit Inkaterra)CuscoCusco - Sacsuhuaman

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.

  • More time on the Inca Trail: 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.

Let us start planning your journey today!

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