Experience the highlights of Peru with a custom itinerary enabling you to see as much as you can during your stay. Your adventure begins with a visit to the colonial city of Cusco before departing to the cultural area of the Sacred Valley and the Andes to experience the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at the airport in Cusco, you will be greeted by a local representative, holding a sign with your name on it. For a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure, you will be driven directly to your hotel, where a lovely evening at your leisure awaits. (This service is on a private basis.)
Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.
The city of Cusco itself, represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets, you will be able to see the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in the traditional clothing.
Your excursion will then take you out of Cusco, to visit the main Inca ruins in the Cusco valley. This will include stops at Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Kenko, Sacsayhuaman and some lesser known ruins as well. These impressive sites serve as a great introduction to Inca history, and by walking around them, you will continue to acclimate to the high altitude of Peru. After your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel with the remainder of your day to enjoy at leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a full day private discovery of the famous Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo Fortress. This tour includes lunch at a desirable local restaurant, that serves some of the most delicious traditional dishes.
The Sacred Valley of Peru is comprised of the land that extends between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. What was once the heart of the Inca Empire, this region of rolling Andes can be found just 10 miles outside of Cusco. An exploration of this area showcases fascinating Inca ruins, breathtaking mountain scenery, charming rural towns and a pleasant climate. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to your hotel, to spend the rest of the day as you desire. (This service is on a private basis.)
Tucked in between the impressive Andes of Peru, you will find the Sacred Valley. This developing area, once strictly colonial towns and secluded villages, is now recognized as a destination in it's own right. Explore the bustling local markets, discover the history behind archaeological attractions and get to know the lovely local people. The Sacred Valley offers an escape from cosmopolitan city life, with an idyllic nature retreat and cultural experience.
Today, you will be whisked away on a half day private tour of Maras & Moray. This excursion begins with a visit to the famous circular ruins of Moray. Your expert guide will teach you all about the extraordinary history behind this attraction, as you explore the fascinating ruins at your own pace. Moray is believed to have been an Incan agricultural center, that was once used to improve high altitude crops. This would have been an essential commodity for the massive Incan armies and road building teams, that supported the empire.
After visiting Moray, your adventure continues to the ancient town of Maras, characterized by beautiful Spanish decor and a central church. Maras is famous for its use of spies, beneficial by its strategic location above the Sacred Valley. On the journey back down to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you will visit some of the area's most famous salt pans. Covering entire hillsides, this iconic pattern of pans is impressive, to say the least. At the end of your tour, you will be driven the rest of the way to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Early in the morning you will be close enough to walk to the train station in Ollantaytambo, and take a train to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly known as Aguas Calientes). The journey follows along the impressive Urubamba river to the base of Machu Picchu itself. On arrival you take a short bus ride direct to the ruins.
Once there, you can explore on your own. If time permits you can explore further to the Inca bridge, Watchman’s hut or try the strenuous climb to the sun gate – Inti Puncu. Some may prefer to just relax and take in the stunning location. After a full day to explore the site, you retire to your hotel. Lunch will be served at the Sanctuary Lodge near the ruins, and dinner will be served at your hotel this evening.
If you like, you can experience a taste of the Inca Trail by opting to hike on the Short Inca Trail which departs from KM 104. Ask your agent for more information.
Believed to be built as a "royal estate" for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, Machu Picchu is an astounding and perennially mysterious climax to one of the world's most famous journeys: the Inca Trail. Perched high above a sinuous bend in the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu has lured explorers, poets and pilgrims to its mist-wreathed ridgetop ever since its discovery by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in July, 1911.
Scholars still argue about the meaning of Machu Picchu: why it was built and what purpose it served, who lived there and when they departed. Most agree that its main intent was spiritual and ceremonial. But clearly its creator, Pachacuti, intended the journey to his sacred city to be a powerful experience in its own right, a pilgrimage whose effort is stunningly rewarded time and again as one follows its winding way among peaks, forests, deep gorges and fairytale ruins. Perhaps if one is to experience the spirit that inspired the builders of Machu Picchu, one truly must walk the length of Pachacuti's white granite highway -- today's Inca Trail.
Return to Machu Picchu today and spend the day in individual exploration, visiting features of the ruins you may have missed. We are providing shuttle transfers to and from the ruins as well entrance fees (guide services not included on this day). Please note, if you wish to climb Huayna Picchu you will need to purchase a permit in advance - HP permits are not included in your trip, subject to availability at the time of booking.
If you like, you can experience a taste of the Inca Trail by opting to hike on the Short Inca Trail which departs from KM 104. See the orange Additional tours box below for more information.
After your exploration, you will board the Vistadome train onward to Poroty station, where you will be greeted by a driver and transferred to your overnight accommodations in Cusco upon arrival.
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
Casa San Blas, the first boutique hotel in Peru, has been created to provide guests with a distinguished service based on individual, personalized service and attention to detail in a comfortable, home-like atmosphere. San Blas' design harmonizes with the colonial architecture of the San Blas neighborhood, based upon the restoration of a historic mansion, while incorporating all the benefits of the modern world. The district of San Blas has been the historic artisan's quarter of Cusco since Inca times, and lies just two and a half blocks from the main square. It is a neighborhood of narrow, picturesque cobbled streets and whitewashed colonial-era houses, with red-tiled roofs and wooden balconies.
Hotel Pakaritampu is located in the town of Ollantaytambo, in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 1 hour and 30 minutes by car from Cusco. The local train station of Ollantaytambo offers easy access to Machu Picchu, on a scenic journey that is just 1 hour and 15 minutes away from the hotel. The property boasts 37 guestrooms that feature spectacular views of the area, lovely balconies, and a private bath with hot water and a shower. Nestled in the mystical wonders of the Andes, you will be surrounded by picturesque gardens and a variety of typical flora of the region.
Step into the smart, contemporary and cozy confines of El MaPi, amidst the picturesque Machu Picchu Pueblo. Discover an efficient, lively and friendly atmosphere, which will welcome you into a wondrous escape from real life worries. The flowing lobby creates a sense of vitality. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and an open air cafe, allow natural light to filter between tall eucalyptus dried branches, creating a lovely and relaxing ambiance. Make the most of your enlightening visit to Peru’s most famous destination, the Machu Picchu archaeological site, with the perfect home away from home at El MaPi.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.