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 your driver, who will be holding a sign with your name on it. They will transfer you directly to the hotel, for a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure. Check into your room, get settled and enjoy a relaxing evening at your leisure. (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 to embark on a full day private excursion that includes visits to the famous Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo fortress. Along the way, you will stop for lunch at a restaurant that serves some of the most delicious local cuisines.
The Sacred Valley of Peru is understood to be the land that extends between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. This past heart of the Inca Empire starts just 10 miles outside of Cusco, and trips here reward visitors with fascinating Inca ruins, picturesque Andes Mountains views, charming towns, a pleasant climate and plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the countryside. When your exploration is complete, you will be transferred to your hotel with the rest of the evening at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
The Sacred Valley can be found tucked in between the impressive Andes of Peru. This developing area, once strictly colonial towns and secluded villages, is now recognized as a destination in it's own right. Here, you can explore the aromas and flavors of the local markets, discover the rich history of various archaeological sites and get to know the friendly local people. Steering away from the more modern major cities, the Sacred Valley offers a close community setting, for the perfect nature retreat and cultural experience.
Today, you will be whisked away on a half day private tour of Maras & Moray. To begin this excursion, you will visit the famous circular ruins of Moray. Here, you will have time to explore these fascinating ruins and learn all about their unique history from your expert local guide. Moray is believed to be an Incan agricultural center used to improve high altitude crops – an essential commodity for the huge Incan armies and road building teams that supported the empire.
From there, your adventure continues to the ancient town of Maras, with its outstanding Spanish door arches and beautiful church. Maras is famous for its spies, due to its strategic location above the Sacred Valley. After exploring this site, you will drop back down into the charming Sacred Valley of the Incas. Along the way, your guide will point out some of the most astounding salt-pans covering an entire hillside, which you can admire. At the end of your tour, you will be returned to your accommodations. (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 city of Ollantaytambo, in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an hour and a half by car from the Cusco. The train station of Ollantaytambo offers easy access to Machu Picchu, an hour and fifteen minute ride away. The 37 guestrooms have spectacular views of the area, picturesque balconies, and private bath with hot water and shower. The hotel is surrounded by lovely gardens featuring a variety of flora typical of the region, and offers extraordinary views of the archaeological center and the nearby mountains.
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.