Overview
  • Day 1: Arrival in Lima
  • Day 2: Arrival in Cusco
  • Day 3: Cusco City Tour
  • Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour
  • Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour
  • Day 6: Departure from Cusco
Map Special #1

To learn the backstory of Machu Picchu — how and why South America’s most powerful civilization built a citadel in the cloud forest and then abandoned it — you’ll begin with tours in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You’ll stand in the presence of ancient ruins including Sacsayhuaman with its monumental house-sized stones; Qorikancha, where the Incas once worshipped the Sun; and Ollantaytambo, stage for the final military battle before Spanish conquistadors forced Inca rebels deep into the jungle.

Machu Picchu harbors mysteries of its own, from its majestic setting amid jungle and mountains, to its historic purpose and function (which scholars have not yet figured out). The only sure thing about arriving to Machu Picchu is the undeniable sense that this place is truly special. This tour package will let you see for yourself.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Lima airport. Meet our representative for a transfer to your Lima airport hotel.

Day 2: Arrival in Cusco

After breakfast, return to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, meet our representative for a transfer to your Cusco hotel.

Be sure to take it easy on this first day at altitude. Visit a museum, people-watch on the Plaza de Armas, or find a cafe where you can relax. In the evening, choose among Cusco’s many options for casual or fine dining.

Day 3: Cusco City Tour

This morning you’ll have time to explore Cusco on your own. Explore the vendor stalls at San Pedro Market, browse artisan workshops and art galleries in the San Blas neighborhood, or visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP) or Casa Concha (Machu Picchu Museum).

After lunch, meet your guide for an afternoon tour of Cusco’s must see sights. You’ll start on the Plaza de Armas, where your guide will begin to tell you about the history of South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You’ll enter into the Cusco Cathedral, formerly the site of a temple to the Inca creator deity Viracocha and today a treasure trove for religious art produced by native artisans in the years after the Spanish Conquest. You’ll continue to Santo Domingo Monastery, which was also constructed on the site of an Inca temple, Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun. The building of the church atop the ruins ironically preserved parts of the Inca structures, which were revealed intact after a devastating earthquake in 1950 crumbled the Spanish construction. Next, you’ll visit the Inca ruins outside of Cusco, beginning at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman (site of an important battle between Inca and Spanish troops), and wrapping up the day with stops at Q’enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be returned to your hotel in Cusco. Hit the town to see Cusco by night or enjoy a quiet evening in.

Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the Sacred Valley, which in Inca times was littered with royal palaces and temples and today is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes. Your first stop is Pisac town, with its famous market and impressive hilltop ruins. At the market, your guide will point out local products like potatoes, giant corn, and natural dyes, and you’ll have a chance to browse the souvenir stalls for one-of-a-kind gifts. Next, you’ll drive up the hill to the Pisac ruins, which sprawl across a narrow mountain ridge and most likely protected the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. You’ll continue down the road to Urubamba and stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant serving Peruvian specialties. The final stop is in Ollantaytambo, where you’ll climb to the top of the fortress ruins for panoramic views across the former Inca heartland.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be dropped of at your hotel in Sacred Valley.

Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour

Take an early train to Machu Picchu, traveling for 2 hours along a path that follows the banks of the Urubamba River and descends dramatically from the Andean highlands to the cloud forest. On clear days, you can glimpse the glacier-capped peaks that rise over the valley. Upon arrival at the train station, meet our representative for a transfer to the bus stop and the 25-min shuttle ride to the ruins.

Meet your guide at the ruins entrance for a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu. You’ll visit the primary temples and palaces of the Inca citadel and then you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own. Take an optional hike to the Sun Gate (entrance from the Inca Trail) or to the Inca Bridge.

In the late afternoon, return to the train station for the trip back to Cusco.

Day 6: Departure from Cusco

Grab breakfast in the morning and then meet our representative for a transfer to the Cusco airport and the start of your journey back home.

Prices
Double Triple
Budget 3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
$ 1039 $ 1309 $ 1499 $ 1739
Single
Budget 3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
$ 1309 $ 1859 $ 2199 $ 2699
Included
Included:
  • 1 night in Lima, 3 nights in Cusco and 1 night in the Sacred Valley in Peru Hotels based on US standards
  • All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
  • Ground transportation and entrance fees
  • Breakfast at all hotels
  • Trains: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
  • Budget tours are designed to offer the best value and comfort possible, and have some variations compared to our 3, 4, and 5-star packages. Call or email us to learn more about our Budget tours.
Not Included:
  • Airfare
  • Lunches and dinners (unless otherwise specified)
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips