Discover a “lost” Andean city shrouded in mystery, its ancient temples standing guard over an imposing mountain range which has nurtured over 20,000 years of civilization.
On International Expeditions’ comprehensive experience, you explore Inca sites scattered throughout the Sacred Valley, plus travel to bustling markets, visit a local family for a private weaving demonstration, and sample traditional Peruvian fare.
Promo Code: YPPMACHUPICHU; Discount $250 per person; $3498 per person, double occupancy (pairfare and park fees not included)
Day 1 - Arrive Lima
Fly independently to Lima and transfer to Costa del Sol Wyndham for the night.
Day 2 - Lima / Cusco / Urubamba Valley
Start off our journey with a short briefing before we fly to Cusco — the heart of the Inca Empire and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. Descend immediately into the historic Urubamba Valley. Along the way, we stop in Chinchero to visit a community program specializing in teaching traditional Andean art and textile making techniques. This is the ideal time to browse and shop for the best handicrafts and alpaca sweaters. Enjoy lunch in the Urubamba Valley, and spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel.
Day 3 - Machu Picchu
Take a short ride to the Ollantaytambo train station, where we board the train to Machu Picchu. Tour the ruins with our Machu Picchu travel guide, who points out the significance of the stone structures, temples and plazas. This impressive ruin, hidden for 400 years by semi-tropical jungle, lies in a saddle with the peaks of Machu Picchu, "Old Mountain," and Huayna Picchu, "Young Mountain" rising dramatically on either side. Our home for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, an intimate luxury hotel nestled on 12 secluded acres of tropical cloud forest.
Day 4 - Machu Picchu
Today is yours to enjoy a private Machu Picchu tour or simply relax! You may wake up early and hike to the Sun Gate if you wish to return to the citadel. Alternatively, enjoy some early morning birding in the abundant gardens surrounding our hotel. This afternoon, treat yourself to the spa or visit the extensive orchid garden, currently considered the biggest in-habitat garden on the planet. The grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo are home to exquisite birds including 16 species of hummingbirds and the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the national bird of Peru. Tonight, enjoy an enriching lecture on the history and mysticism surrounding the ruins, along with a detailed discussion of Inca culture.
Day 5 - Machu Picchu / Ollantaytambo / Sacsayhuamán / Cusco
Catch the morning train back to the Sacred Valley. Explore the fortress of Ollantaytambo. The expertly fashioned walkways, canals and pools are a testament to the builders' unrivaled skill. Enjoy a traditional lunch before a show by Peruvian Paso Fino horses at Wayra Ranch. Continuing across the valley toward Cusco, tour Sacsayhuamán — a huge fortress of massive stones which zigzags across the side of the mountain. Arrive in Cusco this evening before dinner and spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel.
Day 6 - Cusco
Spend the morning strolling the streets on a Cusco tour, exploring the Koricancha — also known as Santo Domingo, Santa Catalina Convent and the Cathedral. The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo are beautiful examples of Spanish architecture superimposed on Inca construction — the complex was built over the Koricancha, a temple dedicated to the sun, the Inca's most important god. The walls were covered in sheets of gold studded with emeralds and turquoise. After lunch, the afternoon is free to explore on your own before a farewell dinner featuring Andean delicacies.
Day 7 - Cusco / Lima / Depart
Fly back across the Andes to Lima, and transfer to the airport this evening for flights home.
Day 8 - Arrive Home