Summary : Join an expedition of Peru for an unparalleled experience of Inca wonders, colonial cities, and a rich cultural heritage. A knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff caters to your daily interests and provides insight. Your expedition will enable you to see daybreak over the ruins at Machu Picchu from the fabled Sun Gate, with only a handful of visitors, discover Cusco’s array of cultural influences and explore the Sacred Valley of the Inca with a National Geographic expert, and explore the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo. Experience Peru in small-group expedition-style: immersive and in-depth.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography
$5,690 to $8,020
Depart the U.S. and arrive in Lima, Peru by late evening. Overnight at the conveniently located Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel. Rest and relax at the hotel before your early departure tomorrow.
This morning board your flight over the Andes to Cusco. Upon arrival, drive through the fabled and fertile Urubamba Valley to Moray—a visually stunning Inca site known for its agricultural terraces. After lunch and an opportunity to experience a local market, check-in at Sol y Luna for two nights. This serene Relais & Chateaux hotel entices with individual adobe casitas set in a verdant garden.
Spend the day exploring the archaeological sites and culture of the Sacred Valley in the company of National Geographic expert Peter Frost, who has lived and worked in Peru for decades. He (or occasionally a colleague, if he is in the field) joins the group for a talk at the hotel and continues with you to Ollantaytambo, where massive stone walls stand sentry over a thriving Inca community. Lunch is nearby at a working, family-owned hacienda. Here you are also treated to a show of Peruvian Paso horses, and National Geographic grantee Nilda Callañaupa, founder of El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco, joins you to demonstrate Inca weaving traditions. Dinner tonight is at the hotel.
This morning marvel at the tropical Andean scenery and life along the river from panoramic windows on the train to Machu Picchu—the Inca royal retreat famously introduced to the world by Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. Set at less than 8,000 feet, the sanctuary is set in tropical mountain forest with diverse birds and orchids. Check-in at the historic 31-room Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the World Heritage site, with the leisure to explore over two days in the company of your hand-picked tour director and local guides. Linger after day-visitors are long gone. Lunch and dinner is at the Hotel's private Tampu Restaurant.
Awaken this morning at Machu Picchu, where your options include an early hike to the Sun Gate, the ancient final checkpoint to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. After lunch, return through the valley to Cusco, center of the Inca universe and a burgeoning Andean cultural capital. Check-in at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio for two nights in the ancient heart of Cusco. Like many colonial-era buildings, your hotel—founded as a monastery in 1592—stands atop a fountain in Inca-carved stone.
Explore the magnificently ornate 17th-century cathedral and Plaza de Armas, the sacred Inca Temple of the Sun and other treasures of Cusco this morning. Visit nearby Sacsayhuaman, where impressive terrace walls, some of the finest stonework you've seen yet, command views over the city. Relax, shop, or visit Cusco's many churches and museums this afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Return to vibrant, coastal Lima this morning, where on a tour you stroll the Plaza Mayor and delight in a private farewell lunch with a special musical presentation at Casa Aliaga—in the same family for 17 generations. After a visit to the extraordinary Larco Museum, dedicated to pre-Columbian art, check-in at Belmond Miraflores Park, set along a fashionable seaside promenade. Dinner is on your own.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes. Please talk to your Expedition Specialist before booking airfare.
Accommodations and meals as per the itinerary; services of Expeditions Leader and naturalist staff; service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; some meals; extensions; passport and visa expenses; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, email and laundry; gratuities at your discretion.
Photos: © Ralph Lee Hopkins; © Lori Gifford; © Amelia Tockston; © Marcy Roshelli; © Ashton Palmer