This is a fantastic option for those who are looking for one of the best Peru tours!’ In these well designed Peru vacation packages we have a taste of everything – a mix of ruins, living culture in the markets, Colonial architecture and some fabulous food experiences..
Without focusing on any one part of Peru, you have a unique chance to get to know the most famous sites in Peru. In many ways, this is similar to a Classic Peru tour that you will find at a mainstream travel agency, which is why we describe it as one of our best Peru vacation packages. Yet, while we prepare this tour to include all of the bucket list places like Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Cusco – we still enable you to get a bit off the beaten track, and to have experiences that are a little bit different!
Again, you will be met at the airport and will transfer straight to the lower altitudes of the Sacred Valley. Check into your hotel and enjoy your first night in the Peruvian Andes by savouring the silence and taking in the energy that inspired the Incas, and also many people in the present day.
If you like you can participate in an optional Andean blessing ceremony at or near your hotel. This ceremony serves as an introduction to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (protective mountain deities). Please advise at time of booking if you are interested in this additional service.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Pisac ruin which sits at the intersection of two valleys and provides truly spectacular Andean vistas. We will explore the site and depending on how you are feeling can either walk through the whole site and into town (approximately 2 hours) or can travel back into town by vehicle. The last stop of the day is the town’s renowned artisan market with a large variety of wares from silver jewellery and semi-precious stones to alpaca sweaters and colourful blankets. Once you have had your fill we will return to the hotel for the night.
*If you choose the biking option you will have a picnic lunch en-route and if you choose to do the whole route by car you will have a buffet lunch in Urubamba. The timing of the train will also be determined by your choice of activity.
Adventure Option – Add an extra day or exchange a day
If you would like to do a short hike to Machu Picchu you have the option of ‘exchanging’ Day 4 for an Inca trail hike, or alternatively adding a day to the itinerary.
Wake early to start the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hike for 5 to 6 hours from the archaeological site of Chachabamba through beautiful cloud forest and along original Inca Trail to impressive site of Wiñay Wayna where we will have lunch. After our break, we will continue the last hour and a half to the Inca site of Machu Picchu before taking the bus into town. Note, Inca Trail permits need to be purchased 3-6 months prior to travel. All trekkers need a good level of fitness and ability to hike about 6 hours uphill.
Evening: Dinner in the town of Machu Picchu.
You will start early to be amongst the first to arrive to Machu Picchu and to start your tour before the crowds arrive. We will visit some of the more important and interesting sites such as the Sun Temple, the Temple of Three Windows, the Inti Huatana and the Temple of the Condor. After the tour you will be given free time to explore the site. Some recommendations are:
Hiking to Huayna Picchu Mountain, the pointed mountain that always peaks out behind Machu Picchu in classic photos of the site. This is a steep climb and not for those afraid of heights. It is approximately 2 hours return. This option involves an additional cost and must be reserved at time of booking.
Hiking to Machu Picchu Mountain is the mountain on which the archaeological site sits. This is a nice trek offering unique views and a good way for the active traveller to get in some hiking while still enjoying Machu Picchu. It is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours return. This option involves an additional cost and must be reserved at time of booking.
Hiking to the Sungate where the first rays of sun shine on the winter solstice.
Visiting the Inca Bridge where you will be able to marvel and the incredible engineering skills and ingenuity of the Incas.
Sitting on the terraces below the Temple of the Condor and taking in the energy of the site.
Walking through the site again, ducking into hidden corners and little-visited rooms to be able to refine your own theory about Machu Picchu.
As you are spending the night in town you can spend as much time as you like at the site before returning to Aguas Calientes. This evening you might want to take advantage of the spa services on offer in town as well as some of the more interesting culinary options including, El Indio Feliz, TreeHouse Restaurant, El Chullpi and the restaurants of several of the nicer hotels.
Your guide will help you check into the hotel before giving you a walking tour of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will visit the main square which has been in existence since the time of the Incas and is still a common meeting spot for locals and foreigners alike, the Cathedral, for a taste of colonial Cusco and then can visit the San Pedro produce market which is the city’s oldest or can talk to your guide about what interests you have so that can make sure that you get as much as possible out of your walking tour.
Note: In for Day 6 to allow enough time to visit Ollantaytambo and do the City Tour, you have to take the Expedition or if Inca Rail, Executive Class train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo despite the travel style.
For the foodies out there you have the opportunity to participate in a chocolate-making workshop or a cooking class… or maybe even both. You can delve deeper into Andean tradition with a coca leaf reading or offering to Mother Earth ceremony or can relax with a massage and a cup of locally-grown tea while looking out over the main square. But, whatever you choose, you should definitely think about where you would like to eat as Cusco has many world-class restaurants and it would be a shame to miss out.
We recommend a mid afternoon flight depending on your travel plans. Alternatively, we can connect with one of our highly recommended Peru Short Trips & Extensions.