7 days from £1595pp plus international flights.
Cusco, the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley including Pisac and Ollantaytambo ... these are the highlights you can see on this excellent short trip.
All of these extraordinary places will give you a real taste for this stunning area of Peru which is known throughout the world for its unmissable sights. Cusco is a colonial city built on Incan foundations. Take time to explore the friendly city itself, as well as outlying ruins. Then the more low-lying Sacred Valley is worth your time. Here the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo offer markets and more Inca ruins. But of course the highlight for most people is the world famous Machu Picchu. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, it is unmissable and breathtaking.
You have a guide for the times we feel this will add to your experience, for example looking round historical sites such as Machu Picchu, but at other times you are left to explore on your own. All your transfers and transport arrangements are sorted, so the whole trip will be very easy, leaving you to simply enjoy the wonderful places you've come to see.
If you want longer in Peru, that is not a problem, just talk to us about what you'd like to add to this experience and we'll put it all together for you.
Most flights from Europe arrive in Lima in the evening. On arrival in Lima Airport we will collect you and take you to the Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport hotel. Here you will have time for dinner in the restaurant and perhaps a swim in the indoor pool before turning in for the night.
Today you'll walk the short distance from the hotel to the airport, arriving in time for your morning flight to Cusco. It takes under an hour to get to Cusco. Here you will again be met and transferred to your Cusco hotel, the well-located Casa Andina Premium. Cusco is quite high (3300m) so you might initially feel the effects of altitude. For this reason we advise an easy day with no particular plans, apart from the brief walking tour with your guide in the afternoon to help you get your bearings. Then you can wander around the town, stop in cafes and drink coca tea, do a bit of people watching, have a light lunch and dinner, and generally take it easy and catch your breath. Breakfast.
Today a guide will pick you up after breakfast and take you on a long half-day tour full of fascinating insights into Peruvian culture and Incan and colonial history. You'll start in Cusco and your first stop will be the Koricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun that was once covered in gold and is now the site of the Convent of Santo Domingo. You'll also visit the Cathedral, which has an extensive art collection. Then you'll head out of the city to Sacsayhauman, a magnificent 15th century Inca ceremonial complex, and you'll visit the Inca religious centre at Qenqo and the 'Red Fort' Puka Pukara. Then you'll be taken back to your hotel in time for a late lunch at the hotel or in the town and the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Breakfast.
Today your guide will take you on a full-day guided tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You'll start with a visit to Awanakancha, a farm where llamas, alpacas and vicuñas are bred. You'll learn about how their wool is woven into traditional fabrics, then you'll head to the market at Pisac. This is colourful and vibrant and packed with stalls selling arts and crafts and produce. Your guide will then lead you out above Pisac to visit the Inca ruins and agricultural terraces. After lunch you'll go to Ollantaytambo where you'll explore the charming old town and the breathtaking Inca ruins set on a prominitory above the town. You'll stay overnight at Pakaritampu hotel, which is set in lovely gardens. There are plenty of restaurants in Ollantaytambo so you'll have lots of choices for dinner. Breakfast, lunch.
Today you take the train to Aguas Calientes. You'll pass through stunning Andean scenery and you'll have great views from the train's panoramic windows. From here it is a 20-minute zigzag bus ride up to the top of a steep hill where you'll have your first sight of Machu Picchu. You will enjoy a fascinating private guided tour of the sanctuary, and we have arranged for you to have lunch at the luxury Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel next to Machu Picchu. When you have had your fill of the ruins for one day, head back down the mountain to the Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel. Enjoy the lovely views from your room and take a walk along the river before heading to the restaurant for a dinner of Andean fusion cuisine. Don't lose your entrance ticket for Machu Picchu - you'll need it again tomorrow! Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
This morning you return to Machu Picchu, this time by yourself so you can simply wander around and soak up the magical atmosphere of the place. Your afternoon train will get you back to Cusco by early evening, where you'll be met and transferred to the Casa Andina Premium hotel. Breakfast.
Today we transfer you to Cusco Airport in time for your flight to Lima. Flight connections are such that you will have time for a short tour of Lima before we need to get you back to the airport for your flight home. There are plenty of options for sightseeing in Lima, depending on your interests and the time you have available. You might like to visit the Larco Museum, with its incredible collection of pre-Inca gold, silver and ceramics, and the sumptuous Casa Aliaga, which has been lived in by the same family since 1532, is another 'must'. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1595 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2019 guide price pp based on 2 sharing: £1595
6 nights accommodation in the properties mentioned; private transfers; private sightseeing tours with an English-speaking guide in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lima; entrance fees in Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lima; return train ticket to Machu Picchu; meals as indicated in the itinerary.
International and domestic flight (we would normally book these for you and add this to the package); visas (not currently required by British passport holders); insurance; Huayna Picchu entrance; meals not mentioned as included; drinks; tips; personal expenses such as laundry.
To get to Peru you need to fly into Lima. From here a domestic flight takes you to Cusco. From Europe Iberia Airlines or KLM are most frequently used for this route. There is no direct flight from the UK to Lima. A return flight will cost from about £900.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor-made holiday which you can take at any time to suit you.
An elegant colonial mansion offering modern facilities in the heart of the old city of Cusco.
37-room hotel located in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The 62 room Sumaq Hotel offers luxurious accommodation close to Machu Picchu.
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport is a modern hotel located within walking distance of Lima's international airport, offering good accommodation and facilities.
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Flight time: Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.
Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.
Visas: Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.