8 Day Experience to the Center of the Inca Empire
- Visit an ancient hacienda dedicated to agriculture, see the Peruvian corn, and delight in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.
- Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory.
- Embark on a private city tour of Cuzco, whose fascinating streets feature a unique combination of Inca ruins and colonial constructions.
- Scale the ancient stone stairway up Machu Picchu’s neighboring peak, Huayna Picchu.
- Relish a Machu Picchu luxury tour with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site, before wandering independently among the iconic ruins the following day.
- Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
- Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
- Relax in hand-picked luxury accommodations throughout your personalized trip of Peru.
Masters of farming, engineering geniuses, and creators of a religion that combined features of animism, fetishism and nature worship, the Incas are without a doubt one of the world’s most interesting and mysterious ancient civilizations. This Machu Picchu luxury tour allows you to learn about Inca’s accomplishments, from the triumphal constructions of Machu Picchu and the intricate stonework of the old Inca capital Cuzco, to the ingenious agricultural terraces that dot the stunningly serene Sacred Valley. Discover what this fascinating civilization embodied during its glorious heyday with this customized tour centered on Peru’s Inca heritage.
Welcome to Peru!
Upon arrival in Lima, your PAD host will escort you to the nearby Wyndham Costa Del Sol Hotel at Lima’s airport. With most international flights arriving quite late and flights to Cuzco departing early, staying in an airport hotel will allow you to maximize your sleep so you can begin your vacation feeling well-rested.
This morning we’ll escort you back to the airport for your morning flight to Cuzco. Watch the windows as the desert coast rises into the snow-capped peaks of the Andes!
Just 15 minutes outside of Cuzco, true Peruvian countryside will stretch away on either side of you, with sheep grazing by the side of the road and impossibly steep peaks rising in the distance. Your journey will take you to an ancient hacienda, nestled in the fertile valley next to the pueblo of Pisac. Step onto the family-owned estate grounds and step into centuries past while your hosts expound upon the growing process of choclo(corn) and its profound cultural significance in the Andes Mountains. This hacienda dates back generations and you will be immediately immersed in local customs steeped in the spirits and mysticism of the Andes, and embraced by the warmth of local Peruvians.
Relish your time on the farm with a delicious multi-course lunch with sample dishes featuring none other than the “white gold”, the giant-kernelled corn, and make sure to visit the on-site stables housing the renowned Peruvian Paso horses. Watch the horses dance with their human counterparts in a “marinera” demonstration, and even go for a quick trot yourself if you feel up to the task!
Today you’ll witness just how Peru’s past shapes its present. We’ll start things in the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, one of the few remaining places in the Sacred Valley that has retained its original Inca urban planning. Walk through the maze-like streets which come complete with Inca-era canals and view the ancient houses still in use today, which feature interior courtyards and trapezoidal doors.
Alongside your guide, climb past the agricultural terraces toward the Temple of Sun, where you can enjoy an Inca’s-eye view of the valley. From this elevated position, you’ll also be able to see some of the quarries from which the stone for Ollantaytambo was sourced. It’s amazing to think how far these large stones were transported, especially considering the challenge faced by the Incas, who didn’t have strong pack animals or the wheel.
Travel to the pretty village of Pisac and browse the wares on offer at the market. Both travelers and valley villagers come from miles around to barter and sell goods ranging from textiles and dyes to fresh vegetables. After you’ve had your fill of shopping, you’ll venture up to a ridge high above the stepped agricultural terraces where Pisac’s mountainside Inca ruins are located.
After breakfast, you’ll be taken to see the ancient agricultural site of Moray. Experts today believe these grassy amphitheaters served as a farming laboratory, with the varying temperatures and soils of the ascending terraces providing different growing environments. We’ll pass through the town of Maras – known for its beautiful colonial doorways – before arriving at the town’s still-in-use salt pans. The small white evaporation pools that cover the hillside are still harvested by locals in a traditional manner. We’ll pause for a delicious local lunch, where you’ll be able to sample some regional fare. After lunch you’ll have a chance to mingle with the locals during a visit to an off-the-beaten-track highland village on the shore of the icy blue Lake Piuray. This rural community subsists on agriculture and many of the women are master weavers, creating exquisite textiles using generations-old techniques. You will have the opportunity to communicate with the residents, visit their houses and fields, and experience what day-to-day life is like in the Andean highlands.
Later, you’ll return to your comfortable hotel of choice.
Morning Train through the Cloud Forest, private afternoon with a Machu Picchu Luxury Tour.
Prepare for a dramatic also cloud forest In the morning, we will board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. Forest pass by through the large glass windows! Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, we’ll tuck in to an early lunch in order to refuel before ascending to Peru’s lost citadel.
After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, you will pass through the main entrance with your private guide and finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu. The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.
Upon conclusion of your tour, return for an evening in Aguas Calientes. Enjoy an excellent dinner at your hotel and fall into bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of the cloud forest around you.
This day is yours to do as you please, so it’s completely up to you how you would like to culminate your Machu Picchu luxury tour. Feeling adventurous? Consider climbing to the citadel from town or hiking the steep slope of Huayna Picchu, which offers unrivalled views over Machu Picchu. (Please note that only 400 hikers are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day and that tickets will need to be purchased in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance.) In the afternoon, reconvene in Aguas Calientes and board the train to Cuzco. Your PAD host will meet you at the station and bring you to your hotel for a well-deserved good night’s rest.
On day seven, a private tour will allow you to get to know the city that many consider to be Peru’s most attractive: Cuzco.
Your guide will recount this fabled city’s stories and show you around the major sights, from the ancient Inca walls, Qorikancha (the Temple of the Sun) and the Pre-Colombian Art Museum to the exuberant colonial churches and cathedrals. Wander around the artsy quarter of San Blas and join locals shopping at the energetic open-air market at San Pedro.
The afternoon is free so you can do as you wish. Perhaps continue exploring Cuzco’s nooks and crannies or celebrate your final night in Peru with a frothy pisco sour and delicious Peruvian fare at one of the city’s esteemed restaurants.
This morning, you’ll be chauffeured to the airport for your direct flight to Lima. Once you touch down in the capital, a PAD host will meet you and you’ll be transferred to Miraflores, one of Lima’s greenest, most cosmopolitan neighborhoods and a prime shopping district. A car will be at your disposal so you can venture to another neighborhood in Lima if you so desire.
- 7 nights at our preferred properties, hand-selected for comfort, convenience and quality.
- Privately guided tours with your own personal guide and driver.
- All private airport transfers with English speaking assistance.
- Round-trip Vistadome train to Machu Picchu Pueblo and the bus to the ruins in the company of your private guide All required entrance fees.
- All breakfasts.
- 5 lunches.
- 5 dinners.
- 24 hour support.
- All taxes.
- International and domestic flights and taxes.
- Insurance (compulsory)