Cusco and the Sacred Valley
Follow the footsteps of Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu, and meet farmers, artisans, and musicians in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Let our expert local guides and acclaimed trip specialists introduce you to Sacred Peru, a land where past and present are intimately and beautifully intertwined.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastLINCLUDES: LunchDay 1: Arrival in Peru
Lima to Cusco, Descend to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Arrival in Lima, onward flight from Lima to Cusco (airfare not included – 1 hr. 15 mins. flight).
- Assistance from the airport terminal upon arrival in Cusco and private transfer to the Sacred Valley with a stop in Chinchero along the way to visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), world-renowned weaving specialist Nilda Callañaupa’s textile center. Here you will be led on a privately guided tour of the textile center, discovering the entire weaving process, from the dyeing of delicate alpaca fibers with heirloom plants to the essential techniques that the artisans use to make the textiles.
- After saying your goodbyes to the artisans, proceed to the Sacred Valley via private transfer and make your way to Hacienda Huayocarri, a historic Spanish hacienda and private pottery museum dating back to the 17th century. Here, you will be treated to a luxurious 3-course Peruvian lunch, admiring breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley and surrounding Andean peaks from the verandah of the historic mansion.
- If time permits, afternoon visit to the Kusi Kawsay school to volunteer with the students.
- Later in the afternoon, private transfer to your hotel to relax, acclimatize, and enjoy the setting.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastLINCLUDES: LunchDINCLUDES: DinnerDay 2: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Authentic Experiences with the Locals in Pisac
- Breakfast at your family-owned hotel
- Journey into the highlands surrounding Pisac for a guided walking tour of a traditional Quechua farming community. Learn how large-kerneled corn and other uniquely Peruvian crops are grown, and discover the essential farming practices that have enabled the locals to flourish at extreme elevations for centuries.
- For lunch, enjoy a traditional Cuzqueño meal prepared by the locals at a scenic location.
- In the afternoon, you will be led through the Andean agrarian ritual calendar with Wiñay Taki Ayllu, an incredible family of indigenous musicians that lives in the mountains near Pisac. This local Andean family has been collecting, preserving, and reviving local music and dance traditions from the Urubamba Valley and beyond. During this exclusive Andean musical exchange, you will learn why unique instruments such as the pinkuyllu are traditionally played during specific times of the year, and discover the cosmic connection between Andean musical rituals and Mother Earth’s (Pachamama’s) seasonal cycles.
- After the Andean musical exchange, return to your cozy Peruvian boutique hotel.
- At sunset, enjoy a pisco sour by the fire followed by delicious Novo andina cuisine for dinner prepared by the expert chefs at your hotel.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastLINCLUDES: LunchDay 3: Enter the Lost City
Explore Ollantaytambo, Afternoon Train to Machu Picchu
- After breakfast at your hotel, follow the sacred Urubamba River through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, set out on a privately guided walking tour of the former Inca village including the local meat market and some of the villager’s personal homes.
- Afterwards, continue to the former Inca fortress above town, and learn about fabled indigenous leader Manco Yupanqui’s final stand against Francisco Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors as you explore the former Inca stronghold.
- Around lunchtime, head to a local organic garden along the Urubamba River to learn about Andean ancestral cooking techniques and Peruvian gastronomy during a traditional pachamanca cookout.
- Later in the afternoon, take the Vistadome Train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo). Follow the Urubamba River Valley towards the Amazon Rainforest, admiring breathtaking vistas of lush green mountains capped by sacred, glaciated peaks along the journey.
- Arrive in Aguas Calientes in time for dinner at your unique boutique hotel located strategically located on the outskirts of town near the bus station.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastLINCLUDES: LunchDay 4: A Mystical Morning at Machu Picchu
Discover the Seventh Wonder of the World and Return to Cusco
- Breakfast at your eco hotel
- Early in the morning, ascend to the Lost City of the Incas for a privately guided luxury Machu Picchu tour with an expert local guide (with optional Huayna Picchu hike)
- After exploring the Lost City and unearthing the most incredible aspects of the ancient Inca city, you will return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch at a local-favorite Peruvian fusion restaurant.
- In the afternoon, return to Ollantaytambo aboard the Vistadome Train.
- Transfer from your hotel to your incredible boutique hotel situated in the heart of the former Inca capital.
- Dinner on your own at the restaurant of your choice (a detailed list of suggested restaurants is provided in your pre-trip informational packet).
BINCLUDES: BreakfastLINCLUDES: LunchDay 5: Exclusive Cusco Tour
Unearth the Hidden Treasures of the Former Inca Empire
- Breakfast at your hotel
- Morning Cusco Tour with visits to the San Pedro Market, the famous Almuneda Cemetary, and the bohemian San Blas neighborhood.
- Lunch at Green’s Organic, chef Coque Ossio’s organic, locally-inspired Peruvian restaurant located just off Cusco’s most famous plaza.
- Afterwards embark on a tour of the Plaza de Armas and explore the world-renowned Santo Domingo Cathedral, which was built atop the former Temple of the Sun (Qorikancha) after Francisco Pizarro and the conquistadors toppled the almighty Inca Empire in the early 16th century.
- Return to your hotel later in the afternoon.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastDINCLUDES: DinnerDay 6: Exclusive Cusco Tour
Savor the Spirit of the Andes
- Breakfast at your hotel in the San Blas District
- Spend the morning as you wish, perhaps exploring the Sacsayhuaman fortress, Q’enko, Tambo Machay, and other Inca archaeological sites in the area. You may also choose to relax at the hotel if you wish.
- In the afternoon, visit an exclusive photography exhibit that introduces you a hand-picked selection of legendary Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi’s most distinctive works. Deemed the “Father of Indigenous Photography in the Andes,” Martín Chambi was one of the first indigenous photographers to capture the beauty of the Peruvian highlands through a native lens and his extraordinary black-and-white pieces continue to inspire contemporary photographers to this day. Peruvian photography specialist Teo Chambi will shed light on the different works on display and offer unparalleled insights into his grandfather’s pieces.
- Afternoon Pisco Tasting & Tapas at Museo del Pisco where you will have the opportunity to taste “The Spirit of Peru” while making your own personal Pisco Sour, Peru’s National drink.
BINCLUDES: BreakfastDay 7: Return to Lima
Flight from Cusco to Lima, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Tour Ends
- After breakfast, private transfer to the airport for your return flight to Lima (airfare not included – 1 hr. 15 mins. flight) and onward flight to your country of origin.