- Enjoy two days of guided & private exploration of Machu Picchu.
- Survey the ruins of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman & Koricancha.
- Savor the culture of the Andes with a Paso Fino horse show, private weaving demonstrations & while sampling local fare.
- Learn from talented local guides, with a second guide added for groups larger than 12.
- Stay in premier accommodations at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a Travel + Leisure “World’s Best” award winner
Dwarfed by mighty peaks covered in a perpetual mantle of snow and the massive stone walls of ancient forts and temples, our Sacred Valley and “lost city” of Machu Picchu tour offers a rare glimpse into the soul of the Andes. Conservancy Travel Machu Picchu travel is your opportunity to explore ancient cities and be enveloped in a vibrant, lost culture that still lives in our imaginations. From the sheer sides of the Andes to sacred valleys, your Machu Picchu tour encompasses a historic area still shrouded in mystery, a place where modern man can experience the essence of life and a history stretching across the centuries. Conservancy Travel’s Machu Picchu travel tour is an inspirational look at relics of a past with guarded secrets and Cusco’s vibrant culture, blending Inca traditions with a modern flare.
Guided Machu Picchu Travel & Private Exploration
Drawing on three decades of travel to Peru, Conservancy Travel has built an itinerary anchored by both guided and private Machu Picchu and Cusco tours. Absorb the history and mystery still surrounding this ruined citadel, with time to wander the ruins privately or hike to the Sun Gate.
See More than the Lost City
During your Machu Picchu and Cusco tour, you will visit many Inca sites scattered throughout the Sacred Valley, including Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman and the Koricancha Sun Temple. This comprehensive look at Inca and Spanish archaeology is enhanced by knowledgeable Machu Picchu travel guides.
Experience Andean Culture
Along with time to absorb the unique tapestry of life in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, travel to bustling Indian markets – social centers where locals gather to buy and sell food and handicrafts; visit a local family for a private weaving demonstration; and even sample traditional Peruvian fare.
Optional Pre-Trip Extensions
Experience vibrant Lima as you delve into some of the city’s most interesting sights!
Arrive in Lima, Peru, where you are met and transferred to our the Swissotel. (Meals Aloft)
This morning tour the historic district of Lima. Visit the cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, the Plaza de Armas, the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco before visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. This afternoon we enjoy lunch overlooking the pyramid, Huaca Pucllana. Afterwards, we tour the ruins built by a Pre-Incan indigenous coastal civilization. Late this afternoon, we return to the hotel. This evening, enjoy the night in Lima on your own. Consider using this evening to experience some of Lima’s world famous cuisine. (B,L) Day 3
Today we begin with a visit to the vibrant Indian Market where crafters display a wide variety of handmade items, jewelry, and art. We have lunch at a local restaurant and explore the surrounding shops before returning to the hotel to refresh before a late afternoon visit to the Larco Herrera Museum. This museum is housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The museum was founded in 1926 and has the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru. The galleries provide an overview of 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. After our visit, we enjoy dinner at the museum’s restaurant, Museo Larco, noted as one of Lima’s finest dining options. We return to the hotel this evening and prepare for the next mornings’ flight to Iquitos. (BLD)
Wings Over Peru: Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands Pre-Extension
Make the most of your travel to South America by combining the Amazon tour with our pre-tour extension to Peru’s Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are among the most astonishing early human creations — a series of large geometric shapes and depictions of animals, humans and plants carved out of the desert by a civilization that lived here between 200 BC and 600 AD. Their purpose has been the subject of intensive scientific investigation as well as all kinds of speculation. Since the Nazca Lines are best seen from the air, aboard this Wings Over Peru journey, you soar above the lines on a flightseeing excursion. We’ll also go by boat to the Ballestas Islands to see an incredible spectacle, with tens of thousands of roosting seabirds and colonies of sea lions patrolling the beaches. This extension adds two days to the length of your journey.
Our expedition begins with our flight to Lima. On arrival, we meet our guide and transfer to the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel for the night. (Meals Aloft) Day 2
Lima / Paracas / Nazca / Paracas
We depart Lima early this morning and drive south to the town of Paracas, where we board a small plane for our flight over the Nazca Lines. Among the many figures we see are the “hummingbird,” “monkey” and “dog,” along with some of the many lines that run through the desert. Returning to Paracas, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure and overnight at La Hacienda Bahia de Paracas. While here you can relax seaside or treat yourself to a massage at the spa. (B,L,D) Day 3
Ballestas / Lima
This morning we take a boat ride to the Ballestas Islands to see its thousands of seabirds: Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, two kinds of boobies and three kinds of cormorants. More than 200 species have been recorded here. Noisy sea lions also inhabit the beaches and waters. We continue on for more wildlife viewing, including Chilean flamingos. After our boat ride, we return to Lima. We have the evening to relax at our hotel. The rest of our group arrives this evening. (B)
Machu Picchu & Cusco Itinerary
- Day 1 Arrive Lima Fly independently to Lima and transfer to Costa del Sol Wyndham for the night. (Meals Aloft)
- Day 2 Lima / Cusco / Urubamba Valley Start off our journey with a short briefing before we fly to Cusco — the heart of the Inca Empire and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. Descend immediately into the historic Urubamba Valley. Along the way, we stop in Chinchero to visit a community program specializing in teaching traditional Andean art and textile making techniques. This is the ideal time to browse and shop for the best handicrafts and alpaca sweaters. Enjoy lunch in the Urubamba Valley, and spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel. (B,L,D)
- Day 3 Machu Picchu Take a short ride to the Ollanta train station, where we board the train to Machu Picchu. Tour the ruins with our Machu Picchu travel guide, who points out the significance of the stone structures, temples and plazas. This impressive ruin, hidden for 400 years by semi-tropical jungle, lies in a saddle with the peaks of Machu Picchu, “Old Mountain,” and Huayna Picchu, “Young Mountain” rising dramatically on either side. Our home for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, an intimate luxury hotel nestled on 12 secluded acres of tropical cloud forest. (B,L,D)
- Day 4 Machu Picchu Today is yours to enjoy a private Machu Picchu tour or simply relax! You may wake up early and hike to the Sun Gate if you wish to return to the citadel. Alternatively, enjoy some early morning birding in the abundant gardens surrounding our hotel. This afternoon, treat yourself to the spa or visit the extensive orchid garden, currently considered the biggest in-habitat garden on the planet. The grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo are home to exquisite birds including 16 species of hummingbirds and the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the national bird of Peru. Tonight, enjoy an enriching lecture on the history and mysticism surrounding the ruins, along with a detailed discussion of Inca culture. (B,L,D)
- Day 5 Machu Picchu / Ollantaytambo / Sacsayhuamán / Cusco Catch the morning train back to the Sacred Valley. Explore the fortress of Ollantaytambo. The expertly fashioned walkways, canals and pools are a testament to the builders’ unrivaled skill. Enjoy a traditional lunch before a show by Peruvian Paso Fino horses at Wayra Ranch. Continuing across the valley toward Cusco, tour Sacsayhuamán — a huge fortress of massive stones which zigzags across the side of the mountain. Arrive in Cusco this evening before dinner and spend tonight at the Palacio del Inka. (B,L,D)
- Day 6 Cusco Tour Spend the morning strolling the streets on a Cusco tour, exploring the Koricancha — also known as Santo Domingo, Santa Catalina Convent and the Cathedral. The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo are beautiful examples of Spanish architecture superimposed on Inca construction — the complex was built over the Koricancha, a temple dedicated to the sun, the Inca’s most important god. The walls were covered in sheets of gold studded with emeralds and turquoise. After lunch, the afternoon is free to explore on your own before a farewell dinner featuring Andean delicacies. (B,L,D)
- Day 7 Cusco / Lima / Depart Fly back across the Andes to Lima, and transfer to the airport this evening for flights home. (B,L)
Things to Know
What’s included in the price of IE’s Machu Picchu & Cusco travel packages?
- Two days to explore Machu Picchu
- Explore ruins of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuamán & Koricancha
- Scenic Vistadome train ride to Machu Picchu
- Guided tours & enriching lectures by expert native guides
- Private weaving demonstration
- Two visits with local families
- Paso Fino horse show
- Leisure time in Cusco & Lima
- Premier Machu Picchu & Cusco travel accommodations including Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
- 17 meals
- Tips to porters & to waiters for included meals
- Arrival & departure transfers
What kind of visas are required for travel to Peru?
Bring a valid passport that will not expire until at least six months after your departure date. Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens.
What vaccinations are required for travel to Peru?
No inoculations are required to enter Peru or to return to the US after visiting Peru. The CDC recommends malaria pills and the yellow fever shot; however, you should consult with your personal physician.
How long are the flights?
Miami to Lima: 5 hours and 45 minutes.
Lima to Cusco: 55 minutes.
How do you deal with altitude sickness during a Machu Picchu & Cusco travel package?
You will travel from Lima at an elevation of approximately 300 feet to a height of over 11,000 feet in Cusco and the sparse scrub vegetation of the Andean highlands. You may find yourself affected by the altitude on the expedition. The most common symptoms are headache and sometimes fatigue and dizziness. Please take it easy, especially at first. These symptoms can be minimized by resting, drinking plenty of water and taking aspirin. If you have concerns about the altitude at Cusco and Machu Picchu, ask your physician about medications that may be suitable for you.
Oxygen will be available in all transport vehicles throughout your stay in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Oxygen is available at your hotels, but you must request it at the front desk.
To prepare yourself for the high altitude, please limit your alcohol intake the night before your flight, and avoid fats, milk, cheese, oranges and heavy food at meals before flying.
Costa Del Sol Wyndham
Located within Jorge Chavez International Airport, the Costa del Sol Wyndham offers you a chance to save time during your stay and optimize your rest. The hotel offers the Spa Express, a complete spa facility ideal after a long journey or before catching your next flight.
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness
Built on the riverside lands of an ancient 18th century hacienda, wake up each morning at the Aranwa Hotel amidst mesmerizing views. Rooms at this newly built hotel in the Sacred Valley feature wireless internet access, climate controls, flat-screen TV, 24-hour room service and a host of other amenities.
Palacio del Inka
A storied mansion dating back nearly five centuries, Palacio del Inka stands in the historic center of Cusco. Directly across from the Koricancha, it is a five-minute walk from the main square and less than a mile from an array of museums, markets and restaurants. Amenities in the spacious rooms include an iPod docking station with alarm clock and a 32-inch LED television. Paired with a beverage from the mini bar or coffee and tea maker, both technologies invite guests to relax after a long day, while a two-guest dining table offers an additional seating option. Exclusive aromatic Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities and plush bathrobes and slippers enhance the relaxing experience.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo
Our Machu Picchu tour accommodations are at the famed Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, nestled in an area of natural beauty spreading over 12 acres of streams, gushing waterfalls, plantations and wild forest interspersed by stone pathways, the hotel is composed 83 guest houses nestled in one or two-storey whitewash cottages. Each room features California long beds with alpaca bedspreads, hand-woven pima cotton sheets, private bathrooms, heaters, aromatherapy products and nightly turndown service. The bar, boutique and reception building are each decorated with Andean artifacts and fabrics. Charming attractions include a library, a display wall of pre-Columbian artifacts in the Mikhuna Wasi dining room, and the lounge’s cozy fireplaces, as well as the Andean sauna: an igloo made of indigenous bamboo and fresh eucalyptus leaves.