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Tailor-made tours

Classic Machu Picchu

Peru

8 days

Summary

Our Classic Machu Picchu sample itinerary is a seven-night journey into the heart of the Inca Empire. This is one of the most iconic sights in South America and a major bucket-list item for many people. Therefore, we recommend allowing plenty of time to be dazzled by the fascinating cultural traditions and the wealth of Inca ruins.

First travel to the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Inca (2,700masl) where you can better acclimatise before reaching Cuzco (3,400masl). And there is so much to see and do, you’ll certainly appreciate having a few days here. First, why not head to Pisac to explore the colourful market? And you simply can’t miss a visit to Ollantaytambo town and fortress. This is one of most charming villages in all of Peru and the ruins are truly spectacular.

With your free day you may like to visit Chinchero and check out a weaving demonstration. Alternatively, visit the archaeological site of Moray and the nearby salt terraces of Maras. Or visit a rural community and learn about the traditions and lives of local Quechua people.

Then, hop aboard the Vistadome or deluxe Hiram Bingham train for the scenic ride to Machu Picchu. Explore the magical Inca ruins with your expert guide. And then return the following day to continue exploring this captivating site at your own pace. Trust us, this is not an experience you want to rush!

Finally, travel back to the former Inca capital of Cuzco and delight in the charms of this wonderful city. From the majestic Plaza de Armas to the staggering engineering of nearby Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco is a city we love to return to.

Highlights

  • Visit the best-known archaeological site on the continent.
  • Explore Pisac ruins and market
  • Discover Ollantaytambo town & fortress with your local guide
  • You will take a train ride that you won’t forget. Let this journey inspire you and let Machu Picchu show you its beauty and mystery.
  • Upgrade your train ride on board of the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train
  • Consider hiking the final section of the Inca Trail to arrive through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu
  • Immerse in the history of the Inca Capital of Cuzco. Walk through the colonial city and admire the beautiful and well preserved colonial buildings.
  • Indulge in cooking classes or chocolate making tours in Cuzco
  • Coincide your stay with Inti Raymi (24 June) to experience the colour and excitement of one of South America’s biggest festivals

ITINERARY

Day 1 Cuzco/Sacred Valley

Arrive to Cuzco Airport; transfer to your accommodation in the Sacred Valley (2,700 metres above sea level) where you can begin acclimatising to the altitude.

Day 2 Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is one of Peru’s most beautiful and fascinating regions. As a matter of fact, the valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. In today’s tour you will visit the ruins of Pisac and the famous fortress and town of Ollantaytambo. First you’ll head to Pisac ruins from where you can appreciate great views of patch work farms and tiny villages. Afterward continue along the valley floor to the charming village of Ollantaytambo. The village is a prime example of “Living Inca culture”, due to the fact that is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the Americas. Finally you’ll tour the fortress from where you can observe the beautiful town.

Day 3 Sacred Valley

Day at leisure. Touring options include the village of Chinchero, the salt terraces of Maras or the archaeological site of Moray. Although a visit to a remote Andean community and getting involved with one of our community projects would most likely be a truly memorable afternoon.

Day 4 Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

This morning you will be transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo for your 90 minute Vistadome train ride to the deserted city of Machu Picchu, the most renowned example of Inca architecture. Today’s visit to magical Machu Picchu will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip! Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins. After that, you’ll have lunch at Sanctuary Lodge before taking a mini-bus back to Aguas Calientes where you will overnight.
Moreover, you will have the option to upgrade your journey with the most luxurious and exclusive Belmond Hiram Bingham train. It is modelled on the Pullman cars of the 1920s and features an elegant dining car and open-air observatory from which to enjoy the stunning scenery. Sip on a traditional Peruvian cocktail and enjoy live local music as the train winds through the Urubamba Valley.

Day 5 Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Today enjoy a second, unguided visit to Machu Picchu. ; we recommend rising early to beat the day-trippers from Cuzco. Book early to secure an entry to climb Huayna Picchu for stunning views. Travel to Cuzco by train this afternoon.

Day 6 Cuzco

Half-day city tour of the main sights of Cuzco including the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral, Koricancha Temple, and handcraft workshops. Continue visiting the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Afternoon free or indulge yourself in a cooking class or chocolatemaking tours.

Day 7 Cuzco

Day at leisure to continue exploring beautiful Cuzco at your own pace. We recommend a stroll up to the artisan’s district of San Blas to visit the pretty adobe Iglesia San Blas and explore some of the handicraft workshops nearby. Despite its simple exterior San Blas Church contains one of the most impressive colonial jewels in the country- an intricately carved 17th-century cedar pulpit hewn from a single tree trunk and dominated by the triumphant figure of Christ.

Day 8 Cuzco

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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