Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & Cusco 7 days/6 nights
Your private itinerary starts any day day of the year
Costs start at $3,580 pp
Similar itineraries can be customized to suit budget.
Type of trip:
Customizable luxury private itinerary
The Legendary "Lost City of Machu Picchu" is one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built by the Incas on the summit of "Machu Picchu" (Old Peak), it overlooks the deep canyon of the Urubamba River in a semi-tropical area 75 miles from the city of Cusco. But this is just part of the story - after Lima, we'll take you directly to the Sacred Valley, which allows for easier adjustment to the high altitude while also following the sequence of history better. Visit the important archeological sites in the Sacred Valley before taking a day hike on the Inca Trail, entering Machu Picchu via the famous Sun Gate. End in Cusco where you will see the influence of the Spanish Conquistadors on the former capital of the Inca Empire.
Duration: 7 Days
Highlights: Lima, Sacred Valley, Paso Horse Show, Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo, Moray Terraces, Maras Salt Pools, Authentic Quechua Village, day hike on the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Cusco
Itinerary can be customized to suit individual requirements
Day 01: Arrive Lima
After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you are met by a representative of Maxim Tours and assisted to your hotel at the airport.
Peru is said to be a country of contrasts and Lima encapsulates many of them. Called the “City of the Kings’ by the 16th C Spanish conquistadors, today’s Lima combines traces of pre-Inca and Inca civilizations with colonial architecture and modern commercial and residential neighborhoods. Lima is home to some of the best museums of South America and beautiful churches and convents that are reminders of Peru’s rich religious and colonial past. Underrated as a tourist destination, Lima has excellent restaurants, good music, great neighborhoods for walking, and is also home to the famous Peruvian Paso horses.
Day 02: Lima - Cusco – Sacred Valley / Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo with Paso Horse Show w/lunch
Transfer from the hotel to the airport for a short but spectacular flight over the snowcapped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cusco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet.
FLIGHT LIMA – CUSCO NOT INCLUDED IN LAND PRICE
After collecting your luggage at Cusco Airport you are met by a representative of Maxim Tours and taken directly to the Sacred Valley. Drive through the fertile countryside of the Urubamba Valley to the colonial village of Pisac where a unique Indian Market takes place daily. The variety of products offered is overwhelming, from pottery with reproductions of archaeological pieces, to all kinds of textiles, jewelry and Peruvian handicrafts. During your visit to this bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the artisans and indigenous traders. Grab the items you like, you will hardly see the same one again.
Lunch at Wayra with Peruvian Paso Horse Show
“Caballo de Paso” known worldwide for their smooth gaited movements and unusual spirit. No other horse combines strength, intelligence and beauty as perfectly as the Peruvian Paso Horse. The particular characteristic of the Paso Horse is precisely the reason for its name: the sublime charm of its typical step. As it walks, its front legs step very high and forward while the hooves sway to the sides in a graceful and synchronized movement. Enjoy a delightful demonstration of the skills of this unique member of the horse kingdom. Lunch at the celebrated Wayra at “Sol y Luna” in the Sacred Valley.
Continue to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex, the Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a "Living Inca Town" since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. Lunch is included.
Overnight Sacred Valley
Day 03: Sacred Valley/Moray Terraces, Maras Salt Pools & Authentic Quechua Village
You will drive to the town of Maras, now surrounded by farmland. Continue on toward the salt pans on the trail used by the locals to move their cattle, and to transport the salt from the pans to Maras by donkey. Your guide will explain how the salt draining process works. Descend into the Sacred Valley on a narrow path alongside a gorge, down to the Urubamba River. You may spot Andean gulls, hummingbirds, and caracara. Next you visit the ruins of Moray, passing the impressive snowcapped Vilcanota Mountains on the way. These ancient agricultural terraces are circular concentric shapes, built by the Inkas as a seed producing area for their principal crops: Maize and potatoes. You will have lunch at Wayra Ranch under a covered pavilion where you will enjoy a gourmet lunch of Peruvian specialties while enjoying a delightful Paso Horse Show which is performed on the lawn in front of your lunch pavilion.
Finally, you’ll visit an authentic Quechua Village to experience the way of life of the Inca's ancestors. The Inca himself was a noble Quechua. They live off the land and are known for their colorful ponchos. See Quechua children scamper about while women weave their family's clothes. Afterward, you are dropped off at your hotel. (The sequence of this tour may be reversed).
Overnight Sacred Valley
Day 04: Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu / Machu Picchu Tour
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and together you’ll be transferred by private vehicle to the train station. You’ll be riding on the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. Your guide accompanies you on the train and will assist with boarding formalities and will be able to answer any questions you may have. Carriages have beautiful panoramic windows offering enhanced scenic views and photographic opportunities.
Luggage on the train to Machu Picchu is limited to 11lbs per person. Please pack a separate 2-day bag for the Machu Picchu portion of your itinerary. If you are leaving from the Sacred Valley, your local guide will transfer your excess luggage to your hotel in Cusco where it will be waiting when you return from Machu Picchu. Additionally, you may bring a smaller backpack for your essentials during the Inca Trail Hike. Your other bag can stay on the train and will be collected by the hotel bellboys and delivered to your hotel and will be waiting for your when you arrive later this evening.
Disembark at Km.104 on the Cusco – Machu Picchu railroad (starting point of the hike), where you arrive at approximately 10:00 am (subject to change based on train schedules). Start with a visit to the Chachabamba archaeological complex (7,052 ft), located very close to the control point. After checking in, embark upon a 5 mile ascending trail, which after four hours, brings you to the archaeological complex of Wiñaywayna (8,692ft). This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. On the way, enjoy magnificent views of the Urubamba River valley, the Choquesuysuy archaeological complex located on the other side of the river, and a beautiful waterfall located just a few minutes away from Wiñaywayna. Continue on, climbing to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, gaze upon the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. From the Sun Gate, descend to Machu Picchu. High on jungle-covered hilltops in the midst of the cloud forest, Machu Picchu was not known to the Spanish Conquerors, so much of the ancient city remains – temples, palaces, and astronomical observatories of intricate stonework. Surrounded by verdant landscapes and misty mountain peaks you’ll surely speculate about the true origins of this unique site.
Includes: Guided Baby Inka hike (private guide), packed lunch during hike, guided tour of ruins, entrance fee & roundtrip Vistadome train ticket
Total distance: 13 km (8,08 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)
Difficulty degree of this hike: Moderate
Departure and arrival times are approximate
You are escorted to the bus by your guide. You’ll then take the 25-minute scenic ride down the mountain to your hotel in the town of Machu Picchu. The driver will stop the bus at the entrance to your hotel or nearby, depending upon your hotel location. Just mention the name of the hotel to the driver when you board the bus. You will walk to your hotel.
Overnight Machu Picchu
Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 05: Machu Picchu to Cusco
Wake up early and board a bus to Machu Picchu where you begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. After the tour you have time to explore the bustling town of Machu Picchu with its many cafes, shopping stalls and art galleries.
Should you opt to hike Huayna Picchu, please note that the number of hikers is limited to 400 per day and the +-2 hour hike begins at 2 set times - 7:00am & 10:00am (exact times cannot be guaranteed until booked and paid for). If you wish to climb Huanya Picchu, we recommend you make these arrangements ahead of time. Additional entrance fees and costs will apply.
Late in the afternoon, you will walk to the train station in time to board your afternoon Vistadome train for the three hour return journey to Cusco (departure time to be advised locally - your guide will have given you boarding time instructions). Pick up your bag from the fenced-in area before boarding your train. Please arrive at the station 30 minutes prior to departure. Only light refreshments are served on board.
You will be met at the Cusco Poroy train station and transferred to your hotel.
Cusco was the most important city of the Incas. Mighty rulers of the 15th century, they excelled in architecture, engineering, agriculture, and administering an empire that extended from modern Colombia to the middle of Chile.
Day 06: Cusco / Half Day 4 Ruins
Today you’ll have a half day tour of Cusco, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere! The tour includes important landmarks of Cusco, including Cusco’s fabulous cathedral with Spanish/Inca art and architecture, rivaling the cathedrals of Europe. Plus we will visit Santo Domingo Church, and the Plaza de Armas. Along the way we will stroll through the artisans’ areas and markets, getting a feel for this enchanting city. Once the center of the Inca civilization, modern Cusco is a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. Next we will head outside of town to visit the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, often shown on the Nat Geo or Discovery channel. Many of its stones weigh several tons and each fits perfectly into the Inca walls without bolts or nails. It was here in 1985 that Pope John presided over an outdoor mass for over 10,000 people. In addition you will visit 3 other prominent Inca ruins, each of which played an important part in Inca life. The rest of the day is free to explore Cusco on your own.
Day 07: Depart
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport.
FLIGHT CUSCO – LIMA NOT INCLUDED IN LAND PRICE
Connect with your international flight back home.
Meet & Assist on arrival
Accommodation per the itinerary
Private airport transfers
Private touring unless only group tours are available
Breakfast at all hotels and meals as specified in the itinerary
24/7 local assistance
You may wish to extend your time in Peru and visit some of the many interesting attractions found there. Some of the more popular areas include:
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. An extraordinary tropical rainforest experience where you can immerse yourself in nature, enjoy breath-taking landscapes and have the opportunity of seeing countless wildlife species in their natural habitats. This can be done by staying in luxury lodges and river cruises.
In Andean belief, sacred Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun and the world. In addition, it’s the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world. Visit the floating islands of the indigenous Uros people on Lake Titicaca and sail to Taquile Island and meet the local people to learn more about their traditions.
Between the towns of Chivay to Cabanaconde is the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon). Pre-Colombian terraced fields still supporting agriculture and human life are found here as well as the being a favorite spot for Andean condors – often seen at fairly close range as they float on the rising thermals and scan for carrion far below them.
Nasca Lines & Ballestas Islands
An exceptional collection of geoglyphs in the southern desert of Peru. There are about 300 figures among them including geometric shapes, animal like figures, straight continuous lines, humans and plants. The exceptionality of these geoglyphs rest in the fact that they can only be seen from the air. The creation of the Nazca Lines is attributed to the pre-Inca Nazca culture that flourished in the area between 200 and 600 AD. Combine with Ballestas Islands, a remarkable concentration of marine fauna in one of the world’s most extraordinary island groups. Hear the roar of sea lions and the squawks of birds along with the crashing waves in a cacophonous symphony.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is rated among the best trekking trips in the world because of the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings. These include different ecological areas from high deserts to Andean tropical rainforest. Following this ancient Inca trail we will be walking through mysterious archeological sites, half covered by jungle overgrowth, that looks like you are discovering them for the first time and finally arriving to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.