Machu Picchu & Cusco
Cusco and its surrounding area is one of the highlights of all Latin America, rich in history, culture and local legends, and with breath-taking scenery to match.
The Majestic Cusco tour encompasses all of the main highlights in and around the city of Cusco including the colonial city, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley of the Incas, interesting museums and other major Inca sites.
This trip provides a great introduction to this area, and can serve as either a whistle-stop tour of the most popular part of Peru or as launch pad to visit the rest of the country.
||Welcome to Lima the 'City of Kings'. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.
||Lima - In the morning (or afternoon) your sightseeing tour explores Miraflores and San Isidro, the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The tour includes a visit of San Francisco, the city's most visited church (1674). Its underground tunnels lead to catacombs that served as cemetery until 1808 and still contain bones and skulls. Our next stop is at the Larco Herrera Museum. The collection allows the understanding of 3,000 years of the Peruvian pre-Columbian history in a intuitive way. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Inca art and have been displayed in the world's most renowned museums.
||Lima to Cusco – At proper time, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel to have a welcome coca tea. This should help you to relieve altitude sickness. The remaining of the morning is free to relax, and slowly acclimatize.In the afternoon, your comprehensive city tour includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a most remarkable Inca building, the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area.
||Cusco to Sacred Valley -This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your tour to the Sacred Valley. We make a stop in ’Awana Kancha (weaver's palace in Quechua)’, a breeding center of South American camels (guanacos, llamas, alpacas and vicunas). Artisans will demonstrate weaving and dyeing ancient Andean techniques from 12 communities still in use today. Continue with the visit of the Pisaq market. Originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved to one of South America's most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some 'empanadas' baked in traditional clay ovens. En route you will also visit the ruins of Pisaq, a site set high above a valley by patterned fields and rimmed by vast terracing. The stonework and panoramas at Pisaq's Inca citadel are magnificent. In the main ruins you will find temples of the sun, moon, rain, rainbow, and stars, as well as a few Inca crosses rising from the ground. The cross represents the different levels of existence: The lower level signifies the underworld, and snake god; the higher level, human existence, represented by the jaguar or puma god; and the highest level, the celestial plane, represented by the condor. Afternoon visit to the fortress of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out.
||Sacred Valley to Saguas Calientes - At proper time, transfer from your hotel in the Sacred Valley to Ollanta train station (only transportation). The train ride takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu (unescorted). Upon arrival a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. For centuries Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and has only been found in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. During a guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction, making this Inca site one of the seven new wonders of the world. Accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
||Aguas calientes to Cusco - Morning at leisure OR optional second visit to Machu Picchu citadel (at extra cost, must be booked in advance). In the afternoon, return by train from Aguas Calientes to the station of Poroy (or Ollanta) (unescorted). Arrival and transfer to your hotel (only transportation)
||Tour end Cusco – In the morning transfer to the airport in Cusco, or you may wish to stay extra time in Cusco to explore the city more.
NOTE: Peru Rail has introduced new baggage allowance limits of just one piece of hand luggage per person up to 5kg in a bag of maximum total linear dimension of 157cm.
Past Clients Feedback
“This trip included everything that I wanted to see/do in and around Cusco without rushing us through the sites – very nicely paced. On top of that all of our guides were knowledgeable and helpful, and the selection of hotels was perfect. Thanks for everything!” (Katie and Anne Stark, UK)
“Machu Picchu was everything we expected it to be and more! We were lucky to have a fabulous guide who explained all of the Inca history to us both at the ruins and in Cusco - this really brought the whole experience to life for us and put the visit into perspective. An amazing trip, thank you!!!” (Angelica and James Todd, USA)
AVAILABILITY: This tour is available throughout the year.
START DATES: flexible to start on any day of the week that you prefer to travel.
- Accommodation on twin/double basis
- Meals as listed in itinerary
- Activities as listed in itinerary
- English-speaking guide (on private tours except for Cusco city tour)
- All airport transfers
- Entrance fees for all visits listed
- Train tickets
- Single Supplement ($295 Regular, $465 Comfortable)
- Optional 2nd entrance fee to Machu Picchu (approx $101 per person)
- Meals not listed in itinerary
- International flights
- Domestic flights in Peru
- Airport taxes
- Personal Expenses