9 Days - $3,750 to $3,990
Machu Picchu, one of the most breathtaking world heritage sites on the planet, is the pinnacle of this journey.
Start your Peruvian adventure exploring centuries-old cobblestone streets in Cusco town, 11,000 feet up in the Peruvian Andes. Take in the world famous archeological sites surrounding Cusco, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
We trek the historic Inca Trail, ascending to the Sun Gate for the first of our two perfectly timed visits to the ancient citadel. Cap it off with a hike up Machu Picchu Mountain for a wild bird's view of Machu Picchu that you will never forget.
After arriving at Lima airport in Peru's bustling sea-side capital, we make our way through immigration and customs.
It's a quick stroll across the street to the Costa Del Sol airport hotel, where we relax and rest up for tomorrow's morning flight to Cusco.
After breakfast we catch our flight to Cusco, at 11,000-ft. Once in Cusco, we check in to our hotel and then head out to explore the ancient streets. We weave our way through the hustle and bustle of the Incan capital's paths on our way to visit Qorikancha, the sun temple.
In the evening we're out to dinner at a restaurant that specializes in traditional Peruvian dishes, sampling some favorites such as Cuy (Guinea Pig), Alpaca and Chicha (Corn Beer). Of course, there are other dishes to choose from. Overnight Rumi Punku Hotel.
Today in Cusco we stop at the bustling San Pedro market for a colorful and fun walk-around. San Pedro is one of Peru's most vibrant local markets, with just about everything on sale, from produce and meats, to coffee and cocoa leaves.
After San Pedro we drive a short way out of town to visit the massive site of Sacsayhuaman, first constructed by the Killikes, who inhabited the area before the Inca. Overnight at Rumi Punku Hotel.
Our exploration today takes us to the ruins at Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Evidence suggests that Quenqo was used by the Incas as a ceremonial temple, while Puca Pucara, with it's semblance to a European castle, is believed to have been a defense lookout.
On our final stop we examine the complex aqueducts at Tambomachay, with it's exquisitly constructed canals which served as a holy place for ritual bathing of elite Incas. Overnight at Rumi Punku Hotel.
13,451-ft/4,100-m • 4 hour hike
We stretch our legs today, on a spectacular hike above Cusco. After a short drive we ascend the rugged Antisuyo trail for two hours to Inca Pass (13,452-ft) where we take in the expansive views of the Andes mountain range.
Our descent takes us past small vegetable farms and quiet villages. We drive on to Awanacancha to sample traditional Peruvian weaving. We check out the sun temple, baths, and ceremonial platforms at the Pisaq ruins. Overnight at Rumi Punku Hotel.
We return again to the Sacred Valley today, to explore the ancient Inca terraced farming ruins at Moray. Mara is a short drive away, which contains intricate terraced salt pools that have supplied the Cusco valley since Inca times.
Then we make our final stop at Ollantaytambo, which was built as the royal estate and stronghold of Inca Emperor, Pachacuti. Overnight at Rumi Punku Hotel.
7,970-ft/2,429-m • 6-8 hour hike
It's an early start today, as we ride the train to our start on the renowned Inca Trail. With clear weather we'll have spectacular views of the Urubamba river valley on our all-day hike.
We make our way up the steep and rugged trail to the Sun Gate, to get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu! From the Sun Gate we descend into Machu Picchu for our first visit, at day's end with few others at the site, and superb end-of-the-day lighting. Overnight at the Tierra Viva Hotel in Aguas Calientes.
We rise early to be one of the first to arrive at Machu Picchu, with a great opportunity to photograph with early light, and hardly any others at the site.
Our tour of Machu Picchu focuses on key sections of the intriguing citadel and the history of the ancient structures. Then we hike Machu Picchu mountain for views of the Sun Gate and Salkantay Mountain. Finally we bus down to Aguas Calientes, then hop the train back to Cusco. Overnight at the Rumi Punku Hotel.
We bid Cusco farewell as we transfer to Cusco airport to fly home via Lima, to start preparing for your next Tusker Trek.