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Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley

Tread in the footsteps of the Incas

  • 12 Days
  • 41 Reviews Recommended by 39 of 41 travellers
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 4 - 8 mi
  • Daily Walking: 2 - 6 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Walking
  • Moderate
  • Plane

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Peru: Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley

Tread in the footsteps of the Incas throughout this awe-inspiring Peruvian journey. We'll hike the storied Sacred Valley and its ancient site—Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay—meeting the Cuyuni people along the way and learning about traditional life in the Andes. We'll ascend to the valley's crowning glory, Machu Picchu, either aboard a panoramic Vistadome train or by hiking the legendary Inca Trail. We'll end our unforgettable trip in lively Cusco where modern Peru collides with its pre-Columbian and Colonial pasts.

Cultural Highlights

  • Trace footsteps of the Inca in the astounding Sacred Valley
  • Approach Machu from above, and peer down at the ancient wonder from the “Sun Gate”
  • Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hike a stretch of the Inca Trail
  • Shop at a local market and get to know the locals with the help of your Trip Leaders
  • Browse local crafts and art work at the artists' galleries of Cusco
  • Spend a day walking the historic streets of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Take part in a tasty tradition by enjoying a glass of the native corn beer, at a local chicheria
  • Explore Machu Picchu at dusk and day break to avoid the crowds
  • Unwind at luxurious and environmentally-conscious accommodations

What to Expect

This tour features a combination of cobbled streets, uneven footpaths and rocky, irregular terrain over hills and valleys. An elective 8 mile Inca Trail hike includes a 2,000-foot elevation gain. Altitudes of between 6,500 and 13,500 feet may require a slower pace. Our VBT minibus support is available at specified meeting points for those who need assistance except on the Inca Trail, where there is no road access and you will be required to hike the entire 8 miles. Both morning and afternoon walking options are available most days. Appropriate for experienced walkers. Several of the walks require a transfer from our hotel to the start of the walk. Our tour leaders often use this time in the van for our morning route review, so we can enjoy a more leisurely morning at breakfast. BOOK EARLY FOR THE INCA TRAIL: If you want to hike the Inca Trail, you should make your reservations as early as possible! The Peruvian government limits the number of hikers on the trail at any given time. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Have your passport details in hand when booking your reservation with VBT. Permits are only issued for individuals, and only for a specific passport number. VBT cannot guarantee your permit. If a permit is unavailable, you will travel by train to Aguas Calientes, by bus to the entrance, and then walk into Machu Picchu. This will not impact your visit to Machu Picchu, only the hike into the site. Should you elect at anytime to take the train option instead of the hike, the permit is non-refundable.

What’s Included:

Walking Tour Only – without Air

  • 7 nights in fine hotels and inns
  • 16 meals – 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • Transfers
  • 8 nights in fine hotels and inns
  • 16 meals – 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extension: Pre-trip: Lima – 2 nights for only $445 • Post-trip: Peruvian Amazon – 2 nights for only $595

Both Vacations Include

  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • On-tour vehicle support
  • FREE use of VBT custom walking poles
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
  • Special Good Buy Discount
  • Permits for Inca Trail and Machu Picchu (subject to availability)
Dates & Prices
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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $845 | Land Only Single Supplement: $695

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2015 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What's Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Peru

Depart from the U.S. and travel to Peru. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Cusco

You will arrive in Peru via Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport early this morning. You will need to clear Peruvian immigration and customs before you transfer to your connecting flight to Cusco. Upon arrival at Cusco airport, claim your luggage and look in the arrivals hall for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. Make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. Your representative will make arrangements for the transfer to your hotel in Cusco. Once you arrive in Cusco (10,900-foot elevation), it will prove very helpful to rest and avoid strenuous activity as your body acclimates to the altitude. Also, beware of dehydration, and drink plenty of water to help avoid altitude sickness. A couple of hours' rest now will go a long way toward making you more comfortable later. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Cusco. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the town. Cusco and its many dining options are at your doorstep tonight.

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Cusco
Meals: B

DAY 3: All guests meet in Cusco / Transfer to the Sacred Valley / Cuyuni Community

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at the Casa Andina PC Cusco at 8:00 am. The contact information for the Casa Andina PC Cusco will be confirmed in your final documents. Please contact the Casa Andina PC Cusco to advise them of any travel delays or changes so the staff can pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders. We will have a short orientation during our shuttle ride (approximately 1.5 hours) to the start of our warm-up walk in the Sacred Valley. Please be dressed in your walking attire for your warm-up walk this morning when you meet your Trip Leaders. VBT Pre-Trip Extension and Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at your Cusco hotel at 8:00 am. We will have a short orientation during our shuttle ride (approximately 1.5 hours) to the start of our warm-up walk in the Sacred Valley. Please be dressed in your walking attire for your warm-up walk this morning when you meet your Trip Leaders. We depart Cusco and shuttle to the start of our morning walk, which will give us the opportunity to experience local life as it unfolds in the peaceful Andean Highlands. We begin our walk along the ancient farming paths in this primarily agricultural community. We will make various stops throughout our walk today to learn about local farming, religious ceremonies and textile production in this region. After an included lunch, we descend to the Sacred Valley (7,841-foot elevation) and continue to the town of Pisac. Here we'll visit a local market where we can view the diverse fruits and vegetables, including some of the 4,000 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru. We'll also have a chance to interact with the vendors as they barter their wares. If you didn't pack a smaller bag to take with you to Machu Picchu, this is a wonderful place to pick up a bag to use. Tonight, enjoy a special welcome reception and dinner at our acclaimed inn. NOTE: Due to the logistics of getting to Machu Picchu, there are restrictions on what luggage can travel with you. Please be sure to pack a lightweight, expandable bag that can be packed within your luggage. You will need to transfer only what you need for these two overnights from your large suitcase. Your large luggage will remain in secure storage during your stay in Machu Picchu. In addition to this duffel, you are able to carry your day pack with you.

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Valle Sagrado
Meals: L, D
Daily Options: 3.8 miles on descending, rolling dirt roads and paths.

DAY 4: Maras Salt Mines

After breakfast, we shuttle into the Andean countryside, where we will walk scenic footpaths downhill to Maras village and the Maras salt mines, which are fed by underground saltwater springs. The terraced Inca salt pans of Salineras are still mined for salt using methods unchanged over centuries. From here, we continue to walk downhill to the Urubamba River, where we meet our shuttle to the hotel. We have the remainder of the afternoon to relax in our comfortable accommodations, built around a former monastery, before we drive to a typical Andean chicheria for dinner and an opportunity to sample some of the region's more unusual (but commonly consumed) food and drink, including chicha (corn beer).

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Valle Sagrado
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 4 miles on descending dirt roads and paths.

DAY 5: Ollantaytambo

Today we walk from our hotel to the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Called just “Ollanta” for short, it is best known for its fortress perched above the village, the site of an Incan victory over the Spanish. The village is one of the few in Peru that still maintains the Inca system of urban planning. You'll feel as though you've stepped back in time as you wander the cobblestone streets. Homes and streets here have not changed dramatically since Incan times. Enjoy one of the typical village restaurants during your lunch at leisure before we shuttle back to our hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own at the hotel or one of the restaurants in the nearby town of Urubamba.

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Valle Sagrado
Meals: B
Daily Options: 3.3 miles on flat dirt roads and paths.

DAY 6: The Inca Trail / Machu Picchu

We shuttle early this morning to Ollantaytambo to catch the narrow-gauge Vistadome train. Our train ride is down the narrowing valley, which offers breathtaking views of the river and surrounding peaks. Those who have elected to hike the Inca Trail will disembark at the “Km 104” marker (7,183 feet) to start one of the world's most iconic walks. The walk offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, cloud forests and an unforgettable entry into the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Expect to be on the legendary trail for five hours with a mostly continuous ascent. An elevation gain and loss of about 2,000 feet and some steep stair climbing will keep you on your toes. Note that a minibus support van will not be available on the Inca Trail. You will be required to walk the entire 8 miles. A picnic break is well deserved. All your effort is rewarded when you arrive at Intipunku, the Sun Gate (8,954 feet)—the most spectacular approach to Machu Picchu from above. This was the original entrance to the “Lost City.” Take some time to take it all in! Then, continue down to our hotel located below Machu Picchu. You'll have all of tomorrow to discover the wonder of Machu Picchu, both with your Trip Leaders and independently. For those looking for a less strenuous option—and for those unable to obtain a permit for the Inca Trail—you'll stay on the train past Km 104, arriving in Aguas Calientes in the late morning. Check into the inn and have an included lunch. You may wish to take advantage of the spa services, or walk the incredible orchid gardens at the inn. You may also take the bus up to the main entrance of Machu Picchu and hike in to meet the rest of the group, or just walk the site at your own pace.

Hotel: Inkaterra Machu Picchu
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 6 miles on flat to rolling dirt roads and paved paths.

DAY 7: Machu Picchu

Today is yours to explore at your own pace. Early morning options include birding on the hotel grounds and taking the shuttle up to explore Machu Picchu as the sun rises—and before the day trippers arrive from Cusco. Shuttle buses operate on a regular schedule from our hotel to the ruins and back. Trip Leaders will be leading a number of guided walks around Machu Picchu, as well as in the surrounding area, including a roundtrip walk to Inca Bridge (1.8 miles) and to Mandor Waterfalls (4.3 miles). Enjoy lunch at your leisure at the café near the entry gate, in one of the restaurants in Aguas Calientes or at your hotel. Return to the hotel whenever you like. You may wish to continue your exploration until dusk, or return to the hotel by shuttle bus or on foot (2,000-foot descent). Enjoy recounting the day over an included dinner tonight.

Hotel: Inkaterra Machu Picchu
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: Only Machu Picchu: 2 miles up and down stone stairs and dirt paths. Additional Inca Bridge: 2 miles up and down stone stairs and dirt paths. Additional Mandor waterfalls: 4 miles up and down stone stairs and dirt paths.

DAY 8: Cusco

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast. Several walking trails begin right at the hotel, or you may wish to visit the tea plantation located within the hotel grounds. Later this morning we return to Cusco through the Sacred Valley by Vistadome train. Upon our arrival in Cusco this afternoon, we will put on our walking shoes and discover this ancient Inca capital with a walking tour. Evidence of both the original Inca city and the Spanish colonial city established in 1533 will be pointed out as we explore Koricancha (“Temple of the Sun”), Cusco Cathedral and the San Blas district. In Incan times, San Blas was a settlement for ancient craftsmen who saw “yachay”—Quechua for “teach and learn”—as their special calling. Today, the area is famous for the unusual Baroque-style pulpit in the San Blas Church and for its artists and artisans. Cusco and its many dining options are at your doorstep tonight.

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Cusco
Meals: B
Daily Options: 1.5 miles on descending cobblestone and paved pedestrian paths.

DAY 9: Tambomachay / Puka Pukara / Sacsayhuaman

After breakfast, we transfer six miles (25 minutes) north of Cusco to begin our day. We'll trace our way on foot back in the direction of the city, visiting the most important Incan monuments. This is a spectacular area for our walks, with Andean mountain views, colorful villages and impressive remains of the Inca Empire. First we visit Tambomachay (the highest elevation of the day at 12,500 feet), which may have fulfilled an important religious function linked to water and the regeneration of the land. Walking down a gentle slope, we'll later stop to explore the complexes of Puka Pukara, Qenqo and Laqo. Our Trip Leaders can explain more about historic religious ceremonies held here. We find a comfortable meadow overlook to enjoy a picnic lunch, and learn about the survival of some pre-Hispanic rituals and their impact on Andean life, too. After lunch, saving the most impressive for last, we visit Sacsayhuaman. Though only a fraction of its original size and scope, this fortress will astound and baffle you. We take a moment to look back over the orange tile rooftops of Cusco before our short transfer into the city. There is time to soak in some last bits of Andean culture in the colorful plazas of Cusco. Tonight, we're out on the town for a festive dinner.

Hotel: Casa Andina PC Cusco
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 4.5 miles on flat to gradually descending dirt roads and paths.

DAY 10: VBT Tour ends / Peruvian Amazon Extension begins

VBT No-Air Package guests: Our tour finishes in the hotel after breakfast this morning. The hotel will help you book a taxi at your own expense to the Cusco airport.

VBT Air Package: There will be a mid-morning transfer to the airport in Cusco for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival, check in to comfortable rooms for day use. Tonight, dinner is at your leisure before returning to the airport for flights departing in the late evening.

VBT Post-Trip Extension guests: You will catch a mid-morning flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. A VBT representative meets you when you land. Register at the Butterfly House and transfer to the boarding wharf. After a 45-minute boat ride, arrive at Reserva Amazonica. Lunch is included today, and you'll have time to enjoy the extensive trail system with an interpretive guide this afternoon. This evening, join an included “River by Night” excursion, or catch a nature presentation in the Eco Center. Dinner is in the lodge dining room tonight. Note: Due to the logistics of getting to Reserva Amazonica Lodge, there are restrictions on what luggage can travel with you. Please use the small bag you brought for Machu Picchu to transfer only what you need for these two overnights from your large suitcase. Your large luggage will remain in secure storage in Puerto Maldonado. Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Hotel: Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima
Alternate Hotel: Reserva Amazonica Lodge
Meals: B

DAY 11: Air Package Guests arrive home

Flights arrive in the U.S. this morning, depending on connections.

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Accommodations

Casa Andina PC Valle Sagrado

Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and surrounded by beautiful gardens, this is the Sacred Valley's most complete hotel. A mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle, this charming 85-room hotel is a one-hour drive from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco and close to Machu Picchu. The property features eight acres of landscaped gardens, a domed planetarium with an observatory for stargazing at the southern-hemisphere sky and a full-service spa.
Free WiFi Included

Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima

The Ramada Costa Del Sol at Jorge Chavez Lima-Callao International Airport is a beautiful 130-room and suites hotel. Each guestroom features a 26 inch LCD TV with cable, complimentary wireless Internet access, marble bathroom with tub and shower, individual climate control, mini-bar, in-room safe and hairdryer.
Free WiFi Included

Casa Andina PC Miraflores

With its stylish contemporary design, cutting-edge technology and ideal location, the flagship Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores hotel is the top of its class in every aspect. Formerly the Miraflores César's – Lima’s fondly remembered, original 5-star hotel – this modern icon was dramatically transformed in 2008 into the capital’s newest luxury hotel. In both its public spaces and its private rooms, a quintessential Limeño flavor resonates in an exquisite collection of contemporary, local artists and prized colonial-era antiques. The 17-story hotel, with views over Miraflores and the Pacific coast, offers 148 sophisticated, contemporary luxury rooms and suites, with soundproofing and LCD flat-screen TVs in every room. First-class amenities include a heated, covered pool and breezy terrace, gymnasium with the latest exercise equipment and the prestigious Joop salon and massage room.
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Peru Walking Tour Traveler Photo Gallery

Reviews
  • Incredible Experience

    We are experienced travelers, but we were both stunned by the sheer majesty of Machu Picchu. Perhaps only the Grand Canyon rivals it for sheer visual impact. In a single view, with a simple 90 degree turn of one's head, it is possible to see 7,000 ft high Machu Picchu, the valley floor 2,000 ft below, and 18,000 ft high snow capped mountains on the horizon. The juxtaposition of blue sky, cottony clouds, green nearby peaks, and even higher peaks in the mist is simply jaw-dropping. But the trip is not just Machu Picchu. Our guides took us to a native village at nearly 14,000 ft wherein we shared in local customs, witnessed the amazing weaving skills of the locals, and enjoyed a simple but delicious meal. Several walks over the course of the week took us to many more Incan ruins, all mind-bending in their engineering and construction. A visit to a heralded artist's studio was a highlight as well. My wife hiked the Inca Trail, while I rode the train into Aguas Caliente. We both enjoyed our respective choices immensely. But make no mistake; we have hiked most of the U.S. and Canadian National Parks over the years, and the Inca Trail should be rated 'Strenuous' by any measure. Lodging was exceptional in every case, food was excellent, and our guides...typical of VBT...were sterling. A final picnic lunch provided an incredible surprise that I don't want to spoil by revealing details here. We did both the pre- and post-trips and were extremely satisfied with our choices, especially the Amazon post-trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 09, 2014
    Posted by: JoeCam
    From: Lisle, IL
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Pam's Peruvian Adventure----Priceless

    My best trip ever!!! VBT should stand for very best travel. I tell everyone about my trip and your tour company. I used to spend hours, weeks, months, tweeking out the very best excursions. From accommodations, to adventures, airfares - I invested much into creating an exciting and memorable escape. Now you do all that for me. You actually do it better than I could! That's saying alot. I will never travel without you as my companion again. The trip to Peru was culturally stimulating, physically challenging, it had it all.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 25, 2014
    Posted by: pamelal
    From: Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Fabulous introduction to Peru.

    Machu Picchu gets all of the attention - and it was stunning - but getting a taste of ancient and modern Peru was what I was looking for and was not disappointed. A wonderful mix of experiences was fit into 9 days and our guides kept it fresh, interesting and a lot of fun.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 20, 2014
    Posted by: AnnElaine
    From: Idaho
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • hiking plus history plus plush accomodations-what else to want!

    Lost city of Inca is amazing. it is especially beautiful if you see it at sunset after hiking for a whole day along the Inca trail. Guides were very good, food good and exotic, country interesting and has a lot of history. The price was a little high compared with some other companies, but i travelled with VBT before and liked it so much that i was willing to pay extra.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 30, 2014
    Posted by: raisa29
    From: Westbrook, CT, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • An incredible adventure! Highly recommend this journey to South America.

    Visiting Peru is a must see and should be placed high on your bucket list. I fell in love with the Peruvian culture, and discovering the immense history of this new world wonder. The people of Peru were very interesting, rich in authenticity, and most of all proud of their heritage. I particularly enjoyed the gastronomical flavors, shopping for textiles, and hiking Manchu Picchu. Our tour guides were wonderful to get to know too, very knowledgable of their home land and made our journey not only educational but filled with laughter and fun. I look forward to my next adventure with the VBT.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 29, 2014
    Posted by: ChrissyP
    From: Bass River, MA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • We walked, we laughed, we experienced it!

    Signed up in time to enter the Sacred Valley from the Inca trail which was a wonderful experience. So many steps but so much talk and laughter mixed with it that at night I'd catch myself laughing aloud as I remembered comments of the day. Meeting the fellow travelers of VBT are as big a part of the trip as the sites, and guides. All three make up the trips. Our second, this one walking since you can't bike into MP and we still found all the parts we loved from our bike trip. No better way to really learn about an area than from all the side trips and local parts put in each day. I could have walked with less stops on our own but then we wouldn't have had all the memories of people from other parts of our own country when we got home. Plus we actually got to "talk" to the people of Peru with our cameras, sign language and smiles. Even had them laughing.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 28, 2014
    Posted by: NEmountaingoat
    From: Grand Island, NE, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Loved having 2 guides.

    Loved our guides who had been raised in Cusco. Miguel was very in to Music and the shaman and Sergio loved History, and taught us so much. I loved walking the ruins, but there was always a choice of how much walking you wanted to do. The trip was so well orchestrated that no one suffered from the high altitudes..Lodgings were wonderful. A great experience for my first VBT trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: camp
    From: Truckee, CA 96161, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Machu Picchu was a real treat

    Machu Picchu was a real treat. We were well taken care of. The visit to the villages was very touching and the Inca Trail Hike was challenging and very inspiring once reaching the summit.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 23, 2014
    Posted by: vckb
    From: San Jose
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • The country, the culture, the guides and all the planned activies made this a once in a life time adventure!

    I had high expectations for this trip and the reality far exceeded my imagination. If you long for a rich education in all facets of a country's culture and you love the outdoors and activity, this is your trip. The education I received in the art, history and cuisine of Peru was remarkably rich and complex. Our guides were extraordinary and provided us with unique opportunities to sample snipets of Andean life . I did not feel as though I was on a typical tourista hampster wheel of prescriptive destinations. In addition to specially arranged experiences, this walking tour was a wonderful way to experience a country and it's epic ruins. Our accommodations with the exception of one hotel (which was fine) were terrific. My only wish is that the trip had been longer. I did do the extention trip to the Amazon. It was a place of dreams... so hard to leave.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: April 22, 2014
    Posted by: Gladly
    From: Portland, OR
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Awesome Trip!

    My daughter and I just returned from this fabulous trip. I am still filled with the sights and sounds, the history and the culture of this beautiful diverse country. We did both the pre-trip option in Lima and the post-trip option in the rainforest and would highly recommend these to other travelers both for the extra time at the beginning to rest a bit and to appreciate the diversity of this country. The trip leaders were in a word OUTSTANDING. We watched other groups around us and their leaders and concluded that Jorge and Alviro were in a class well above any others. The hikes were challenging but wonderful and I am so glad that I did every one of them! The thrill of reaching the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time will live with me forever.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 23, 2013
    Posted by: Colesnana
    From: Columbia, CT
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • not worth it

    I've thought about this a lot and still feel this trip is overpriced and not worth a weeks' (9 days) time. The Andes are beautiful but after a while the ruins tend to look the same, as they were built for the most part, with the same purpose. There was too much time spent on the bus. Yes, I understand that the road system stinks but it meant a lot of time doing nothing. Overall, with one exception, the group I was with tended not to be as friendly and warm as on other VBT vacations. I'm sure that had a lot to do with how little I enjoyed this trip. I usually do bike trips with you and have found those to be far more enjoyable. Have already been asked by someone about this trip and told them to stay away and explained why. Will be doing some biking trips in the U.S. with another club as they are less costly (although I do have to rent a bike). Maybe sometime in the future I will come back, especially if I can get my husband hiking(he doesn't bike). Quite truthfully, I have found that there is a difference in the people that bike and those that hike. I prefer the bikers.

    Posted on: November 13, 2013
    Posted by: helenem
    From: Sussex, NJ, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • What a wonderful cultural experience!

    The trip to Machu Picchu was our sixth with VBT, and my husband and I both agree, it was the best. The hiking, while very challenging, was always arranged so that the 13 people in our group could manage physical aspects and enjoy the people, the events and history of the places we visited. When friends ask what we liked best, we tell them that the guides, Jorges and Miguel, were very knowledgeable about the Inca culture and shared many memorable stories with us. We found Peruvian cuisine to be excellent. All the meals we had were prepared with fresh ingredients from Peru farms and served in fabulous restaurants. As always, the VBT hotels were a joyous surprise every time we moved. There is no doubt we will continue to travel with VBT.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 04, 2013
    Posted by: Gail
    From: Toledo, OH, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • The hiking was just physical enough, wonderful views

    First time to South America, first time on a VBT tour and both exceeded expectations. The transfers were one of the best things about this trip - everything was effortless and I was not worried about where I needed to be or where my bags went. The hotels were also great - all part of the same Peruvian owned chain. We were lucky enough to get passes to hike the Inca Trail, which is one of the highlights of this trip - the view from the Sun Gate, breathtaking. We applied for passes 6 months in advance and it was well worth it - and we were the envy of those who could not go! Another highlight was the trip to the traditional Andean community at 13,000 feet. The people who lived there were happy to show us their traditions, even when it was out of season (they showed us how they shear sheep and interesting things that happen around harvest time - like making the llamas drink chicha, when we were there in the winter). They also cooked us lunch that day, delicious! The leaders were also wonderful! Sergio and Miguel were amazing and really made the trip. Don't let them ever leave, VBT!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 04, 2013
    Posted by: Jenna570
    From: Pittston, PA, USA
    Age: 25 to 34
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • If you are going to take just one tour of the sacred valley, this is the one ot take.

    The superior organization of our tour along with guides that just couldn't do enough for you made this trip incredible. Everyone and everything was looked after for us, so all we had to do was enjoy ourselves. This trip exceeded our expectations on many levels, thank you for such wonderful memories and experiences.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 04, 2013
    Posted by: bobo
    From: Kansas City, MO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Trip of a lifetime

    Our tour guides, Jorge and Sergio could not have been better. Both were extremely knowledgeable and very nice to travel with. It was amazing to see Machu Picchu in person and to learn a lot of the history of Peru. I am in awe of the sheer number of Incan ruins that we saw in addition to Machu Picchu. The hiking was challenging and thank goodness for the hiking poles, but it was worth every step for the gorgeous scenery we saw. Walking through the Maras Salt Pools was an amazing experience. The chance to sample local cuisine was fun, we tried passion fruit, guinea pig and also chicha (corn beer). We saw the cochineal beetles that are used to make the red dye carmine. We enjoyed everyone in our tour group and had a really great time together. I would definitely recommend this tour to everyone.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 12, 2013
    Posted by: msl313
    From: Rochester, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • This tour was amazing

    We had a great time on this tour. The food and accommodations were amazing. The walking started out slow and let everyone get used to the altitude. Each day the distances we walked increased so that by the time we hiked the Inca trail we were used to the altitude. Our guides, Alvaro and Sergio, were awesome. They were nice and very knowledgeable.. We traveled on Sunday and the tour started on Monday. I would suggest that travel be on Saturday and the tour starts on Sunday. We were ready to leave on Saturday but just hung out. Then we had to go back to work the day after we got back from our trip and it would have been nicer to have an extra day ay the end of the vacation rather than in the beginning. Also, our hotel in the Sacred Valley was awesome, but we spent a lot of time on the bus traveling to Pisac and the area surrounding there. It just seemed like we should have stayed closer to Pisac to minimize the time on the bus. Also, the hotel where we stayed was pretty isolated. It would have been nice to be closer to town so we could explore more. Otherwise, everything was perfect and am already thinking where I can go on my next trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 21, 2013
    Posted by: Hikermom
    From: Loveland, CO, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • 100% awesome!

    Unless you do this trip yourself, I won't be able to fully convey how great it is. You want culture? Check. You want great guides? Check. You want great food and accommodations? Check and check. Scenery? Some energetic yet not "over the top" hiking? Sure thing, got them, too. Every detail considered, coordinated, and made simple for you the traveler. I cannot imagine making all the special unique arrangements on my own that were necessary to make this trip perfect. Picnic lunch near Inca sites in a pastoral grove - you'd miss that. A stroll through the Maras salt pools? Never would happen. Keeping up with the train schedules that are known to change without notice; good luck. Even getting through the airport transfers - my Spanish is not up to that! Looking forward to our next VBT trip...

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 01, 2013
    Posted by: dxl1
    From: Rochester, NY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • One word will do :"AWESOME"

    Peru is friendly and beautiful! I learned so much about the history and lifestyle of the past and present people of this area. The Cuyuni community day was filled with color and smiles and laughter and beautiful vistas. Hiking the Inca Trail was hard work, but I am happy to say I made it! The reward at the Sun Gate was worth it! The post trip extension to the Amazon Basin is NOT to be missed, so unlike anywhere I had been. Our tour leaders were knowledgeable, friendly and charming, making certain every minute we were on the best trip we could imagine!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 29, 2013
    Posted by: Deb37
    From: Southampton, MA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • The whole experience was wonderful. We are still talking about it.

    The pretrip excursion in Lima was very helpful - the Larco Museum experience helped us understand the indigenous peoples with whom we spend the following week. The interactions with the Andean people were educational & almost religious. Walking in the mountains was as advertised - on uneven ground, but that made the trip even more interesting. The Inkaterra accommodations were beautiful & educational.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 21, 2013
    Posted by: minna901
    From: Skokie, IL, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Very special experience

    This trip was a deep immersion into the culture of the Andes. The hiking was moderate (except for the climb to Sun Gate) and allowed me to feel connected to the experience. It was a busy trip with a couple of the best hotels I've ever stayed in and some excellent meals. It was especially meaningful that the guides grew up in Cuzco and were full of information about flora, fauna, history and folklore. Great trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: May 12, 2013
    Posted by: Edie
    From: Houston
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • All I can say is WOW!!

    This past October, my husband and I, along with our older daughter and her boyfriend, visited Peru and Machu Picchu together. Though we are experienced world travelers, this was our first trip to South America and on a walking trip. All I can say is WOW!! We started out on the pre-trip to Lima. Touring the Larco Archeology Museum with their enthusiastic, youthful curator was worth the trip to this city alone. We were introduced to pre-Columbian art at this largest private collection in the world, which was thoughtfully displayed. We found this tour most helpful as what we learned there would be shown to us in a variety of ways throughout our trip, which reinforced our own appreciation and understanding of Peruvian art, culture, and history. Taking a bus tour of Lima at night was incredibly beautiful, and we highly recommend Amor Amar in Barranco, Lima for an open-air lunch as well as Central Restaurant for a 5-star dining experience. We regret that we did not sign up for the post-trip to the Amazon to get a flavor of that area. OK, now on to the highlight: our daily walks were such an incredible way to see the highlands area of Peru, which included the Sacred Valley. Every day provided our group (which was wonderful and cohesive) with unique walking experiences that both showcased nature specific to that region and Peruvian history. We found the week to be incredibly well organized! What a new concept for my husband and me to leave all the organizing and administrative work and travel (air, van, train, and bus) in the hands of others while we get to focus on our walks and travel experiences! Our entire group felt the walking itinerary was very well paced with more relaxing walks interspersed between the more challenging ones. We all appreciated the thoughtfulness and consideration that went into putting together our daily schedule. Part of the appeal of this trip for us was the option of my taking the train to Machu Picchu while the rest of my family walked there if I felt that the 8-mile Inca trail would be too difficult. However, once we signed up for this trip, I began to increase my training in the gym so that I could be in good physical shape, especially with the increased elevations and some steeper walks that we would be encountering. Given that there were older adults on our trip planning to hike the Inca trail gave me the courage to do it as well. A peak experience for me was completing the Inca trail and walking through the Sun Gate while looking down at Machu Picchu and feeling so proud of my accomplishment! I will never forget that day! Committing to a bike or walking trip is the best way to make a commitment to one's physical fitness as that has to start months before the actual trip! I want to give a shout out to our two wonderful VBT tour leaders, Carlos and Miguel. They were fun to be with, energetic, and great ambassadors to their home country. Carlos and Miguel complemented each other very well given their own individual and specialized interests in Inca culture, customs, and religion as well as birding and plants/flowers. We all felt well taken care of and supported by them. Having really strong group leaders makes for a successful trip. And our daily written itinerary could not begin to fully capture the many terrific surprises and culinary delights that were offered to us as the week progressed. More wow's!! We also loved meeting the Peruvian people who were friendly and welcoming. Last but not least, the hotels/resorts where we stayed were wonderful and offered magnificent vistas and the most comfortable beds for our tired, but fully satisfied selves. Each day began with a full and delicious breakfast before our van and driver would transport us to another interesting region for another amazing walk. This trip exceeded our expectations, and we found that participating in "an active vacation" is a unique and healthy way to discover a new country.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 31, 2012
    Posted by: Terryr
    From: Boston, MA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Peru is a fascinating country.

    There is such diversity of things to experience in Peru from the bustle of Lima to the serenity of Machu Picchu. The itinerary offered a broad range of activities and was very well planned. This was a terrific trip.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 13, 2012
    Posted by: Jetson
    From: New York, NY
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Quality Tour Package

    The lodging, food, cultural activities, and guides were exceptional. From the time we arrived in Peru and met up with our group, we were on the go. While there was ample "down time" allotted, there was so much I wanted to see and experience, no naps for me! The photographic opportunities were plentiful and the guides did an excellent job making themselves available to assist in any way possible. The tour's activities were very well structured to acclimate the trip's participants to the altitude so they would be "conditioned" for the Machu Picchu Day hike. Our guides were superb....a perfect 10.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 12, 2012
    Posted by: Nancy60
    From: Casper, WY
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • This is the only way to see Machu Picchu!

    This was our first walking tour with VBT and our first trip to South America. The pre-trip to Lima was a great way to start the trip....gave you time to acclimate. The pre-trip hotel was in a very good location and the Lima historical tours were excellent. VBT schedules the walking part of this tour just right......you start at lower elevations in the Sacred Valley with challenging but less strenuous walks. It's all leads up to the 8 mile climb on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which is quite an adventure with spectacular scenery. All the hotels were excellent; the food and guides were outstanding. We highly recommend the tour.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: December 06, 2012
    Posted by: Snowbird
    From: Naples, Florida
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • This is a trip of lifetime!

    Words cannot even begin to express this magical journey through Peru & Machu Picchu. It was sacred, spiritual & almost surreal. This adventure is one of my most favorite VBT trips & I have been on 8 trips. I would recommend this to anyone who likes hiking, adventure & learning about new cultures. Hiking the Inca trail was a lifetime adventure & exploring Machu Picchu was truly a dream come true. This trip is beyond a 5 star rating!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 27, 2012
    Posted by: COHappyCamper
    From: Denver, CO, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Great trip to Machu Picchu!

    Pro: Excellent accommodations, superior guides, good food, and educational tour. Great to travel with a small and interesting group! Inca trail is a MUST! Con: Could have arranged better flight schedules. Last day should have organized tour rather than free day.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: November 01, 2012
    Posted by: Georgiatraveler
    From: Milledgeville, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • Excellent

    This is one of the best trips I have ever taken!! My fellow travelers and the guides made it a highlight of my life.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: October 31, 2012
    Posted by: Ironlady
    From: Tucson, AZ, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A great job by two professional trip leaders.

    Carlos and Jorge did a great job leading this trip. I have led photo tours myself and know how hard it is to plan and execute a venture like this. These leaders did it day after day with perfection. My hats off to the both of them.

    Posted on: October 30, 2012
    Posted by: Millas
    From: Casper, WY, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 1

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  • A great blend of adventure, cultural interactions, and sublime food and lodging

    The Peruvian VBT Experience was one of the best we have never had. Every detail of the itinerary was well planned to provide the range of cultural experiences while staying active and involved. We learned so much about the Inca culture while experiencing wonderful food, interesting traditions, gorgeous vistas, and beautiful lodging. Our guides were knowledgeable, informative, affable, and fun. We not only learned about the history, but the spiritualism and lifestyle of the Incas, while visiting astounding archeological sites. It seems also that we share similar values and interests with the other guests that are attracted to the VBT experience. We created lifelong memories.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: September 19, 2012
    Posted by: Betty
    From: Atlanta, GA, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • An Extraordinary, Wondrous and Awe-inspiring Adventure!

    This trip went far beyond my expectations! I loved the immersion into past and present Inca cultures. Carlos and Jorge's passion and knowledge for their country made this trip amazing & truly special. Highlights include hiking the Inca trail, exploring Machu Picchu,spending a day with the Cuyuni community and visiting a rural mountain home and farmer's market. One of the benefits of this trip were the friendships we made with like minded travelers. I think every world traveler should see Machu Picchu in their lifetime. It was an emotional, magical & life changing experience for me.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 09, 2012
    Posted by: Rosie
    From: Middlebury, VT, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Just like being at summer camp!

    The tour leaders made sure every detail was attended to. All travelers made it to the tour start, in spite of airline delays. The tour guides had infectious enthusiasm for each event. Probably the best parts were the "cultural connections" where VBT arranged for our tour group to have private hikes and cultural demonstrations with local community members. While Machu Picchu's beauty is spectacular, the solitude of our private encounters trumped it for me. The trip extensions (pre- in Lima, post- in Amazon) were well worth the extra time and money. The extra day of rest and tour in Lima were appreciated after over night travel. The experience of being in the Amazon was amazing, but be forewarned that additional costs are incurred because of suggested yellow fever & typhoid fever vaccines and malaria medications ($275pp at our travel clinic in 2012). The only negative of the trip for us was the overnight travel. It takes a lot out of you and makes for a necessary day of recovery upon return from vacation.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 07, 2012
    Posted by: Jenn
    From: Arlington, VA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Peru is a captivating country not to be missed.

    I was joined on this trip by four family members and our thoughts are unanimous, this is one of life's most amazing journeys and should not be missed. It is difficult to describe the feeling of walking along the same paths as the ancient Inca, glimpsing pieces of their existence and sometimes having the opportunity to experience pieces of it ourselves (who wouldn't want to try alpaca). I often felt as though we were the only group of travelers wandering the ancient ruins, as somehow VBT managed to create an itinerary without madding hoards of fellow travelers. I loved the picnic, passing each dish family style down the long table, laughing with the tour guides and our new found friends. Machu Picchu did not disappoint, and as we walked the final steps to the sun gate there was nothing left to do but let out a shout of joy.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: August 05, 2012
    Posted by: Dixie67
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • So little time, so much to see!

    We hit the ground running on this tour as there is a lot to see in the relatively compact area known as the Sacred Valley. This is not a trip for rest and relaxation as the days start pretty early and we were on the go most of the day. However, there is time to rest on the bus while being shuttled between various locales. The amount and quality of the archeological sites is amazing and I was fascinated by the ingenuity that the Inca people possessed with regards to building structures and cultivating the land. The guides speak perfect English and were extremely knowledgable about the Inca history and culture, sometimes it was hard to take it all in. The hike to Machu Picchu was the best part of the trip for me especially when I arrived at the Sun Gate and took in my first panoramic view of the place; it is something I will never forget. I don't like getting up early but it was definitely worth it to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu on the first morning in Aguas Caliente. Also the day spent hiking with the Cuyuni Community at almost 14,000 feet elevation was awesome and it was really interesting to meet a community so untouched by modern civilization and still possessing skills passed on for generations such as dyeing and weaving there own clothing. You are going downhill the whole time so no worries about getting winded. The picnic lunch on the last full day of the tour that was scrumptious. We had plenty of chances to buy souvenirs as we visited a lot of markets, however, the natives can sometimes be a little pushy and you need to be careful as to what you buy.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 25, 2012
    Posted by: HRR81
    From: Kirkland, WA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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  • Trip of a lifetime to a magical place.

    Soaring heights, breathtaking views, interactions with the friendly locals and great guides made this trip truly memorable. Be in good shape as the hikes can be easy to difficult, especially at altitudes of 7000-14000 ft. Wear good hiking boots and use the walking sticks. They're great for balance and reduce the effort by 30%. Don't go if you have significant issues with heights, altitude or dizziness (balance). Our group age range was 40s to 70s and some didn't look in the best shape, but everyone did well.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: Dogs4
    From: Mason City, IA 50401, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

    • Value:
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  • excellent

    great trip! wonderful guides and hotels. love meeting the natives and being their homes. good group and memories!!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: July 07, 2012
    Posted by: sporto
    From: omaha neb
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • Totally. Wicked. Awesome.

    Wow. What an amazing place. Fascinating people, places and history. Tour guides were top-notch, as were accommodations. And as always, VBT brought the whole thing together without a hitch. Pre- and post-trips (Lima/Amazon) were excellent as well. This is a place we never would have gone to on our own. Highly recommend it.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 27, 2012
    Posted by: GoSoxNextYear
    From: Williston, VT
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 2-4

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  • An amazing and magical experience.

    VBT's tour of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley far exceeded my expectations. Everything was wonderful. The accommodations were excellent. Each day was well planned. The trip leaders gave us the opportunity to have a deeper perspective of the culture instead of just being "tourist".

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: PMW1
    From: Boston, MA, USA
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 1

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Awesome scenery and unbelivable opportunity to experience history up close

    I had not traveled with VBT since the 1990's and this experience lived up to and exceeded all my expectations. Each day was filled with memorable scenery, history lessons and challenges to meet. At 71, and a "new" walker, I was grateful for the moral support of the guides and the tour members. Meeting the challenges presented, was the most exhilarating and fulfilling experience!

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: Jill71
    From: New Jersey, USA
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Machu Picchu is one of the most facinating places to walk in tour in the world.

    VBT did an outstanding job of organizing, coordinating and leading the Machu Picchu walking tour. They allowed plenty of time and options to hike adjacent areas around Machu Picchu if you are up to a little more high altitude hiking. The food and accommidations were excellent and the leaders outstannding.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: JMiller6
    From: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
    Age: 55 to 64
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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    • Trip Leaders:
  • I traveled to Peru to learn more about the history of the Incas and to enjoy an outdoor walking vacation.

    Machu Picchu is an obvious highlight of this trip, but our time spent in the Sacred Valley was also exceptional. Our guides made sure we understood the historical significance of each site and village. They were also fun-loving fellows who added their vivacious personalities to our bus rides and communal meals. I loved the unique day spent with the Cuyuni community and marveled to hear our guide speak Quechua with the people there. The accommodations and included meals were first rate.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 16, 2012
    Posted by: SusanF
    From: West Orange, NJ
    Age: 45 to 54
    # Of Trips: 2-4

    • Value:
    • Trip Leaders:
  • Great Trip

    A very good trip. Next to our Ireland bike trip, this was the best. Guides were the best. Most of the hiking was easy, but the final day was great but a challenge. Hotels were very good and the food was excellent.

    Yes, I recommend this tour.

    Posted on: June 15, 2012
    Posted by: TomS
    From: Colorado
    Age: 65 or over
    # Of Trips: 5 or more

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Pre-Trip Extension - Lima

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