Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hike the celebrated Inca Trail and discover mystical Machu Picchu during VBT’s unforgettable vacation in Peru. Along the way we’ll learn how ancient Incan traditions endure in modern Peru, stroll the cobbled streets of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and much, much more.
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.
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.
Average Daily Temperature (°F) – Cusco Mar 66° Apr 67° May 67° Jun 66° Jul 66° Aug 67° Sep 68° Oct 69° Nov 69° Dec 69° Average Rainfall (in.) – Cusco Mar 4.3 Apr 1.8 May .3 Jun .1 Jul .2 Aug .3 Sep .9 Oct 1.9 Nov 3.1 Dec 4.7
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 from home / Fly overnight to Peru
Depart from home and travel to Peru. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
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 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. Please 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: B, 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 home this morning, depending on connections.
A beautifully renovated 18th-century manor house, just three blocks from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, Casa Andina PC Cusco is replete with authentic colonial character. It offers the intimacy of a boutique hotel but the comforts and services of a much larger property.
The hotel is distinguished by its three interior patios with wooden balconies. The principal patio, featuring a gurgling stone fountain, is one of Cusco’s emblematic colonial courtyards. In the hotel’s cozy lounge and reading room is a massive stone fireplace that’s always crackling, while the romantic restaurant invites guests to dine by candlelight in one of four connected salons richly decorated with 18th-century Cusco School paintings. Several rooms in the original structure of the hotel feature surviving colonial frescoes unearthed during renovation.
How does one best prepare for a visit to the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas? At Inkaterra’s luxury boutique hotel, a pueblo of luxurious whitewashed bungalows nestled into terraced hills. Spa services use sublime natural essences, and a first-class restaurant boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River. The train station is only steps away, but Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel exists in a world apart. It is an intimate 85-cottage luxury hotel designed in the manner of a sprawling Andean-style village on 12 secluded acres of exquisite beauty. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With LOw-Cost Trip Extensions
Pre-Trip Extension - Lima
2 nights for only $445
2 nights at Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores Hotel
Guided visits in Lima including the Larco Museum
Daily breakfast and 1 lunch
Recharge after your intercontinental flight with a comfortable stay in Lima’s convenient, seaside Miraflores neighborhood. There is plenty of time for independent exploration of South America’s only capital city that faces the Pacific Ocean. We’ve included a morning guided exploration of some of Lima’s most interesting sites. After an included lunch at one of Lima’s best known restaurants, it’s off to the Larco Museum. The museum’s remarkable chronological galleries provide an excellent overview of 3,000 years of pre-Columbian, Peruvian history. Located in a unique 18th century vice-royal mansion, and built over a 7th-century pyramid, the museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Larco Museum is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can also choose to enter the storage area with its 45,000 classified archaeological objects. Available only with the Air Inclusive Package. Single Supplement: $195
DAY 1: Depart from home for Peru
Depart from home and travel to Peru. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.
DAY 2: Arrive Peru
Upon arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, proceed through immigration, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is delayed, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. (Please note: Also make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.) After exiting customs, enter the arrivals hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via van to your Lima hotel. (Transfer time is approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic). Your VBT representative will also confirm your transfer time for your flight to Cusco at the conclusion of your Lima extension and the pick-up time for your included Lima Larco Museum visit and city tour. Please note: Regular check-in time at the Casa Andina PC Miraflores is at 2:00 pm. Because most flights have early morning arrivals, we have secured a check-in time for all guests at 10:00 am. Breakfast is included prior to your early check-in. VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Lima during your stay. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city. Hotel: Casa Andina PC Miraflores
DAY 3: Lima / Larco Museum / Pacific Ocean lunch
A VBT representative will meet you at the hotel today for your included exploration of Lima. Tour the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art at the wonderful Larco Museum. You may want to try the ceviche during an included lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rest of the day and dinner tonight is on your own. Hotel: Casa Andina PC Miraflores Meals: B, L
DAY 4: Cusco
This morning, transfer from your hotel to Lima's Jorge Chaves International Airport for your flight to Cusco. Please be waiting in the hotel reception area 15 minutes prior to your transfer time; you will have received this time from your VBT representative on your first day in Lima. Once you have arrived at the airport in Lima, please check in and proceed to the departure lounge. 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 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. VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day. Hotel: Casa Andina PC Cusco Meals: B
Post-Trip Extension - Amazon
2 nights for only $595
2 nights at Reserva Amazonica Lodge
Flights between Cusco, Puerto Maldonado and Lima
Daily guided exploration including the Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk
Entrance fees for Lake Sandoval (INRENA), Canopy Walkway and Butterfly House
2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Enjoy your rainforest travel experience by walking the banks of the meandering Madre de Dios River. Wake to a symphony of tropical birdsong, end your days by lantern light and fall asleep to the gentle sounds of the Amazon rainforest. Exotic yet accessible, Reserva Amazonica Lodge is situated in a private reserve adjacent to Tambopata National Park in the southern Peruvian Amazon Basin. Guided walks by day and night will help you discover some of the 1,000 flora species, 300 butterfly species and more than 300 bird species that make their home here. Thirty-five private thatched roof cabanas offer simple comfort and feature screened porches and hammocks, tropical ceiling fans, warm-water showers, lantern light, low-impact electricity, organic bath products, robes and slippers. Available only with the Air Inclusive Package. Single supplement: $195
DAY 1: Peruvian Amazon
Breakfast will start at 5:00 am and continue until 10:00 am. Today, you can enjoy an excursion to Lake Sandoval. After a 30-minute boat ride to the Tambopata National Reserve, wildlife surrounds you during a 1½-hour walk along two miles of trails to reach the lake. Then glide in a wooden canoe across a beautiful, mirror-like, oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter, as well as red howler monkeys, macaws, prehistoric hoatzins, anacondas, point-tailed palm creepers and side-neck turtles. Spend two hours on the lake enjoying all that it has to offer. After lunch, discover the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway & Anaconda Walk. A five-minute boat ride takes you to the Inkaterra Canopy Interpretation Center. After ascending the first tower, at 95 feet above the forest floor, you will literally walk through the treetops for 1½ hours along suspension bridges that link eight observation platforms. Enjoy landscapes and vistas that would be unimaginable from below, while on the look-out for giant strangler fig trees, orchids, toucans, woodpeckers, trogons and—with luck—monkeys or sloths. After your descent from the Canopy, experience the Anaconda Walk for about 30 minutes, as you stroll along the 760-foot-long wooden bridge over the Aguajales swamps. In this lush ecosystem, you may observe various species of amphibians, birds and mammals along with the abundant flora of this flooded marshland. At the end of our walk, we return to the lodge. Dinner is in the main dining room tonight. Then, fall sleep to the sounds of the Amazon! Hotel: Reserva Amazonica Lodge Meals: B, L, D
DAY 2: Peruvian Amazon Extension departs for home
After breakfast, spend the morning relaxing. You may purchase a snack or lunch at the Lodge, but the Lodge will need to know by 10:00 that morning if you wish to do so. You may also choose to wait and purchase a sandwich at the Butterfly House upon your return to Puerto Maldonado. In the early afternoon, transfer by boat and van to the Puerto Maldonado airport for your flight home via 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. Hotel: Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima Meals: B
DAY 3: Peruvian Amazon Extension arrives home
Flights arrive home this morning, allowing for connections.
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