Explore Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo Temple, Cuzco, and Lima's City Center
Known as the "lost city of the Incas," Machu Picchu was hidden in the mist-veiled mountains above Peru's Sacred Valley for some 400 years before explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911. Today, the long-unseen citadel is arguably one of South America's best known attractions—Fodor's calls it "one of the world's must-see destinations." This seven-day, six-night tour spotlights Machu Picchu as well as several other Peruvian attractions and includes accommodations at upscale hotels and round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), or Miami (MIA).
We've listed some trip highlights below, but you can click here to see the day-by-day itinerary.
Ollantaytambo Temple, Sacred Valley
After arriving in Peru’s capital city, Lima, you’ll check in at the Casa Andina Select Miraflores hotel, which features a sports bar, a restaurant, and an outdoor jacuzzi.
The following morning, you’ll board a brief flight to Cuzco, the ancient Incan capital. The group visits a colorful open-air market in the nearby village of Pisac, where locals sell hand-woven alpaca sweaters, carved gourds, and pottery.
The highlight of this leg of the trip is a visit to Ollantaytambo temple. Here, granite-hewn temples and fountains are perched atop hundreds of stone steppes carved into the mountainside. The Temple of the Sun is made up of six interlocking pink-granite slabs weighing in at 50 tons each. In the evening, you’ll retire to Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley, a hotel with well-manicured gardens and a planetarium.
The next day, a Vistadome train ferries you through the Sacred Valley en route to Machu Picchu. This 12-acre UNESCO World Heritage site overlooks the Urubamba River and during the tour, you'll see stone sculptures, ornate palaces, and rock-carved terraces that were used for irrigation. Near Machu Picchu’s base, the eco-friendly El MaPi Hotel will be your headquarters for the evening.
The next stop is Cuzco, which served as the capital of the Incan Empire. Frommer’s calls this ancient site “one of the undisputed highlights of South America.” During your stay, you'll tour the city center to see the Plaza de Armas town square and visit the 16th-century Cuzco Cathedral, which features Incan artwork, a silver altar, and the largest bell in South America. In the evening, you’ll stay at Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco, housed in an elaborate 16th-century mansion. While in Cuzco, you can take advantage of optional tours to Tipon and Oropesa ($103 per person), Cuzco’s nearby ruins, such as the Sacsayhuaman fortress ($75 per person) on Day 5, or a visit to Chinchero, one of the most important cultural and agricultural centers of the Inca Empire ($89 per person), on Day 6 in the morning.
As Peru's capital city, Lima is very much the country’s cultural core, packed with open-air markets, archaeological museums, and restaurants serving ceviche. On a driving tour of Lima, you'll see colonial-era buildings such as the famed church of Saint Francis. The monastery's yellow façade and baroque accents are striking, but it's the interior that will stay with you. Inside the church’s underground tunnels, thousands of human bones have been arranged to form elaborate geometric patterns.
Optional Trip Extension
For an additional fee, you can stay in Peru a little longer and head to Arequipa, known as Peru’s white city for its stark, ivory-hued buildings. The tour then makes its way to Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons on earth.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.