Perusing Peru. Sunset & Sunrise Over Machu Picchu Included.
Come "meet" the ancient Inca on a journey through Peru. From Lima, it's a quick hop to charming Cusco, a city we love. Then wind through the historic Sacred Valley to exceptional Machu Picchu. Visit Sacsayhuaman before we fly back to Lima for a look at colonial Peru.
The Inca—master masons, worshippers of the sun, and rulers of Peru. That is, until one particularly heady conquistador rode into town and single-handedly wiped out an entire civilization. Today Peru, gentle South American republic, is a mix of ancient temples and Spanish colonialism.
This is a 10-day sample itinerary. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Peru journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.
Day 1: United States; Lima, Peru
• Arrive in Lima.
Overnight in flight
Day 2: Cusco, Sacred Valley
• Fly to Cusco, drive into the Sacred Valley.
Overnight in the Sacred Valley
Day 3-4: Sacred Valley
• Chinchero, textile demonstration, Moray terraces, Maras salt flats, picnic lunch, option to witness shaman ceremony.
• Seminario Ceramicas workshop, Wayra Ranch horse demonstration and lunch, option to Children of the Rainbow center, Ollantaytambo.
Overnights in the Sacred Valley
Day 5: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
• Train (Vistadome or Hiram Bingham) through Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.
• Private tour of Machu Picchu.
Overnight at Machu Picchu
Day 6: Machu Picchu, Cusco
• Sunrise at Machu Picchu, leisure time at site, options to hike to Inti Punku, Huayna Picchu, or the old stone bridge.
• Train (Vistadome or Hiram Bingham) back to Cusco.
Overnight in Cusco
Day 7: Sacsayhuaman, Cusco
• Day-trip outside Cusco including Sacsayhuaman, Kenko amphitheater, Tambomachay baths, Puca-Pucara fortress.
• Return to Cusco, San Blas arts district, Inca Museum.
Overnight in Cusco
Day 8: Cusco
• San Pedro Market, Coricancha, Plaza des Armas, cathedral, Pre-Columbian Museum.
Overnight in Cusco
Day 9: Lima
• Fly to Lima.
• Old City tour including Plaza Mayor, cathedral, Iglesia de San Francisco, Casa de Aliaga.
• Museo Rafael Larco Herrera.
• Fly home.
Dayroom in Lima
Day 10: United States
• Arrive home, or continue to the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) or Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, and Lake Titicaca, Peru.
Per person sharing room from $6,290 for this 10-day sample itinerary.
Internal air per person (estimate) $490
Hiram Bingham train upgrade per person from $640
For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son travel specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.
Pre-Tour & Post-Tour Option
Peru is chock full of history, cultural treasures, and sites that command attention. If you have more time, consider extending your journey here with R. Crusoe & Son.
Arequipa, Colca Canyon, & Lake Titicaca Extension. 9 Days.
We suggest an adventure to compliment your Peruvian adventure: Arequipa, Colca Canyon, and Lake Titicaca. You probably didn't know that the world's second-deepest canyon is found in Peru. Colca Canyon is twice as deep as our very own Grand Canyon, and the culture within remains much as it did centuries ago. Authentic, every step of the way.
The scenery? Gorgeous. The air? Sweet. And the quiet around here is notable. You've discovered a part of South America that most travelers know nothing about. (Keep it under your hat.)
Consider adding our nine-day Arequipa, Colca Canyon, & Lake Titicaca, Peru Extension as a pre-tour to your Machu Picchu journey.
From the city of Lima, fly to Arequipa, a Spanish-colonial city tucked high up in the Andes range and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend a day poking around town. See one of the world best-preserved mummies. Enter the cathedral, whose construction began in 1540 on the day the city was founded. In a convent, see classical colonial architecture and some fine examples of Spanish-American religious art.
On to Colca Canyon. We put you up at one of two top properties that are themselves reasons enough to head to this part of the world.
Experience relaxing and interesting activities and excursions around the region (at no charge). Go condor-watching. Horseback ride. Hike. On a private guided tour, visit to some of the 14 villages nearby. Take a cooking lesson. Bike ride. Soak in local thermal waters. Curl up with your novel. Break out your sketch pad. Commune with Mother Earth.
Your choice. Isn't that splendid?
Next, Lake Titicaca, tucked into the Andes. Our hotel offers an assortment of activities, from kayaking to village-hopping. From Lake Titicaca, drive to Juliaca and catch a flight to Cusco.
Please note: This extension works wonderfully as a pre-tour to R. Crusoe's Machu Picchu and Cusco journey. If you would like to put these tours together differently, please let us know.
Sample Pricing: Please contact R. Crusoe & Son for prices for this nine-day extension.
Remember that R. Crusoe & Son can create a Peru pre-tour or post-tour itinerary of any length to meet your exact specifications.
Miraflores Park. A Belmond property in the Miraflores residential neighborhood of Lima. It is surrounded by a park and has nice ocean views. 82 guest rooms and suites. Amenities: spa, fitness center, squash court, outdoor rooftop pool, library, 2 restaurants, 1 bar.
Hotel Rio Sagrado. A Belmond property, this one on the banks of the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley. A tranquil retreat situated between Cusco and Machu Picchu, its suites and villas are decorated in local style with contemporary flair. Spacious riverfront terraces offer vistas over the river and hills. 21 guest suites and two villas. Amenities: spa, gardens, pool, river rafting, 2 restaurants, 1 bar.
Hotel Sol y Luna. A property in the heart of the Sacred Valley, one hour’s drive from Cusco city or the Cusco airport. Minutes away from the hotel, you can reach Moray, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, and Machu Picchu. 41 casitas. Amenities: spa, gardens, fitness center, boutique, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Another Belmond property, this is the only hotel situated right at the entrance to the Machu Picchu archaeological site. This means that guests have easy access to the site from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left. 29 guest rooms, 2 guest suites. Amenities: spa, gardens, 2 restaurants, 1 bar.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. An intimate hotel in the village nearest to the archaeological site. It sits on 12 secluded acres of beautiful terrain. Guest rooms are located in one of 85 comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Amenities: spa, plunge pool, boutique, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Monasterio. A Belmond property and one of Peru’s prettiest hotels. It is housed in an old seminary that has earned national historic monument status. Rooms here are simple and elegant, and the main courtyard is inviting, especially at night. 107 guest rooms, 19 suites. Amenities: courtyard, 3 restaurants, 1 bar.
Palacio Nazarenas. A Belmond property, this one in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square. This former palace and convent is emerging from years of restoration to become one of the city’s most exclusive hotels. A cloistered courtyard has an ancient fountain at its heart. Also here: the city’s first (and only) outdoor pool. 55 guest rooms and suites. Amenities: spa, pool, courtyards, library, boutique, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Inkaterra La Casona. A restored colonial house centrally located in an Inca settlement near Cusco’s main square. 11 suites. Amenities: spa, courtyard, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Casa Andina Private Collection. Located in the old Casa de la Moneda (Mint), a national historic landmark built in 1794. The property is as much a living museum as it is a hotel. 37 guest rooms, three suites. Amenities: spa, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Colca Lodge. On the banks of the River Colca. It is surrounded by hundreds of pre-Inca agricultural terraces, which have been declared a Peruvian cultural heritage. The property is dotted with natural hot springs. The 45 guestrooms have wonderful views of the valley and are built around gardens and courtyards. The style is rustic, with thatched roofs and adobe walls. Amenities: full-service spa, hot springs, 3 restaurants, 2 bars.
Aranwa Pueblito Encantado. An old water mill stands at the entrance of the Pueblito Encantado. Also located on the Colca River, the property affords relaxation in the shadow of the Andes mountain. Choose from 32 rooms, three suites, and six villas. From all, take in views of the majestic Andes. Amenities: full-service spa, heated pool, 1 restaurant, 1 bar.
Titilaka Hotel. Located on its very own private peninsula with four acres of grounds, 20 miles from the city of Puno. Titilaka is surrounded by the natural wildlife of the lake. As the lodge is next to the peaceful farming town that shares its name, guests can witness the traditional lifestyles of the locals. 18 guest rooms. Amenities: massage services, two beaches, media room, spa and indoor pool coming soon, 1 restaurant, 3 lounges.
Visiting Machu Picchu: A Primer.
Machu Picchu is such a spectacular site, it’s worth doing some thinking ahead before you arrive on site.
Typically one takes the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo station to Aguas Calientes. From there, drive to your hotel, the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. We love this hotel because it is the only property right at the entrance to Machu Picchu. This means that once the day-trippers depart for the last train out, you have some quiet time to enjoy the ruins at the end of the day.
After settling in at the hotel, you’ll take a tour of the ruins with your guide and return to the hotel for dinner and an evening at leisure.
The next morning is filled with options. The first is a sunrise visit to the ruins, which open at 6 a.m. If you are interested in getting up early and—once again—seeing Machu Picchu with few people around, your guide will work out the timing and accompany you there.
Other options to consider (Remember that Machu Picchu sits about 8,000 feet above sea level. Speak to your physician before leaving home about hiking in high altitudes):
- A hike to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. Inti Punku is the original gateway into Machu Picchu from the Inca Trail, and it is the first point along the trail from which the ruins of Machu Picchu are visible. The views of the site and surrounding landscape are superb. (Approximate duration of this excursion: 2 ½ hours.) Difficulty of this hike: moderate.
- Hike up to Huayna Picchu, the craggy mountain behind Machu Picchu. Two groups of hikers are allowed up Huayna Picchu each day that the site is open. The first group departs at 7 a.m. and is limited to 200 participants; the second (another 200 participants, max) departs at 10 a.m. During the rainy season, from December to March, this excursion depends on weather conditions in the morning. This hike is strenuous and recommended only for people who are fit and who are not bothered by heights. If you suffer from vertigo, this is not the hike for you. A fair amount of climbing is required. The reward? Fabulous views of Machu Picchu from the summit of neighbouring Huayna Picchu. There is no railing, it’s moderately strenuous, you will work up sweat, but you can take breaks as the path zigzags up the mountainside. (Approximate duration of this excursion: 2 ½ hours.) Difficulty of this hike: quite challenging. You might want to extend your visit and go to the Moon Temple as well, which is close to Huayna Picchu. This will add an extra hour total to your hike. (Approximate duration of the Huayna Picchu excursion including the Moon Temple: 3 ½ hours.)
- Hike to an Puente Inca, a bridge carved into a narrow footpath. A short hike from Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge will take you to the opposite side of Machu Picchu Mountain. From there, you can view Puente Inca, an ancient manmade gap of about 20 feet carved into a narrow rock ledge. Though impossible to jump across, the gap could be bridged by laying down tree trunks, allowing access into the Machu Picchu site. Without the trees, however, trespassers faced an 1,870-foot fall to the base of the cliffs. The bridge is a masterpiece of Inca engineering that served to protect the sacred citadel. Difficulty of this hike: moderate. (Approximate duration of the hike: 70 minutes.)
- For Nature Lovers, discover the Flora and Fauna of Machu Picchu on a guided walk. Local flora growing around Machu Picchu includes pisonayes, q’ofias, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns, and an estimated 300 species of orchids, of which only 260 species have thus far been identified. The diverse micro-regions within the reserve support an impressive variety of wildlife, including bird 375 species (of which 200 are easily observable).
Regardless of the chosen activity, there’s time for lunch before you board your train for the return trip to Cusco.
Call us to start planning
(M-F 9-5 CST)