This classic route through Peru introduces you to the country's top attractions for an immersive experience in seven days. See the contrast between old and new Lima, visit ancient archaeological wonders and textile communities in the Sacred Valley, and marvel at the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. You’ll also spend a day and a night in the beautiful colonial city of Cusco for your fill of treasures from its Inca and Spanish legacy.

Highlights

  • Enjoy views over the South Pacific from the clifftop of Malécon Park in Lima
  • Peruse indigenous wares at the colorful Pisac market
  • Tour the Sacred Valley and wander the ancient Incan salt pans of Maras
  • Wind your way through the Andes Mountains on a train ride to Machu Picchu
  • Get to know the markets and Peruvian culture in Cusco

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima Lima
Day 2 Lima City Tour Lima
Day 3 Fly to Cusco; Drive to the Sacred Valley Sacred Valley
Day 4 Tour the Sacred Valley Sacred Valley
Day 5 Explore Machu Picchu; Return to Cusco Cusco
Day 6 Explore Cusco Cusco
Day 7 Return to Lima; Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima

Miraflores Boardwalk overlooking South Pacific, Lima, Peru
Stroll along the Malécon Park in the upscale neighborhood of Miraflores

Welcome to Lima, Peru's capital city! Transfer from the airport to your accommodation and settle in before heading out on a half-day culinary experience to sample some of the finest cuisines in South America. Tour a local market to see the freshest produce used in food prep before spending some time in a restaurant learning about the unique ingredients used to make a Peruvian dish. You will experience different styles of dining that Lima has to offer and learn from expert chefs on how to cook a variety of Peruvian specialties. You'll have a chance to prepare (and eat) some for yourself—like ceviche and pisco sours.

Day 2: Lima City Tour

Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru
Enjoy a tour of Lima's historic core and visit Plaza de Armas

You'll have the whole day today to explore Lima on a historical city tour that showcases the contrast between the old and new. Join your guide and wander the historic downtown district filled with colonial architecture and impressive squares of manicured gardens and statues of Peru's illustrious heroes. Visit the cathedral, Plaza de Armas (main square), and the San Francisco convent, ending the tour with a stroll along the clifftop Malécon Park and an ancient olive grove in nearby San Isidro.

Day 3: Fly to Cusco - Drive to the Sacred Valley

Pisac ruins, Peru
Take in the stunning scenery as you explore the Pisac ruins

This morning you'll transfer from your hotel to the airport for your short flight to Cusco (just over an hour). Remember to take it easy and drink a lot of water as you are now 11,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level. Leaving Cusco behind, you'll enjoy a scenic drive north to the Sacred Valley, breaking up the hour and a half trip with a stop in Awanacancha to meet some llamas and alpacas.

From there, you'll stretch your legs to explore the Pisac ruins (also known as Inca Písac), a colonial village of cobbled streets and bustling markets. Here you will visit the Pisac handicraft market and the sprawling Inca fortress in the hills above the village before continuing further up the valley to your accommodation.

Day 4: Tour the Sacred Valley

Moray, Peru
Discover Moray's ringed terraces 

Based on your interests, today you can choose from a selection of full-day, private Sacred Valley tours where you'll have a choice of three options. Consider a trip to the historically significant Ollantaytambo, a charming, well-preserved Inca town where you will stroll through cobbled alleyways to discover ancient stone buildings, sunny plazas, and irrigation canals. Alternatively, you may choose a more immersive experience visiting the quiet little town of Chinchero where you'll visit weaving studios that produce the sweaters and other garments found in the nearby markets you'll later peruse.

And lastly, there is the option to venture to the iconic Maras salt pans, a canyon filled with salt pools harvested since the time of the Incas before checking out Moray where you'll marvel at three massive Inca amphitheaters of incredible engineering precision.

Day 5: Explore Machu Picchu - Return to Cusco

Machu Picchu
Marvel at the well-preserved ruins of Machu Picchu

Get an early start today to begin your journey toward Machu Picchu. Hop aboard a train and travel through the Sacred Valley to Aquas Calientes, the small village at the base of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you'll switch to a bus and follow a winding route to the famed Inca fortress before connecting with your expert guide for a half-day trek of the UNESCO-protected Machu Picchu. Discover the temples and terraces, and all the best spots for photos of the massive complex. After thorough exploration, you'll ride the train back to the Sacred Valley for the drive back to Cusco.

Day 6: Explore Cusco

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
People watch from a seat in Plaza de Armas

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in South America, you'll have the day to discover Cusco, starting with a half-day tour. Traipse over cobblestone streets as you visit historical landmarks like the central square, Plaza de Armas, the Spanish colonial Santo Domingo Cathedral, and the Incan temple of Qoricancha. You will also visit the archaeological sites surrounding the city including the hill-top Sacsayhuaman and the nearby Quenqo temple, as well as the elaborate Puca Pucara ruins used for military purposes and the mysterious Tambomachay.

You'll have the rest of the day to explore Cusco at your leisure.

Day 7: Return to Lima - Depart

Locals in Cusco, Peru
Say farewell to Cusco

Leave bright and early this morning for your return flight to Lima and onward to your connecting international departure.

Map

Map of Classic Peru - 7 Days
Map of Classic Peru - 7 Days