This 4-day adventure is perfect for those planning to visit the top two sights in Peru – Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. In addition to these unforgettable highlights, this itinerary will take a detour over some stunning Andean scenery, from icy peaks to steamy jungle. Along the way, enjoy a dip in hot springs, a visit to a coffee cooperative and shopping in traditional Andean markets.

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Jun 10, 2019 4 days Available $1,300 USD Inquire

Highlights

  • Explore the incredible stone terraces constructed by the Inca in the Sacred Valley
  • Enjoy an adventurous downhill bike ride from the Andean peaks to the Amazon
  • Wash away the dust of the Andes in relaxing hot spring near Santa Teresa
  • Hike around the ruins of Machu Picchu, ancient citadel of the Incas and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World

Overview

While Machu Picchu needs no introduction, many first-time visitors to Peru are unfamiliar with equally impressive highlights in the nearby Sacred Valley. On this trip, you will explore Moray and Salineras, two important terracing sites that exemplify Incan engineering. You will also visit a handful of quaint towns, including Ollantaytambo, where cobbled streets lead to sunny plazas and giant stone fortresses overlook the town. At Chinchero you can see weavers producing handmade products.

From the Sacred Valley, the journey continues over the high peaks of the Andes and down the eastern slope, into lush rainforest. Here you can relax in hot springs and visit a coffee cooperative. The trip finishes with a guided tour of Machu Picchu and a ride back to Cusco. Meals and accommodation are provided during the trip. 

Brief Itinerary 

Day  Highlights  Overnight 
Day 1 Explore the Inca stone terracing ruins Ollantaytambo
Day 2 hot springs, mountain biking, high altitude pass Santa Teresa Eco-Lodge
Day 3 Visit to a coffee farm, train ride to Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 4 Explore Machu Picchu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: The Sacred Valley: ancient sites and stunning scenery

A view from above of Salineras, a patchwork of stone terraces used to harvest salt. 

This tour begins in Chinchero, which the Inca believed was the birthplace of the rainbow. In this typical Andean village you can see extensive Inca terracing and some pretty colonial-era churches. The town is also known for its weaving studios – you'll have a chance to see the weavers producing handmade products.

From Chinchero you'll continue to Moray, an incredible complex of stone amphitheaters developed by the Inca. While the exact reason for the construction of this site remains unknown, historians believe the Inca constructed in order to experiment with crop production in different micro-climates.  

From Moray, you will walk through farmlands (or take a bus if you prefer) to Salineras, an incredible patchwork of stone pools and paths developed by the Inca as a means to harvest salt. You will spend the night in Ollantaytambo, a historic town in the Sacred Valley, set on the Urubamba River, overlooked by massive stone fortresses. You'll have a chance to explore this charming village, its cobbled streets and pretty plazas. 

Day 2: Adventures in the Amazon Basin

Enjoy a downhill free ride from the Andes to the high jungle.

Today we cross a dramatic topographical divide: from the arid, Pacific side of the Andes to its lush western slope and the uppermost reaches of the Amazon Basin. From the icy pass of Abra Malaga 14,000 ft (4267 m) we will descend into the rainforest, known as the ceja de selva (eyebrow of the jungle).

Our destination for the day is Santa Teresa, located at an elevation of 5085 ft (1550 m). Santa Teresa is home to Baños Termales de Cocalmayo, a natural mountain hot spring located beside a raging river. It's a great place to wash away the dust you accumulated on the drive over the Andes.

You have the option of cycling some or all of the road from the mountains into the jungle. We will provide bikes for this fun downhill journey. We will overnight in an eco-lodge near Santa Teresa. 

Day 3: Meet local coffee growers and sample their wares

Incredible mountain scenery and ruins in the Andes.

This region contains a number of small coffee farms that export their beans around the world through a network of growers' cooperatives. We will take a tour of a local farm today and see how coffee is grown and produced. In the afternoon, we will board a train to Aguas Calientes. The five-mile journey rolls through scenic mountain vistas.  At Aguas Calientes, we will have time to explore the local market and enjoy the mountain scenery, jungle gorge and rushing rivers around the town. Accommodation tonight is in a hotel in Aguas Calientes. 

Day 4: Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu, the specular stone citadel of the Incas, a travelers' highlight of South America. 

Aguas Calientes is the jumping off point for the highlight of this trip – Machu Picchu! No matter how many photographs you've seen this amazing ruin, seeing Machu Picchu for the first time still manages to take your breath away. The stone city is surrounded by steep, green mountains and you'll have a chance to climb one for better views. You will be given a guided tour of the site and have time to explore on your own before catching the train back to Cusco.

Upcoming Departures

Date Duration Availability Cost per person
Jun 10, 2019 4 days Available $1,300 USD Inquire