This 7-day itinerary offers a great balance of exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley, while including a private tour of Machu Picchu. Choose from a selection of great adventures — mountain biking, horseback riding or zip-lining — and spend a night in the beautiful local village of Ollantaytambo.

Brief Itinerary

Day Destination Highlight
Day 1 Lima Arrival in Lima
Day 2 Cusco City cultural & historical tour
Day 3 Sacred Valley Choose your adventure
Day 4 Ollantaytambo Culture tours & overnight
Day 5 Machu Picchu Private tour of Machu Picchu
Day 6 Cusco Free day in Cusco
Day 7 Cusco Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Lima's Plaza Mayor

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru's largest city and central metropolitan hub, and home to one-third of the country's population. Located at the site of a pre-Columbian indigenous Ychsma settlement, which was conquered by the Inca empire in the 15th century and later by the Spanish conquistadores, Lima has a fascinating history and a diverse mix of cultures. Amerindian, European, Afro-Peruvian, and Asian—especially Chinese and Japanese—influences make Lima a dynamic and exciting city to explore. 

Lima's breezy location on the Pacific Ocean and mild desert climate make it the perfect city for exploring on foot. Head downtown to mingle with locals, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat in one of the many award-winning restaurants. 

Suggested activities include

  • Explore the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating Spanish architecture. Start with a scenic tour of the colonial downtown, which emanates from the main square. Stroll over to the 16th-century Cathedral, which took 80 years to construct and was built in the grandiose style of the Spanish Empire. 

  • Visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains, in 1535. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family. 

  • Stroll around the Pueblo Libre district to the privately owned Larco Museum of pre-Columbian art, housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts a vast pre-Colonial collection of gold and silver artifacts. 

  • In the evening, head to the eclectic "Love Park" in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire a huge kissing statue and beautiful mosaic walls.  The park is built on the cliffs of Chorrillos and is a perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific. 

  • Enjoy a nightcap at an open-air cafe or restaurant in the diverse Miraflores neighborhood.

Day 2: Arrival in Cusco & City Tour 

Tambomachay Inca ruins
The Tambomachay Inca Ruins just outside of Cusco

This morning, transfer to the Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up from the airport and taken to your hotel. After getting a chance to settle in, depart your hotel for a half-day private city tour with an English-speaking guide. It starts in the ruins of Tambomachay and you will have a nice hike down into Cusco visiting other sites along the way. You’ll also stop for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Cusco.

Day 3: Day of Adventure

Today you have a choice of three unique activities options, depending on what you’re most interested in:

1) Inca Legends Bike Ride (Full Day)

Inca Legends Bike Ride
Descending into the Apurimac river canyon on the Inca Legends Bike trip (© Alex Buri)

Perfect for beginner/intermediate riders that want to see the less traveled countryside of Peru. You’ll take off on a private shuttle from Cusco through breathtaking mountain views to your starting point of 4,218 meters. From there, we’ll soar downhill on a combination of wide, paved and dirt roads that eventually reach the powerful Apurimac river.

We’ll have an authentic Peruvian lunch with some local friends and ride through small Peruvian towns and villages. This is an amazing route to ride a bike on, with plenty of opportunities to take photos, see the local life, and last but not least bask in an array of waterfalls.

2) Horseback riding in the Andes (Full Day)

We offer a horse riding tour that is not a walk in the corral. You climb high into the mountains surrounding Cusco and visit some hidden away Inca ruins. 

3) ATV and zip line in the Sacred Valley (Full Day)

zip line in sacred valley
Zip-lining above the Sacred Valley (© Natura Vive)

Enjoy a 3-4 hour zip-line tour with unbelievable panoramic views, then ride a quad bike through the old town of Maras, and visit the salt mines of the Incas and Moray. Entrance to Moray is included, the salt mines cost 10 soles and you pay at the gate.

If you chose to do either the bike ride or horseback you would sleep in Cusco; if you went on the four wheel/zip line tour you would sleep in Ollantaytambo.

Day 4: Day in the Sacred Valley

Maras salt mines
Either hike, bike, or ATV down into the salt mines of Maras

If you sleep in Cusco, you will take a private car to Ollantaytambo stopping at the salt mines and Moray. If you slept in Ollantaytambo, then you get to sleep in and enjoy the village. You can go on some hikes to the ruins in town. Ollantaytambo is a beautiful authentic village, with cobblestone pathways and older family homes. On top of that, we have a beautiful local home for you to stay out in the heart of the village.

Day 5: Private Tour of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
The citadel of Machu Picchu perched above the Urubamba River

Rise and shine early today as you take the first train in the morning to Aguas Calientes, the small village at the base of Machu Picchu. An English-speaking guide will be waiting for you and you can either hike up (45 minutes) or take the bus (20 minutes) to MP. You will have a private guided tour and the opportunity to hike La Montana (Machu Picchu mountain). Here is where you can get in some good hiking. It’s a strenuous hike, but you'll be well rewarded. In the evening, you will return to Cusco by Vistadome train.

Day 6: Free day in Cusco

Cusco
Plaza de Armas central square in Cusco

Today, you'll have another free day to explore Cusco and do some last-minute shopping. It's also another chance to enjoy some of the fantastic restaurants Cusco has to offer. If you would like to arrange another half-day or full-day activity in or around Cusco, we'd be happy to arrange this. There are also cooking classes in Cusco, for those who would like to learn how to make some local Peruvian dishes.

Day 7: Departure

Depending on when your flight out of Cusco, we can suggest some places to sightsee in the morning before providing private transport to the airport. 

Map

Map of Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour - 7 Days
Map of Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour - 7 Days

Recent Trip Reviews

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Jillian

Lima, sacred valley & machu picchu tour - 7 days, Peru - Feb 25 - Mar 3, 2018

Traveler: Jillian M. - Local specialist: Stephanie Guerra

I am so thankful to have used KimKim for my trip to Peru and have Stephanie as my local specialist. We had only 7 days to explore Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu and Stephanie made it all fit perfectly. Every detail was figured out, which was such a relief because travel between these sites requires multiple forms of transport -- from arrival at the airport to departure from the trip we had train tickets or buses tickets or private drivers waiting for us at each leg. She made... read more

I am so thankful to have used KimKim for my trip to Peru and have Stephanie as my local specialist. We had only 7 days to explore Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu and Stephanie made it all fit perfectly. Every detail was figured out, which was such a relief because travel between these sites requires multiple forms of transport -- from arrival at the airport to departure from the trip we had train tickets or buses tickets or private drivers waiting for us at each leg. She made sure all of our tours had excellent English speakers (on later legs of my travel that I planned on my own, I quickly learned how varied English capabilities can be and how difficult it can be to determine the quality of English of the guides without local knowledge of the companies). Every tour/driver/guide we worked with were incredibly professional, punctual, polite, kind and helpful. Stephanie was readily available when we had a minor payment issue at one hotel and took care of it. I can't say enough about our experience traveling with KimKim and Stephanie! Thank you! You truly took the stress out of travel and made a wonderful, memorable experience for me and my brother!