- Enjoy the peace and quiet of the Sacred Valley
- Soak in thermal waters and get a massage at a spa
- Ride a glass-domed train through the forest
- Explore Machu Picchu with a knowledgeable guide
- Hike in the picturesque "rainbow mountains"
- Spend a full day sightseeing in Cusco
|Day 1||Arrive in Lima & Get Oriented||Lima|
|Day 2||Travel to Cusco & Transfer to the Sacred Valley||Sacred Valley|
|Day 3||Enjoy a Scenic Train Ride to Aguas Calientes||Aguas Calientes|
|Day 4||Visit Machu Picchu||Sacred Valley|
|Day 5||Hike & Relax on a Spa Day||Sacred Valley|
|Day 6||Tour Ollantaytambo & Pisac||Cusco|
|Day 7||Hike in the Rainbow Mountains||Cusco|
|Day 8||Get to Know Cusco||Cusco|
|Day 9||Depart Peru - End of Trip|
Day 1: Arrive in Lima & Get Oriented
Welcome to Lima, Peru! The country's largest city is home to one-third of the country's population. Located at the site of a pre-Columbian indigenous settlement, 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 makes it a perfect city for exploring on foot. Head downtown to mingle with locals, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat in one of many award-winning restaurants. Or take in views over the ocean in the clifftop neighborhood of Miraflores.
Day 2: Travel to Cusco & Transfer to the Sacred ValleyHead back to Lima's airport this morning for your flight to Cusco. This ancient city is the former capital of the Inca empire, which reigned from the 13th to 16th centuries. Remember: you will be 11,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, so take it easy and remember to drink lots of water. Since Cusco was designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of the narrow stone alleyways on foot. Take a walk through the plaza — if the weather is beautiful, it's a perfect place to sit on a balcony and have a cup of coca tea while adjusting to the elevation.
Day 3: Enjoy a Scenic Train Ride to Aguas Calientes
Sleep in this morning and enjoy a quiet walk after breakfast, appreciating the natural splendor of the Sacred Valley. Then you'll transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo. From here, you'll board the train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. The ride is a sensory experience, especially if you're traveling in a glass-domed train that provides ample views of the surrounding forest. You'll arrive in Aguas Calientes in time for dinner. Then check into your hotel and get some rest before making an early start on day four.
Day 4: Visit Machu Picchu
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Hike & Relax on a Spa DayToday, you'll relax! Go for a walk or hike around the hotel, taking in the region's spectacular scenery, wandering llamas, colorful fruit trees, and mountain vistas. After a leisurely lunch, you'll spend the afternoon at a spa. Warm up in the sauna before soaking in a Turkish bath with medicinal herbs. A range of treatments and services are available, depending on your needs and interests.
Day 6: Tour Pisac & OllantaytamboThis morning you will depart from your hotel and travel to Pisac, one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. In this area, you'll explore ancient Inca burial grounds, irrigation systems, and astronomy centers. Next, go down to the town of Pisac, located at the bottom of the valley. This town is famous for its bustling textile market. Select from a wide assortment of colors, styles, and designs for gifts and souvenirs to take home with you.
Next, you'll stop for lunch, enjoying traditional Andean cuisine at a restaurant in a beautiful setting overlooking the Urubamba River. Then head to the ancient Incan city of Ollantaytambo, one of the few remaining places in the Sacred Valley that have retained their original Inca urban planning. Walk through the streets with Inca-era canals and view the ancient houses still in use today. Climb the agricultural terraces where you can enjoy an Inca’s-eye-view of the valley. From the top, you’ll be able to see some of the quarries from where the stone for Ollantaytambo was sourced. It’s amazing to think how far these large stones were transported from, especially considering the Incas didn’t have pack animals strong enough to carry them. In the late afternoon, you'll head to Cusco and check into your hotel.
Day 7: Hike in the Rainbow Mountains
The Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain is only about 12.5 miles (20 km) from its famous sister Vinicunca. While Vinicunca attracts thousands of visitors, its smaller sister Palcoyo (16,000 feet / 4,900m) has smaller crowds and just as much beauty. This mini trek is perfect for travelers who want to view the colorful rainbow mountains on a relatively short and gentle trek; it's a great option for those traveling with kids.
Start the morning with an early pick-up at your hotel, stopping for breakfast along the way. Your drive this morning will be along the Red River, with plenty of opportunities for photos and stops. The drive will take roughly 3.5 hours, after which you'll arrive at the starting point of the short hike. From here, the hike is approximately an hour via a short, relatively flat path. Along the way, you'll see llamas, sheep, vicuñas, and alpacas. The summit lies about 16,404 feet (5,000 m) above sea level. Once you reach the top, you'll have time to enjoy the panorama and take pictures. At this point, it is time to hike downhill. Once you reach the bottom, start the 3.5-hour drive back to Cusco.
Day 8: Get to Know CuscoToday you'll tour Cusco and its surrounding area, starting with Sacsayhuamán and Quenqo, archaeological complexes used mostly for religious and agricultural rituals. Although the site of Sacsayhuamán was religious, the Spanish considered it a military fortress because of its location and the way it was built. From here, walk through San Blas, an old bohemian quarter famous for its picturesque white walls, blue doors, and creative artisan community. Continue to the Plaza de Armas, where you will be able to explore the Cathedral and admire its exquisite interiors and priceless paintings. Its construction lasted for almost 100 years, beginning in 1560 and ending in 1654.
Day 9: Depart Peru - End of Trip
Today the trip comes to an end. You'll transfer to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!
More Peru Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Peru? Check out these other Peru itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.
Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.