WHY THIS TRIP
No trip to Machu Picchu is complete without exploring the fascinating Inca ruins and living history in the Sacred Valley and the former Inca capital of Cusco, so on this trip, we do just that. World-class Peruvian guides share their deep knowledge of the Incas on this exploration of the most fascinating Inca ruins, while getting you off the beaten path to avoid the crowds doing the regular tourist circuit. With a full day to explore Machu Picchu, and even time to climb to see the view from Huayna Picchu, this trip is for anyone wanting to truly experience the magic of the Inca Empire.
This five-day exploration of the Inca Empire begins with your arrival into Cusco in the morning of Day 1. You’ll meet your guide for lunch at the Coffee Museum and then take to the streets for a walking tour of this fascinating city. Next, head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to visit the ruins and markets of Pisac. You continue your exploration of the Sacred Valley with a visit to Chinchero, the fascinating circular ruins of Moray and the spectacular saltpans of Maras (with an optional hike), followed by an exploration of the impressive Inca fortress and town of Ollantaytambo, Late in the afternoon, you head by train to Machu Picchu Pueblo for the night. Early the next day, you enjoy a private guided tour of Machu Picchu with time to climb Huayna Picchu before catching an afternoon train and transferring back to your Cusco hotel.
If you have more time, extra activities and nights can be organized on request.
LOCAL PROVIDER: AMAZONAS EXPLORER
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.
Anne B. –
Layna could not have arranged a better trip (Galapagos, Amazon & Peru). Everything went so well and we were very well looked after. Our guides match our excursions to our ability and we could not ask a question that wasn’t answered.
William G. –
A great trip of western South America and the Galapagos Islands
We (three of us) had a great trip over 4 or so weeks, with many thanks to Layna George of Detour for her suggestions, planning and organising. There were many highlights, including the Galapagos Islands cruise on Angelito I for 15 days, Sani Lodge on the Napo River in the Ecuador part of the Amazon for 4 days watching birds and other wildlife, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and our Liberty train ride – all with great guides and all in good company
Mara Rigel –
Our trip to the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu was incredible, our guide Crist and driver Jose met us at the airport and took care of all the details from then on; the meals, accommodations, train ride and hike through Machu Picchu were incredible! We spent 2 days in Cusco afterword which was probably one day too long at the end of a two week trip; however, we ate at a couple of incredible restaurants for lunch & dinner, Marcelo Batata & Ciciolina were excellent! Thanks Detour for setting up an incredible trip
Eileen & Dale –
We like to think we saw the best of Peru on this trip! Our guide Willow picked us up at the airport and, on the way to the hotel, gave a brief history of his beloved city, Cusco. After we settled into our hotel, we took a brief walking tour through the streets to the quaint town square and market. We went to a local restaurant for quinoa soup and regional food. Willow has an obvious love for Peru and the history of his country. Throughout the week we visited the remnants of the Inca life in Saqsawaman, Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We toured churches, watched Peruvian women wash, dye and weave Alpaca garments, climbed on the salt flats, rode horses, drove through spectacular valleys, climbed to the tops of beautiful mountains and toured the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It was spectacular! Even the train ride to and from Machu Picchu was enjoyable. Willow was an excellent guide, so knowledgeable about the history of the towns and sites. He also was funny and made us feel like we were old friends. It was a real pleasure seeing the country through his eyes. Julio was our driver and was as prompt and gracious as any person we met in Peru. David cooked a delicious meal when we went horse back riding and had it ready when we reached the top of the mountain. The hotels were older and have limited space for clothing storage but were uniformly clean and the staff in all of the hotels went out of their way in providing excellent service. Unfortunately, we experienced altitude sickness (we live at 7′ and Cusco is approx. 11,500) on the first day of our trip and spent the next 24 hours in bed. We would recommend that anyone traveling from a lower altitude, ascend to Cusco (or any of the high altitude cities) at a slower rate. Allie and Katie from Detour were very helpful in setting up our trip, so that we were as prepared as possible for the adventure. We would highly recommend this trip.
This was a trip of a lifetime and our tour guide team made it even better–Jimmy Barrientos and Isak (our driver). This was a family trip of 7. We flew in to Lima, Peru early in the day on the first day and opted to stay at the airport Ramada, which was a great decision for us. We took a cab to Miraflores and walked around town eating and shopping and seeing the sites. It was so much easier to just walk across the street to the airport at 6AM the next day to catch our flight to Cusco. It was really easy to get around the airports there too and the LAN agents were always very friendly–we did speak Spanish though so not sure if this made a difference. Each day was packed, but we saw it all and learned so much. Machu Picchu was the highlight, but we learned so much from the ruins in Sacred Valley, Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Ollantaytambo, the salt flats, the cathedrals, and museums–just wonderful. Jimmy was an excellent guide and extremely knowledgeable and they both were quite funny too–we had a great time and even learned a few Quechua words. We hit the ground running with site visits as soon as we landed in Cusco. They had water and snacks ready for us and each day would provide snack bags in addition to the wonderful lunches and dinners either prepared by Amazonas chefs or at local restaurants. We were lucky to be able to see several festivals too in many of the towns. If we wanted a little extra time at a market, Jimmy found a way to make it work. He was also able to coordinate or five of our family members to hike Huayna Picchu the morning of our visit to Machu Picchu. Each hotel had very nice accommodations and both in Cusco and Machu Picchu were in a great and easy location to walk to the sites in the evening. It was tough to say goodbye and leave beautiful Cusco, but we were headed to another adventure in the Galapagos, so that made it a bit easier. The Detour pre-departure checklists and information were extremely helpful to ensure we had the appropriate essentials during the trip. (Posted on 8/17/14)
Willow was our tour guide and he was the best. We were the only couple on our group tour so Willow adapted to make the trip perfect for us. This was the trip of a lifetime and exceeded our expectations. Very well organized and good value. Without a good guide so much would be missed.
The Amazonas Explorer trip was a very enjoyable time, although we probably should have scheduled a day or two of rest, as we were really on the move every day. The guide Eduardo’s knowledge of Quechua and general knowledge was excellent. Our driver Walter was excellent. Some of the meals that were provided were not great. We would have liked more comments from the guide as we were driving….telling us bout the local scenery.
We loved Peru and scenery was stunning. We enjoyed our guide and driver. We were disappointed that he was unable to be with us in Cusco but Amazonas provided a different guide for our last day and he turned out to be just fine, offering a different outlook. The best hotel was Soy y Luna in Urubamba (Scared Valley) beautiful, full of interesting artwork and huge deluxe rooms. The itinerary was good although we opted for a variation on the 3rd day to visit Moray and the salt pans – not to be missed! Machu Picchu was spectacular even though it was the only day we had rain on the whole trip – it was still magical in the mist! It was dangerously slippery with zero visibility on the mountain for which we had a permit so we didn’t climb very high. Saving our knees for exploring the rest of the site. Inka Tera was nice and the food quite excellent. Loved the Quinoa pancakes for breakfast! The hotel in Cusco was lacking (I forget the name) in service and public space but was well located and certainly adequate. The Amazonas staff that took us to the airport were not very friendly (didn’t speak to us at all) but got us to where we needed to go. We had a long layover in Lima so maybe we could have left Cusco later in the day but by then we were ready to get going home!