Travel to Machu Picchu on the luxury Belmond Hiram Bingham, enjoying incredible views and a seasnoal three-course meal en route.. Wander the ancient streets of Cusco on a guided tour and witness the mingling of Inca and Spanish colonial architecture.. Tour the breathtaking hills of the Sacred Valley, exploring ancient agricultural sites and enjoying lunch with locals at a traditional farming community..
Imagine adventurer Hiram Bingham’s wide-eyed awe when he first saw Machu Picchu, the Inca ruins buried deep in the Peruvian Andes. Thankfully, today the journey to the citadel is far more comfortable than what the intrepid explorer would have experienced in 1911. However, the sight of the incredible ruins remains as powerful now as it was 100 years ago. This five-day Independent Experience takes you from the well-trod streets of Cusco to Machu Picchu and the breathtaking Sacred Valley on a journey that traces the history of the empire and the Spanish conquest.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Bienvenido! Welcome to Cusco, the historic heartland and former capital of the Inca Empire. If you are flying into Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport today, you will enjoy a complimentary transfer from the airport to your hotel. Your local guide will meet you this evening at approximately 7 pm at the hotel to explain the schedule for the next few days.
Leave the hotel between 8 am and 9 am this morning for a walking tour with your local guide. The walking tour lasts approximately 4 hours and will visit a number of key sites in Cusco. One such site is Koricancha, which was once the richest temple in the Inca Empire, but all that remains today is the temple’s masterful stonework. Afterwards, visit the cathedral in Plaza de Armas, which took almost a century to build. In the same plaza, you’ll also see the 12 Angled Stone – a masonry marvel that demonstrates the engineering skills of the Inca. Continue to the San Pedro Market, where you have the chance to sample local cheeses and chocolates. The walking tour comes to an end just in time for lunch. The rest of today is free for you to explore at your leisure.
Hiram Bingham Train – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo
Today you’ll encounter Peru’s iconic citadel: Machu Picchu. You will be picked up at the hotel at approximately 7.15 am and transferred to Poroy Train Station. Board the Belmond Hiram Bingham train, named after the explorer who publicised the existence of Machu Picchu in 1911. Depart at 8.10 am and enjoy an included brunch on board, including a glass of sparkling wine or freshly squeezed juice with a traditional Peruvian appetiser, followed by a main course and dessert. The menu is seasonal but usually includes delicious dishes such as quinoa tabouleh and smoked trout, or a traditional lomo saltado (similar to a beef stir fry). Arrive in Aguas Calientes around 12.30 pm and board a bus to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the ruins. After working up an appetite, enjoy tea and snacks at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge – the only hotel that operates at Machu Picchu. In the early evening, take the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo. Arrive around 8 pm then transfer to the hotel. Dinner is at your own expense in either the hotel or in town.
Sacred Valley – Cusco
Rise and shine for a day exploring. Begin with Ollantaytambo, one of the few places where the Inca were able to successfully repel the Spanish. This is partly due to the town’s location at the base of the mountains and its steep terraced fortress, which is the main archaeological site today. Try and spot the faces that appear in the surrounding cliffs and hear how the food was precariously stored at height. Next, embark on a bus tour of the Sacred Valley, greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River. Explore ancient aqueducts, irrigation canals, dams, agricultural terraces and centres of worship dedicated to Pachamama (Mother Earth). Visit a local community to gain greater insight into their lifestyle and enjoy lunch with the locals. If your visit happens to coincide with market day there will be an opportunity to wander the stalls. Return to Cusco in the afternoon, stopping en route just outside the city to visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The rest of your day is free for you to relax or sightsee at your leisure.
This Independent Experience comes to an end today after breakfast. If you have booked an onward flight today, you can take a complimentary airport transfer. If you would like to extend your stay in Cusco, we will happily organise additional accommodation on your behalf. Simply tell a Peregrine representative at the time of booking.