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Private Inca Heritage Tour

A fantastic private 8 day guided tour taking you to some of the most well-known Incan sites in Peru, such as Pisac, Ollantaytambo and, of course, the Unesco World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. You will also have some fantastic cultural city tours in both Lima and Cusco.

Tailor-made Classic 1 week

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,047 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview

Deep in the Andes, hidden for centuries by clouds and mountain rainforest, lies one of Perus' greatest mysteries. Discovered in 1911 by accident, Machu Picchu has been a draw for historians and travellers ever since. The well-preserved ruins perched within the most majestic of settings can never disappoint. And even though you have to share the Unesco World Heritage site with many other tourists, it still somehow manages to retain its mystical charm and allure. Added to the charm is the fact that the lack of a written Incan language means that to this day historians and archaeologists are still undecided as to its purpose. They are, all, however united in believing the site has and had a vast cultural significance. In order to get to grips with the Inca culture and to form your own interpretation of Machu Picchu, you need to spend some time in the ancient capital of Cusco, as well as visit the archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley. Piecing together the fragments of this hard-working and resilient culture, will help not just to put the Incan history together, but will also give an intriguing insight into modern day Peruvian life and how the Incan and Spanish heritage have evolved together.

This private guided tour takes you to the best-know sites of Cusco and its surrounds, as well as some of the hidden gems. Starting and ending in Lima, the country's vibrant capital, you will have the opportunity to see the highlights of modern and colonial Peru, before heading to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan empire. Your private guide will take you off to explore the main sites of the Sacred Valley including Pisac, Ollantaytambo and a fascinating visit to a weaving village. You then travel by train to the gateway town of Aguas Calientes to visit the highlight of the tour, Machu Picchu. This two day experience allows you to overnight in Aguas Calientes before spending a day at leisure exploring the town. You end your tour back in Cusco where you will have a guided tour of the city's highlights and then a chance to explore at your leisure.

Day-by-day

Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Upon arrival to Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will have a chance to freshen up and rest.

Day 2: Lima City Tour
In the afternoon, you will be picked up from your hotel for a private city tour. This 3-hour sightseeing tour offers the best of colonial and modern Lima. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the most important architectural constructions of the 17th century, Convent of Saint Francis. This complex has a small square, the convent and a church to visit. Its cloisters have beautiful tiles and you can visit the catacombs which are more than 300 years old. You then visit the three most important sites from the colonial era: Plaza Mayor, Plaza San Martin, Palacio de Gobierno (known as the house of Pizarro), and the Municipality, preserving their original architecture. The tour ends with a visit to the modern suburbs of San Isidro and Miraflores, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Day 3: Fly to Cusco
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight to Cusco. You'll then be met the other end and transferred to your accommodation. We recommend taking the rest of the day easy to allow your body to acclimatise to the altitude.

Day 4: Sacred Valley tour
After a good nights sleep you will be met by your tour guide around 9am. If you have suffered from the altitude in Cusco, you will be pleased to know that from here on, you will drop well below the 3,300m mark! The first stop is Awanacancha Cultural village where you will see a variety of camelids (llamas, alpacas, vicunas) and women demonstrating traditional weaving techniques. The next stop is the market of Pisac where you can sample delicious fresh bread that this area is known for. The market has many colourful stalls selling a wide variety of locally produced handicrafts. From the market, you are driven up to the stunning Pisac Ruins, which offer an excellent insight into how the Incas cultivated and managed their crops. You will stay here for around 1 1/2 hours, whilst your guide takes you on a tour, explaining Incan farming techniques, as well as showing you the ceremonial centre at the top of the terracing, where mummification, the sacred rituals of preparing the higher classes for the after life, took place. Time for lunch and you head to Urubamba where you will stop at a tourist restaurant for lunch. After lunch, you will head to the pretty Andean town of Ollantaytambo where you have a guided tour of the spectacular ruins. The terraces here were not for agriculture, but were part of a huge temple complex that was being built to honour the sun, an important Incan deity. The temple was never finished, as building was interrupted by the Spanish invasion.

Day 5: 2 day Machu Picchu experience
Today sees you rising early around 5.30am to catch a train and bus to the famous Machu Picchu site. You will be accompanied by a guide from Cusco who will then give you a private tour of the Machu Picchu site (approx 2 hours) The rest of the time here is your at leisure. You could hike up to the Sun Gate or Incan Bridge which offer superb views. Both are less visited by tourists but involve climbing lots more steps. In the afternoon you'll check into your hotel for the night in Aguas Calientes where dinner is included. Your guide will also overnight in the hotel.

Day 6: 2 day Machu Picchu experience
You wont be catching the train back until later today so feel free to explore the town of Aguas Calientes. Alternatively you could revisit Machu Picchu, many people like to return a second day to climb the Wayna Pichhu mountain. Please note: second day entrance fees and travel are not included but can be added on. Your train and bus back to Cusco

Day 7: Cusco City Tour
This morning you will have a private guided tour visiting the most important sites of Cusco (The Cathedral, Koricancha "Temple of the Sun", Tambomachay "Temple of the Water", Pukupukara "Red Fort", Qenqo "The Maze" and the very impressive site of Sacsayhuaman. The afternoon is at leisure, you may decide to visit the famous Inca Museum, or relax in one of the many cafes overlooking the Plaza de Armas.

Day 8: Departure
You will be transferred to Cusco airport in time to catch your morning flight back to Lima. From here you fly home.

Trip extensions are possible for this tour. Please contact us on help@tourdust.com to speak to one of our experts about a tailor-made itinerary.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Centrally located in Miraflores District
- Modern, good value hotel with 42 rooms
- Convenient base for exploring the city
- Near parks, markets, beaches, restaurants

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Boutique hotel
- Historical former market
- Family rooms
- Suites with free-standing baths

Details

Getting there

You will need to fly to into Lima. There are no direct flights from the UK however you can get good connecting flights via Amsterdam, France, Madrid and many US states.

All internal Peru flights are included in this holiday.

Price includes

Internal Flights (with LAN or STAR subject to availability), accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis. All transfers, Vistadome train tickets, entrance to sites, private tour guides.

When is best?

The peak tourist season in Cusco and the surrounding region is June - August. At this time, the main sites will be at their busiest. The weather at this time of year is lovely, with little rain and clear, sunny days.

The rainy season in this region lasts from October - Match, with the wettest months being January & February. It is much quieter in the sites at this time of year.

If you want to avoid the crowds, then you might want to aim for April / May when the rains have slowed but the sites are not as busy.

Is it for me?

The beauty of this trip is that you have private guides throughout, meaning that you can dictate the pace of the trip and ask as many questions as you want. Private tours also have the advantage that if you want to spend longer visiting somewhere, you can do so, without having to be jostled along with other tourists.

This itinerary has been put together for those who are interested in South American history and culture. You will be visiting a range of Incan sites, so by the end of your tour, you should have a real insight into Incan culture and way of living.

The sites visited are accessible to able-bodied visitors and whilst some walking and climbing stairs is necessary, it is not too physically challenging.

If you would like to extend this tour into a tailor-made holiday to Peru, please contact our Peru expert by emailing help@tourdust.com

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

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Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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