WHY THIS TRIP
The Inca Highlights tour visits the most important sites of Inca culture in Southern Peru: Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco. This tour is designed to take you away from the crowds where you can see these areas with new eyes. Since we know that one size does not fit all, we have provided three levels of comfort and budget to choose from (budget, boutique, and luxury), so you get exactly the type of trip that suits you.
The impressive scale, location, and mystery of Machu Picchu makes it a destination worthy of anyone’s must-see list. However, far too many travelers fly to Cusco and race up to Machu Picchu, leaving within just a couple days and missing the other amazing Incan ruins and vibrant Andean culture in the nearby area. On the Inca Highlights tour, you won’t miss any of the spectacular sites. You go deep into the Andes for a much more memorable and rich experience.
Your adventure begins when you land in Cusco, once the capitol of the Inca empire and now a bustling city that has seamlessly incorporated its historic roots with modern life. Here, you will join your guide for a walking tour of Cusco’s cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, and local markets, taking note of the Incan stonework still present in most of these picturesque buildings. At the end of you entire trip, you will return to Cusco to relax on your own and visit the most important ruin sites nestled in the nearby countryside.
You then travel to the Sacred Valley where traditional villages and farms are flanked by breathtakingly steep mountains, dotted with Inca ruins throughout. In Pisac, you discover ruins left from the height of Inca stone masonry, perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley. In the village below, you can wander through the famed indigenous market where craftspeople from the countryside gather to sell their colorful weaving and intricate wood statues. You also have time to explore the Incan fortress and town of Ollantaytambo; the buildings built by the Incas are still used in Ollantaytambo, which gives you a look into the past as you wander past stone waterways and see locals wearing traditional, bright clothing.
Of course, no journey would be complete without exploring the world-famous Machu Picchu ruins. The site is as awe-inspiring today as it was to the inspired Incans who dreamed up this royal retreat more than 500 years ago. With your guide, you will see the site in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive so you can enjoy the site’s stillness and majestic setting. After your tour, you have time to discover the site on your own, whether that’s walking to the Sun Gate or hiking up the steep stairs to the top of Huayna Picchu Peak.
The three levels of comfort offered on this trip allow you to choose exactly the style of travel you prefer and the budget that works best for you. The luxury tour features all privately guided tours, private transportation, and 5-star small-scale accommodations. The boutique tour includes a mix of group tours and accommodations in locally owned, boutique (3- to 4-star) lodges. The budget tour features all group tours and simple, clean hotels. This lets you see all the worthwhile sites in Southern Peru in the style that suits you best.
LOCAL OPERATOR: APUMAYO EXPEDICIONES
Apumayo Expediciones specializes in adventure travel and non-conventional tourism with a strong environmental and social agenda. It offers activities and tours for people with disabilities and supports Andean community projects, maximizing the positive effect of local tourism. A local Peruvian company based in the City of Cusco, Apumayo Expediciones combines culture, education and natural history into its adventure trips.