Explore Machu Picchu - Untours Ventures
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Explore Machu Picchu

All Ventures>>G Adventures>>Explore Machu Picchu
Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley with our expert guide, meet local artisans at a Planeterra-supported Women's Weaving Co-op and local village, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, enjoy traditional treats and foods,

A wonder of the ancient world, the “lost city of the Incas” is the ideal place to unleash your inner historian. With 2 days to explore the Sacred Valley, once you’ve left the road less travelled, you’ll find majestic ruins, striking views of the Andes and local villages bursting with culture. Add in a local lunch at a Planeterra-supported community restaurant and a traditional pachamanca-style feast and your taste buds will be thanking you. As the premiere operator in the region, be assured we'll leave no stone unturned.

Adventure Details | Itinerary | Excursions | Pre-Post-Trip Options

About This Adventure

National Geographic Journeys
  • Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort
  • Lima, Urubamba, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Cusco


    • Arrival transfer
    • 2-day Sacred Valley tour including Ollantaytambo, Moray and Pisac ruins, pre-Incan salt pans, and visit to the Planeterra-supported women's weaving co-op in a local village
    • Lunch at the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village
    • Adobe- and ceramic-making demonstration
    • Experience a traditional Pachamanca-style lunch
    • Scenic train and guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Visit the Cusco Planetarium
    • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunch. (Allow USD200-300 for meals not included.)
    • Minibus/van, train, plane, walking.
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
    • Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 12.
    • Comfort hotels (7 nts).

    Air Options

    While we have no specific air deals on this cruise, please call 1-888-868-6871 if you would like us to assist with your airfare.

    Not included:

    Important Information and Caveats

    Please read this Important Information.


    Day 1: Lima
    Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

    Get ready for a very busy tour exploring the best of Peru in a week. We recommend booking a pre-night in Lima (in particular if your flight arrives into Lima in the evening) to recover from international flights and rest up before the excitement.

    Please note that if you booked the Peru Culinary Bundle it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00am and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return to your hotel around 13:00.

    Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

    Tonight, the adventure begins. Feel free to explore — but make sure you're back in time to meet your group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your trip.

    Day 2: Lima/Urubamba(1B, 1L)
    Board an early flight to Cusco then on to the Sacred Valley to visit the Ccaccaccollo community and Planeterra-sponsored Women's Weaving Co-op, explore the Pisac ruins and visit the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco.

    Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women's Weaving Co-op visit Calca
    Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre which G Adventures travellers' donations helped to create through the Planeterra Foundation in 2005, enabling local women to sell traditional textiles to travellers. See local weaving and dyeing techniques used to create garments and souvenirs, and learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the community and those who visit it. This includes the purchase of alpacas to provide a steady supply of wool, looms, and sewing machines as well as several training courses on production, sales and small business management.

    Pisac Ruins Guided Tour, Pisac 2h-3h
    Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that's still in use today. Be captivated by this truly amazing site sitting amid sweeping green valleys and mountain peaks. Explore the back of the site to see a pocketed cliff across Kitamayo Gorge, which once contained hundreds of Inca tombs.

    Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley Lamay
    Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosco, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.

    Day 3: Urubamba(1B, 1D)
    Explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Ollantaytambo and Moray ruins. Visit a small community who specialize in ceramic- and adobe-making. Meet local artists and enjoy a demonstration of these traditional arts. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialities.

    Moray Ruins Guided Tour
    Explore the ancient site of Moray, which archeologists believe was used to conduct agricultural experiments. Climb down to the bottom of the great circular depressions and notice how the temperature shifts with the depth—sometimes as much as 15 °C (27 °F)!

    Las Salineras Pre-Incan Salt Pans Guided Tour, Urubamba
    Visit the pre-Incan salt pans of Las Salineras—still in use today. Marvel at the terraced pools set amongst the beauty of the Sacred Valley.

    Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
    Tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site – it still shows signs of its former glory, including agricultural terraces, a Temple Hill, and storehouses. Learn how the area, overlooking the Urubamba River Valley, was an important stronghold during warfare between the Spanish and Incas.

    Local Adobe and Ceramic Experience
    Travel to a small, rural community in the Sacred Valley that specializes in adobe- and ceramic-making. Meet some of the local artists and try your hand at making your own memento to take home.

    Traditional Pachamanca Dinner, Urubamba
    The thousand year-old tradition of Pachamanca involves baking an assortment of meat and vegetables in an oven of hot stones, earth, and grass. Meat is usually seasoned with local spices and wrapped in a banana leaf before it’s placed on the hot stones and can include lamb, pork, chicken or guinea pig. Savour this traditional meal prepared by an experienced chef.

    Day 4 :Urubamba/Aguas Calientes(1B)
    Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes with option to visit the market.

    For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.

    Please bear in mind that the town has several amenities, but is also geographically remote meaning services are sometimes more basic than one would assume. As the only option for travellers visiting Machu Picchu, the development of infrastructure has happened quite quickly, much without proper planning, and the focus on providing quality service may not be up to the standards experienced in other parts of the country.

    Those who have chosen the option in advance to hike the "1-day Inca Trail" will disembark the train at km 104 to begin the trek. The trail rises steeply up into the mountains and will take hikers past the archaeological sites of Wiñay Wayna and Inti Pata, where the local guide will provide insights into the fascinating culture of the Incas en route to the trek's culmination at the Sun Gate. Enjoy a packed lunch along the way and reach the Sun Gate in the late afternoon with a chance for a preliminary exploration of Machu Picchu before the guided tour on Day 5. Transfer by bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes to rejoin the group and spend the night in a hotel. If time permits, take an optional visit to the nearby hot springs to soak your sore muscles.

    1-day Inca Trail option:
    Approximate Distance: 7km; estimated hiking
    Hot Springs Visit:
    Soak sore muscles in local hot springs for which the town, Aguas Calientes, was originally named
    Machu Picchu Visit
    Just can’t wait to be awestruck? Opt for an independent visit to Machu Picchu before your group tour. Butterfly House Visit
    Learn about the four stages of a butterfly’s life at this learning centre and breeding project. Observe varied species of butterflies, some unique to the area.
    Mandor Gardens Visit
    This botanical garden boasts a beautiful waterfall, varied wildlife and lush scenery. Walk along one of the trails and admire the many orchids.

    Day 5: Aguas Calientes/Cusco(1B)
    Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins. Free time to explore on your own or take an optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.

    Machu Picchu Guided Tour
    Rise and shine – the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. Follow the local guide to Machu Picchu to learn about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).

    Optional Activities

    Inca Bridge Visit, Machu Picchu
    Use any leftover energy from your Machu Picchu hike to visit the Inca Bridge site nearby (thought by some to be a secret back entrance to Machu Picchu). Trek up to the bridge that's cleaving to a 579m (1,900 ft) cliff, and soak in amazing views of cloud forest along the way.

    Day 6: Cusco(1B)
    Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking. This evening, look to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Inca relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars.

    Please note that if you booked the Peru Culinary Bundle, on day 6 you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00.

    Take in the sights on horseback or rent a motorbike for a more thrilling ride. Looking to learn more about Cusco? Head to one of the many museums in the city.

    Optional Activities

    Cusco City Tour
    Enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco's main sights. Walk around the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore this city steeped in one of the world's most alluring and ancient cultures. Visit Qenqo, Koricancha, the Cathedral, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, and the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman.

    Horseback Riding, Cusco
    Hop in the saddle and explore Cusco’s archaeological sites by horseback on a 3.5 hr tour – no previous experience needed. Dress for the weather, and bring sunblock and a hat, just in case.

    Paragliding, Cusco
    Admire the Sacred Valley and surrounding mountains from a unique perspective. Take off from the Wayllabamba viewpoint for a breathtaking flight lasting from 15 to 45 minutes d
    Day 7: Cusco/Lima(1B)
    Fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru's bustling capital.

    Optional Activities

    Lima City Tour
    Discover Lima’s highlights on this half-day tour. Continue exploring at the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman.

    Lima Paragliding
    Glide over Costa Verde, hover over Lima’s city life and see the desert dunes over Pachacamac. Tandem flights are available to those who have never glided.

    Day 8: Lima(1B)
    Depart at any time.

    Your CEO can help arrange an optional transfer to the airport.

    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

    Optional Activities

    Lima City Tour $39 (Minimum 2): Tour colonial and contemporary Lima. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Pachacamac $50 (minimum 2): Visit the Lost Inca Citadel of Lima. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Larco Museum $51 (Minimum 2): This museum contains the best quality gold and silver collection. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Culinary Tour $72: Visit a local market. Learn how to make Ceviche and Pisco Sours like the experts. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Ballestas Islands with Huacachina From $220 (minimum 2): Enjoy wildlife and history, have lunch in a winery and visit the Huacachina Oasis. - Full day

    Nasca Lines $300: Flight over the mysterious Nasca Lines. Services start and end in Lima. - Full day

    City Contrasts $55 (minimum 2):Visit the other face of Lima, the shanty towns or Pueblos Jovenes. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Lima at Night $70 (minimum 2): Visit the Magic Circuit of Water, walk through the centre of Lima and savour an included dinner. - Approx 3 Hrs

    Palomina Islands $75 (minimum 2): Visit the port area of Lima. Spot wildlife and swim with the sea lions. - Approx 5 Hrs (minimum 2)

    Horse riding around ruins (with guide) $40
    Horse riding around ruins (without guide) $40
    Whitewater rafting $55
    Mountain biking $55
    Museo Inka $3.5 entrance
    Museo de Historia Regional entrance with Boleto Turistico

    All prices are per person in US dollar amounts (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

    Add to Your Experience
    Peru Culinary Bundle
    Enjoy two half-day cooking activities in both Cusco and Lima. Visit local markets, pick out ingredients and enjoy learning and eating unique Peruvian dishes influenced by such faraway places as China, Italy, West Africa and Japan.

    1 Day Inca Trail Hike Permit Request

    Want to hike the Inca Trail but for less time than the 4 day hike? This permit is perfect for you as you'll jump off the train early, hike six hours to the Sun Gate and meet up with the rest of the trip.

    Adventure Details | Itinerary | Excursions | Pre-Post-Trip Options
    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

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