Peru was the first country to steal my heart in South America, and I’m still in awe today by everything it has to offer. Combine stunning landscapes of the high Andes mountains, rolling hills, and lush green cloud forest with colonial cities, marvelous Incan ruins, a diverse culture, fascinating history, friendly people, mouthwatering food, and some of the most spectacular yet authentic accommodations around, and you have Peru. There’s not much more that I could ask for in a perfect destination.
Classic Machu Picchu is one of my favorite itineraries for exploring the Southern Highlands of Peru. In just 8 days, not only will you experience must-sees of Peru like Machu Picchu and Cusco, but you’ll discover countless off-the-beaten-path gems as well. This itinerary has a light activity level, but is extremely flexible with many opportunities for shorter strolls or even longer hikes if you’re feeling up for it.
One of the many highlights of this itinerary for me is a most special day with the Amaru indigenous community. You’ll learn about their weaving practices, traditional lifestyle, and enjoy a meal with the community leaders. Having a Quechua speaking guide and driver in this region allows you to get off the beaten path in a way only achievable with their expertise and close relationships with the community. Starting off your trip in the Sacred Valley will not only put experiences like this and many lesser-visited Incan sites at your fingertips, but at 2,000 feet lower than Cusco, you’ll acclimatize much better too.
At the end of each day, return to fabulous accommodations like Relais Chateaux property Sol y Luna. Their private casitas nestled in the valley, surrounded by beautiful gardens and stunning views of the high Andes mountains are simply enchanting. You could also consider a hotel upgrade in Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. A dip in their semi-natural thermal baths surrounded by nature are perfect after a full day of exploring Machu Picchu. Or in Cusco, consider Palacio Nazarenas, a restored palace that is arguably one of the best hotels in South America.
Read on to discover more about why I love this itinerary, and then don’t hesitate to give me a call at 612-315-2894 ext. 105 or email Renee@KnowmadAdventures.com to create your own perfect, custom Peru itinerary.
A Luxury Take on Knowmad’s Classic Machu PicChu: 8 Day Trip to Peru
Trip Summary + Highlights
Discover ancient ruins and vivid indigenous cultures as you journey through the heart of the Andes to the Lost City of Machu Picchu. Get off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley’s vibrant traditional villages and markets, and return to charming accommodations on your in-depth, relaxing exploration of this powerful and charming region of Peru.
- Experience a variety of vibrant indigenous Andean cultures
- Ride the rails in an historic train along the ancient Inca Trail
- Explore the famed Lost City of Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate
- Wander the legendary Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo
- Meander the stone streets and bustling markets of Cusco
- Get off the beaten path & discover the ancient ways of Amaru villagers & bargain for colorful, hand-woven textiles in colorful Pisac market
- Lunch in a centuries-old hacienda while relaxing in the Sacred Valley
Luxury Classic Machu Picchu Itinerary
DAY 1 • LIMA
Arrive Lima. Visit the city’s sites, museums and restaurants.
DAY 2 • LIMA – CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY
Fly to Cusco where Andean cultures come alive. Explore Incan stone terraces at Sacsayhuaman, the subterranean altars of Kenko, the water temple Tambomachay, and the Puka Pukara fortress. Continue into snow-capped Andean peaks to your oasis in the Sacred Valley.
DAY 3 • SACRED VALLEY – URUBAMBA & PISAC
Visit the isolated Amaru indigenous community in the Andes. Gather plants used as natural dyes and see how the Amaru’s colorful textiles are brought to life. Enjoy lunch at a delicious local restaurant before bargaining for wares at one of the region’s most vibrant markets.
DAY 4 • SACRED VALLEY – MORAY & MARAS
Visit the massive Inca agricultural terraces of Moray and continue beyond the little-known village of Maras where pre-Columbian saltpans are still being harvested in the traditional way.
Take the train along the river and Inca Trail, arriving to your accommodations in the early evening.
DAY 5 • MACHU PICCHU
Revel at the sunrise from the Lost City of Machu Picchu, perched amidst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest. Enjoy a complete guided tour of the site with time to explore on your own as well.
DAY 6 • MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
Take a morning train ride to Ollantaytambo and see the vast Incan ruins towering above. Lunch at a colonial-era hacienda before continuing to Cusco.
DAY 7 • CUSCO
Enjoy the day at your leisure exploring Cusco – a city where traditional Andean cultures, the colonial Spanish, and modern Peru fuse into one. Visit Korikancha – Temple of the Sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy savory Peruvian cuisine, and see colonial cathedrals built atop Incan foundations.
DAY 8 • CUSCO – LIMA – HOME
Return to Lima and return home.
IS IT FOR ME?
An itinerary great for all ages that pays special attention to altitude, this trip takes you to the classic Peru highlights while also venturing off the beaten path with hands-on experiences in indigenous communities, returning afterwards to charming, comfortable accommodations.
*Price approximation reflecting seasonality and room category. All Knowmad trips are custom and quoted individually. Inquire with a Knowmad Trip Specialist at 612-315-2894 or Tracel@KnowmadAdventures.com for more information.
Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Call us at 612-315-2894 or email Renee@KnowmadAdventures.com to start planning your custom and private Peru trip today.
Renee is a Trip Specialist at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She lived in Mexico for over 3 years and is excited to help Knowmad travelers discover the wonderful impact not just travel, but really experiencing a different country and culture can have on your life. Read Renee’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.