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Explorer 8 Days, Lima to Lima
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Complex and intricate, Peru is a haven for active travellers. Packed with amazing attractions, this 8-day Nat Geo expedition introduces you to everything this country is famous for! Sit back and enjoy the scenic train ride to the fascinating Machu Picchu ruins and learn the Peruvian way of life. Also visit museums, stargaze, shop at local markets, and soak up the mystical Peruvian culture on this adventure tour.

  • Travel Style National
    Geographic Journey
  • Service Level Upgraded
  • Physical Rating Grading - Average
  • Trip Type Third Party
  • Age Requirement 12+

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The Machu Picchu Explorer- 8 days, 7 nights





  • Day 1Lima
    • <p> Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.</p> <p> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Private Vehicle</strong><br /> Jorge Chavez International Airport - Lima<br /> Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.</p> <p> <strong>Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting</strong><br /> 1h 18:00<br /> The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you&#39;re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.</p>
  • Day 2Lima/Urubamba
    • <p> Board an early flight to Cusco then on to the Sacred Valley to visit the Ccaccaccollo community and Planeterra-sponsored Women&#39;s Weaving Co-op. Explore the Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.</p> <p> <strong>Plane</strong><br /> Lima - Cusco 1h 30m-2h 572km<br /> Look! Up in the sky! It&#39;s a bird! It&#39;s a plane! It&#39;s... yup, it is a plane, actually.</p> <p> <strong>Private Vehicle</strong><br /> Cusco - Urubamba 6h-8h<br /> Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.</p> <p> <strong>Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women&#39;s Weaving Co-op visit</strong><br /> Calca<br /> Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre which G Adventures travellers&#39; donations helped create through Planeterra Foundation in 2005, thereby 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.</p> <p> <strong>Pisac Ruins Guided Tour</strong><br /> Pisac 2h-3h<br /> Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that&#39;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.</p> <p> <strong>Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley</strong><br /> Lamay<br /> Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, 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.</p>
  • Day 3Urubamba
    • <p> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Moray Ruins Guided Tour</strong><br /> Moray<br /> 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&deg;C (27&deg;F)!</p> <p> <strong>Las Salineras Pre-Incan Salt Pans Guided Tour</strong><br /> Urubamba<br /> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour</strong><br /> Ollantaytambo<br /> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Local Adobe and Ceramic Experience</strong><br /> Urubamba<br /> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Traditional Pachamanca Dinner</strong><br /> Urubamba<br /> 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&#39;s placed on the hot stones and can include lamb, pork, chicken or guinea pig. Savour this traditional meal prepared by an experienced chef.</p> <p> <strong>Private Vehicle</strong><br /> Urubamba7h-8h<br /> Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.</p>
  • Day 4Urubamba/Aguas Calientes
    • <p> Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes with option to visit the market.</p> <p> For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.</p> <p> <strong>Private Vehicle</strong><br /> Urubamba - Ollantaytambo 1h-2h<br /> Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.</p> <p> <strong>Train</strong><br /> Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes 1h 30m-2h<br /> Climb aboard, take your seat, and enjoy the ride.</p>
    • Optional Activities
      Hot Springs Visit

      Aguas Calientes
      Soak sore muscles in local hot springs for which the town, Aguas Calientes, was originally named.

      Machu Picchu Visit
      Machu Picchu
      Just can't wait to be awestruck? Opt for an independent visit to Machu Picchu before your group tour.

      Butterfly House Visit
      Aguas Calientes
      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
      Aguas Calientes
      This botanical garden boasts a beautiful waterfall, varied wildlife and lush scenery. Walk along one of the trails and admire the many orchids.

  • Day 5Aguas Calientes/Cusco
    • <p> 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.</p> <p> <strong>Local bus</strong><br /> Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu 30m<br /> Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p> <p> <strong>Machu Picchu Guided Tour</strong><br /> Machu Picchu<br /> 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&#39;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).</p> <p> <strong>Train</strong><br /> Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo 1h30m-2h<br /> Climb aboard, take your seat, and enjoy the ride.</p> <p> <strong>Private Vehicle</strong><br /> Ollantaytambo - Cusco 1h-2h Evening<br /> Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.</p>
    • 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 6Cusco
    • 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.

      Free Time
      Cusco Full Day
      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.

      Cusco Planetarium
      Look to the night sky for a different view of the city. Explore the Cusco Planetarium surrounded by the serene nature of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas' relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars (weather-permitting).

      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
      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.

      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 depending on weather conditions.

      Quad Biking
      Ready for a wild ride? Learn how to operate an ATV and set off for a fun filled ride around Lake Pumamarka. Enjoy stunning views of the Inca Valley as you travel along gravel roads.

  • Day 7Cusco/Lima
    • <p> Fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru&#39;s bustling capital.</p> <p> <strong>Plane</strong><br /> Cusco - Lima 1h 30m-2h 572km<br /> Look! Up in the sky! It&#39;s a bird! It&#39;s a plane! It&#39;s... yup, it is a plane, actually.</p>
    • Optional Activities
      Lima City Tour

      Discover Lima's highlights on this half-day tour.

      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 8Depart Lima
    • <p> Depart at any time.</p> <p> <strong>Departure Day</strong><br /> Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.</p>
What's Included
  • Overseas Medical Insurance for the duration of the tour (Sum of US$ 2,50,000 covered).
  • 07 nights accommodation (Hotels (7 nts)).
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner.
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities (Minibus/van, train, plane, walking).
  • Arrival transfer.
  • Internal flight.
  • Two-day Sacred Valley tour including Ollantaytambo, Moray, and Pisac ruins and pre-Incan salt pans.
  • Visit the Women's Weaving Co-op.
  • Lunch at Sacred Valley Community Restaurant.
  • Adobe- and ceramic-making demonstration.
  • Traditional pachamanca-style lunch.
  • Scenic train and guided tour of Machu Picchu.
  • Visit the Cusco Planetarium.
  • Services of Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout the tour, local guides.
  • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart.