Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

Journey through Peru from Lima to Cusco, interacting with the people of the Sacred Valley and experiencing their culture, music and cuisine, and explore magnificent Machu Picchu, where you stay at the only hotel on site.

Journey Overview

Prepare to be enchanted on this epic journey to the heart of the ancient Inca Empire. See why Machu Picchu features on every traveller’s bucket list and explore it away from the crowds. Soak up the dazzling colours of Peru’s textiles and handicrafts and savour the fresh and flavoursome cuisine which has become one of the world’s most fashionable. Contrast 4,000 years of pre-Columbian history at the impressive Larco Museum with the vestiges of Spanish colonial rule in Lima’s grand squares and Cusco’s cathedrals and see how the conquistadors lived with private access to a grand 16th century residence. Visit an inspiring project giving hope to impoverished, at-risk children in the Sacred Valley and admire the breathtaking countryside as you travel to Machu Picchu by luxury rail.

Journey Highlights

  • Travel by PeruRail Sacred Valley, an elegant new train with 1920s-era styling, and stay at the only hotel on site at Machu Picchu, enjoying extra time to explore the colossal “Lost City of the Incas”
  • Enjoy a private lecture on Machu Picchu with a renowned scholar in Incan history before discovering the magnificent ruins for yourself in the company of a local expert guide 
  • Mingle with the farmers and children of the Sacred Valley, and gain an intimate understanding of their centuries-old customs during a private village visit 
  • Visit historic sites in colourful Cusco during your stay at a luxurious hotel that was once a 16th century monastery 
  • Sample Peruvian cuisine at a Chef’s Table experience to better understand its cultural impact on Peru and the world 
  • Discover Peru’s rich musical traditions during a captivating private performance by an expert in Andean music 
  • Choose from year-round departures on this popular journey, enjoying insider-access opportunities made possible by A&K’s small group size and long time local presence

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Lima, Peru

Arrive in Lima this evening and transfer to your hotel, located in the city’s exclusive residential district of Miraflores. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro, this “City of Kings” is a mélange of colonial structures, pre-Columbian sites and modern conveniences.
Belmond Miraflores Park

Day 2: Lima | Colonial Splendour & Inspiring Artefacts

After a welcome briefing, enjoy an interactive Chef’s Table culinary experience, as your chef deftly demonstrates and you assist in the preparation of various Peruvian dishes. After lunch, discover Peru’s capital, visiting the Plaza Mayor, birthplace of the city, and the beautiful Cathedral, built in the 16th century. Next, tour Casa Aliaga, Lima’s oldest colonial mansion. Built in 1535 by a conquistador, it has been home to 17 generations of his descendants ever since. Note the graceful wood and marble staircase, the family chapel and the Golden Salon with its incredible golden mirrors and view the upper gallery, home to some important paintings from the Cusco School. Afterward, visit the Larco Museum, with its impressive array of pre-Columbian artefacts, and enjoy a welcome dinner at the on-site restaurant.
Belmond Miraflores Park | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Sacred Valley | Cusco & Camelids

This morning, fly to Cusco, located more than 3,352 metres above sea level. Stop for lunch in the central square before proceeding to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. En route, visit Awana Kancha, a center where South American camelids, such as llamas and alpacas, are bred. Learn about the valuable fibers created from their coats and perhaps take the opportunity to feed these iconic animals. Continue to your relaxing accommodation — a charming Andean-style casita set amid gardens of flowers. Enjoy time at leisure before dining at your hotel restaurant.
Sol y Luna | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Sacred Valley | Like a Journey Back in Time

When school is in session, visit the Kuychi Centre to meet the underprivileged children at Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow), a project supported by A&K Philanthropy. This local school provides education, nutrition, medical care and hope to underprivileged children in the Sacred Valley. Later, visit a remote village seemingly frozen in time. Experience complete cultural immersion as you delve into agricultural methods that locals have used for centuries to support themselves in this challenging Andean mountain environment. Eat lunch locally before returning to your hotel. Spend your afternoon at leisure, perhaps taking advantage of the superb amenities of your accommodations. Dine tonight at the restaurant on site.
Sol y Luna | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Machu Picchu | Bingham’s Stunning Find

Prepare for your visit to Machu Picchu with a private, interactive lecture from a renowned scholar and certified expert on the Incan ruins. Next, explore Ollantaytambo, a fortress of massive stone terraces that hug the mountain slopes and the site of the Incas’ greatest victory over the invading Spanish. Then, journey deep into the Andes toward Machu Picchu on board the PeruRail Sacred Valley, a train inspired by the elegance of the 1920s, gazing out at the spectacular Peruvian countryside. Arrive to begin an overnight stay at the only hotel located on site at Machu Picchu. Overlooking the Urubamba River and discovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu forever holds the secret of its passing — its Incan inhabitants left no written records of its purpose. Built in the 15th century at the height of the Inca empire, it was most likely the estate of an emperor. Walk the ruins alongside your expert guide, and then continue on your own. You may view the Temple of the Sun or Intihuatana, a ritual stone that may have been an astronomical calendar. As you wander amid the age-old stone walls, picture life as it might have been in this majestic citadel, set some 2,438 metres above sea level.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Machu Picchu & Cusco | Walking the Spectacular Ruins

Rise with the sun to walk through Machu Picchu in the early morning mist before the crowds arrive, an experience some consider the spiritual highlight of the journey. You may also opt for a hike to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), entry point to the ruins from the Inca Trail, or a trek up to Huayna Picchu, the high mountain that forms the backbone of the ruins and boasts spectacular views. After your explorations, bid adieu to this “Lost City of the Incas” and board the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo. Continue to Cusco where you check in to your hotel, once a 16th-century monastery. The Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a national monument that offers a delightful retreat from the bustle of Cusco, while set just off the city square. You may wish to view the art hung in its gilded chapel or sit beneath the 300-year-old cedar in its courtyard.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio | Meals: BL

Day 7: Cusco | Design Your Day

Discover Cusco on a city tour this morning that includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, a Dominican church built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious building. Listen as a local expert explains how the historic clashes between the Incas and the Spanish played a role in forming today’s Peruvian culture. Later, visit the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill. Compiled of colossal stones, the largest of which may weigh as much as 200 tons, the walls were cut and placed together with incredible precision and without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This imposing fortress, which witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the Incas, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco. This afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.

  • Visit the San Blas Neighbourhood, an art district where styles are handed down through generations of artisans.
  • Stroll San Pedro Market, tasting the local flavours of Cusco at this vibrant open-air venue.
  • Join a Photographer in Cusco, who helps you capture authentic images of the city’s architecture and people.

Tonight, enjoy an Andean music presentation by a regional expert on the subject, and learn the history and stories of his handmade instruments. Afterward, gather for a farewell dinner at the elegant MAP Café, where the chef gathers local ingredients for use in innovative recipes that remain true to Peru’s culinary traditions.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Depart Lima

Spend a morning at your leisure, sleeping in, visiting shops or simply relaxing, before flying back to Lima, where you are assisted with your international flight and depart.
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport (dayroom) | Meals: B

Day 9: Depart Lima

If you opted to overnight, enjoy breakfast before departing on your international flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 9:30 a.m. on Day 2.
Last group event: airport assistance in Lima upon return from Cusco on Day 8.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Show Full Itinerary


Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel

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Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Oct 2, 2020 - Oct 10, 2020
Price AU$10,565pp Single Supplement AU$3,905 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Oct 16, 2020 - Oct 24, 2020
Price AU$10,565pp Single Supplement AU$3,905 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Nov 6, 2020 - Nov 14, 2020
Price AU$10,565pp Single Supplement AU$3,905 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Dec 4, 2020 - Dec 12, 2020
Price AU$10,565pp Single Supplement AU$3,905 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Dec 11, 2020 - Dec 19, 2020
Price AU$10,565pp Single Supplement AU$3,905 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.


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