Trip Type : Private Guided
Machu Picchu, Skybox of the Andes. A Family Take on Peru tour

Machu Picchu, Skybox of the Andes. A Family Take on Peru

R. Crusoe & Son
Not yet rated
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
10 days
From: $ 5,180 $ 518 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Opt to stay at the only lodge by the entrance of Machu Picchu (it allows early access, before others arrive).
  • Opt to ride the elegant Hiram Bingham train to and/or from Machu Picchu.
  • Witness sunrise and sunset at Machu Picchu.
  • Have lunch at a private hacienda in the Sacred Valley.
  • Witness a shaman ceremony, a weaving demonstration, go horseback riding and river rafting, take a pottery lesson.
  • At Machu Picchu, choose one of three options—walk to Inti Punku, hike up Mount Huayna Picchu, or take a short walk to see an Inca bridge.

Short Description

This journey works for a family with children of virtually any age. There is ample activity to keep youngsters, teens, and adults on the move, but we also build in plenty of time to kick back and relax. The journey combines cultural visits with hands-on lessons, horseback riding, rafting, and such. Please remember, as you read on, that R. Crusoe & Son can create a journey of any length to fit the needs and wishes of your own family, to address the particular interests of your children (and the adults among you), to add age-appropriate activities, and to create a tour just for you and yours.

Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Trip Type Private Guided
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Lima
End City Lima

Trip Includes

  • Accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Hotel taxes
  • Ground transportation
  • Transfers
  • Train tickets between the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
  • Sightseeing and meals as Indicated
  • Entrance fees and beverages (soda, water, and coffee/tea) with included meals

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Itinerary

Day 1: United States; Lima, Peru

Welcome to Peru. Upon arrival in Lima, you are met and driven to your hotel. Overnight: Miraflores Park or Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport 

Day 2: Cusco, Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Sagrado or Sol y Luna Resort

This morning after an early breakfast at the hotel, head to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you are met and driven to the Sacred Valley. Stop for a visit to the quiet Andean town of Pisac. Browse the local market before lunch at a private hacienda, Huayo Ccari, owned by a well-known Cusco family. Our hostess prepares a delicious nouvelle Andean meal served in the garden, with spectacular views of the valley. Check in to your hotel.

Day 3: Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Sagrado or Sol y Luna Resort

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before we head off to the town of Chinchero, well known for its ruins and for a lovely church that houses a collection of paintings from the Cusco School. Watch a textile demonstration given by local women. Chinchero also affords great views of the splendid, surrounding snow-capped peaks. Next, to Moray. We view the remains of terraces arranged in concentric circles spread out at intervals, reminiscent of a Greek theater. These were likely used as agricultural laboratories to test the viability of varying microclimates on the hillside. We get from one terrace to the other on “floating stairs” that have been used since the time of the Inca. Not far from Moray are the salt mines of Maras. Its flats, unusually beautiful, are used to dry the salt under sunny skies. They span across a wide-open hill that towers above the Urubamba Valley. Pause for a picnic lunch in the beautiful countryside. Next, we observe an offering ceremony, an ancestral custom of indigenous Andean cultures. Led by a shaman, this ceremony involves offering native Andean cereals, grains, fruits, and coca leaves. Apus, sacred mountain deities, are invited along with the four elements and the three levels of life (the world above, this world, and the underworld) to make a ritual toast with chicha de jora (native corn beer). The ceremony ends with the ritual of the offerings, so that they may return from whence they came, the smoker rising into the sky while the remaining ashes are buried. This completes the cycle of nature.

Day 4: Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Sagrado or Sol y Luna Resort

This morning we visit Seminario Ceramicas, a workshop dedicated to keeping alive techniques and designs from ancient Peruvian cultures. Then we’re off to Wayra Ranch for lunch and a Paso Fino horse demonstration. Peru’s Paso Fino is a breed of saddle horse distinguished by a smooth, four beat, lateral gait. It was bred specifically for overseers traveling long distances across plantations. Consider an outing on horseback with the family. Or, if you prefer, head for the river for a family rafting adventure. We now head for Ollantaytambo. It was here that the Spanish suffered one of their few major defeats during the conquest. The town is particularly interesting as it is the only “living ruin” in the valley. The old Inca layout and structure of the town, including its canals, are still used by today’s inhabitants. If you’d like, we can visit a local family in their private home.

Day 5: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge or Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

We now set our sights on Machu Picchu. Begin with a scenic railway journey on the Vistadome. We board the train in Ollantaytambo.  Consider this option: Instead of riding the Vistadome, board the Belmond Hiram Bingham, a luxury train. Dine on a gourmet brunch en route. If you choose the Hiram Bingham train, your guide takes a different train and meets you on your arrival at Machu Picchu, where you disembark. The Vistadome gets you to your hotel just after noon. Check in, and have lunch there. Later this afternoon, we’re off to the ruins with our guide. It is believed that the Inca city of Machu Picchu was abandoned before conquistadors ransacked and conquered Peru. This would explain why it sat undisturbed for hundreds of years before Yale University professor Hiram Bingham “discovered” the Lost City, virtually untouched, in 1911. Archaeologists and anthropologists think that Machu Picchu served as a religious center for the ancient civilization. The complex’s grassy central court is surrounded by almost 200 houses, palaces, and temples constructed of dry masonry. Particularly noteworthy: the Temple of the Sun (a round building), the Temple of Three Windows, the Sacristy, and the mysterious Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun). But perhaps most impressive is the site’s setting— dramatically perched atop a 2,000-foot high ridge overlooking the Urubamba River. You have a choice of hotels during your visit to Machu Picchu. The Machu Picchu Sanctuary  Lodge, a Belmond property, is the only hotel situated right at the entrance to the archaeological site. This means that guests have easy access to the site from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left. The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate 85 cottage hotel in the village nearest to the archaeological site. It sits on 12 secluded acres of beautiful terrain. Guest rooms are located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas.

Day 6: Machu Picchu, Cusco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, or Inkaterra La Casona

Though your inclination may be to sleep in this morning, we encourage you to rise early for a look at the ancient site as it catches the rays of a rising sun. (Please note: Check-out time at the Sanctuary Lodge is 11 a.m.; neither late checkout nor dayroom arrangements are offered by the hotel.) The remainder of your time is at leisure to explore Machu Picchu with your guide.  Consider these options:

There are three Optional activities to choose from before we leave. (Please note that Option 2 requires advanced booking and an additional fee to be paid by travelers on site.)

Option 1: Hike to Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, original gateway into Machu Picchu when approaching the site along the Inca Trail. Inti Punku is the first point in the Inca Trail where the ruins of Machu Picchu are visible. (Approximate total time for this excursion is 2.5 hours: 75 minutes to get there, and 75 minutes to return). Views of the site and surrounding landscape along the route are superb.

Option 2: Hike up to Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu. This hike is strenuous and recommended only for travellers comfortable with heights and who have a good fitness level. A fair amount of climbing is required. Get fabulous views of Machu Picchu from the top. Total time for this excursion? 2.5 hours. You may want to extend your hike and go to the Moon Temple Aboard the Hiram Bingham. We urge you not to miss it while you’re in Peru. as well, which is close to Huayna Picchu. This adds an extra hour total to this excursion. Total time for the Huayna Picchu visit, including the Moon Temple? 3.5 hours. (This hike requires advanced reservations.)   

Option 3: Take a 45-minute hike along a narrow Inca road that leads to an ancient cliffside stone bridge. Have lunch this afternoon. Then board the Vistadome train to Cusco.  

Consider this option: Instead of the Vistadome, ride the Belmond Hiram Bingham back to Cusco.

When you arrive in town, check in to the hotel of your choice. The Monasterio is one of Peru’s prettiest hotels. It is housed in an old seminary that has earned national historic monument status. Rooms here are simple and elegant, and the main courtyard is inviting, especially at night.

Palacio Nazarenas, another Belmond property, stands in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square. This former palace and convent is emerging from years of restoration to become one of the city’s most exclusive hotels. A cloistered courtyard has an ancient fountain at its heart. Also here: a spa, the city’s first outdoor pool, and stylish restaurants.

Inkaterra La Casona is centrally located in an Inca settlement near Cusco’s main square. Eleven suites surround the sumptuous courtyard of this boutique hotel, where the patina of time has been meticulously preserved. Overnight: Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, or Inkaterra La Casona (breakfast, lunch, and dinner if on the Hiram Bingham) 

Day 7: Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, or Inkaterra La Casona 

Just outside of Cusco is the fortress complex of Sacsayhuaman. Here, we see fine examples of dry masonry using stones of enormous proportions. Three central towers, which were destroyed by the Spaniards, were symbols of the Inca empire Continue to Kenko, Inca amphitheatre and religious center; Tambomachay, the Inca baths and center of worship of the water god; and finally Puca Pucara, the red fortress built to protect Tambomachay. After lunch back in town, we tour Cusco’s San Blas district. Located on a hill northeast of Plaza de Armas, this area is known as the city’s artisans’ quarter, since many of the best craftsmen and artisans have their workshops and galleries in the cobbled, narrow streets surrounding the 16th-century Church of San Blas. It is thought that this area was also the artists’ district even during Inca time. We end our day at the Inca Museum, time permitting.

Day 8: Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, or Inkaterra La Casona

After breakfast, we go on a treasure hunt around Cusco—an unusual way to get to know the city. Your family visits San Blas, Nazarenas Square, Plaza de Armas, Loreto Avenue, Coricancha, El Sol Avenue, and other historic sites along the way. At the end of the hunt, we have a celebration with live music and prizes. We follow up with a stop at Cusco’s best ice cream shop. Take the afternoon at leisure. We suggest that you do a bit more looking around on your own. If Lima allows us to glimpse colonial Peru, Cusco is the gateway to the country’s Inca past. Once the empire’s capital, this is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America. In fact, the majority of Cusco’s population still speaks Quechua. Ancient walls, arches, and other remains decorate the entire city, sometimes peeking out through excavations-in-progress. The San Pedro Market bustles with cooks shopping for the day’s ingredients. Plaza de Armas in Cusco’s center marks the spot that the Inca called Aucaypata. Just north is the Cathedral, built between 1550 and 1650 on the site of the Inca’s Virachocha Palace. This is one of the most beautiful Spanish colonial churches in the Americas. Its altar is made of solid silver. We also suggest time at the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, known locally as MAP.

Day 9: Lima

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Dayroom: Miraflores Park

This morning after an early breakfast, we are driven to the airport for our flight to Lima. Founded by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 on the site of a smaller, older town, Lima was the capital of Spain’s South American colony for 300 years. On a tour of the city, we stop at Plaza Mayor, a fine example of colonial design, including its bronze fountain in the center of the vast square. The Palacio de Gobierno on one side of the plaza houses Peru’s president and his staff and was built on the site of Pizarro’s palace, where he was murdered in 1541. The Archbishop’s Palace also sits on the square. Take note of its lovely, ornate balconies. Nearby is the baroque Catedral, built in the 1600s and reconstructed following a devastating earthquake in 1746. Inside we view what is thought to be Pizarro’s remains. Another church worth a visit is Iglesia de San Francisco, built in 1674 in the mudejar style, a melding of Moorish and Spanish influences. Catacombs beneath the church contain 25,000 skeletons, for this was Lima’s first cemetery. Time and energy permitting, stop in at Casa de Aliaga. Built in 1535, this is the oldest home on the continent still owned by the original family. Rooms have been decorated in 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century styles. Land for the house was first deeded to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of the 13 men who remained with Pizarro during his exploration of Peru’s coast. Visit one of the city’s most interesting museums, either the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera or the Poli. Late this afternoon, we head to the hotel, where a dayroom has been reserved for your family prior to your flight home. Relax here until you depart for the airport. Dayroom: Miraflores Park

Day 10: United States

Meals: Breakfast

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Price From $ 5,180
Price Per Day: $ 518 per day
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional activities to choose from before we leave. (Please note that Option 2 requires advanced booking and an additional fee to be paid by travelers on site.)

Option 1: Hike to Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, original gateway into Machu Picchu when approaching the site along the Inca Trail. Inti Punku is the first point in the Inca Trail where the ruins of Machu Picchu are visible. (Approximate total time for this excursion is 2.5 hours: 75 minutes to get there, and 75 minutes to return). Views of the site and surrounding landscape along the route are superb.

Option 2: Hike up to Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu. This hike is strenuous and recommended only for travellers comfortable with heights and who have a good fitness level. A fair amount of climbing is required. Get fabulous views of Machu Picchu from the top. Total time for this excursion? 2.5 hours. You may want to extend your hike and go to the Moon Temple Aboard the Hiram Bingham. We urge you not to miss it while you’re in Peru. as well, which is close to Huayna Picchu. This adds an extra hour total to this excursion. Total time for the Huayna Picchu visit, including the Moon Temple? 3.5 hours. (This hike requires advanced reservations.)   

Option 3: Take a 45-minute hike along a narrow Inca road that leads to an ancient cliffside stone bridge. Have lunch this afternoon. Then board the Vistadome train to Cusco.  

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Private - your group only

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure are subject to a $300 per person/per tour cancellation fee. Cancellations received less than 90 days prior to departure are subject to the following forfeit as a percentage of tour cost: 89-60 days, 10 percent of tour cost; 59-46 days, 35 percent of tour cost; 45 days or less, 100 percent of tour cost

Additional Information:

Dining with Your Guide

While touring with your guide, you are typically given the opportunity to choose from restaurant menus and to pay on the spot. This is also an opportunity to either have a break from the guiding or to continue learning. The choice is yours. If you simply need assistance from your guide in selectin  from a menu, just ask. After advising you, the guide then gives you time on your own. If you invite your guide to join you for a meal, it is customary for you to pay for your guide’s meal. 

Health Status

Touring during this program requires travelers to be in good health. Walking on uneven surfaces and climbing stairs are part of many of these excursions. If you have any health or mobility issues, we urge you to discuss them with us. 

Registration

A deposit of 25 percent of the total tour price is required at the time you book. The remainder of the cost of your trip is due 90 days prior to your departure date. Payment can be made by personal check, Visa, MasterCard, orDiscover. If your reservation is made within 90 days of departure, the entire cost of the trip must be paid at the time of confirmation.

Trip ID#:

MacPicRcr

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Internal airfare (priced separately)
  • Sightseeing listed as optional
  • Costs of passports and/or visas
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and meals or beverages not listed
  • Room service
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Communication charges
  • Airport taxes
  • Porterage
  • All gratuities
  • Personal insurance coverage

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 5 Dinners

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