On this expedition, you will experience rich culture, local customs, and traditional dress. Walk narrow cobbled streets, sit in charming courtyards, and see ancient stone walls. Vendors offer vibrant textiles, fresh regional produce, and authentic wares. You’ll see contemporary artists who embrace their rich heritage and hear indigenous music. International influences are evident, broadening the scope of the cultural landscape. This expedition is a photographer’s paradise
All year is a good time to visit and we offer year-round expeditions. There is a dry and rainy season, with sporadic rain in the rainy season. A rain poncho is recommended even during the dry season because of the high elevation.
We take a maximum of 30 guests per departure. We have a tour leader and one guide for every 18 guests.
Explore Peru’s Amerindian and Spanish traditions, as well as its influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe. See elaborate pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture that pre-date the Inca. See the architectural achievements of Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, and the Sacsayhuamán Fortress. Learn about the art, music, and gastronomy of Peru. Each night you stay at fabulous lodges and hotels.
You will be joined by a veteran Peruvian tour leader from start to finish along with local guides in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima. Their focus is on the extensive history and cultural influences. You are always part of a small group, with a ratio of one guide for every 18 guests. In addition, a National Geographic historian will spend time with you in the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Always accessible, your leader and guides add invaluable commentary about every site and join you for dinner at the end of the day.
On most evenings our small group will gather in the lodge’s bar or restaurant for a tradition we call Recap. At Recap the events of the day are discussed with staff and guests and your leader provides a briefing about the activities for tomorrow. We’ll dine together, making new friends and enjoying the easy camaraderie. When you’re out on your own, our staff will be able to recommend the best restaurants and neighborhoods to explore. Most of the lodges and hotels have spa facilities if you seek extra pampering.
Yes, everyone on our expedition team speaks English. Some are multi-lingual as well.
The lodges and hotels we stay at serve fresh, regional dishes with locally grown produce, sustainable catch fish, and indigenous products. Try the well-known ceviche and other local specialties. Peru's chefs have received worldwide acclaim and our expedition takes full advantage of this.
All your meals, with the exception of two dinners, are included.
Life on the expedition is informal, and your clothing should be too, unless of course you feel compelled to dress up.
There will be a moderate amount of hiking up hills and on uneven terrain. Steps at the Inca sites are steep and uneven, with no handrails. You will be at altitudes of 8,000 to 11,000 above sea level.
Yes, hiking sticks are permitted and may prove to be helpful. You are welcome bring along your own. At Machu Picchu walking sticks must have rubber stoppers on the bottoms.
All our buses and hotels have oxygen should you need it. Oxygenated rooms are available at the Monasterio Hotel in Cusco. These rooms must be requested in advance and are available at an additional cost.
The high altitude affects everyone differently. Some guests get a mild headache, others feel tired or have an upset stomach, or feel like it is more difficult than usual to climb stairs. Most guests get acclimated to the high altitude within a day. We have planned our itinerary to allow you time to acclimate.
No vaccinations are currently required but you should check with your doctor.
No medical form is necessary
Yes, you will need a passport that is valid for up to 6 months after the departure date.
No, a visa is not required for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
We use the Vistadome train.
The Hiram Bingham train is slower as a full meal is included. We would rather spend the time at Machu Picchu and not on the train.
While in Machu Picchu, spend one night at the luxurious 31-room Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge, the hotel with the easiest access to Machu Picchu. You do not need to take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes up to the site. The entrance to Machu Picchu is a short walk from the front door of the hotel. No rooms have a view of the ruins but there is a terrace that offers spectacular views of the Andes. You will enjoy exceptionally easy access to the ruins at early and late hours, when it’s free of day visitors and bus groups. Much of the produce served is sustainably grown on site. We’ll dine on fresh international cuisine with a choice of Andean specialties. The hotel’s airy, sunlit restaurant affords wonderful floor-to-ceiling views. The modern bar, adorned with stone and wood, offers a naturally harmonious ambiance.
You arrive late in the morning and have the day at Machu Picchu. After your overnight at Sanctuary Lodge, you can do an early morning hike to the Sun Gate and have the morning to continue exploring the site. The train to Cusco departs late in the afternoon.
You do not need to hike all the way up to the Sun Gate to enjoy the view and daybreak. You can walk as far as you want and sit along the path to view daybreak.
Spend two nights at the family-owned Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa. Backed by the peaks of the Andes and draped in exotic flowers, you will immediately feel time slow down as the dramatic surroundings envelop you. Options here include horseback riding and a selection of restorative spa treatments. On the lovely grounds of the lodge, attend a folkloric dance performance. International and regionally inspired dishes are served during your stay.
Nilda Callañaupa, Director of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and a National Geographic grantee, will give us a presentation and demonstration on weaving.
We are able to see a show of the Peruvian Paso horses at Sol y Luna. You may go horseback riding during your free time in the Sacred Valley.
For two nights in Cusco, we stay at the Orient Express Monasterio Hotel, situated one block from the main plaza. It’s a charming property set high in the Andes with breathtaking rooftop vistas and beautiful inner courtyards. This former monastery and national monument dates from 1592. It’s a great base to discover the Spanish and Inca treasures of Cusco. You’ll have a chance to sample Andean cuisine during your stay.
Yes, you will have time to explore Cusco on your own and try one of the local restaurants. Our staff will be on hand to give you recommendations about how to spend your time.
You stay at the Orient Express Miraflores Park Hotel in ocean-view rooms.
You will visit the Larco Herrera Museum, have a panoramic drive of Lima, visit the Plaza de Armas, and have lunch at a private colonial home.
Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. The internal flights Lima/Cusco/Lima are ticketed in Peru and the airfare is added to your invoice. Our air department is happy to assist you with the international flights to Lima and you are free to use your frequent flyer miles.
Yes, if you are traveling on our recommended group flights. The first night of the expedition is at the Costa Del Sol Ramada hotel, conveniently located across the street from the airport.
No, you will not be charged any departure tax at the airport.
Yes, we’ll be glad to assist you with arrangements in Lima.
Yes our Peru expedition can be combined with our expeditions to the Galápagos and Peruvian Amazon.
Our style is always informal. The relaxed atmosphere of every journey, a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic hallmark, is something our travelers tell us they particularly enjoy. There is never a need for fancy clothing, so our recommendations on your travel wardrobe are all about comfort, practicality, and the conditions in the region you're exploring.
Ship to Shore is our online store, which specializes in the kind of clothing, footwear and accessory items suited to expedition travel.
Comfortable walking shoes with good support.
Gratuities to guides, bus drivers, and the tour leader are included in the cost of the program. If you wish to give an additional tip for exceptional service, you may do so at your discretion.