Wonders of Peru Tour
An engaging tour of Peru's highlights. Journey through the secret spots & prime locations of the Sacred Valley, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.
Follow the footsteps of the Incas, listen to fabled stories retold and reimagined hundreds of years later. The altitude is not the only breath-taking aspect of a trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Hints of a past bathed in golds and riches are dotted all over this mountain range, and the genius of Inca construction is at home within the Andes’ otherworldly natural setting. Described as the ‘Archeological Capital of the Americas’, the winding cobblestone vistas of Cusco were sculpted around the shape of a Puma. A deeply mythological site, the Inca civilisations’ magnificent ruins persist despite 16th century Spanish invasion.
A visit to Sacsayhuamán, a protective fortress overlooking the city proves the impossible possible. Mortarless stone construction has retained shape and sturdiness throughout centuries of invasion and earthquakes.
At an altitude of 9,000 ft. it surprises many that Cusco is higher than Machu Picchu. This city is the perfect place to slow down, and begin adjusting to the thinner air.
The traditional way to follow the Inca Trail is by foot. Feel the forests transform with the foothills, where bromeliads and agave give way to the dense vegetation of the cloud forests of the Amazon. Pass through the weaving villages of Pisac and Chinchero, and browse the markets of artisan goods intricately stitched with both colour and Quechua character. Sundays in Chinchero are dedicated to local food produce markets.
Ollantaytambo is known as the entrance to the Antisuyo, the Amazon corner of the Inca Empire. This signals the beginning of the northern stretch of the journey. Arrive at the Pumamarca Ruins, away from tourist crowds with panoramic views. Overlooking the valley of the Urumbamba river, camp in a celestial space at Wiñay Wayna before reaching the Sun Gate’s extraordinary sight of Machu Picchu.
Swallowed by jungle and rediscovered in 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham was actually in search of a different city, Vilcambamba. Machu Picchu was never entirely forgotten after all.
Encircled by Andean peaks and whispers of mystic rumour, these magnificent walls in the plateau of two pitons are said to be astronomically aligned. A steep climb and a slight scramble to the summit of Huayna Picchu takes half an hour of concentration and sure-footness for unforgettable rewards.For birds-eye views of the beauty herself, trekking up Huayna or the less vertigo-inducing Machu Picchu Mountain will greet eyes with a 360-degree panorama of the mountain range that hosts this citadel.
Become immersed in jungle life and local Andean communities that still practice traditions that sculpted Peru into the country that we know and love today. Flow with the Urumbamba River, cascading towards peace, stillness and serenity.
April through to October are the driest months in the Urubamba Valley. Shouldering the rainy season, in October and March the landscape is lush and flooded with flowers - this is a particularly picturesque time for trekking. November to March are considered the wettest months, yet generally the climate is still good with higher humidity and afternoon showers. It is worth noting that Machu Picchu is closed in February.
June is a fabulous time to visit Cusco. The Inti Raymi Festival takes place on the 24th, an Andean celebration to remember the beginning of the year for the Inca empire. Rituals are practiced all over the Sacred Valley and Cuzco to collectively worship the Sun God (Inti). With sunshine and a gentle breeze, bringing some warmer garments for the evenings is recommended.
Most of our Peru holidays include exclusive tours and treks of the Sacred Valley, and its surroundings. Cusco is a major hub for ancient cultural history of Peru, and many use it as a place to acclimatise to the higher altitude of this region. Our Wonders of Peru tour includes a few nights in a luxury tented lodge - Las Qolqas - nestled into the valley near Ollantaytambo, and two nights in a quiet city haven in Cusco. The Salkantay Trek, and the Lares Trek are less-busy alternatives to the Inca Trail, and these both offer unique and immersive experiences of the Valley. Contact our Wayfairer specialists to discuss some fabulous options for experiencing Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
All our trips to The Sacred Valley include stays at a number of the unique guesthouses and hotels surrounding the Urubamba River. It is a naturally gifted location, and each of our lodges pledge to give back to this. In Urubamba, Inkaterra Hacienda is a lodge set in 100 acres of countryside with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains from the healing gardens. Hotel Sol y Luna is another luxury hotel nestled into the wilderness of the Andes, where each individual casita is made from local stone and individually decorated. If committing to a longer stay, and trekking on one of the routes recommended, we have unique lodges placed in prime locations along the way, as well as secluded camping spots.