Responsible Travel Guide: Peru
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World-famous for breathtaking vistas and awesome treks, Peru's Sacred Valley can be best experienced by foot. This alternative journey through the ancient Kingdom of the Incas includes highlight destinations and secret spots tucked away in the heights of the Andes. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to camp out in glass-pods immersed in a star-lit sky, kayak across secluded lagoons and zipline over the valley. Perfect for adventurous couples, or families with older children who want excitement and stimulation, returning from the trip energised and inspired. This is a holiday to tell your friends about.
Your journey begins in Lima. Try out the best tastes of South America's gastronomic capital and dare to explore the city from the sky on a sunset paraglide. After recalibration, jet off to the Sacred Valley for the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime. From your luxury hotel, you will be transferred for a night's stay amongst the stars at Skylodge with a zip-line back down to the ground. Once acclimatised to the altitudes of the region you'll set off on the Salkantay lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu. Along the way stay in our selected lodges with all the luxury amenities which mean that you're free to relax after trekking. Experience Machu Picchu at its finest and trek up Huayna Picchu for supreme panoramic views before returning for some culture in Cusco.
Throughout your trip you will be staying in our selected lodges along the way which provide guests with optimum treatment and authenticity. With every request and preference catered for we will ensure that your exciting journey through the Sacred Valley will be culturally enriching and awe-inspiring.
Welcome to Peru! Today you will arrive on your international flight into the capital city, Lima. You will be met by our Wayfairer representative and escorted to Barranco.
Relax for the afternoon at your boutique hotel, Villa Barranco which is located in Limas trendy district on the outskirts of the city. Enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean from the rooftop terrace and get some much needed rest. Tomorrow you have the chance to explore Lima's beautiful streets and thriving restaurant scene.
Today you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport for an internal flight from Lima to Cusco. Upon arrival in the sacred land of the Incas, you will be met by our Wayfairer representative and taken to your hotel nestled in the beautiful natural surroundings, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.
For sunset this evening, you will be picked up from the hotel and head to Piuray Lagoon for stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. In this secluded spot youll fully appreciate the spectacular natural landscapes of your setting, and have the chance to see endemic Andean bird species. Enjoy a snack and a sundowner under a canopy and listen to the night calls as the sky turns from pink into dusk.
This morning, pack an overnight bag as youre off on your first excursion. After a replenishing breakfast of fresh produce from the hotels organic garden you will be picked up and escorted to Pachar where your activities begin.
Get kitted out in hard-hats, ropes and safety gear and start your ascend on the Via Ferrata route up the cliff-face to your lodge in the sky. This climb takes 1.5 hrs and is not for the faint hearted. Accompanied by professionals who know the route well, grip onto the rocks as you lift yourself up towards the security of Skylodge Adventure Suites, an epic accommodation. Upon arrival youll be welcomed by warm beverages and incredible hospitality, learn a little more about this spectacularly unique lodge - literally glass-pods secured onto the cliffs edge with breathtaking views of the valley.
Enjoy a hearty dinner and a few drinks and retreat to your very own pod. We recommend sleeping with curtains drawn, as sleep is induced by a sky lit with stars.
This morning wake-up to the sun rising over the valley and have a morning brew with some of the best views in the world.
The best way back down from Skylodge Adventure Suites is by zip-line over the Urubamba Valley. This exhilarating end to your stay here is also a fantastic start to the day, getting an eye-full of the beautiful surroundings at great plummeting speed. Feel freedom flow through your body as your legs dangle and your arms fly high above you.
When back on the ground, our Wayfairer driver will be waiting for you to take you back to your lodge in the Sacred Valley.
This morning you will be picked up at 7am from your hotel by our specialised Peru Mountain Lodges guide to begin your lodge to lodge Salkantay Trek.
En route you will take a short break to visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo and pass through the beautiful mountain village of Mollepata to stop for a coffee break before ascending a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa. After easing into your day with a scenic journey and hearty food, you will begin the trek to Soraypampa on an old route called the 'Camino Real' - the Royal Path. The trek today is moderate, and over the six hours you will gradually acclimatise to higher altitudes with the tips from our local and experienced guide.
Upon arrival at the Salkantay Lodge, you will be greeted by the majestic beauty of the mountain that it is named after. Mount Salkantay is one of the most sacred peaks in Inca mythology, and at 6,270 meters high this is the greatest peak in the Cusco region. With some time to freshen up, enjoy some hot tea and home-baked cookies. Enjoy downtime by the fire and some aperitifs and dinner before resting well in the comfortable beds of the lodge.
This morning take an acclimatisation hike on the slopes above the lodge to Lake Humantay, a glowing expanse of water fed by the hanging glaciers of Mount Humantay. This is an optional hike, but the views are world-class. Those brave enough can even go for a dip.
Return to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon at leisure, and following your swim in the glacier lake enjoy a warming and relaxing soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. This evening eat delicious food and listen to our guide's briefing for tomorrow's trek.
Today is a big hiking day. After an early start, hike up the Rio Blanco valley and circle Humantay Peak across from the peak of Salkantay. The highest point on the trek is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 meters high. At the pass you will stop to absorb the amazing views of snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba Range in each and every direction. Keep your eyes peeled for Andean condors whilst looking up the glaciated southern face of Salkantay.
From the pass, you'll descend to Wayra Lodge. The name 'Wayra' comes from Quechua meaning the 'wind' and this place is called Wayracmachay, 'the cave where the wind lives'. This is a magical and remote spot, and your lodge for the evening is run by a charming local family who provide warmth, shelter and delicious food. After 6 to 8 hours of trekking, Wayra Lodge will provide much-needed comfort.
Considerably lighter than yesterday's journey, today will take you on a gradual descend into the Andean cloud forests. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Wayra Lodge before following the left bank of the Salkantay River. Watch the scenery turn increasingly green and feel the warm air rising up from the jungle, your walk today will be accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids.
Upon your arrival at Colpa Lodge, you will be greeted with a Pachamanca - a traditional festive Peruvian meal cooked in an underground oven achieved by the layering of hot stones over plantain leaves, high Andean grass and local herbs to flavour the meat and vegetables. Colpa Lodge is situated on an open plateau at the confluence of three rivers. The outdoor jacuzzi has a beautiful view of the lush green mountains.
Spend your afternoon here relaxing in the beautiful scenery or ambling down the nearby orchid trail.
This morning set off for your hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley through winding villages and working haciendas. Pass through the various banana, granadilla and avocado orchards as well as coffee plantations where some of the world's best organic coffee is grown. Today your trek will be long, but the terrain shouldn't be too challenging.
Enjoy a picnic lunch right by the river's edge and even have a dip before hiking another hour to meet with a private vehicle who will drive you to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail. Follow your guide along the fabled pathway to Lucma Lodge, set beautifully amongst an avocado orchard. Visit an organic coffee plantations and join the owner on a tour of the farm to learn about how coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed.
This evening settle in and relax at Lucma Lodge, your last lodge before reaching Machu Picchu.
Today is the final push towards the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. After a hearty breakfast, head uphill for 2 - 3 hours towards the Llactapata Pass where you will gain your first views of Machu Picchu from the south east, a view that only few travellers get to admire. This exclusive viewing opportunity is followed by a short break to explore the Llactapata Ruins, which have just been successfully restored. Our guide will then take you to a secluded viewpoint of Machu Picchu to enjoy lunch overlooking the magnificent citadel.
Begin your final descent to the Aobamba River through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Here you will board a train for a scenic 1 hour ride to Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu Pueblo. Upon arrival you will be escorted to your award-winning hotel for a celebration dinner with your guide, and one final evening briefing. This is now your time to relax...
Have a refreshing early breakfast before riding up to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Our Wayfairer specialist guide will give you an introductory 2 hour tour of the ruins, after which you can climb the steep and daunting staircase of Huayna Picchu. After climbing the summit, youll be rewarded with the best views of Machu Picchu in the whole of the Sacred Valley. This cant be experienced without at least a couple of photos.
After a surefooted descent back down, reconvene with our guide and return to Aguas Calientes for a local lunch. In the afternoon youll get the scenic train back to Cusco and escorted to your new lodge for the next two nights - Antigua Casona San Blas. Youll arrive here around 7.30 pm, just in time for dinner at their top-rated restaurant and a well deserved beverage.
This morning rise in the beautiful city of Cusco. Have a leisurely morning before setting off to explore this city at your own pace. Antigua Casona San Blas is perfectly located in the quaint cobble-stone streets of Cuscos artistic district. This trendy area is so easy to have a walk around, and the views of the rest of the city are pretty spectacular. Historically known as the neighbourhood or artisans, here you can find art galleries, workshops, old colonial houses and one of the oldest churches in Cusco.
In the afternoon we have an exciting activity lined up for you. After a busy couple of weeks of physical exertion, why not try your hand at something more laid back and meditative? On our fully immersive colonial guilding workshop youll be guided by recognised local artists and artisans who will teach you about traditional and modern art techniques. Create your own piece as a personal souvenir of your visit to Cusco and lean about the citys rich history and its syncretism where Andean and European cultures have fused. This is a culturally enriching activity where youll get involved in the Art Collective Totemiq who are currently preserving tradition through art.
Quench your thirst while you work, and try the local craft beers as you go. Make sure the straight lines on your decorative Pucara Bull are drawn first, mind...
Sadly, today marks the day of your departure from Peru. At the scheduled time you will be transferred from your Cusco hotel to the airport by our driver, and with heavy hearts you will bid farewell to the Sacred Valley.