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Ancient Peru & Machu Picchu

11 days Nature & Wildlife
Lima is home to excellent museums that showcase the achievements of Peru’s oldest cultures, but the country’s main draw is the chance to uncover the very sites where the ancient Inca once thrived. Ascend into the Andes and explore the plazas of colonial Cuzco, the Inca sites in the Sacred Valley and the legendary Lost City of the Incas at Machu Picchu.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved trails, at high altitudes.

Celebrate New Year's Eve in Lima on a special winter departure of this tour.

See itinerary

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Peru

Lima 3 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Flight & arrival in Peru

Board your flight to Lima and arrive later this evening.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

View the pre-Columbian art on display at the Larco Museum, then follow a local guide on a tour of both the modern and colonial quarters of Lima. 

• See the city’s cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Church of San Francisco, which houses a museum of religious art and 16th-century catacombs

• Enter the Huaca Huallamarca archaeological site

Later, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Free day in Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Lima or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Nazca Lines $449pp* Details

Travel from Lima to the town of Pisco where you’ll board a flight to one of the world’s greatest remaining mysteries, the Nazca Lines. Visible only from the air, the Lines are massive geoglyphs (geometric designs made of rocks) in the desert, preserved for over 1,000 years in one of the driest places on earth. You’ll take an aerial tour of the region, learning about the many theories behind the Lines’ origin. Lunch is included. Please note: This optional requires advanced booking and payment at least 20 days prior to departure. The travel time to Pisco is approximately 3.5 hours each way. This excursion may not be appropriate for travelers prone to motion sickness. All travelers will need to report their weight to the pilot before takeoff, and passengers over 250 pounds may be required to pay a surcharge.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Traditional Peruvian Dinner $65pp* Details

At tonight’s dinner in Lima, get a taste of the traditional flavors of Peruvian cuisine. Start the evening with a cooking demonstration and learn to make classic ceviche and a pisco sour, the national drink of Peru. Then, enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with a wide variety of regional specialties, including ceviche (non-fish-eaters, don't worry—there's plenty here for you, too). For some dinner entertainment, enjoy a traditional folklore show featuring indigenous dances from around the country.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Cuzco 3 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Flight to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the airport this morning to fly to Cuzco, where you’ll have free time to acclimate to the elevation as you explore on your own.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Follow a local guide on a sightseeing tour of the magnificent capital of ancient Peru.

• Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold 

• Stop to view the Cristo Blanco, a towering Christ statue outside the city

• Admire La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Quirikancha stood

Day 6: Full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

A local guide leads you on a full-day sightseeing tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, nestled between Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the surrounding Andes Mountains. 

• See the famous ruins of Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti

• Stop in Urubamba to enjoy lunch with the group

• Visit several local market towns, including Pisac

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a train to Aguas Calientes, passing through the verdant valleys that lead to the Lost City of the Incas. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana stone

• Choose to hike to the Temple of the Sun and explore the ruins on your own

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Return to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend a free morning near Machu Picchu or add an excursion to return to the ruins.

Rejoin the group for lunch in Aguas Calientes before taking a train back to Cuzco.

Optional Excursion - Machu Picchu: Return Visit $89pp* Details

After experiencing Machu Picchu for the first time with your tour group, take the opportunity to continue exploring the Lost City of the Incas on your own the next morning. The Peruvian government only allows select visitors into Machu Picchu each day, but purchasing your return ticket in advance from Go Ahead will guarantee you reentrance to the site any time after 6 am on the day of your excursion. Please note: It’s possible to purchase return tickets to Machu Picchu directly from the Peruvian government while on tour, but tickets are limited in availability, and you may experience long wait times. The only way to guarantee reentrance to Machu Picchu is by purchasing your tickets in advance. Due to limited quantities, we require at least 45 days advance notice to obtain tickets on your behalf.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 9: Free day in Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Cuzco or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class & Dinner $105pp* Details

On this culinary excursion, learn to prepare a traditional Peruvian meal from the expert chefs at one of Cuzco’s top restaurants. With the beautiful Andes Mountains as your backdrop, use locally sourced ingredients to create two authentic dishes, as well as exotic cocktails made with pisco, a Peruvian brandy. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious dinner in the restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Optional Excursion - Incan Traditions: Moray, Maras & Chinchero Village $95pp* Details

Spend an afternoon learning about the roots of the Sacred Valley. Start in Moray, the site of famous Inca ruins that feature large circular terraces used for agricultural experiments. Then continue on to Maras, known for its patchwork of terraced salt-evaporation ponds that have been used since pre-Incan times. Finish your day in the quaint village of Chinchero to visit a local cooperative of families known as the Balcon del Inka. Here, artisans will demonstrate their traditional weaving and dying techniques and even give you a chance to try your hand at spinning on the loom. Afterward, enjoy dinner before heading back to Cuzco. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 10: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Lima this morning to relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning. If you are continuing on the tour extension to the Amazon, you’ll spend tonight in Lima.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 11: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

Add The Amazon Starting from $899 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

One of South America's most important natural wonders, the Amazon is the biggest forest in the world and home to the single greatest concentration of life on the planet. Hike through a part of this stunning landscape, take a boat ride to an indigenous Yagua village and visit a former Franciscan mission town.

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Flight to Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Lima this morning and settle into your hotel.

The Amazon 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Flight to Iquitos & Yagua village visit

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Iquitos this morning to begin your adventure in the Amazon.

• Board a boat for a scenic transfer to your Amazon jungle lodge, keeping your eye out for the elusive pink dolphins

• Take a short river cruise to a Yagua Indian village to see local crafts and watch a piranha fishing demonstration

Day 12: Rainforest hike

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an invigorating hike in the rainforest reserve surrounding your lodge or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Amazon Canopy Walk $155pp* Details

Go deep into the Amazon with a treetop walk. The day starts with breakfast under the palm-thatched roofs of the ExplorNapo Lodge on the Napo River. Next, hike to the spectacular Canopy Walkway for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest, taking in the lush plants and wildlife along the way. Afterward, enjoy lunch and a visit to the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden. A local shaman will explain how the 240 plants cultivated here are used for healing.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 13: Local school visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Stop in the former Franciscan mission town of Indiana to visit a local school. (Please note: The school visit is only offered when classes are in session.)

Then, fly to Lima to board your overnight or early morning flight home

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 14: Arrival at home

Arrive home today.

How's the weather?

  • Lima, Peru
  • Cusco, Peru
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa

In order to enter Peru, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Peruvian consulate for your specific entry requirements. Upon arrival in Peru, you’ll be given an Andean immigration card. Please keep this with you. You’ll need it for your trip to Machu Picchu.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as binoculars and a lightweight jacket or rainwear. Insect repellent and long clothing are strongly recommended for your excursions to Incan ruins and the Sacred Valley. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers should be aware of high-altitude conditions in Peru. The altitude of Cuzco is 11,000 feet. Travelers (especially those with heart or lung conditions) are encouraged to take precautions and consult with their personal healthcare providers before undertaking high-altitude travel. The best way to prevent “altitude sickness,” which sometimes results in headaches and nausea, is to make sure that you’re well-hydrated throughout your stay. Sightseeing of Machu Picchu and the Incan ruins also involves walking on some uneven terrain, and travelers should be in reasonable shape. While no vaccinations are required, be sure to check with your doctor eight weeks prior to departure for recommendations.

Important Health Tips

In order for you to stay healthy throughout your Peruvian tour, we recommend the following: Drink bottled water. (Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.) Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables, unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled. Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.

Cuisine

Peruvian dishes are especially varied, from the light seafood of the coast to the substantial, thick meals of the highlands. The cuisine features a blend of indigenous and European (mainly Spanish) tastes. Typical dishes on the coast include shellfish, sea bass and scallops, often marinated in lemon juice, chili peppers and onions and served with potatoes or corn. Highland dishes are heartier, also featuring corn and potatoes and usually served with roasted meat. A popular favorite is lomo saltado, strips of beef fried with onions, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes and served with rice. For the more adventurous, roast guinea pig is an Incan delicacy and outdoor barbeques are very popular among the locals. Soups make excellent appetizers for all meals. It’s a good idea to check about the preparation of Peruvian dishes with the waitstaff or chef, as many are very spicy. Social drinking is less popular in Peru, and local beers and wines don’t have the same reputation as those of Chile, Argentina and Brazil. However, you might sample the native pisco, a delicious (but sour) white-grape brandy.

Arrival & Transportation Information

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Lima. A flight to Cuzco, round-trip train travel to Machu Picchu and a flight back to Lima are also included in your trip cost. All other transportation is by private motor coach. Lima is a large, busy city and while walking is possible in most areas, you may want to explore on your own using public transportation. Local buses are available in two forms: micros (ironically, the bigger, s standard ones) and combis (minibuses or vans). Feel free to ask your Tour Director for help.

Electricity

Peru uses 220 volts. An adapter is necessary.

Time Zones

Despite having reversed seasons, Peru actually falls on a similar time zone to Eastern Standard Time, except it does not observe daylight saving time. Therefore, Peru has the same time as New York from October to April, and is one hour behind New York from April to October.

Currency

The Peruvian sol is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Please Note: If you will be exchanging U.S. dollar bills in Peru, we advise that they be in new condition, as most vendors will not accept bills if they are wrinkled or dirty.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 8/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Peru 2016

Great trip Roberto was the best tour director, if I was just a few years younger would love to return and do the 4 day INCA trail. train was top notch and everyone should stay at the Hilton in Curso. was impressed that so many locals embraced there local costumes or clothing. Everyone should put on there bucket list. I even lost a few pounds doing all that walking. but made up for it with several massages that were less than $25.00. August was a good month too go. Pam

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Peru

This tour was amazing! I enjoyed every second of this trip. Our tour guide Roberto C. was incredible. He earned every tour member's trust and confidence. Roberto was professional, knowledgeable, attentive and always had a plan B and a plan C. Even on free days Roberto was willing to take a group around to difference places. The passion and pride our guide has for his country was evident and contagious. He made every activity fun and exciting! I would 150% recommend this tour, especially if the guide is Roberto!

 

Hi Rossy! It’s fantastic to know that you enjoyed every second of this trip. We appreciate your feedback regarding your Tour Director and will be sure to share it with him. It sounds like his expertise and enthusiasm really shone through, and we’re glad to hear it. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Tour

This was my first group tour which was highly recommended by someone I met purely by chance. So I really had no idea what was in store for my friend and me. From the beginning, everyone in the group was warm and friendly. I am a teacher and actually found that many in our group of 35 were/are teachers! There were families, couples, and many women travelling by themselves. The tour director, Roberto, was beyond excellent. He was on top of everything, running things smoothly, and there to help us at every moment. On "free" days, when others went on side tours, we had "Roberto Day" where he took us around the town we were in to show us something special. In Machu Picchu, while some chose to go up the mountain again, Roberto guided about 10 of us on a 5-hour hike through a botanical garden up to a waterfall which was near the source of the Amazon River. The food was excellent and more than we could ask for. The local guides were informative and helpful as well. It was not a relaxing vacation like one would spend at a beach resort. We were up every morning and ready to go after a complimentary breakfast in each city. The days were full of exciting, new adventures as Roberto shared his love of Peru and its culture with us. As this tour was recommended to me, I highly recommend it to you. The people of Peru are very nice, clean, and polite. We saw no trash on the ground and although tourism is a major source of revenue for the country, no one hassled us to buy their products which I have experienced in other countries. I asked others in the group who have travelled with Go Ahead Tours if all of the guides were as good as Roberto or if he was exceptional as I felt he was. It was agreed unanimously that he was indeed FABULOUS!!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Adventure!

This tour was amazing on every level. The itinerary suited me perfectly. I loved the balance of organized vs. free time, the amount of time spent in each location, and the sites and experiences along the way. Almost everything qualifies as a highlight, including seeing some of the city of Lima, the most intriguing and complex culture of Cusco, the train ride to and from Machu Picchu, the breathtaking scenery around that iconic ruin, so many unique spots in the Sacred Valley, and the wonders and exotic creatures of the Amazon! Our tour guide, Roberto, was a delight! He made sure we loved his country - every day held new surprises and experiences. He earned our trust and our affection as he taught us about the incredible diversity of Peru. Roberto is kind, energetic, intelligent and well-informed, full of fun, and unfailingly professional. He is also compassionate - after one bad night of gastro upset, he made sure I consumed electrolytes and water to rehydrate myself, and he talked to me about the probable cause (malaria pills which are unnecessary in that part of the Amazon). My family and friend group all loved him, including my 11 year old grandson, whose experience was very much enhanced as Roberto made sure he felt that he was a valued group member. I'm so pleased that I took this trip while I am still able to do lots of walking and some hiking. Altitude sickness medication did help some of us who needed help, though not everybody did. But forget the malaria pills! The scenery in the diverse geographical areas of Peru is almost unbelievably dramatic - some of our photos don't look "real". The people are lovely, the textiles and jewellery are beautiful, we felt comfortable and safe during the whole trip. Thank you for another experience of a lifetime! I've had many with Go Ahead, and this trip, for sure and certain, qualifies as one of them!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 7/7/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Our Dream Trip

On behalf of my adult grandchildren, Gabriella and Michael, and myself, Maria, I want to congratulate and sincerely thank our guide Roberto Campos, on an amazing experience, care and knowledge he provided us during our visit to Peru. This is our fourth trip with Go Ahead and all the guides are very organized and knowledgeable. However, Roberto went above and beyond to make sure we were all comfortable and taken care of in every way. In so far as the tour itself it was definitely what we expected from GoAhead except our Nazca Line flight. Everyone of the 10-12 passengers in the small plane got nauseous. I think the pilot cut too sharp on the curves and we were all sick during the flight. My family and I could not hold the contents of our stomachs just like everyone else and I could not take pictures of the sights because of this. Everyone got out of the plane with a paper bag on hand. I think GoAhead should consider another pilot who flies these planes gentler. MachuPichu was a dream come true; Cuzco was beautiful. The Amazon was an extraordinary experience. The canopy walk made it even better. We were blessed with perfect weather throughout. And of course Roberto provided us with many extra experiences in the Amazon and Peru. Again Thank you Robert. God Bless you

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 6/23/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great trip

The Machu Picchu/sacred valley tour was fabulous. Our tour guide was Roberto Campos. He was always available and made sure our experience was great. Everything was well planned. My only suggestion is the GoAhead try to get cheaper flights for the tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Outstanding Tour of Peru and Machu Picchu

This was our 10th tour with Go Ahead. This tour was quite involved with coordinating the local guides and sites in Peru; however everything went off without a glitch! Our tour director, Edwin, was so organized and efficient in addition to being so personable and funny. Our local guides, Abraham (Abbie) Huaman, Amalia, and William did a great job--very knowledgeable and friendly. Accommodations were excellent, and the food was outstanding. We had to leave earlier than the last dinner from the Jose Antonio Hotel in Lima, but Edwin made sure we had our full-course dinner an hour earlier. It is good to know that Ahead is doing its homework in planning and organizing its tours. Keep up the good work!.

 

Hi Pat! That’s fantastic that this was your 10th Go Ahead tour! We’re so glad it went off without a hitch. It sounds like your Tour Director and local guides did a great job of orchestrating all the logistics and making it fun and informative along the way. We will be sure to share your feedback with their supervisors. Thank you for your kind words about our planning and organization. We strive to ensure that all of our tours run smoothly, and it’s great to hear that this was your experience. We appreciate your valuable feedback, and we look forward to your 11th tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 12, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director in Peru

Edwin was an outstanding tour director. He made us feel at home and was very personable and efficient. He went out of his way to assist us if we had a problem and had a lot of dialogue with all of us. He helped make this tour so enjoyable and stress free.

 

Hi Samuel! We're so pleased to learn that your Tour Director made you feel at home and well-cared for. It sounds like he had a very positive impact on your experience, and we're glad to hear it. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 01, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NM

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Ancient Peru and Machu Picchu

The trip was exactly as described and more. The Tour guides were all very knowledgable and pleasant. The goahead guide was superb, keep every one on point, on time and was a pleasure the entire tour, He is a Jewel! Will not travel international without goahead in the future. Thanks for a wonderful trouble fee tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/19/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing tour

It's definitely a great experience that will give you much more than you expect. Peru is a great country, and the monuments and the historical sites that you visit are just amazing. Moreover, our tour director Roberto is the best tour director ever! So definitely recommended tour.

 

Hi Alessio! We're so glad this tour exceeded your expectations. We agree that Peru is an incredible country, and we hope that this itinerary shows some of the highlights it has to offer. It's also wonderful to know that your Tour Director enhanced your tour. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 14, 2016

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