Ancient Peru & Machu Picchu 11 days / Nature & Wildlife Tours
96.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Journey to the land of the Inca, where striking ruins and evocative artifacts bring the ancient civilization to life. Lima is home to excellent museums that showcase the achievements of Peru’s oldest cultures. But the draw to Peru 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 Incan sites in the Sacred Valley and the legendary Lost City of the Incas at Machu Picchu.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
8 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Pisco Sours & ceviche
Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
The richness of the pre-Columbian cultures
The mystery & history of Machu Picchu
Stunning Andean scenery at every turn
Ollantaytambo’s lasting Incan impressions
Overnight Flight1 night
Lima2 nights - hotel info
Explore historic Lima’s collection of churches and catacombs
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
After a leisurely morning, a local guide leads you on a tour of both modern and colonial Lima. Once the center of the New World, Lima is now a bustling metropolis and home to many of South America’s finest museums, shops and restaurants. You’ll see the city’s cathedral, Plaza de Armas and Church of San Francisco, which houses a museum of fine religious art as well as catacombs from the 16th century. Tonight, enjoy your welcome dinner in Lima.
Get a glimpse of the Nazca Lines
With a full free day in Lima, you may want to sample one of Lima’s museums. The National Museum houses a plethora of pre-Columbian artifacts from nearby Incan ruins, as does the private museum of Rafael Larco Herrera. For unique souvenirs, you could head to the Polvos Azules city market. Alternatively, join a full-day optional excursion to the Nazca Lines, mysterious geometric designs visible only from the air. Tonight, sample time-honored recipes at our optional Traditional Peruvian Dinner.
Nazca Lines $425* pp
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.
Traditional Peruvian Dinner $59* pp
Walk the neighborhoods of Lima and you’re bound to see at least one cevichería. At tonight’s dinner, savor the traditional flavors of Peruvian cuisine at a buffet dinner. Your options include a wide variety of regional specialites, including ceviche (non-fish-eaters, don't worry: there's plenty here for you, too). You'll also learn to make pisco sour, the national drink of Peru, and enjoy a traditional folklore show showcasing indigenous dances while you dine.
Cuzco3 nights - hotel info
Contrast Cuzco’s colonial architecture and Incan ruins
Cuzco is a brilliant example of a living museum. This magnificent capital of ancient Peru was—and still is—the base for accessing the surrounding religious sites. The city still contains walls and roads originally built by the Incas. In fact, when the Spanish conquered Cuzco in the 16th century, they were so impressed with the Incan architecture that they simply built upon and around it. On a guided sightseeing tour, you’ll view the old Spanish cathedral, La Merced Church and the breathtaking Korikancha Temple, a testament to the wealth and power of the Incas that used to be fully covered in gold. Later, you’ll venture off to four separate Incan archaeological sites, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the location of a historic battle that forever changed Peruvian life. The Spanish defeated the Incas here in 1536.
Feel the spirit in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
An expert local guide leads you on a full-day sightseeing tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, nestled below and between Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the surrounding Andes Mountains. The valley is rich in ruins and traditional, native villages and is in some ways even more historically important than Machu Picchu. You’ll see the famous ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and visit several local market towns. Also featured is the longest man-made, pre-Columbian canal ever built. Lunch is included today.
Machu Picchu1 night - hotel info
Discover the ancient temples and green terraces of Machu Picchu
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Machu Picchu ruins
Approaching Machu Picchu is a journey you’ll never forget. Today, you’ll take a train up Picchu mountain and through the lush valleys that lead to the evocative “Lost City of the Incas.” Surrounded by the emerald green Andes Mountains, shrouded in mist with breaks of golden sunlight and totally hidden from ground level, Machu Picchu is truly one of the world’s most spectacular sites. Explore the perfect stonework of the Temple of the Sun, the fountains of the Royal Sector, the views from the Temple of the Three Windows, the cave of the Temple of the Condor and the mysterious calendar of Intihuatana. There is a break for an included buffet lunch. Dinner is also included tonight as you stay in the Machu Picchu area. Please note: it is recommended to pack an overnight bag for the one night you’ll spend in Machu Picchu, leaving the rest of your luggage at your hotel in Cuzco.
Cuzco2 nights - hotel info
Walk among Renaissance churches or watch the sun rise over the valley
This morning, opt for a return visit to Machu Picchu, or spend a free morning in Machu Picchu valley. After an included lunch, return to Cuzco by train.
Machu Picchu: Return Visit $79* pp
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 a.m. 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 advanced notice to obtain tickets on your behalf.
Soak up the sweet sound of churango and the sweet taste of Inca Kola
With a free day in Cuzco, you might choose to head to the Archaeological Museum, which houses thousands of artifacts from neighboring ruins. Later, get a taste for Peruvian nightlife during our Cuzco by Night optional excursion.
Cuzco by Night $45* pp
Peru’s diverse culture comes alive in the heart of Cuzco. Admire the glowing lights of the city as you stroll to dinner at a local restaurant. After arriving, feast on a buffet of Peruvian specialties, featuring an array of authentic dishes. While you eat, you'll be entertained by a native folk show, showcasing the region’s traditional music and dance.
Limafor a day - hotel info
Investigate pre-Columbian art at the Larco Museum
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fly to Lima this morning. After an included lunch, trace the chronological history of Peru’s pre-Columbian art and culture at the Larco Museum. Dinner is included before boarding your late-night flight home. Or, stay on for our Amazon post-tour extension. Please note: in some cases, flights will depart Lima on the morning of Day 11.
Extend Your Stay
Add The Amazon $499*
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.
Amazon2 nights - hotel info
Venture into the green depths of the Amazonian rainforest
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Board your flight from Lima to Iquitos. Journey down the Amazon River to your hotel, where you'll enjoy an included lunch. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy an invigorating hike in the rainforest surrounding your lodge. Dinner is included this evening.
Get acquainted with the indigenous Yagua
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Take a morning boat ride to the Yagua Indian Village where you’ll visit with the citizens of this community, admire their crafts and watch a blowgun demonstration. Then, savor an included lunch. This afternoon, take a walking tour of the neighboring town of Indiana, a former Franciscan mission town. Enjoy a final dinner with your group tonight.
Lima1 night - hotel info
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.
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.
Peruvian dishes are rich and 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 onion and served with potato or corn. Highland dishes are heartier, also featuring corn and potatoes usually 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, the Incan delicacy is the roast guinea pig, and outdoor barbeques are very popular among the natives. 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.
Transportation / Walking on tour
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 by public transportation. Local buses are available in two forms: micros (ironically, the bigger, standard ones) and combis (minibuses or vans). Feel free to ask your Tour Director for help.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage. Also, please pack a small overnight bag for your trip to Machu Picchu.
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 a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear and binoculars. 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).
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.
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.
96.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
Ancient Peru and Machu Picchu is an outstading tour!
Just returned home from this tour. What an incredible experience! The beauty of Peru is beyond anything I have ever experienced anywhere else! When one can view tropical trees and snow capped mountains in the same glance..........what more can you say. The food is fabulous, tour director Edwin is a real pro and a great person to be around. Hotels were all good. One must do the extension to the Amazon as it has to be experienced first hand. To see life on the river is fabulous. The Ceiba Tops lodge is so relaxing and the setting is outstanding. I can not think of one thing that I would suggest changing on this fabulous tour. Kudos to those at GAT that planned this one out! Our group continued to be awe inpsired every single day and at times more than once a day!
ancient peru & machu picchu
In my opinion de Amazon extension was not worth the money. The Ceiba Top Lodge was adequate but the food was not very good. I would have the extension in Lima instead.
Nice tour, but be ready
This was my first tour to South America and I knew to prepare for it. Please, please, please, see a travel medical professional to see what you might need to prepare for this trip. You will probably needs some shots, and by all means get them. You will need to discuss altitude medication and have it with you. Cusco is at a very high altitude and you will feel it...be prepared with altitude meds. Edwin our tour director was fantastic. He had our back at all time and is very approachable about any issue you may have. Machu Picchu is very nice, but also be prepared for it. The walking/climbing can be very strenuous and you will need a walking stick to help you out. The stones are very uneven and of different sizes and can be very slippery if it rains(and yes it did when I was there). There are no railings to help you out, so be prepared. Peru is a beautiful country and this tour allows you to see all of its beauty. You will enjoy this tour as long as you are prepared.
Ancient Peru & Manchu Picchu Tour
Great opportunity to experience and exotic (i.e.. non-western) culture). Physical setting was magnificent. Peruvians seem uniformly friendly and helpful. Fellow travelers were fine company and helped make tour and enjoyable experience overall.
This was our first experience with Go Ahead Tours and it was absolutely fabulous! In addition to Machu-Picchu, we flew over the Nazca Lines in an eight-seater plane and extended the tour by three extra days for the Amazonian Rainforest. The entire experience was flawless and truly amazing. Besides several excursions on the Amazon River and the Rainforest, we also visited a remote village and participated in their tribal dances. The Go Ahead guides were very friendly and knowledgeable. We definitely plan to take future tours with Go Ahead.
Machu Picchu Tour
I usually research what to expect before travelling and didn't do that for this trip. I and many others suffered from altitude sickness for more than a few days in Cuzco. We got little or no sleep because of it which added to the misery. There was no mention of that possibility by Go Ahead. Be absolutely sure you are in excellent physical shape so you may enjoy this trip. The sights, people, food, museums, local tours in Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu were excellent and very enjoyable. Shopping was really fun. The train trip to Machu Picchu from Cuzco and back was entertaining, luxurious and the food was delicious. Lower elevation made it more enjoyable. The weather was HOT in November. We extended our tour to the Amazon - totally worth it! Do that!
Ok, there is some pretty neat ruins in South American. Having a guide helped us to maximize the use of our time and see the best sites. Seeing Machu Picchu in person and up close was worth the trip.
Peru & Pachu Picchu
The most stress free travel and trip I have ever taken. Edwin our tour guide took care of everything for us and my group, to making sure our luggage was in our room to picking it up when we left each hotel. The bus was always waiting for us to take us to the next adventure. Even the weather cooperated. Our group was 18 and was just the right size to get to know everyone. My first GoAhead tour but not my last.
Machu Picchu was on my "bucket list" so this tour was a no brainer. I loved the trip but there were a few things that I would change. First, the positives: Edwin, our tour guide was great. Our group managed to throw him a few curves during the tour and he handled them like a professional. The hotels were excellent, much better than I'm used to on a tour. The food was great and plentiful. Now the negatives: Tipping! We had several local guides and quite a few bus drivers. It was recommended that we tip each of them. If this is the norm, I'd rather see the tips built into the price of the tour. Machu Picchu. The name of the tour is "Ancient Peru & Machu Picchu". I'd like to see more than just an afternoon devoted to this site. For many of us on the tour this was the main draw. Getting into Agua Caliente/Machu Picchu Pueblo the afternoon before would allow us to spend the entire day touring the site and doing additional hikes to the Sun Gate, etc. We had the option of returning to Machu Picchu the following morning but that was entirely on our own and at our expense. Nazca Lines: We weren't told that this optional excursion required a FOUR hour bus ride each way. Had we known that in advance, several of us on the excursion would have opted out.
Ancient Peru and Machu Picchu
This is my first tour and a great way to start. The Tour director made our trip so much easier by anticipating our needs. The local guides were passionate and knowledgeable about their topic. I feel like I could pass a Peru culture and history test. This tour had definitely left a lasting impression in my travel journal.