Delve into the historical mysteries and cultural treasures of Peru on this compact adventure. Discover UNESCO World Heritage sites—including the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu and historic Cusco—alongside knowledgeable local guides. Travel across the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, and get a glimpse of the ancient traditions that continue to endure in the misty valleys.

Trip highlights

Cusco Planetarium, Visit the Cusco Planetarium, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Use telescopes to gaze up at the southern sky and see thousands of stars. Spot the constellations of the southern hemisphere, and learn about the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos.

Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.

Traditional Andean Experience, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers – and part of G Adventures for Good – visit the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), a network of six rural agricultural communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Walk through this special community with a local guide for immersive time observing agricultural, weaving, and cultural traditions.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 Lima

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2 Lima/Urubamba

Board an early flight to Cusco, once the capital of the Inca empire, then drive to Urubamba through the scenic Sacred Valley. Explore the terraced salt pans of Maras, which have been used for salt extraction since pre-Inca times, and tour the Inca site of Moray—believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops. Later, we’ll enjoy a meal of local specialities, prepared in a pachamanca, or underground stone oven.

Day 3 Urubamba

Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the G Adventures–supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you'll walk through the park with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. We’ll also tour the fascinating Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo and Pisac and enjoy a meal at the G Adventures–supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.

Day 4 Urubamba/Aguas Calientes

Catch an early transfer to the Ollantaytambo station and board a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Ride through lush Andean scenery, enjoying breathtaking views of ancient ruins and everyday life. Settle into your hotel in Aguas Calientes, and choose from a variety of optional activities: take a relaxing soak in the local hot springs, visit a beautiful botanical garden, or set out to discover Machu Picchu on your own before our guided tour the following morning.

Day 5 Aguas Calientes/Cusco

This morning, embark on a guided tour of Machu Picchu—the 15th-century Inca citadel famously introduced to the world by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. Enjoy free time in this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site, wandering amid its temples and terraces; or venture to the precipitous Inca Bridge, believed to be a secret entrance to the citadel. Return to Cusco by train.

Day 6 Cusco

Spend the day exploring charming Cusco. Opt to visit Plaza de Armas, the historic main square; the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress; or some of the city’s museums and ornate churches. This evening, we’ll head to the Cusco Planetarium to learn about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and, weather permitting, look out at the glittering, starry sky through telescopes.

Day 7 Cusco/Lima

Fly back to Lima. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure or choose to take a half-day guided tour of the Peruvian capital. Visit the San Francisco Monastery, part of Lima’s World Heritage-listed historic center, and descend into its famed catacombs. Wander across Plaza Mayor, the city’s oldest public square, and enjoy Peruvian tapas and a tasting of pisco sours before returning to your hotel.

Day 8 Lima

Depart at any time.

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