Machu Picchu Tours
Machu Picchu tours to the Lost City in Peru.
Machu Picchu Tours - Unbound Journeys to Machu Picchu & Beyond:
Machu Picchu. Two words that invoke a feeling mystery, intrigue, the ancient and unknown.
Unbound. One word that describes freedom to explore; being unfettered from the usual; reaching beyond the routine on an imaginative, authentic experience offered exclusively by ROW Adventures.
Hidden within misty Andean clouds for hundreds of years, Machu Picchu was re-discovered by Hiram Bingham early in the 20th century. Few places in the world offer visitors the serene feeling of wonder and amazement mixed with cultural connection and history. Ever since Bingham’s revelation, Machu Picchu has immersed travelers in its mystery, and welcomed them to walk the ancient steps, touch her stones, breathe the thin mountain air and wonder at this green hillside fortress.
We invite you to discover a new way to visit Machu Picchu on our signature "unbound" tours. In these artfully created itineraries we blend iconic Machu Picchu tours with the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba, the city of Cusco and deep-blue Lake Titicaca in a magical, enlightening journey through history and modern Peruvian culture. Your explorations are by foot, kayak, bicycle (if you want), train and vehicle. Highlights include the archeological, astronomical and religious wonders of the Sacred Valley, a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration during an elegant dinner, kayaking to Amantani and Taquile islands on Lake Titicaca and the majesty of Machu Picchu.
Our guides are another differentiating aspect of our "unbound" tours. Each is hand-selected based on a commitment to our values, understanding the ROW difference relative to operational and environmental expectations and providing the absolute best in guest service. They freely share their exceptional knowledge of Machu Picchu, their country and the other places we visit, enriching your travel experience through their adept communication and story-telling.
As you consider your tour options to Machu Picchu, we urge you to choose an experience that is meaningful and authentic. Rest assured that you’ll be in good hands with ROW Adventures, chosen by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers as the #1 Tour Operator in their 2012 World’s Best Awards.
- Length: 9 days
- Intensity: Beginner-Intermediate
- Minimum Age: 8
- Begins In: Lima, Peru
- Ends In: Lima, Peru
- Airport: LIM - Lima, Peru
Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, Daily Departures, Day Tours, Two Day Tours, Three Day Tours on up to 9 Day Unbound Custom Machu Picchu Adventures.
Machu Picchu Tours
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||Beginner to Intermediate
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Machu Picchu Tours - Unbound - FAQs
When should I go on Machu Picchu tours?
Difficult to answer, this is really a question of personal preference. The busy season is June to August and it's also the driest part of the year in Machu Picchu. If you don't mind being a little wet while avoiding a heavy flow of visitors, Machu Picchu in December and January is absolutley perfect for you. It's important to remember that tours to Machu Picchu happen all year round but the Inca Trail is closed in February each year.
Peruvian and Machu Picchu Events and Festivals
Like most in South America, Peruvians love any excuse for a celebration and the country enjoys a huge number of religious ceremonies, festivals and local events. Carnival time (generally late Feb.) is especially lively almost everywhere in the country, with fiestas held every Sunday. Tours to Machu Picchu during these requires a bit more planning in advance for airfare prices calendar of major public holidays & festivals:
February Carnival - Celebrated most of the month prior to Lent throughout the whole country.
March/April Easter (Holy Week) - Fantastic parades all over Peru. ROW Adventures like the one in Cusco!
June 24 Inti Raymi - Cusco's main Inca Festival of the Sun. A great time to tour the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
August 13 - 19 Arequipa Week - Parades, firework displays, plenty of folklore, dancing, and craft markets.
September End of the month Festival of Spring - Involves dancing, particularly the local Marinera dance.
October 18 - 28 Lord of Miracles - Festival featuring large and solemn processions.
Other FAQs for Tours to Machu Picchu and Peru:
Visas: Most travelers do not need visas; travelers of most nationalities are granted a 90 day tourist visa. All nationalities, however, need a tourist or embarkation card (tarjeta de embarque) to enter Peru, issued at the customs or on the plane before landing in Lima.
Health risks: Altitude sickness is common in the highlands when visiting Machu Picchu, but can easily be treated by taking it slow and resting, staying hydrated, and there is medication available over the counter for pills altitude sickness. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for areas east of the Andes Mountains, but not needed for Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, or other places along the coast or in the mountains. It's advisable to consult with Peru's official website before leaving for any questions.
Time: UTC (universal time) minus 5 hours
Electricity: 220V, 60Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Money: The current Peruvian currency, the Nuevo Sol - whose symbol is S/. Simply called a "Sol" . In Lima and Cuzco (and most other cities), Euros are as acceptable as US dollars for changing into soles.
Machu Picchu Tours - Unbound - Itinerary
Below is our Unbound Itinerary. From Cusco, ROW Adventures operates single day tours to Machu Picchu, two day hikes, three day hikes and other custom trips on a daily basis. Call 800-451-6034 for more information.
Day 1: Lima
Welcome to an unforgettable, unbound Machu Picchu vacation! It's important to remember as you read this itinerary that our groups are limited to 12 guests, making our incredible Machu Picchu tours intimate in nature.
Upon arrival to Peru, we make the connections of the trip quite easy. Guests are greeted by one of our friendly airport officers and escorted to the night's hotel. Not all tour companies provide transfer service, but we aim to add superfluous service making the start to the vacation and being in a foreign country as smooth and relaxing as possible.
After a quick check in, guests are briefed on the fabulous adventure that awaits. They are given a handy "travel kit" which includes travel documents such as itineraries, transportation tickets and hotel information.
Day 2: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley
Guest wake up rested and ready for an incredible journey!
After a delicious breakfast, guests return to the Lima Airport for a 90 minute flight over the beautiful Andes Mountains to Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. After the short flight, guests again will be met by one of our representatives in order to make the transition to the next hotel stress-free. Our accommodations for today will be situated at a prime location within the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
En route to the hotel, we will stop to visit the picturesque town of Pisac, an Andean village esteemed for its traditional market. This is a great place to pick up those souvenirs that will make the memories of your South American trip last forever. The market's primary day is Sunday; however, you will still be able to shop for fabulous buys no matter what day your travel with us happens to fall on. Locals from all over the Peruvian and Machu Picchu region come to sell here, making it a shopper's delight.
We continue to Urubamba, a town whose name literally means "flat land of spiders". We'll get to enjoy a nice lunch and then a fun Peruvian Paso horse presentation. Prepared to be wowed by what these amazing animals can do!
After our lunch and horse show, we visit the fascinating city of Ollantatamb. Ollantatamb is unique with its distinct Inca urban planning, huge boulders and stone structures. There are many sights to be had here, including temples, terraces, storehouses, quarries and military defenses. All retain the ancient Inca artistry that makes this region so amazing.
With a full day of exploring the sensational Sacred Valley, we arrive back at our hotel for a well-deserved rest. Dinner is included at the hotel.
Day 3: Sacred Valley
Be sure to fuel up at breakfast for the adventure that awaits today! (Alternatively, guests can use this day to further explore the Sacred Valley on their own.)
This morning, we are transferred to the point where we will begin our full day bike ride. We first pass the Huaypo Lagoon, a pretty area with a mix of terrains. Our ride here is easy on the eyes and also an easy ride with its small hills and simple corners.
We make a stop at the archaeological park of Moray, an interesting plateau area with terraces designed like corn mazes. Visitors marvel at the Incan ingenuity while also taking in the simple pleasures of the surrounding area.
After Moray, we continue to the nearby village of Maras. We'll partake in a tasty box lunch and then jump back on the bikes to the Inca salt terraces that this location is famous for. All of that white is quite a sight!
A relaxing downhill journey into the Sacred Valley by Pichingoto and Tarabamba concludes the day's events. We return to our hotel for dinner filled with new memories of the amazing Sacred Valley on this Machu Picchu tour.
Day 4: Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu
After a good sleep and a delicious breakfast, we say goodbye to the Sacred Valley and are transferred to the train station. It's a 90 minute journey with stunning views that arrives at the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna.
A moderate hike of 4 miles (or about four hours) reward guests with the site of Wiñay Wayna. Guests soon see why its name means "forever young", with its gorgeous Incan agricultural centers and numerous terraces. All of these wonders are set on a hillside, making for a unique perspective.
We continue onto Intipunku or "Gateway of the Sun", a breathtaking ancient Incan metropolis. Guests have about an hour to explore this ruin-laden area (a tour of the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu will be provided the next day).
Finally our small groupl take a shuttle bus down the rolling hills to the village of Machu Picchu, where we will spend the night.
Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today is all about Machu Picchu, one of Peru's most famous gems. A short 20 minute shuttle ride puts guests up close and personal with this incredible testament to ancient architectural greatness. The stone city was first found by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and has been amazing visitors ever since.
Machu Picchu is unique in that it was built on a spot ripe with vegetation and between two mountains. It even got its name after one of them (Machu Picchu, or "Old Mountain"). The neighboring mountain is fittingly called Huayna Picchu, or "Young Mountain". Below Machu Picchu is a jungle that is just exploding with flora and fauna.
Included today are tours of Machu Picchu's Sanctuary, but there will also be plenty of free time on your own to take in the delights of this wondrous monument. A hearty lunch will be provided within the lodge after touring the Sanctuary.
ROW guests are pampered in our first class train as we travel back to Ollantaytambo Station (about two hours) where we dine and overnight in Cusco.
Day 6: Cusco – Puno
After a delicious breakfast, we visit some of the fascinating attractions that the city of Cusco has to offer. Cusco's Spanish colonial monuments (including the Main Square) and cathedral are toured, both rich in historical importance and visually striking.
Guests then continue onto the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, a Spanish building with a stoned exterior that was built right on top of previously existing Inca foundations. It is the site of a temple (Koricancha) where the ancient Incas used to worship the sun, and this temple is fabled to have had walls originally made out of pure gold.
After this "golden" visit we explore the surrounding ruins of Cusco, including Sacsayhuamán. Sacsayhuamán puts Stonehenge to shame with its three overlapping platforms of boulders, each over 360m long. It is thought to be designed as a fortress of sorts. Even if that wasn't its original purpose, there's no denying that Sacsayhuamán was yet another great accomplishment among a long list of others for the Incans.
We enjoy lunch at one of Cusco's best restaurants before being transferred to the local airport and boarding a flight to Puno.
Day 7: Puno – Uros – Llachon – Amantani (Lake Titicaca)
We have an early start today so guests don't miss a moment!
We visit the floating island of Uros by motorboat. These islands were actually handmade using natural reed material by the local Uros people! (see what they look like in the slideshow above) The islands are still inhabited and maintained by these people today.
After checking out the islands, we continue onto Llachon - Santa Maria and prepare for our kayak experience. After a safety briefing, guests are sure to be dazzled as they receive a unique (unbound!) opportunity to paddle alongside Amantani Island and take in the pristine beauty of Lake Titicaca.
Amantani Island is a welcome paradise from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We enjoy a lunch typical of the region and later travel by hike to a temple on the far end of Amantani. Our guests witness a richly hued, stunning sunset; then have a scrumptious dinner and celebrate with new friends with our home stay family. Overnight on Amantani Island.
Day 8: Amantani – Taquile
After a refreshing breakfast, guests jump back in kayaks and paddle from Amantani Island to Taquile Island. The journey is nothing short of magnificent with views of snow-capped mountains, all the while taking in the simple serenity Lake Titicaca provides.
On the Island of Taquile, we visit a friendly village where natives have kept their culture and ancestral roots unblemished for centuries. They even provide us with a fun weaving demonstration along with lunch!
Dinner is served at the hotel later in the day. Overnight on Taquile Island.
Day 9: Puno - Lima
One last chance for adventure awaits as we return by boat to Puno. The last order of business on the fabulous Machu Picchu unbound tour is a visit to Chulpass Sillustani. These fortified towers were the burial grounds for the Collas and Incas. They were once referred to as "houses of the soul", and the dry conditions often resulted in the bodies being mummified, although this was not done with intention.
After a flight to Lima Airport, guests are be met and assisted with international flight connections back home or on to other destinations with ROW like Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands. Hugs, kisses, phone numbers and emails are shared as guests part from new friends made and everlasting memories created.
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