Today is surely one of the highlights of the trip. You get to discover Machu Picchu, Peru’s greatest icon. No roads can reach the site, set on a mountain saddle rising above a narrow gorge which passes through some of Peru's most exquisite and dramatic scenery. You travel there by rail - from the fertile valley floor studded with fields bulging with cereals, fruit and vegetables, rimmed by rugged brooding mountains, the track enters an ever-narrowing gorge: the river froths over water-smoothed boulders and vertical cliffs, increasingly draped in dripping tropical vegetation, tower skywards.
Pick up the train in Ollantaytambo. You can appreciate the scale of the ever-changing scenery, with large windows alongside your padded leather seat. There are windows in the roof, so you can gaze up to the rim of the canyon. A gourmet meal is served en route.
Upon arrival below the ruins, transfer to a bus up the zig-zagged road to the site. Machu Picchu, the breathtaking Lost City of the Incas, sits astride terraced slopes falling away to the fast-flowing river, which crashes around a hairpin bend far below the citadel. Historically a remote, secret place, it was never discovered by the Spanish conquistadors nor disturbed by looters since its abandonment by the Incas. Your guide will take you around the ruins: staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers, fountains and the famous sundial.