Two internal flights (approx 1hr each); various scenic road journeys (time varies according to your choice); 2 rail journeys (1.5hrs each).
On this tour we use a variety of accommodation. All the properties are built sensitive to the environment and blend harmoniously with the landscape in which they are sited. This sympathy to the cultural and traditional style, and the convenience of the locations, is what governs our choice rather than consistency of standard. The hotel in Cusco is built in an old market building, those in the Lares Valley are small (currently just 8 guest rooms each) purpose built, community run lodges with heating, plenty of hot water and home-cooked cuisine; exclusive to guests on the Lares trail circuit so you will all know each other by the time you stay there. The hotel at Machu Picchu is a well-established property featuring cottages with open fires in riverside gardens.
Breakfast daily; lunch days 3,9; full board days 5-8.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.
Your will have the same well informed bi-(or tri-)lingual guide guide on the Lares trail (days 5-9), so you will be able to get to know him/her and he/she will be able to advise you on your choice of walks and other activities, including fitness issues and and their compatibility with your interests.
• Walking tour of the city of Cusco and nearby ruins.
• Chocolate, coffee and pisco tasting in Cusco.
• Guided walks and culture-focussed activities in the Lares valley.
• Guided visit to Pisaq market and ruins.
• Guided visit to Ollantaytambo village and Inca fortress.
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
Summary of nights
11 days, 10 nights: Lima 1; Cusco 3; Lamay village 1; Huacahuasi village 1, Ollantaytambo 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 2.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within in Latin America..
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.
With shared excursions, this trip is suitable for single travellers.
The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency.Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. Your guide in the Sacred Valley region days 5-9 will be with you for five days, we recommend a tip of $10 per day per person.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax and taxes on internal flights are usually included in the ticket.
This is rated an active holiday, as there are walks and hiking options of different lengths and required effort most days. However, it is suitable for all able-bodied, reasonably fit visitors, including families, as there is plenty of choice of activity.
Your guide in the Sacred Valley will be able to recommend the best option for you for the day according to your level of fitness. The daily options vary from a challenging walk to a drive to an Inca ruin or local community, which means the holiday is appropriate for couples, groups of friends, or families with differing abilities or interests. During the period in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (days 5-9) your luggage is transported by road to that night’s lodge, meaning you only have to carry your day-pack on the daily activities and hikes.
The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells. The a ctual temperature varies with altitude. Out of the sun, it is always chilly above 3,500m, but when the sun shines the temperature rises significantly.
Your stays in the Sacred Valley (2800m to well over 4000m, depending on any hikes you undertake) and Cusco (3400m), are at high altitude. Machu Picchu is lower, as it sits on a mountain saddle where the Andes lose height down to the Amazon basin.Your three days of gentle activity in Cusco at the beginning of the holiday give your body time to acclimatise to the altitude before you undertake any serious walking.
Most people are only mildly affected by altitude and if you drink plenty of water and don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days, you’ll probably be fine. Symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a waterproof/breathable outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.
Strong, comfortable footwear or walking boots is essential and you should bring insect repellant (mostly for Machu Picchu), sun block and sun glasses. If you pan to do some of the longer hikes, walking poles can be a welcome asset. Owing to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, the bulk of your luggage will be transported to your hotel in Cusco or to your onward road transport from Ollantaytambo. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be digital e-passports with a built-in chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.