Immersive Machu Picchu: Inca Mysteries and Warm Welcomes
Take in spectacular Machu Picchu and connect with friendly Peruvians on this unique itinerary designed specifically for curious Wild Nectar travelers.
Peru: Drink It In
Peru is a country of astounding contrasts and treasures. Home to ancient cultures established in its three main areas –its desert coast, the high Andes Mountain range and the Amazon rainforest– it offers an incredibly rich combination of cultural heritage, history, stunning nature, geography and scenery, living cultures, spirituality, traditions and beliefs. This very special trip to Peru designed expressly for curious Wild Nectar travelers includes the ‘must-sees,’ the most important highlights in the visited places along with opportunities to meet locals and learn about modern interpretations of age-old traditions.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- • Help a renowned chef at a popular Lima restaurant shop a local market and make lunch. Then explore galleries and a chocolate kitchen in Barranco, Lima's arts district.
• Travel to the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu with a highly credentialed, expert guide who offers deep insight into this extraordinary culture of the past and its expressions today.
• Visit tiny villages, farms, markets, and a hacienda to meet locals and taste delicious Peruvian food. Marvel at how close to the land these people live, how deeply conservation is embedded in their culture.
From $5,795 per person
Adapting protocols and procedures to reduce risk in every step of the expedition. Policies and protocols provided before booking.
Ask us for your custom dates
Ask us for your custom dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
Peruvian operator provides jobs and training to local communities
Company annually funds and builds new libraries in rural communities.
Staff and clients participate together in reforestation campaigns
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Upon your arrival in Lima you are met by our representative and transferred to your boutique hotel located in the bohemian district of Barranco. No meals on this day.
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Barranco
Hotel Villa Barranco: The Hotel Villa Barranco is an old republican house from the 20s that was restored with great care, respecting the original architecture and art. Barranco, the cultural, bohemian and artistic neighborhood of Lima, is considered to have the best boutique hotels in Lima. The location is magnificent for its tranquility, being located only four blocks from the Plaza de Barranco and excellent restaurants.
Day 2: The Colors & Tastes of Lima
This morning, explore one of the most iconic and picturesque markets in Lima. See, taste and purchase the most popular ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine such as chirimoya, passion fruit, native varieties of potatoes, tubers, roots, aromatic herbs and grains. And don’t forget the impressive seafood section! After the market, we will continue to a popular restaurant for a very personal cooking experience with our culinary expert and the restaurant's chef.
After lunch, continue to Barranco. The Bohemian district of Barranco is renowned for its art culture, designers, musicians and creative tribe. First, we will head to Dedalo, which is considered to be one of Lima’s best shopping examples of contemporary Peruvian art. Head to the contemporary art museum, the MAC, which presents a collection of national and international contemporary art dating from 1950 onwards.
Finally, get to know and try various types of coffee and chocolate through well designed pairings for an optimal experience of both products, which are made in Peru. This day includes Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Barranco
Alternate Option: Visit the Larco Herrera Museum, housed in an 18th century colonial mansion in the district of Pueblo Libre. This museum holds the most extensive collection of pre-Columbian art in Peru.
Day 3: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley
Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, travel through the “Sacred Valley of the Incas”, a succession of picturesque Andean towns, agricultural terraces, and many archaeological sites, as well as the world’s most famous white corn cultivated for export. The mild climate, the varied and dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, lush green hills and spectacular flora and fauna, make the Sacred Valley a prime adventure destination in South America.
At a lower elevation than Cusco, the Valley is a warmer and less physically taxing environment for visiting the many attractions of the region, including Machu Picchu. Visit the Pisac ruins that are spread out over a large area and follow a long mountain top crest. Here, you'll find the largest known Inca cemetery, a residential settlement and ceremonial baths. Further down the mountain is the temple complex constructed from exquisitely carved pink granite, featuring a sun temple, ceremonial altars, water channels and wells.
Travel to Hacienda Sarapampa for lunch. Protected by its mountains and extraordinary climate, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is the cradle of one of the most exceptional corn varieties in the world, adapted to grow only within the boundaries of the valley. At Hacienda Sarapampa, we invite you to learn how the Incas developed such a unique corn variety, and how their ancestral techniques have survived along with the modern production of corn. Afterwards you will enjoy a delicious 7-course gourmet tasting lunch based on both indigenous ingredients and cuisines brought in during Colonial times. In the late afternoon, you will arrive at your selected hotel in the Sacred Valley. This day includes Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodation: Sol y Luna
Sol y Luna: Sol y Luna accommodates guests in cozy ‘casita’ houses made of local stone and decorated individually. Gardens filled with flora native to the Sacred Valley surround each of these forty-three private sanctuaries and all face the Andes Mountains which the Incas believed were the dwellings of the gods.
Day 4: Sacred Valley
This morning, drive to Chinchero and visit the home of artist and master weaver Nilda Callañaupa. Peruvian textiles are recently believed to be a generation away from extinction, but are making a surprising comeback. The revival of the country's 2,000-year-old weaving techniques is largely due to Nilda Callañaupa, who is working with six mountain villages to resurrect symbolic patterns, avoid the use of chemical dyes and synthetic yarns. You will enjoy a highly educational weaving demonstration, where you will learn about wool spinning, natural dyes, traditional patterns and weaving techniques used in this region of the Andes.
From Nilda’s home, cross the Chinchero pampa (flat land) and take the turning to the town of Maras and the archaeological site of Moray. You will begin your tour by visiting the “agricultural laboratory” of Moray, consisting of circular, concentric geological depressions, reinforced by agricultural terracing that follows the shape of these geological lines. There are considerable temperature differences between each level, which facilitated the adaptation of plant species in different ecological levels, notably the important Sacred Leaf of Mama Kuka (erythroxylum coca).
Leave this interesting archaeological site to follow the path to Maras Pampas, where people farm the land to rear cattle and sheep. The Urubamba mountain range and its snow-capped peaks provide a spectacular background for your hike. In the town of Maras you see the fronts of the ancient houses, made from finely worked stone, indicative of the economic heights achieved by the town’s population at that time. Continue your walk through spectacular Quechua scenery, to arrive at the salineras of Maras (Maras Saltpans), where the bright white glow can be seen from a distance. These salt mines have been exploited for centuries and continue to be worked (recently elegant bath products and table salt made from Maras Salt have come on the market).
Afterwards, enjoy a picnic lunch and be part of a very special ceremony of sound and traditional offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth. This ceremony evokes the spirit of healing and will include many sacred medicines like Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mama Coca, Agua Florida, Condor’s Feathers, Grandfather Puma, Essences and Incenses.
Peruvians use many pre-Hispanic instruments that have no recorded musical register and are quite unique. Feel how the power of sound becomes a collective prayer that creates healing frequencies that should be embraced with an open heart. One of the main purposes of sharing this experience is to re-evaluate and to radiate the culture of the indigenous people – an incredibly deep and authentic cross-cultural interaction. This day includes Breakfast and a Picnic Lunch.
Accommodation: Sol y Luna
Alternate Options: Enjoy a typical Andean lunch in the Amaru community, head out on a climbing and zip-lining adventure, enjoy river rafting, horseback riding or kayaking on a lake. Ask your Travel Curator for full details regarding any of these alternative options.
Day 5: Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
This morning, visit the thriving Inca village of Ollantaytambo set below an ancient Inca fortress and temple. Stunning views over the valley make you feel as if you have stepped back into the 15th century. Admire the magnificence of this important Inca site and stroll through the quaint streets of the present town. Then, transfer to Ollantaytambo station to board the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy a unique train ride towards the marvelous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Don’t miss the most outstanding views of the Urubamba River, which cuts its way through green fields beneath the towering Andean glaciers.
From Aguas Calientes, climb up the hillside to Machu Picchu, the ""Lost City of the Incas." Machu Picchu, which means “Old Mountain", is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the seven new wonders of the world. We will spend the rest of the afternoon, visiting the Sacred Inca citadel, exploring its main temples and hidden corners. Lunch is included today at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (Set menu) Later, take the bus to town for accommodation at your hotel. Your guide departs this afternoon, leaving you with instructions for the following day. This day includes Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 83 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest. The property has 12 acres of exquisite natural beauty, where 214 bird species – such as the golden-headed quetzal and the iconic Andean cock-of-the-rock – and the world’s largest native orchid collection (372 species) have been registered.
Day 6: Machu Picchu to Cusco
This morning you will have a second opportunity to visit Machu Picchu on your own. In the afternoon, proceed to the station to take the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy station. On arrival, transfer to Cusco for accommodation at your hotel. This day includes Breakfast.
Alternate Activities for the Morning:
Huayna Picchu Mountain: Climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain accompanied by your guide where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it. This is a somewhat challenging trek for stronger fitness levels.
Machu Picchu Mountain: Hike up to Machupicchu Mountain accompanied by your guide, on this moderate to challenging trek. Gradually and steadily gaining altitude, the views of Machupicchu and the surrounding mountains become ever-more impressive. As the trail gets closer to the base of Machupicchu Mountain, the steps become steeper, narrower and more challenging.
Accommodation: Palacio Manco Capac
Palacio Manco Capac: Palacio Manco Capac was restored from an old republican house from the seventeenth century preserving the most traditional elements of its architecture. The house has 22 rooms, two very cozy lounges with fireplaces, a bar, plus gardens overlooking the Plaza de Armas where you can organize barbecues, cocktails, and weddings. In addition, the hotel has El Cubo, an ideal room for events with a view of the city.
Day 7: Cusco Walking Tour & Vibrant "Mercado San Pedro"
Our guide will meet you at your hotel lobby to start your Cusco visit.
Walk to the vibrant San Pedro market, which is situated in a very busy area in town that can keep you entertained for hours. Here you will get a first-hand look at how locals live day-to-day, outside of Cusco’s tourist zones. As you stand at the market, you will observe the locals speaking their native tongue and their gestures or habits that are all typical to the Andean culture. Smell the scents of local produce and flora, absorb the styles and textures of the local fashion or discover the traditional fruits, vegetables and ingredients that make up the main staples of traditional meals.
After the market, visit the legendary Koricancha, which is the most important temple with walls once plated with sheets of gold and devoted to worshiping the Sun deity. Continue to the Plaza de Armas or main square to visit the Cathedral, and end your exploration in the bohemian quarter of San Blas. The area is home to the workshops and stores of the most renowned artisans in Cusco, including Mendivil and Merida. Afternoon at leisure. This day includes Breakfast so you can experience Cusco's outstanding restaurants.
Accommodation: Palacio Manco Capac
Day 8: Cusco – Lima
Transfer to Cusco airport to take your flight back to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, meet your guide and transfer to the Callao Port. El Callao is the chief sea port of Peru and although widely considered to be something of a coastal suburb of Lima (due to its proximity to the capital city), Callao has always been an independent constitutional province. It is in fact very much its own city and boasts a number of important historical sites and individual characters.
Callao has struggled with street crime and poverty for years. This however has been slowly changing with the help of a private investor, a visionary who took on the challenge of transforming Callao and who founded the urban art project and community organization ‘Monumental Callao’. The cultural movement known as FUGAZ started in the port city last year and is working together with Monumental Callao on exhibitions, transforming spaces into shops for local designers or restaurants, and gives artists a platform to exhibit their work, something they would otherwise not be able to afford.
Graffiti is undeniably one of the most rapidly developing art forms in Peru at this moment and today you will have the opportunity to learn more about it. During the approximately one hour class, you will learn the basic techniques and will have your own wall to experiment on. You will be guided by a famous graffiti artist such as ‘Sesion’ who is also an expert on the street art found around Callao. After the class, enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant.
Transfer back to the airport to take your international flight departure. This day includes Breakfast and Lunch. A day room will be confirmed for you to relax in as most flights leave later this evening.
Accommodation: Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport (Day Room)
Hotel Selection: It may not be possible to secure the hotels and lodges listed in the itinerary for your custom dates. WIld Nectar reserves the right to secure the next best available option or an upgrade in the event that the original hotels are not available or overbooked.
Travel Style: The hotels listed in this itinerary are boutique 4-star hotels. Should you prefer more luxurious accommodations, please ask your Travel Curator and stunning 5-star hotels will be substituted at an additional cost.
Activity Level: Easy to Moderate. Elevation and some climbs may make this itinerary difficult for some travelers however the guide can adjust for any activity level. More active options can be added for more active travelers.
Elevation: The elevation in Cusco is 11,152 feet or 3,399 meters above sea level and can cause shortness of breath and other symptoms in some travelers. This program is designed to whisk you away from Cusco at the start and raise your elevation over several days so you are better acclimated for the Cusco portion. Still, you may want to contact your physician to secure medication against the possibility of elevation effects.
I've asked my operator to fine tune this experience so you can get even closer to these ancient traditions and wonderful people than on any other trip I've seen.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: