You’re standing on the side of a mountain high in the Andes, the glow of the sun is just peaking above the horizon. In front of you, the spectacle that is the stone citadel of Machu Picchu appears, a true wonder of the world.
Iconic Inca Wonder of the World
Unforgettable views and scenery
Great day hike options.
Machu Picchu, which translates as ‘old mountain’ in Quechua, is nestled on a plateau between mountains and luscious tropical forest. It lay hidden and wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by explorer Hiram Bingham. This UNESCO site is probably the greatest example of Inca construction and has enabled the legacy of the Incas to continue.
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Machu Picchu: One Of The Seven Wonders Of The World
Machu Picchu is composed of three key areas; agricultural, religious and urban. The temples are found at the top of the site, with stunning views of the Urubamba valley below and surrounding mountains. The citadel is made up of palaces, agricultural terraces, residences, walls, as well as water channels and aqueducts. You will see huge blocks of stone, constructed by a method called ashlar which involves stones being seamlessly shaped so that mortar is not needed. The stones fit so well that not even the blade of a knife would fit between them; further evidence of the great engineering skills of the Inca civilization.
Wander through this maze like complex, admiring both the incredible stonework and the stunning vista. There is nowhere else like it on our planet!
We can plan the perfect bespoke Peru holiday to include a visit to Machu Picchu. Fancy a trek? Or prefer a day trip there? Tick Machu Picchu off your bucket list today!
History of Machu Picchu
This revered Inca citadel was constructed around 1450, but the reason it was built will always remain a mystery. Some believe it was built as a great tomb for the Inca emperor, Pachacutec. Others think it was an important agricultural and administrative centre, or even a summer palace for Inca royalty. As Machu Picchu is so well hidden, it wasn’t discovered by the Spanish conquistadors, making it one of the best preserved Inca sites.
Short hikes from Machu Picchu
Once inside the citadel, you can climb Huayna Picchu ‘young mountain’ (the famous peak behind the citadel). Tickets must be booked in advance, as only 400 places are available per day. We will do this for you, if requested. This was the highlight of our Peruvian holiday.
Huayna Picchu Mountain
50-minute hike to the top of the mountain 2,720m.
Difficult hike- a good level of fitness is required.
The most amazing views.
We absolutely loved hiking up here-a bit of a scramble at times! Epic views!
Machu Picchu Mountain
A longer trek than Huayna Picchu- around 1 hour 30 to the summit.
Half day tours of Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lima & Arequipa
Boat tour of Lake Titicaca
All transfers and domestic flights in Peru
(We can add international flights to your itinerary to 'package' your holiday, providing you with vital ATOL cover!)
Guideline price: £2199pp plus flights
Day 1: Spend a night in Lima, Peru's vibrant capital city. Try a Pisco Sour cocktail!
Days 2&3: On your first morning in Lima enjoy a half day tour of the historic quarter. Later in the day, catch a domestic flight to Arequipa.
Arequipa is a striking city backed by mighty volcanoes. Follow a half day tour of this city, seeing the impressive Santa Catalina Monastery which stands over the main plaza. I loved having in a drink in one of the rooftop bars, admiring the view!
Day 4: Enjoy a scenic journey to the Colca Valley. Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons on the planet. At Cruz del Condor try and spot an impressive Andean Condor rising on a thermal!
Days 5-6:Take a boat trip on the highest navigable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia & is a place steeped in myth. It is believed to be the birthplace of the sun.
Day 7: Experience an epic train ride on the Titicaca Train as you meander across the Peruvian highlands. Be on the lookout for llamas and alpacas! On board, enjoy a three course lunch. After arriving in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Day 8: Today you will visit the traditional Andean town of Chinchero. Then head to the iconic Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo.
Day 9: From Ollantaytambo board a train to Agua Calientes station. Then board a bus up to the incredible wonder of the world that is Machu Picchu. Enjoy a tour of this Incan marvel.
Day 10: Explore Machu Picchu at your own leisure in the morning. Then board the train to Cusco, a UNESCO town high in the Andes. In the afternoon enjoy a tour of this beautiful town.
Day 11: After a morning in Cusco, catch a domestic flight back to Lima, for your last night in Peru.
Day 12: Fly back to the UK.
** Price is subject to availability and can change.