Explore the exotic and mysterious cities of the Inca.
Next tour = October 2023. Expressions of Interest now open.
11 days in Peru – 3 days in and around Cusco exploring local markets (including Pisaq) and Inca stone work. Plus the world-famous train trip into Machu Picchu with 2 days in and around Machu Picchu (one day guided, one day free for exploring the cloud forest – hiking, climbing, photographing orchids and birds); 2 days in Ollantaytambo + 4 days in the fertile Sacred Valley where it is perpetual spring.
You travel in a small group, maximum of 14 people. You are escorted by Michèle, Rod and/or James plus our trusted and knowledgeable local naturalist guides when required.
- stepping back in time to the 1500’s and exploring the ancient city of Cusco with its crooked streets and Inca stone walls (with not a high-rise building in sight),
- taking the famous train to Machu Picchu from where you can witness the breathtaking panorama of the lost city.
- shopping for Peruvian handicrafts at the local markets.
Cusco is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site (1983) and deservedly so. Its quaint colonial wooden buildings with intricately carved balconies, white plastered mud brick houses on Inca foundations and crooked narrow streets with ceramic signs are a delight. What history those stones have seen – what wealth and greed, death, destruction and pageantry. If only we could read the stones. Cusco at night glitters like the gilt of former times.
Machu Picchu was built in the 1400’s and discarded in the 1500’s. We don’t know why, but it was well before the arrival of the Spanish. Machu Picchu is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1983) set in a fabulously picturesque position in the middle of a tropical montane forest at 2400m above sea level on a saddle between two mountains. It was and is an amazing urban and agricultural Inca creation with giant walls amongst granite escarpments above the jungle of the Amazon basin. At the base of Machu Picchu lies the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River, one of the longest tributaries of the Amazon River.
It is now thought that Machu Picchu acted as a University, where the young learned architecture, astronomy, agriculture and hydrology. Machu Picchu is rightly named a sanctuary. It is a marvel of technology, stone masonry, irrigation and astrology and filled with myth and magic. Today you see llamas grazing on the iridescent green agricultural terraces, begonias and orchids hanging from rock crevices and lichens attached to perfect stone-work.