Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima where a representative will be waiting for you outside of customs. They’ll accompany you to the airport hotel across the street and assist with check-in. Get a good night’s rest before your flight to Cusco tomorrow.

The Holiday Inn near the airport is the perfect place to sleep after a long flight. It’s close and convenient for catching your morning flight to Cusco the following day.

Overnight Holiday Inn

Day 2

Following breakfast at your hotel, your guide will help you check in at the airport for your flight to Cusco. After the 1.5-hour flight, a guide and driver will be waiting at the airport. From here, transfer to the Sacred Valley stopping en route at the educational farm, Awana Kancha, to see and learn about animals such as llama, vicuña, and alpaca.

You’ll also see Pisac before arriving at your hotel for the evening. At the easternmost tip of the Holy Valley lies the bustling colonial town of Pisac.

Renowned for its vibrant market, the city sees indigenous Quechua communities from the surrounding highlands arrive en masse on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and especially Sundays to sell their wares. You can find weavings, jewelry, ponchos, hats, Andean instruments, ceramics, alpaca products, and a whole range of other gifts and souvenirs. Pisac is well known for the Incan archaeological site, Inca Písac. The ruins make for an excellent morning of sightseeing with stunning views of the surrounding Andes Mountains.

Set on the banks of the sacred Urubamba River, in the shadow of the Andes, lies Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado. This oasis of calm has the feel of an ancient Incan farmstead. In such astounding surroundings, you’ll feel relaxed and revitalized. Little wonder it’s called the Sacred Valley.

Overnight Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Day 3

Take your time this morning to enjoy a casual breakfast at your hotel, then, at 10:00 AM, your guide will collect you for an adventure-filled day exploring the Sacred Valley!

Hike the Ancasmarca Valley through small villages accompanied by your guide and an alpaca.

Also known as Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is located in the Peruvian Andes, beneath the world-famous site of Machu Picchu and not far from Cusco. A network of waterways feeds this fertile valley. It encompasses a wealth of archaeological sites, including Ollantaytambo, renowned for its extensive Inca ruins; Maras Moray, which features ancient agricultural terracing and the salt mines; and Pisac, with its ancient vestiges and colorful weekly market.

This afternoon, visit the local school where you can play educational games with the kids.

Many schools in Peru don’t receive the proper funding to provide students with the same opportunities as the wealthier schools. A little bit can go a long way to help these kids with some of the basic things they need most, such as lunch, new plates and bowls for the school, or supplies such as paper and pencils. It’s also very helpful for them to play educational games and hear English spoken by native speakers! Spend the afternoon with the kids, and enjoy some play time!

Overnight Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Day 4
Meet the Dogs!

This morning, you will get to meet the dogs! Your guide will bring you to a local dog rescue center to learn about the new facility. You’ll also have the chance to help feed, walk, and play with the dogs.

Lunch break at local restaurant or packed lunch.

In the afternoon, return to the rescue center to walk another dog.

There are many street dogs in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, and this center is committed to providing them with a better quality of life and an opportunity to be rescued, recovered, and adopted. Their objective is to reduce the number of street dogs in the area by involving and educating local communities and working with authorities in the area.

Overnight Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Day 5 - 7

Spend the next three days devoted to helping dogs at the rescue center. You’ll spend your days playing, socializing and walking with them. You may even help them with some much needed physical therapy.

9:00 AM to 12:30 PM: Volunteer
12:30 – 2:00 PM: Lunchtime
2:30-5:00 PM: Afternoon volunteering
Return to your hotel to relax

Overnight Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado

Day 8

After breakfast, your guide will collect you from your hotel and head to the train station to take the midmorning train to Aguas Calientes. Disembark the train with your guide and head to your hotel for check-in. Have a delicious lunch, and then board the bus to one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world: Machu Picchu.

Once you arrive, take some time to enjoy the atmosphere of the reserve with your expert guide until it closes. Spend the evening appreciating the last light on the mountains, and then head to your hotel to unwind.

Located more than 6,000 feet above sea level in Peru’s forested mountain peaks, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites. This legendary city was abandoned by the Inca Empire, reclaimed by the jungle, and was rediscovered in 1911. Built by the Incas on the summit of “Machu Picchu” in the middle of a tropical montane forest overlooking the canyon of the Urubamba, the city is a site of extraordinary beauty and enormous archeological significance. The complex reflects the Inca Empire at its height, with giant walls, terraces, and ramps that appear to have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.

The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an Andean village-style accommodation with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways, and whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest. As a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, the property has 12 acres of exquisite natural beauty, where 214 bird species and the world’s most extensive native orchid collection containing 372 species have been registered. The first-class restaurant features splendid views of the Vilcanota River and shares the secrets of Peruvian cuisine with a contemporary twist.

Overnight Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 9

Today, wake early to revisit Machu Picchu. Your guide will take you to hike up to the phenomenal Sun Gate — one of the best views of the area.

Afterward, return to Aguas Calientes town for lunch and to spend the remainder of your day to at your leisure. Perched high up in the Andes, this riverside town is encircled by towering forested cliffs and boasts an endless array of restaurants, markets, and labyrinthine streets. Visitors can enjoy a variety of other activities, including a calming massage after a long day of exploring, taking a stroll through the lush rainforest to the Mandor Waterfalls, embarking on an adventurous hike up the Putucusi Mountain or soaking in the relaxing thermal baths with the Andes as a backdrop.

Machu Picchu Mountain offers spectacular hiking. Towering 2,430 meters / 7972 feet above sea level, the mountain has unparalleled views of the famous Inca sanctuary and panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountain scenery. At its summit, Inca priests once performed rituals on special dates as well as liturgical greetings to the Salkantay Apu. There are many hiking trails on and around this mountain.

Overnight Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 10

After breakfast, catch the train back to Ollantaytambo, where your driver will be waiting for you. You can take a bit of time to explore Ollanta town — a well preserved Inca town — with your guide.

Have lunch, then your guide will take you back to Cusco via Chinchero. Get a feel for the local culture by wandering through this small village. Charming Chinchero Village is known for its picturesque colonial church, vibrant Sunday market, and nearby archaeological sites. Home to over 100 cooperatives, Chinchero is internationally recognized for its role in reviving and continuing the tradition and art of weaving.

Once you arrive in Cusco, check in to your hotel, and take some time to rest. El Mercado is located in the heart of Cusco. They are known for their exceptional customer service as well as their modern, eye-catching interior. Mercado is the Spanish word for market, and El Mercado occupies the premises of a former market located only a couple of blocks from Cusco’s central Plaza de Armas.

Within the quaint streets of present-day Ollantaytambo is an Inca fortress that was built to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasion from the jungle tribes. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a “Living Inca Town” because its people maintain the ancient customs and traditions.

Overnight El Mercado Hotel

Day 11

Today, you’ll have the chance to meet some amazing scholars and their families and be welcomed into their homes. Learn all about the scholars and the important work being done by the organization, and volunteer to help one of the girls’ families by participating in a home improvement project and assisting in construction or renovation activities. The day will end around 4:00 PM.

This organization empowers young women and enables them to reach their full potential through a unique formula. They combine enhanced educational opportunities along with mentorship and participation in service and structured empowerment classes. This support increases their knowledge and skillset and enables them to access higher education/university, which will help them to break the cycle of poverty within their families and communities.

Overnight El Mercado Hotel

Day 12

Have a relaxed morning before your guide collects you around 10:30 AM to see the Sacsayhuaman Fortress. After your tour of this impressive site, walk down the hill to Cusco. Enjoy lunch, and finish any shopping.

Depending on the time of your flight, head back to the Cusco airport to connect with your flight to Lima and your international flight home.