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Peru: Land of the Inca

  • Trip Type: Land
  • 8 Days | Round-trip Lima
  • Group Size: Max 24

Expedition Details


Within the mountains of Peru lies a wealth of ancient Inca temples, Spanish colonial towns, and breathtaking Andean vistas. Discover the magnificent capital of Cusco, hike to ruins in the Urubamba Valley, meet artisans and archaeologists, and examine pre-Colombian treasures at the renowned Larco Herrera Museum. Then spend the night among the enchanting ruins of Machu Picchu, excavated by Hiram Bingham with funding from National Geographic more than a century ago.

Trip Highlights

    • Watch day break over the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and learn about National Geographic-funded excavations that helped uncover the site.
    • Join archaeologist Peter Frost for talks on his archaeological expeditions in Peru, which have been featured in National Geographic magazine.*
    • Attend a private demonstration of traditional Andean weaving techniques by a National Geographic grantee.
    • In the Sacred Valley of the Inca, visit a private family museum filled with colonial artwork, and witness a performance of Peruvian Paso horses.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 — U.S./Lima, Peru

Depart for Lima, Peru's largest city, founded in the 1500s by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Transfer to our hotel upon arrival and enjoy an evening to relax. 

Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel

Day 2 — Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca

Fly from Lima to Cusco this morning and drive to the Inca site of Moray—believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops. Enjoy a traditional Peruvian lunch at the parador overlooking the ruins. Stop at a colorful local market before an optional visit to the pottery studio of Pablo Seminario, featuring ceramics made with ancient Peruvian techniques and designs.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Sacred Valley of the Inca

After breakfast, enjoy a talk by National Geographic grantee Peter Frost*, who has been exploring the Andes for 35 years. In 2001 and 2002, Peter led National Geographic Society-sponsored expeditions into the remote region of Vilcabamba, Peru, finding and exploring the previously unknown Inca and pre-Inca site of Qoriwayrachina (National Geographic magazine, February 2004). Travel further into the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo and explore the massive stone fortress where the Inca won their greatest victory against the conquistadores. Visit the family-owned hacienda Casa Orihuela for lunch, then see the family’s private museum filled with colonial artwork, and witness the delicate dance of paso horses during a presentation of traditional horsemanship. Back at the lodge, meet National Geographic grantee Nilda Callañaupa, who has helped preserve and revive traditional Inca textiles. Learn about her ancient craft and watch a weaving demonstration. Gather for a captivating performance of folkloric stilt dancing tonight.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Machu Picchu

An exhilarating morning train ride brings us through the valley and then up steep slopes to magnificent Machu Picchu. Isolated among mountain peaks, Machu Picchu is one of the world's most awe-inspiring sites. The sacred citadel was abandoned by the Inca, reclaimed by the jungle, and lost to history until it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and excavated with support from the National Geographic Society. Discover the mysteries of the "lost city of the Inca" on a guided walk of the citadel and then check into our incredible lodge overlooking the ruins—the only accommodation adjacent to Machu Picchu. This afternoon, return to the site to explore with a guide; head off on your own to see the Inca Bridge, built on a stone path that the Inca cut into a sheer cliff face; or request a private soak in the hotel’s hot tub, which is hidden in the surrounding cloud forest and has stunning views of the Andes. Watch twilight descend on Machu Picchu after the crowds have disappeared, and soak up the quiet enchantment of this legendary site.
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Machu Picchu/Cusco

Before sunrise, hike up to the Sun Gate, the final checkpoint of the Inca Trail, and watch day break over the timeless ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend the rest of this morning wandering through the site on your own. After lunch, board the train back to the Sacred Valley, then head to Awanacancha, a farm where llamas and alpacas are bred. Continue to Cusco, a city of astonishing charm and beauty that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Our home here is an exquisite 16th-century monastery just steps from the city square. Take a stroll in the elegant arcaded courtyard and admire the 16th-century antiques and paintings decorating the halls before a special dinner with opera singers in the vaulted dining room.
Belmond Monasterio Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Cusco

Delve into the legacy of the Inca and the Spanish during a full day of exploration in Cusco. Examine the massive stone boulders that make up the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress, site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Spanish conquest. See the Coricancha, a 17th-century cathedral and convent built atop the ruins of an opulent Inca temple. Then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to stroll around this beautiful city or relax at our historic hotel.
Belmond Monasterio Hotel (B,L)

Day 7 — Cusco/Lima

After our flight back to Lima, visit the renowned Larco Herrera Museum to view the world's largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Catch the changing of the guard at the Plaza Mayor before we gather for a farewell lunch at Casa Aliaga, a lovely colonial home. Later, check into our hotel, perched on the waterfront in the elegant Miraflores district, and take the rest of the day to relax or explore on your own.
Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel (B,L)

Day 8 — Lima/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the Lima airport for the return flight home.

Related Trips

Special Offer

Free Airfare

Book now and receive free round-trip international airfare between Miami and Cusco on select departures when you combine this Peru expedition with our Galápagos voyage.

Extend Your Stay and Save

Make the most of your time in the region and save 10% off the total expedition cost when you combine your Peru: Land of the Inca expedition with a voyage to Upper Amazon

Offers are for new bookings only and are subject to availability. Please call for details.

National Geographic Expert

Ernesto Ore

Ernesto OreBorn and raised in a small Peruvian village, Ernesto Ore is well-versed in the rich history, traditions, and modern-day customs of his people. He is currently president of the Fundación Apu Kuntur, a non-profit dedicated to saving the endangered Andean condor, and has served as an apprentice to a high priest and healer from the Andes. Ernesto has been introducing travelers to his native culture for more than a dozen years years, lecturing on topics ranging from local wildlife and Inca ruins to traditional Peruvian perspectives on astronomy.

Ernesto will join the following departures:

Oct 21 - 28, 2017
Dec 23 - 30, 2017
Jan 21 - 28, 2018
Feb 10 - 17, 2018
Mar 10 - 17, 2018
Apr 15 - 22, 2018
May 13 - 20, 2018
Jun 16 - 23, 2018
Jul 22 - 29, 2018
Sep 16 - 23, 2018
Nov 10 - 17, 2018
Dec 22 - 29, 2018

Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Sep 24 - Oct 01, 2017
  • Sep 30 - Oct 07, 2017
  • Oct 07 - 14, 2017
  • Oct 14 - 21, 2017
  • Oct 21 - 28, 2017
  • Oct 28 - Nov 04, 2017
  • Nov 05 - 12, 2017
  • Nov 11 - 18, 2017
  • Nov 25 - Dec 02, 2017
  • Dec 03 - 10, 2017
  • Dec 09 - 16, 2017
  • Dec 17 - 24, 2017
  • Dec 23 - 30, 2017
  • Dec 31, 2017 - Jan 07, 2018
  • Jan 06 - 13, 2018
  • Jan 13 - 20, 2018
  • Jan 21 - 28, 2018
  • Jan 27 - Feb 03, 2018
  • Feb 04 - 11, 2018
  • Feb 10 - 17, 2018
  • Feb 18 - 25, 2018
  • Feb 24 - Mar 03, 2018
  • Mar 04 - 11, 2018
  • Mar 10 - 17, 2018
  • Mar 18 - 25, 2018
  • Mar 24 - 31, 2018
  • Apr 01 - 08, 2018
  • Apr 07 - 14, 2018
  • Apr 15 - 22, 2018
  • Apr 21 - 28, 2018
  • Apr 29 - May 06, 2018
  • May 05 - 12, 2018
  • May 05 - 12, 2018
  • May 13 - 20, 2018
  • May 19 - 26, 2018
  • May 27 - Jun 03, 2018
  • Jun 02 - 09, 2018
  • Jun 10 - 17, 2018
  • Jun 16 - 23, 2018
  • Jun 24 - Jul 01, 2018
  • Jun 30 - Jul 07, 2018
  • Jul 08 - 15, 2018
  • Jul 14 - 21, 2018
  • Jul 22 - 29, 2018
  • Jul 28 - Aug 04, 2018
  • Aug 05 - 12, 2018
  • Aug 11 - 18, 2018
  • Aug 19 - 26, 2018
  • Aug 25 - Sep 01, 2018
  • Sep 09 - 16, 2018
  • Sep 16 - 23, 2018
  • Sep 23 - 30, 2018
  • Sep 30 - Oct 07, 2018
  • Oct 07 - 14, 2018
  • Oct 20 - Nov 03, 2018
  • Nov 03 - 10, 2018
  • Nov 10 - 17, 2018
  • Nov 18 - 25, 2018
  • Nov 24 - Dec 01, 2018
  • Dec 02 - 09, 2018
  • Dec 09 - 16, 2018
  • Dec 22 - 29, 2018
  • Dec 30, 2018 - Jan 06, 2019

*On departures that coincide with Peter's assignments, one of his colleagues will join us.

Expedition Cost



2017 Holiday




2018 Holiday


Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room add $1380.

Airfare to/from Lima and airfare within Peru is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight within Peru is $435 (subject to change).

Featured Traveler Photo

Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

What To Expect

We will be traveling at high elevations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu. Cusco is at an altitude of 11,200 feet and Machu Picchu, 8,000 feet. Participants should be physically fit. This expedition is not suitable for anyone who suffers from a respiratory disorder, a circulatory ailment, or a disability that limits mobility.

Extend Your Stay

Extend your trip to Peru’s Amazon rain forest with a stay at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. Please call 1-888-701-5486 to reach a National Geographic Unique Lodges reservations specialist for details.