Enjoy your time exploring Lima, Valle Sagrado, Machu Picchu, and Cusco. Contemplate the towering Andean peaks (Incan gods) at sunrise over Machu Picchu. Explore Ollantaytambo, one of the last remaining Incan towns. Shop at colorful Andean markets and be carried away by native music on this gay Machu Picchu & Peru tour. Visit one of the most impressive temples, the Golden Temple, dedicated to the Sun God. Conclude your journey at your final hotel in Cusco, an amazing five-centuries-old mansion.
Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. HE Travel has been leading gay tours to Machu Picchu and other sites throughout Peru for over thirty-five years. From the excitement of Lima to the beauty of the Sacred Valley and the charm of Cusco, our intimate tour of Peru is filled with wonder.
Our tour starts in Lima, with a rare look into a private art collection and a tour of South America's oldest colonial home (the family still lives there). We spend two days exploring the Sacred Valley, with its lovely terraced fields and beautiful river views.
Then we head to Machu Picchu, a wonder of human strength and spirit whose mystery still haunts the stones of this great city. Our rare two-night stay is at the renowned Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located adjacent to the ruins. We conclude our tour with two nights in Cusco at the Hotel Monasterio (a former monastery, complete with beautiful courtyard), voted as the top hotel in South America by readers of CondeNast Traveler Magazine. This itinerary allows plenty of time for sightseeing and leisure and offers a taste of the best Peru has to offer.
• Tour Lima and see stunning architecture and unusual museums.
• Enjoy a scenic ride over the Pampa de Anta to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
• Ride the train through the beautiful Urubamba Gorge.
• Explore Machu Picchu, the most dramatically situated archeological site in the world.
• Hike, rest and relax for two nights at the Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge, an exquisite site overlooking the beautiful ruins.
• Discover Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, high in the Andes.
If you are interested in a thrilling trek, consider Hiking the Incan Trails with our gay group!
Days 1 - 2 -
There are no activities scheduled on the arrival day, so you can schedule your flights to arrive in the evening of Day 1 or during the night. Whenever you arrive, we offer a transfer to our hotel, where rooms have been reserved starting from the evening of Day 1. On Day 2, we enjoy a full day tour of Lima including the Colonial section, the cathedral, San Francisco Church, and the presidential palace. We will also visit a private art collection and a Museum showcasing Peru's heritage. This evening we enjoy dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant overlooking a pre-Incan site.
Days 3 - 4 -
In the morning we transfer from our Lima hotel to the airport for the scenic one-hour flight over the Andes to Cusco.
Upon arrival at the Cusco Airport, we will enjoy our private air-conditioned ride into the Sacred Valley. We will drive over the Pampa de Anta Pass, then descend a steep mountain road into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This valley is one of the loveliest valleys on earth. So be on the lookout for llamas, women dressed in colorful clothing and stunning mountain vistas as we make our way through the valley. This first afternoon will be at our leisure.
On Day 4: we will head towards Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences have reached a perfect balance. This quaint little town is famous for its artisan markets which are full of extraordinarily fine jewelry and ceramic and textile craftwork. Next, we will make our way to the Archaeological Park of Pisac where we will find some amazing architectural structures, including Intiwatana(where the sun is tied). We will also visit the Incan ruins at Ollantaytambo; once guarded by a massive fortress. A day in this beautiful and fertile valley will provide us with a restful interlude between our busy days of sightseeing. Today lunch will be enjoyed at a private hacienda.
Days 5 - 6 -
After breakfast, we will drive to Ollanta station where we will board the train to Machu Picchu. Riding along the Urubamba River is an exciting and visually stunning experience. We will pass through narrow gorges and see lovely terraced fields verdant with vegetation high up in the mountains. Upon our arrival, we will make our way, via bus, to the entrance gate of the Machu Picchu citadel.
Here is a complete Inca city high on a mountain saddle, sometimes hidden in a forest of clouds. Its steeply terraced slopes fall away to the river, which rushes through a great hairpin bend 1,200 feet below. The Spaniards supposedly never found it, and for centuries it remained unknown, untouched and overgrown with vegetation. In 1911, Dr. Hiram Bingham rediscovered it and brought it to the world’s attention. Since then, Machu Picchu has attracted travelers, explorers, and, archeologists. Much has been written and revealed about this great city, but much is still debated and unknown.
Over the next two days, we will have plenty of time to contemplate the mystery of this fascinating site. We will walk among the ancient ruins of staircases, temples and a sundial.
Dawn is an incredible sight at Machu Picchu. As the clouds part and the sun appears over the tops of the snow-capped Andean peaks, the light begins to color the ancient stones. Shadows and light transform the ancient city. If you wish, you can hike to the top of Huayna Picchu on Day 6, a challenging climb about an hour and a half long(not recommended when wet), and return to the hotel in time for lunch.
Later today, we will be transferred to the railroad station in the valley, for our return trip to Cusco. The journey will take approximately four hours.
Days 7 - 8 -
This morning we will enjoy time exploring the Imperial City by strolling through the Main Square. Here we will discover the Cathedral and admire its exquisite vestibules and paintings from the Cusco School of the 17th and 18th centuries. We will continue on to one of the most impressive buildings of Incan Cusco, Qoricancha(the Golden Temple). This temple was dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, whose interior walls were said to have been covered in gold. Our lunch today will be a lovely picnic lunch at Sacsayhuaman.
On our second day here, we will set out on a day trip to see the South Valley, first heading to Tipon, an amazing archaeological complex fo elevated platforms and terraces. Spring waters still flow through the sites impressive system of fountains and aqueducts. Next, we will continue on and make our way across the stunning Andean landscapes and remote villages until we reach the pre-Incan citadel of Pikillacta. This impressive site is nearly 120 acres! Our journey will continue on to Andahuaylillas, home to San Pedro Apostol, one of the most outstanding churches in the Andes. Known as the Sistine Chapel of Peru, with the dazzling beauty of its splendid decorated murals and frescoes.
Day 9 -
In the middle of the day, we will transfer from our hotel to the airport for the one-hour flight to Lima. Travelers leaving in the late evening can make arrangements for a day room at a hotel by Lima Airport, sightseeing or last-minute shopping. Individual extensions to an Amazon eco-lodge or to a private island in Lake Titicaca may also be available following our tour. Please contact us if you would like to extend your Peruvian holiday.
Day 9 -
Fly to Arequipa and be transferred to your hotel, the evening is at your leisure.
Day 10 -
After breakfast, we will start our journey from Arequipa at 2350 meters above sea level and observe the Yura volcanoes, which guard the cities of Chachani, Misti and Pichu Pichu. We will make our way down the side of Chachani and arrive on Pampa Canahuas’ Plain to enjoy herds of Vicunas and a variety of plant life. The area is the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca. Next, we will make our way to Chivay, have lunch and visit the local market. If you would like to enjoy the thermal baths of La Calera you will have time to do so at your expense.
Day 11 -
Today we will head for the Cross of Condor bright and early, around 6:30 am. Here we will observe the Canyon and the magnificent Condors! Next, we will make our way back to Chivay and visit the small towns of Maca, Achoma, and Yanque with a stop at Antahuilque for a view. This view will show us a magnitude of terraces of “andenes”.
Day 12 -
Enjoy breakfast this morning before we head out for a guided walk. After lunch, we will depart to Arequipa, arriving around 4:00 pm. Flights home should be scheduled anytime after 7:00 pm on this day.
There are also extensions to Inkaterra and Lake Titilaka available on request.