Tour of Peru
The Inca Empire, or Tahuantinsuyu, was once South America’s largest empire, a highly advanced civilization that flourished in the 15th and early 16th centuries and at its height extended from Ecuador to Chile. Insight Vacations’ 12-day “Treasures of the Incas” tour of Peru immerses explorers into the fascinating history and culture of the Inca, combining visits to ancient Peruvian archaeological sites and colorful local markets with the five-star services that are signature to Insight’s Luxury Gold experience. Everything makes for a memorable moment—from enjoying a traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground and eaten in an exquisite outdoor garden to sipping pisco sours in the rolling comfort of a classic Pullman-style train. It also means spending your nights in some of the country’s most exclusive hotels on your tour of Peru, such as Libertador Lake Titicaca, which is perched on its own private island.
With an Insight Vacations Traveling Concierge as your permanent guide during your tour of Peru and local experts assisting en route, your adventures begin in Lima, Peru’s vibrant cosmopolitan capital and a gastronomic hub. Take in the colonial-era palaces of the city’s Historic Centre, tour the haunting underground catacombs of the San Francisco Monastery, and soak in the oceanfront beauty of the upscale Miraflores District. You’ll even get to sample New Andean cuisine while overlooking the illuminated ruins of a 1,500-year-old pre-Inca pyramid.
Next it’s off via plane to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a region of verdant hillsides, remote villages known for their weaving, and terraced salt ponds dating back to Inca times—all surrounded by towering mountain peaks. It’s also home to Peru’s most iconic site: Machu Picchu, an abandoned Inca citadel virtually unknown until explorer Hiram Bingham introduced it to the world in 1911. You’ll have a full day to explore this icon of Inca civilization and revel in its spectacular setting in the center of a tropical mountain forest. Following an afternoon wandering the cobbled streets of the old Inca capital Cusco, it’s time to board the Andean Explorer for a luxurious rail journey past thermal baths and through wide-open pastures to Lake Titicaca. This lake, perched high in the Andes, is best known for the dozens of man-made islands constructed by the indigenous Uros tribe from locally harvested totora reeds. On such a rich and sensuous journey through Peru, South America’s land of hidden treasures is likely to leave a powerful and lasting impression.
Know Before You Go: Machu Picchu
- Access to the stone city Machu Picchu, including the majority of its ruins, like the Sacred Plaza and the Temple of the Sun, will be unaffected.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a light, waterproof jacket. The weather can be temperamental.
- Don’t miss out on the Machu Picchu passport stamp, available at an unmarked stand near the site entrance.