Qalla Qasa citadel, Pisac
Qalla Qasa citadel, Pisac

Peru: Lost Cities of the Incas


17 days From $7,380

August 23 2019

With many of its Andes peaks soaring to over 20,000ft, Peru’s spectacular rooftop world, home of the condor and llama, makes a fitting stage for a journey of discovery into this colorful South American country’s dramatic and myth-wrapped past.

Its story is an absorbing one of ancient indigenous empires, both pre-Inca (some perhaps dating back 5,000 years) and Inca, and the handful of 16th century Spanish conquistadors who vanquished them. Peru’s eventful legacy will capture the imagination of even the most seasoned traveler when confronted here with the mysteries of its wealth of archaeological and anthropological treasures – some reluctant to this day to yield the secrets of an Inca culture that had no knowledge of the wheel and left no written language or documentation.

Our tour unravels some of these enduring enigmas as we travel to excavated sites of battles, fortresses, palaces and sacred Inca temples – and, as importantly, fascinating artifact-rich museums. We travel to Peru’s colonial capital of Lima; Cusco, one-time Inca capital and oldest inhabited city in the Americas; outstanding pre-Columbian sites that include Chan Chan, Caral, Tucume, Huaca Rajada – and, of course, to iconic mountain-top Machu Picchu, the stunning Inca redoubt that remains among the greatest and most haunting archaeological discoveries of modern times.

What's included?

  •  Expert Scholar & Tour Manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Local Transport
  •  Entries & Tips

Led by...

Prof. John Rick

Professor John Rick is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University, Curator of Anthropological Collections, and past Director of Stanford’s Archaeology Center. His teaching concentrates on South American archaeology.

Book Now $7,380
Includes deposit: $500 Single supplement: $1,200

Tour highlights:

  • Take the Vistadome train for a spectacular journey through the Urubamba River gorge to legendary Machu Picchu, discovered by American Hiram Bingham in 1911
  • Wander among the Moche pyramids (the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon), and the compounds of Chan Chan, the nearby imperial city of the Chimú, and possibly the world’s largest adobe city
  • Explore the Incas’ Sacred Valley of the Urubamba, Pisac’s lively handicrafts market and the vast site of Pisac
  • Discover the recently excavated city known as Caral, believed to be 5,000 years old, making it the oldest city in the Americas – and perhaps thriving when Egypt’s great pyramids were being built
  • Visit the striking Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum near Chiclayo, amongst the largest of its kind in South America and built to resemble the pre-Columbian pyramid where the 13 tombs of Sipan were uncovered

Tour details

Dates August 23 2019 - September 08 2019
Duration 17 days
Cost $7,380
Single supplement: $1,200
Deposit: $500 , balance due by 31 May 2019
Activity Level Challenging
Tour code A19PER

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

August 23 2019: Itinerary

We arrive into Lima and transfer to our first hotel where we will meet for dinner.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Jose Antonio Deluxe, Lima

After an orientation meeting with Professor Rick, touring begins at National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru. This superb collection houses more than 100,000 artifacts spanning the entire history of human occupation in Peru. It will give us an introduction to the sites we will be visiting throughout our tour. After lunch, touring will continue to colonial Lima with visits to the area around the Plaza de Armas to see the Palacio de Gobierno, the Archbishop’s Palace and to visit the Cathedral.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Jose Antonio Deluxe, Lima

Our touring this morning will be to pre-Inca archaeological site and complex of Pachacamac, which was once an important ceremonial center for the Lima culture beginning at around AD 100. Here, we will examine the 1,300-year-old remains of some of the temples, pyramids and stone palaces. We will also see the reconstructed House of the Mamaconas. We then transfer to the airport for a late afternoon flight to vibrant Chiclayo, known as being one of Peru’s fastest-growing modern cities.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

Touring today will include Bosque de Pomac, a desert-thorn forest of mesquite, where excavations have revealed a fascinating sanctuary of the middle Sicán period (900-1100 AD), known as Batán Grande. The site consists of 50 adobe pyramids, from which many of the gold objects we have seen were excavated. Archaeologists have excavated Huaca Loro, one of the five temples that form the Great Plaza. Touring continues at Túcume, which encompasses the remains of 26 pyramids as well as many smaller structures built around 1100 AD by the Lambayeque people.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

The day begins at the site where the Sipán tomb was discovered. We then visit the wonderful Sicán National Museum in Ferreñafe, which documents the ancient Sicán culture. The remainder of the day will be spent at the new Royal Tombs Museum, where the fabulous artifacts from Sipán are on view.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Casa Andina Select, Chiclayo

Our drive today takes us south along the Pan American Highway to Trujillo. We will stop en route for lunch and visits to the excavations at El Brujo, a ceremonial center for several cultures, including the Moche, and, if time allows, to Huaca Prieta, one of the oldest middens in the world.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Libertador, Trujillo

Touring today will include the Moche pyramids, known as the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon, and the imperial city of the Chimú, Chan Chan. Considered to be the largest adobe city in the world, Chan Chan consists of nine compounds, each containing a platform burial mound built for the king and his treasures. They also held huge walk-in wells and rows of storerooms for the agricultural wealth of the kingdom. Within the city walls were palaces, temples, workshops, houses and gardens. Canals kept the city supplied with water. We also visit the nearby “Rainbow Temple,” known as the Huaca Dragón for its well-preserved dragon relief, and the Archaeological Museum.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Libertador, Trujillo

Our scenic drive to Casma passes through the Virú Valley, famous for the 1940s Virú Valley Project, and the fishing port of Chimbote, scene of José María Arguedas’s last novel. We will visit the small Max Uhle Museum and the Initial Period site of Cerro Sechín, renowned for its unique stone carvings. Our last stop will be the early temple-fortress of Chankillo. We will spend the night in the village of Casma.

All meals included

Hotel: El Farol Inn, Casma

This exciting day takes us to the newly excavated city known as Caral. About 120 miles north of Lima in the Supe Valley, a team headed by Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady Solís unearthed a city they believe to be 5,000 years old, making it the oldest city in the Americas. It would have been a thriving city at the time that Egypt’s great pyramids were being built. The archaeologists were amazed at the size and complexity of the city as they uncovered a huge staircase, pyramids, a large sunken amphitheater, residential complexes and countless artifacts. After completing our touring, we return to Lima.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Jose Antonio Deluxe, Lima

After a flight to Cusco, a wonderful drive will take us into the Sacred Valley. Touring today will include the colorful Pisac market and the vast site of Pisac, which consists of three hill fortifications of exceptional masonry. It is surrounded by extensive and very well-preserved terraces.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villa, Yucay

Touring today begins with Ollantaytambo, a massive Inca fortress from which the advances of Hernando Pizarro were repelled in AD 1536. It provides us with good examples of canchas, corral enclosures, and an intact irrigation system.  Here too we will see how the Inca used masonry to close the valley against attack and to channel the river. Our lunch will be at the Wayra Ranch and will be accompanied by a Peruvian Paso horse show. The day ends with a visit to the Center for Traditional Textiles. This center houses a weaving cooperative, school for young girls and a shelter for women in distress.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villa, Yucay

This morning we will board the Vistadome train for our spectacular journey through the Urubamba River gorge to Machu Picchu. Unknown to all but the local villagers until 1911, Machu Picchu remains a somewhat mysterious city. Its fine stonework and extensive ornamentation suggest an important ceremonial center. Why it was abandoned may never be known. Our two days here will give us ample time to explore it thoroughly from our centrally located hotel.

All meals included

Hotel: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

We have the entire day at leisure to explore the wonders of Machu Picchu. The bus operates to the site at regular intervals, You may wish to spend the morning climbing the peak of Huayna Picchu. This must be booked in advance as limited number of people permitted each day. The Vistadome train departs for Cusco in the late afternoon. Upon arrival, we check in to our next hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: Casa Andina Premium, Cusco

Today we will visit the fortress or sanctuary of Sacsayhuamán, built from enormous stones fitted together with absolute precision. We continue to the ruins of Qenko, translated as “zigzag,” so named for the large rock that is completely covered with carvings and zigzag channels. Lastly, we stop at Puca Pucara (red fortress). Built from irregular shaped stoned, the site is believed to have been used as a guard post that protected access to Cusco.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Casa Andina Premium, Cusco

We will tour the city’s highlights, including the new Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, which houses an excellent collection of material from the Larco Museum in Lima, as well as colonial paintings and wood sculpture. In the afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of the city. Our farewell dinner will be at one of Cusco’s fine new restaurants.

All meals included

Hotel: Casa Andina Premium, Cusco

After a morning spent at leisure, perhaps packing or just making the most of our final full day, we fly onward to Lima.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Jose Antonio Deluxe, Lima

We transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

August 23 2019: Additional Info

August 23 2019: Accommodation

Offering free WiFi and a fitness centre, Jose Antonio Deluxe offers accommodation in Lima, 0.8 miles from Larcomar and 3.1 miles from Museum of the Nation. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also boasts a restaurant and an outdoor pool. Situated in the Miraflores district, the hotel is within 5 miles of San Martín Square.

The units in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a bath, free toiletries and a hair dryer. Guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and a coffee machine.

A continental, buffet or American breakfast is available each morning at the property.

Jose Antonio Deluxe offers a terrace.

Casa Andina Select Chiclayo is situated in the capital city of Lambayeque, Chiclayo. It offers a spa and an outdoor swimming pool with decorative tropical palm trees. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

Guests at Casa Andina Select Chiclayo can enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa.

Rooms at Casa Andina Select Chiclayo are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV and a minibar. Some have a hot tub and LCD TV.

Guests can dine regional cuisine at La Plaza Restaurant, or enjoy a tropical cocktail at the outdoor bar.

Located on a privileged corner of Plaza de Armas main square and offering views of historic buildings from the colonial era, Hotel Libertador Trujillo provides accommodation in Trujillo. The pre-Inca Chan Chan ruins and the Sun and Moon temples are only a 10-minute drive from the property.

There are 73 air-conditioned spacious guestrooms in this hotel. All rooms offer cable TV channels and a minibar. Private bathrooms feature a shower and a bathtub. Non-smoking rooms and rooms for guests with limited mobility are also available.

Guests at Hotel Libertador Trujillo can enjoy the outdoor pool after a long day of tourism. There is also a fitness centre, which guests may use as they please.

The property has a restaurant, Las Bóvedas, serving authentic cuisine from the Libertad region. A 24-hour room service is also available for guests. Guests may lay back and enjoy a casual drink at Malabrigo Bar.

El Farol Inn is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area’s sites and history. Located in the village of Casma, a typical Peruvian coastal town, this hotel’s white-washed façade makes for a charming place to stay and the waterfront spot it occupies offers pleasant views over the surrounding landscape. Take a dip in the pool, sample the restaurant’s cuisine or just relax in your comfortable room.

This is a luxurious, chalet-style retreat with panoramic Andes views. It features a full-service spa and a planetarium, from where you observe the Southern Hemisphere sky. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property.

During your stay at Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas, you can relax in the large, landscaped gardens or with a wellness treatment. You can choose from a range of unique Andean therapies as well as sauna, spa bath and steam bath.

The rooms and suites of this Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas offer wonderful views of the Sacred Valley and the Andes mountains. They all come with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities and either private balcony or a sunny seating area.

Located in Aguas Calientes, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is a colonial-style property that offers massage sessions and Andean sauna. The spacious rooms feature tiled floors and seating areas. Buffet breakfast and a la carte dinner are included in the rates.

Decorated with Andean tapestries, rooms at Inkaterra boast beds with cotton sheets, alpaca blankets and canopies. Some rooms have Wi-Fi, fireplaces, marble basins and private pools.

There is a restaurant that offers Andean cuisine overlooking the Vilcanota River.

Casa Andina Premium Cusco offers accommodation In central Cusco overlooking Limacpampa Square, with traditional, courtyard-facing rooms. It is located only a short walk from Plaza de Armas and Koricancha. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property.

Casa Andina Premium Cusco’s rooms are built around colonial-style courtyards with wooden balconies. All rooms and suites provide cable TV.

Casa Andina’s gourmet restaurant, Alma Restaurante & Bar, features fresh, Sacred Valley produce and Andean specialties. The colonial-style bar serves drinks in the evenings, which you can enjoy on the terrace.

August 23 2019: Enquiries

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