Peru bespoke tour, the Inca heartland
Description of Peru bespoke tour, the Inca heartland
Rather than trying to pack the length and breadth of Peru into two weeks, take your sweet time exploring the Inca heartlands on this seven-day holiday to Peru.
This (totally flexible) itinerary doesn’t mess around, sending you straight into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This was once the farming country of the Incas and comes sprinkled with the skeletons of archaeological sites. Guided tours of the sky-high Pisac fort and valley-view Ollantaytambo temple are included. From here, you’ll catch the train to Machu Picchu.
This Peru holiday starts and finishes in Cusco. A guided tour will be your leisurely introduction to the rainbow textile markets and skinny streets of this mountain city. Or hop aboard an optional day trip – a hike along the Moray irrigation paths, perhaps, or a roadtrip to the saltpans of Maras.
PlanetAs a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.
On this holiday you will have the opportunity to visit some of the most impressive Inca sites in Peru: the concentration of well-preserved Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley is what brings people to the area and with Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic sites in Latin America, at its heart, it should come as no surprise that around a million tourists pass through the region each year. It is therefore essential to protect against environmental degradation of these sites and you can rest assured that measures are in place to this effect. You will visit sites such as Pisaq, Ollantaytambo and Q’oricancha during this holiday and by purchasing a Cusco and Sacred Valley tourist card (included in the price of your holiday) you will have paid entrance fees to all of these sites and more: this contribution goes towards the conservation of the ancient sites that pepper the Sacred Valley and Cusco.
We recognise that with shorter itineraries in particular it is important to ensure that the environmental impact of your visit is minimised. Internal flights between Lima and the Sacred Valley unfortunately cannot be avoided, but during your time in the Inca heartland we have endeavoured to lower your carbon footprint by opting for a walking tour of Cusco instead of visiting the sites in a private vehicle, and you will travel to Machu Picchu by train.
PeopleWe strive to find accommodation which reflects our values and in the Sacred Valley you will be staying at one such place. Las Casitas del Arco Iris is a small hotel which was set up by a Dutch woman who runs a not-for-profit organisation called Niños del Arco Iris. The charity was founded to provide education and healthcare for disadvantaged children and young people in the Sacred Valley. A medical and dental practice, primary school and secondary school all help improve the lives of families in the region. At the secondary school, students are trained in hospitality and are given the opportunity to undertake an internship at the hotel so that they gain real-life experience. As well as these efforts, 100% of profits generated by the hotel are ploughed back into the foundation, so your stay will directly benefit the people of the community you are visiting.
In Cusco, we have included activities which enhance your interaction with local people and provide a deeper insight into the culture. During your walking tour of the city you will explore the narrow streets of San Blas, famous for its handicrafts, and visit a family-run workshop for the chance to engage with the artisans of the area as well as purchase handmade products and, in turn, support the local economy. You’ll also visit a traditional textiles museum to learn about the importance and history of this craft amongst local people before visiting San Pedro market. A real, working market selling meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, at San Pedro you’ll have an authentic experience at an Andean marketplace.