We are open tomorrow from 9:00 am. Call 020 7590 0691
Machu Picchu

Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

Peru's cultural epicentre

Introduction

While Machu Picchu grabs the headlines, standing imperiously on its Andean throne as a poster child of a lost civilisation, the Sacred Valley is crammed full of hidden jewels that reach back, via archaeological sites and a colonial renaissance, to Incan fortresses and historic market towns. It's all reached from Cusco, a city who's cultural wealth – both Incan and colonial – is among the greatest in Latin America.

Machu Picchu

Altitude aside, this is undoubtedly one of the high points of world travel. Dating back to the 15th century, Machu Picchu – literally ‘old peak’ – was kept hidden from the Spanish conquistadors until its rediscovery in 1911 when a local innkeeper led American explorer Hiram Bingham to its lost summit perch. Today, the spectacular Inca Trail and winding train rides bring you to what has become the most recognisable archaeological site in the Americas. Commonly believed to have been built for an erstwhile Incan emperor, palatial royal residences, religious sites and military quarters combine to form an imposing citadel. It’s all set to a backdrop of forested slopes and carved peaks – vistas every bit as grand as the city complex itself.


Sacred Valley

El Valle Sagrado to the locals and Río Urubamba to cartographers is a region of exceptional natural beauty. The hairpin turns of its river author are mapped out onto great rocky escarpments that give way to thick forests as condors dart in and out of its misty shroud. It’s the picturesque setting for colonial towns and a collection of important Incan sites. Combine the two with Pisac whose ruined fortress looks out over those signature terraces to the town below while Chinchero – a typical Andean village – has fused a colonial church in among its ancient Incan ruins and traditional market. Not to be outdone, nearby Ollantaytambo’s ruins cling to the mountainside in more giant green steps than it has syllables. 


Cusco

As the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, this is much more than a mere gateway to the region; charming Cusco marks the meeting point of colonial majesty and Incan solemnity. Its Coricancha Temple – complete with Incan foundations and Dominican church topping – is a fitting metaphor for the city’s contrasts while its Incan Sacsayhuaman Fortress and 17th century La Compania church keep their influences separate. However, it’s in its cobbled streets that Cusco really comes to life. Bustling markets sell the finest alpaca knits and plaza-side cafés dish up the best in Peruvian gastronomy. Think mouthwatering anticuchos beef skewers, rich Amazonian chocolate and hearty pork stews.


Special offers in Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

explora Valle Sagrado, Sacred Valley

Contemporary hotel

Special
offer

Free Machu Picchu excursion & Stay 5 Pay 4 night offer
Book by: 15 October 2019

Combining contemporary luxury with an ancient setting, this new for 2016 property is poised to explore an ancient civilisation.

Top itineraries in Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

Essential Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley

8-day tailor-made journey from £2,595 pp incl. flights

Short but perfectly formed, this superb-value holiday might last for just over a week, but it still manages to encapsulate the very best of Peru’s ancient wonders, colonial heritage and spectacular Andean landscapes.

Highlights of Peru by Rail

10-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £3,520 pp incl. flights

Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, highlights of any visit to Peru, are linked by rail via Cusco along some of the world's highest and most scenic tracks.

The Best of Peru: Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca

14-day tailor-made journey from £4,465 pp incl. flights

Explore the very best of Peru's beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and fascinating culture on this tailor-made journey. Visit Lima, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca before heading to the Andes and the ancient sites of Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

Luxury Peru by Rail with Belmond

13-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £5,985 pp incl. flights

Whether it’s lavish accommodation, exclusive tours or trips aboard the continent’s most luxurious trains, this itinerary showcases the very best of Peru, from its Incan treasures to its spectacular natural world.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu

Contemporary lodge

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge holds the unique and highly privileged honour of being the only hotel located adjacent to the iconic ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

Hotel Sol y Luna, Sacred Valley

Traditional lodge

Hotel Sol y Luna is a luxury lodge and spa, surrounded by Peru's beautiful Sacred Valley, offering world-class food created by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. It serves as an excellent base for exploring the renowned Machu Picchu.

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco

Historic hotel

The stunning Belmond Palacio Nazarenas enjoys a superb location, tucked away in a peaceful plaza behind Cusco's historic main square. This former palace and convent has been lovingly restored and is now one of the city's most exclusive hotels.

explora Valle Sagrado, Sacred Valley

Contemporary hotel

Special
offer

Free Machu Picchu excursion & Stay 5 Pay 4 night offer
Book by: 15 October 2019

Combining contemporary luxury with an ancient setting, this new for 2016 property is poised to explore an ancient civilisation.

See all places to stay

Where to go in Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an incredible site. This ancient Inca citadel is renowned the world over for its majestic setting, architectural excellence and sacred overtones.

Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley's showpiece is unarguably the myth- and mist-shrouded Inca citadel of Machu Picchu - ‘the city in the clouds'.

Cusco

Cusco is the prime destination for Peru holidays and it's unsurprising. Famous as the departure point for treks on the Inca Trail and trips aboard the luxury Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, the city also boasts a wealth of Inca ruins, impressive colonial architecture, breathtaking scenery, gre…

Peru Trekking & the Inca Trail

The Peruvian Andes offers some truly spectacular trekking routes. Of course, there's the world-famous Inca Trail, while other options offer luxury lodge accommodation and the chance to visit communities far off the beaten track.

See all places

When to go to Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • -10
  • 200
  • 150
  • 100
  • 50
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu articles

  • Luxury lodges in South America: the ultimate guide to explora

    explora properties offer some of the most luxurious accommodation in South America's most spectacular settings. Expect open bars, full-board fine dining and included excursions that range from archaeological hikes in Peru to bike rides in Patagonia.

  • Just back from: Chile and Peru

    Our travel specialist Emma recently returned from a nine-day tour of Chile and Peru. Read her in-depth review for an insight into her spectacular trip as well as advice if you're planning your own tailor-made holiday.

  • Vintage travel posters that have stood the test of time

    We take a look at the spectacularly bold travel advertisements of the 1930s and their promise of golden temples in India, lakeside retreats in Italy and deers grazing outside of Japanese temples. You'll be surprised at how much holds true to this day.

  • Wexas Wins at Wanderlust Travel Awards 2016

    Everybody at Wexas is delighted to announce we have been awarded Top 10 Tour Operator status by Wanderlust at the 2016 Wanderlust Travel Awards.

See all articles

Meet our Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0691

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0691 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
  • In-depth Wexas travel guides

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected