A Pilgrimage Through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the World's Greatest Archaeological Site
High in the Peruvian Andes, the ruins of Machu Picchu rest amid knife-edged ridges and vertical slopes draped in emerald jungle. Hidden to Western explorers until 1911, when a Quechua guide led Yale historian Hiram Bingham to the site, the marvelous Inca city was mesmerizing, even in its dereliction. Built on a granite mountaintop close to the sun, its intricate stone architecture reveals the ingenuity of its 15th-century designers. Far below, the Urubamba River rushes through a green gorge into the Sacred Valley. Our journey into the mysteries of Incan civilization also includes at Cusco, once the gold-laden capital of the empire.
An In-Depth Private Journey with Peru’s Most Outstanding Guides
Machu Picchu is an architectural and civil engineering wonder. No one knows exactly why the Incas chose to build this city in such a remote location or why, after all that time and trouble, it was so suddenly vacated. While we may never know these answers, on this privately guided journey you can experience a rare kind of illumination that run-of-the-mill tour operators simply can't provide. The reason? Our professional Expedition Leader, who will accompany you from your arrival in Cusco through your departure, offering private insight into this mystical place—a “backstage pass” that cannot be achieved on a typical tour. So, we encourage you: don’t just “do” Machu Picchu as if to tick it off a list. This special site is way too important for that.
- Travel with NHA’s Expert Expedition Leader
While most other tour companies offer either an unguided visit to Machu Picchu or they rely on local “step-on” guides who provide only scant interpretive services at the ruins, on our immersive journey you’ll benefit from the full services of a highly trained NHA Expedition Leader who will be at your side from your arrival in Cusco until your departure. In Peru, our award-wining guides average 15 years’ experience. And in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, they make all the difference! See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- At Machu Picchu, Small Groups Are a Must
Explored in the company of a small group of travelers, Machu Picchu offers one of the planet’s most meaningful travel experiences. But in a big group, with a large number of tourists competing to hear the guide, your one-time visit to this landmark site can lose its magic. Our trips average just six travelers, allowing our guests plenty of personal time at the ruins and in with our leaders.
- Ours Trips are Run in a Custom Manner to Suit Your Interests
Our adventures are focused on the interests and abilities of each specific group. While other companies generally offer standardized presentations, our Expedition Leaders have the leeway—and the experience—to adjust each departure to suit the needs of our travelers, giving them access to various elements of the region that regular tourists often miss. This is especially important while hiking and exploring in the Sacred Valley en route to Machu Picchu, because of the high altitude. Our groups are small enough and flexible enough that travelers can walk and explore at their own pace.
- Luxury Accommodations in Natural Settings—Away from Crowds
Our accommodations are selected to enhance your authentic experience of Peruvian culture, away from hordes of other visitors. Near Machu Picchu we stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a luxury property tucked within lush cloud forest vegetation in the small town of Aguas Calientes. The hotel enjoys a private setting on 12 acres of flower-filled gardens containing more than 300 species of orchids. We also spend time in charming bungalows in the peaceful heart of the Sacred Valley, as well as a classic property that sits on the foundations of an old Inca site and is ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top hotels in South America.
- Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Machu Picchu Adventure
With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that polar bears are under substantial threat from our planet’s warming temperatures.
- Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!