An in-depth look at what it’s like to explore expedition-style

Flexibility is a hallmark of Lindblad-National Geographic expeditions, so our day-to-day itinerary may change plans to take advantage of conditions or wildlife activity, or photographers may decide to linger through the golden hour of light.


  • DAY 1: Lima, Peru

    Upon arrival in Lima this evening, check-in at the Wyndham Costa del Sol, conveniently located right at the airport. Rest and relax at the hotel before our early departure tomorrow.

  • DAY 2: Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca

    Board a short scenic flight to Cusco this morning, and continue to Moray—a visually stunning Inca site with dramatic agricultural terraces in the heart of the fabled and fertile Urubamba Valley. After lunch and an opportunity to experience a local market, check in at our hotel in the Sacred Valley for two nights: Sol y Luna (2020) or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (2021). Both beautiful hotels are set in verdant gardens with views over the valley. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 3: Sacred Valley of the Inca

    Spend the day exploring the archaeological sites and culture of the Sacred Valley in the company of National Geographic expert Peter Frost, who has lived and worked in Peru for decades. He (or occasionally a colleague, if he is in the field) joins us for a talk at the hotel and continues with us to Ollantaytambo, where massive stone walls stand sentry over a thriving Inca community. Lunch is nearby at a working, family-owned hacienda. Here we are also treated to a show of Peruvian Paso horses, and National Geographic grantee Nilda Callañaupa, founder of El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco, joins us to demonstrate Inca weaving traditions. Dinner tonight is at the hotel. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

    This morning marvel at the tropical Andean scenery and life along the river from panoramic windows on the train to Machu Picchu—the Inca royal retreat famously introduced to the world by Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. Set at less than 8,000 feet, the sanctuary is set in tropical mountain forest with diverse birds and orchids. Check-in at the historic 31-room Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the World Heritage site, with the leisure to explore over two days in the company of our hand-picked tour director and local guides. We linger after day-visitors are long gone. Lunch and dinner is at the Hotel's private Tampu Restaurant. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Machu Picchu/Cusco

    Awaken this morning at Machu Picchu, where our options include an early hike to the Sun Gate, the ancient final checkpoint to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. After lunch, return through the valley to Cusco, center of the Inca universe and a burgeoning Andean cultural capital. Check-in at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio for two nights in the ancient heart of Cusco. Like many colonial-era buildings, our hotel—founded as a monastery in 1592—stands atop a fountain in Inca-carved stone. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Cusco

    Explore the magnificently ornate 17th-century cathedral and Plaza de Armas, the sacred Inca Temple of the Sun and other treasures of Cusco this morning. Visit nearby Sacsayhuaman, where impressive terrace walls, some of the finest stonework we've seen yet, command views over the city. Relax, shop, or visit Cusco's many churches and museums this afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight. (B,L)

  • DAY 7: Cusco/Lima

    Return to vibrant, coastal Lima this morning, where on a tour we stroll the Plaza Mayor and delight in a private farewell lunch with a special musical presentation at Casa Aliaga—in the same family for 17 generations. After a visit to the extraordinary Larco Museum, dedicated to pre-Columbian art, check-in at Belmond Miraflores Park, set along a fashionable seaside promenade. Dinner is on your own. (B,L)

  • DAY 8: Lima

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home—or onto Iquitos or Amazon. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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