Peru: Land of the Ancient Inca

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Exhilarating, magical, and supremely memorable, Peru is one of the great family travel destinations in the Americas. In 1911 explorer and archaeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon the astonishing ruins of a 400-year-old city hidden in the mists—Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas.” Our leisurely time at the site gives everyone the chance to release their inner explorer and wander in wonder among the amazing ruins. An optional guide-led hike to the sacred summit of Huayna Picchu rewards the hardy with phenomenal 360-degree views of the entire site below.

Lovely Cuzco, once the center of the Incan Empire, still reveals ancient architectural secrets and echoes an opulent, golden age of long ago. Our walking tour of this “Archaeological Capital of the Americas” brings its fascinating, and enigmatic, history to life. On December trips, whitewater raft through dramatic scenery and enchanting pastoral scenes in the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River. 

In the Chinchero market, brimming with brilliantly colored textiles, sharpen your bargaining skills or try your own hand on a local weaver’s back-strap loom. At Ollantaytambo, discover a site so superbly preserved it’s almost a replica of a typical Inca community. The military complex of Sacsayhuaman took 70 years and 20,000 men to complete—kids love exploring its massive, zigzagging walls. And at Pisaq, everyone marvels at the meticulous stone terrace, its aqueducts, and Sun Temple ruins, yet no one knows the original purpose of this exquisite site. 

If you have a few more vacation days to take advantage of while you’re in South America, go on our Ecuador extension. A family adventure that includes Machu Picchu AND the Galapagos Islands can’t be beat.

2014 Dates
Dates 7 or more
travelers
2 to 6
travelers
Internal Air
12/20 - 12/28 $3,890 $4,190 $400
Call for Availability
2015 Dates
Dates 10 or more
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
Internal Air
03/21 - 03/29 $3,890 $4,090 $4,290 $400
04/04 - 04/12 $3,890 $4,090 $4,290 $400
04/18 - 04/26 $3,890 $4,090 $4,290 $400
07/05 - 07/13 $3,890 $4,090 $4,290 $400
08/01 - 08/09 $3,890 $4,090 $4,290 $400
12/22 - 12/31 $4,090 $4,340 $4,590 $400
12/26 - 01/03 Sold Out

Child Discount:$200 per child under 12

Triple Discount: $400 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults in 2014; $200 in 2015

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All entrance and park fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation; private bi-lingual guide throughout, area specialists, all meals except 2 dinners, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

Don't see your travel dates?

Call us, we can personalize any trip to meet your travel needs! 

Extensions

This trip is great in combination with one of our Galapagos adventures. International air to/from Lima and Quito not included.

Day 1 – Depart U.S. / Arrive Lima

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, where your Peru family vacation begins.

Days 2-3 – Sacred Valley

Impressive ancient ruins, gentle mountain slopes, and quaint farming towns make the Sacred Valley a perfect stop. Remnants of the fascinating Inca civilization that once thrived here are all around -- you can just feel the history in the crisp country air. 

 

  • Saqsayhuaman Inca Ruins
  • Awanacancha Llama Center
  • Pisaq Inca Ruins
  • Whitewater rafting (only on December trips)
  • Weaving lesson in Chinchero Village
  • Maras Salt Terraces hike
Days 4-6 – Machu Picchu

The magical “Lost City” that is Machu Picchu cannot be experienced by reading a book or looking through photos. Watch as your family passes through its main entrance and the panoramic view comes into site – their jaws will drop.

 

  • Ollantaytambo Inca Ruins
  • Train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu
  • Explore Machu Picchu
  • Huayna Picchu hike option
  • Gate of the Sun optional hike
  • FAB (Friends Across Borders pen pal program) -- all trips except December 
Day 7 – Cuzco

This family vacation is not complete without a full day to explore all the ins and outs of this unforgettable city. On your walking tour of Cuzco, your family will feel like they have entered a make-believe world where history comes alive with ruins, museums, churches and mansions.

 

  • Cuzco walking tour
  • Koricancha Temple
  • San Pedro Market and lunch with a local family
  • Free time to relax or explore on your own
Day 8 – Cuzco / Lima / Depart

Head home or extend your trip with more time in Lima!

Day 9 – Arrive Home
Hotel Costa del Sol

Hotel Costa del Sol is conveniently located in the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. The hotel features 130 clean, comfortable rooms, each with air-conditioning and internet access. Other highlights of the hotel include a business center, restaurant, and a gym. This hotel is chosen because of its proximity to the airport.

Casa Andina Private Collection-Valle Sagrado

Casa Andina Private Collection-Valle Sagrado: a mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle. On more than 8 landscaped acres (3 hectares), it breathes an air of tranquility and relaxation. Unique among Sacred Valley hotels – most of which remain isolated in the valley, offering little for guests to do – it contains an extraordinary, full-service “Sacred Spa”, a domed Planetarium & Observatory for stargazing in the massive Southern Hemisphere sky, and gourmet restaurant and bar.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, surrounded by twelve acres of beautiful cloud forest, is conveniently located just minutes from the train station. It features tile-roofed casitas (bungalows), a tea plantation, more than 100 species of birds and 250 species of butterflies. The hotel has eighty-five large, comfortable rooms – many with a fireplace and a balcony or terrace. Other highlights include an outdoor pool, hot tub, spa, jogging track, business center and high-speed internet access.

Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inka

The Hotel Libertador, a historical site dating back several centuries, is surrounded by magnificent Inca and colonial buildings. It is conveniently located just minutes from Cuzco’s major attractions, like the main square and the Spanish Cathedral. The hotel features 240 elegant rooms, as well as a fitness center, sauna and Jacuzzi, business center, wireless internet, restaurants and a gift shop.

Why Peru?

See Machu Picchu, new wonder of the world
The “lost city” of Machu Picchu was so remote and so well hidden that it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911, when Hiram Bingham stumbled onto the astonishing ruins hidden in the mists and perched on a rocky ridge in the sky. No longer “lost,” your family will discover first-hand why Machu Picchu was recently voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Rich history and culture
Five hundred years ago, Peru lay at the heart of a vast empire that stretched over 400,000 square miles from northwest Argentina to southern Columbia. A legendary kingdom, this Land of the Inca came to an end when conquering Spaniards swept across South America. Today, Peruvians preserve, with pride, their rich and diverse culture and traditions.
Explore the charms of colonial Cuzco
Founded in the 11th century and capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century through the arrival of the Spanish in the mid 16th century, Cuzco is a delightful mix of Inca and Spanish architecture. Around the city you can still see the remains of Inca buildings and foundations – many of which have proven to be stronger than buildings constructed in the present day!
Inca Trails
The roads from the Inca Empire once stretched from present-day Quito, Ecuador in the north all the way down to Santiago, Chile in the south. The extensive network of roads and trails covered roughly 14,000 miles and crossed mountain passes over 16,000 feet. To top it off, the Inca did not use the wheel or horses until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, so these roads were used almost exclusively by people on foot and pack animals such as llamas. These roads – some of which were paved – wind through the stunning scenery and breathtaking landscapes of the Andes.
Sizable indigenous population
Throughout the history of the Americas, there have been thousands of distinct indigenous groups, tribes, and nations. Sadly, European colonizers decimated and, in some cases, eliminated the native populations of many areas and their beautiful cultures have been lost or almost lost in time. Peru, however, still has a substantial population of indigenous peoples with fascinating cultures to share and a lot to teach us. After Bolivia, Peru has the highest percentage of indigenous people of any country in South America. From the Quechua, to the Aymara, to the many different native groups in the Amazon, there is a refreshingly high diversity of languages and cultures within Peru.

Why Peru with Thomson?

Pisaq Ruins
These ruins are some of the largest and well-kept in all the Sacred Valley, but surprisingly little is known about the site’s actual purpose. It could have been a royal estate, a military complex or even a small city. Impressive ancient ruins, gentle mountain slopes and quaint farming towns make the Sacred Valley a perfect stop.
Whitewater Rafting
This exciting rafting trip on the Urubamba River is fun and great for first-timers. Children really love the rush of rafting on the river. Running right through the heart of the Sacred Valley, this excursion offers a fun glimpse at the Inca past and the surrounding natural environment. You’ll see local Peruvians working in their fields beneath the soaring valley walls that rise up to snow-covered peaks.
Train to Machu Picchu
This one and a half hour train journey follows along the Urubamba River, providing you and your children with awe-inspiring views of the dramatic canyons of the Urubamba Valley on your way to Machu Picchu.
Weaving lesson in Chinchero Village
Quechuan women demonstrate the age-old Andean craft of back strap weaving that has been passed down for generations. You’ll even get the chance to try your hand at it!
a map of Peru: Land of the Ancient Inca