Our way to Machu Picchu
$950 per person
- Visit hidden spots near Cusco and in the Sacred Valley where mass tourism doesn’t go. Maras Salt Mines and Andean textile community of Chinchero.
- Experience the incredible and famous Machu Picchu, a must see for anyone visiting Peru. Meet the real locals of rural Peru, spend time and be hosted by a beautiful Quechua family of 7 in their home.
- Photo opportunities in Landscape, Portrait and documental styles with the incredible backdrop of Peruvian landscapes. As well as the big attractions get to know a special side of Peru not many do, well off the beaten path.
Private Expedition for 1 person: $1580 USD
2 people: $950 USD per person
3+ people: $890 USD per person
- Huayna Picchu Mountain
- Photographer guide to attend with you all the way to Machu Picchu.
- Single occupancy hotel room.
- Mid-range zoom as a versatile go-to lens for landscapes and portraits.
- Prime lens for portrait opportunities (50mm, 85mm or similar)
- Telephoto for use at the salt mines.
- Tripod and filters for long exposure opportunities at the lake on day 1 (ND 10 or stronger, CPL etc.)
Departure/Return LocationYour Hotel in Cusco
Departure TimePlease be ready before 8:00 AM
Return TimeApproximately 18:30 (In 3 days)
What to wearClothes for all conditions (the weather can be unpredictable in the Andes, it’s best to be prepared!) Comfortable walking shoes. Although no strenuous hiking is involved its always recommendable to wear sensible footwear.
IncludedAccommodationEntrance FeesGuideLunchMealsPhoto AssistanceTransport
Not IncludedExtrasInsuranceLocal Flights
1st Day - Departing from Cusco
8h00 - Pick-up from hotel or hostel and begin our drive into the Andes.
9h00 - Stop in Chinchero to pick up some local empanadas to eat later for lunch.
9h45 - Stop at our secret landscape location. Here we get an incredible view over the sacred valley and also if we are lucky, a chance to meet and photograph some of the local farmers and shepherds who work on these lands.
10h45 - Stop at a local textile market in Chinchero, here we get to learn about the textile process of dyeing and weaving and also can have full portrait sessions with the ladies there wearing local traditional clothes.
12h00 - Lunch at Laguna Huaypo, after lunch we can spend time shooting at this beautiful lake framed with huge mountains.
13h00 - The Salineras de Maras, here you can find many opportunities for awesome photography, from small details to big landscapes and the locals seen working in this otherworldly place.
14h00 - Leave the Salineras and begin the drive to Ollantaytambo.
15h00 - Arrival in Ollantaytambo, from here we drop you off to take the scenic train to Aguas Calientes solo. Have no fear we will make all arrangements for your hotel and tour of the lost city of the Incas.
If however you would like your photographer guide to attend with you to compliment your visit to Machu Picchu let us know and we can provide this as an optional add-on as your local guide at the site will not be a photographer.
17h00 - Arrival in Aguas Calientes, check into your hotel and free time to relax and explore the town.
19h00 - Your local guide for the following morning will meet with you to brief you on the upcoming day (at the lobby of your hotel). Afterwards we recommend getting a good night’s sleep and getting ready for the following day.
2nd Day - Machu Picchu
4h00 - An early start this morning to begin queuing for the bus up to the site of Machu Picchu.
6h00 - Gates open to the site, your guide will give you a 2h30 guided tour of the location. Once the tour is over you will be free to continue exploring some more if you like.
12h00 - Return from the site down to Aguas Calientes for some lunch and to relax a while.
15h00 - Hop on the train back to Ollantaytambo.
16h30 - Arrival in Ollantaytambo where we will be waiting to pick you up in our private transport and transfer you to a hotel right in the heart of the Sacred Valley, here we will be able to eat some dinner and relax for the evening.
3rd Day - Community Visit
7h00 - Time to get up and grab some breakfast at the hotel.
8h00 - Leave the hotel and make a quick stop in Calca to visit the central market, here we can buy a few things to take with us to the community.
10h30 - Arrive in the community and meet with our hosts
11h30 - Visit the local school, meet and spend time with the children there. Plenty of opportunities for great photos around the school.
13h00 - Return to our host’s home for lunch of homemade delicious local food and portrait sessions with the family, all wearing full traditional clothes.
14h30 - Visit lakes above town for landscape shots with some of the Quechua family members.
16h00 - Return to our family to say goodbyes.
16h30 - Begin drive back to Cusco.
18h30 - Arrival in Cusco and drop-off at hotel.
Discover Machu Picchu
More than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. A symbol of the Incan Empire and built around 1450AD, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
10 Interesting Facts about Machu Picchu
10. In the Quechua Indian language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”
9. Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths and houses to temples and sanctuaries.
8. The compound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs. Most of the individual staircases were carved from one slab of stone.
7. Although many of the stones that were used to build the city were more than 50 pounds, it is believed that no wheels were used to transport these rocks up the mountain. Rather, it is thought that hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks up the steep mountain side.
6. Many different theories exist about Machu Picchu’s purpose—a royal estate and a secret ceremonial center among them.
5. The Incas were some of the best masons in the world. The structures were so well built with a technique called ashlar (stones that are cut to fit together without mortar) that not even a knife blade can fit in between stones.
4. Machu Picchu was only known locally until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham re-discovered the site in 1911. His book, The Lost City of the Incas, was based on his findings.
3. A long-standing dispute between Peru and Yale University has existed over the artifacts collected by Bingham during his exploration of the site. Yale maintains that they own the items while Peru insists they were given on loan.
2. Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory, and its sacred Intihuatana stone accurately indicates the two equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating no shadow.
1. Unfortunately, most cities built by the Inca civilization were destroyed by the Spanish conquest. Machu Picchu was in a hidden location—invisible from below—and not found, making it one of the most well-preserved Inca cities and an archeological gem.
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