The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
THE BEST PACKAGES
Given the assortment of factors you’ll need to take into account when planning a trip to Machu Picchu – including the range of train and hiking options, the various circuits inside the site, and the ever-changing rules and regulations about time spent at there, follow-up visits and visitor numbers – booking with a tour operator is highly recommended.
Rainbow Tours (020 8131 9304; rainbowtours.co.uk)
has a 12-day Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure tour, including a lesser-known route to Machu Picchu through the Urubamba Valley and the remote passes of the Lares region. Travellers can meet farmers, weavers and high-altitude communities, discover local traditions and enjoy the incredible scenery while hiking from one comfortable mountain lodge to another. Additionally, visits to Ollantaytambo and Pisac are included before your arrival at Machu Picchu. From £3,985 per person, including accommodation, guided trekking, transfers, all flights, most meals and entry to Machu Picchu.
Cox & Kings (03330 603303; coxandkings.co.uk)
offers a 15-day Train to Machu Picchu group tour that includes Cuzco and Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and, of course, Machu Picchu, staying in good hotels. From £3,595 per person, including guides, entrance fees, all breakfasts, several other meals, transfers and flights.
Select Latin America (020 7407 1478; selectlatinamerica.co.uk)
has a 12-day Mountain Lodges of Peru tour, combining guided visits of Lima and Cuzco, six days of trekking and stays at the Mountain Lodges (mountainlodgesofperu. com). From £5,005 per person, including accommodation, guided touring, private transfers, domestic flights, all breakfasts, and most other meals. International flights are not included. Allow a budget of £750-£1,000 for international flights.
Journey Latin America
(020 8747 8315; journeylatinamerica.com) has an 11-day luxury tour to Peru that includes four nights at the Explora Lodge in the Sacred Valley, plus guided tours of Machu Picchu. From £7,189 per person, including international flights, transfers, excursions, touring Machu Picchu, first-class accommodation and most meals.
KE Adventure Travel (01768 77396; keadventure.com)
has regular departures for its eight-day Inca Trail holiday, which includes the classic four-day hike. From £1,865 per person, including Cuzco and Machu Picchu, four nights’ hotel accommodation, three nights’ camping, and meals on the trek. Flights are not included; so you’ll need to budget £1,000 to £1,200 for these.