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Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley Tour Highlights

  |   Machu Picchu

We often receive enquiries about the best way to combine an Amazon river cruise with a visit to Peru’s historical capital, Cusco, and its nearby attractions of Machu Picchu and The Sacred Valley. If you’re looking to compliment your river cruise with a land-based experience taking in more of Peru’s highlights, then look no further. We’ve outlined our recommended itinerary for seamlessly combining these two experiences into one unforgettable adventure.


machu picchu

The best way to approach this combination is to begin in the Sacred Valley and onwards towards Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley is lower than Cusco, making the altitude much easier to handle. After the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour, we recommend spending a couple of days in Cusco before taking a flight to Iquitos, where you can embark on your river cruise.


A Sacred Valley and Cusco tour promises some of the very best landscapes, history, wildlife and local culture South America has to offer. Below, we’ve outlined some of the highlights. 


Highlights of a Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley Tour


Sacred Valley

Discover the Beauty of The Sacred Valley

You'll start your journey in the Sacred Valley of Peru, into the foothills of the Rio Urubamba Valley. Most visitors bypass this area en route to the world-famous Machu Picchu ruins, but it’s fast becoming a worthy destination in its own right. Depending on your schedule, you may choose to take some time discovering the picturesque colonial settlements, colourful markets and inspiring Inca citadels that pepper the area. There are numerous trails and sights awaiting exploration, including Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Maras, all of which provide the perfect introduction to this stunning corner of the Andes. Read our Top 6 Things To Do in the Sacred Valley post for more information. 


Machu Picchu

Tackle the Inca Trail & Witness Mesmerizing Machu Picchu

One of the best known archaeological sites in the world, the ancient Incan site of Machu Picchu is definitely not one to be missed. Catching your first glimpse of the terraced ruins, situated against a stunning backdrop of towering emerald peaks, is sure to take your breath away. 

Machu Picchu can be reached from Cusco through a combination of public transport services, but for added grandeur and excitement, hike the stunning four-day Inca Trail up to the ruins. The trek is by no means easy (the altitude, cold and steep ascent make sure of this), but you’ll traverse lush rainforests, high passes and witness sweeping vistas before witnessing the mystical sight of Machu Picchu. Read through our Machu Picchu posts for more information.


cusco peru

Explore the Historical Treasures of Cusco

End your tour in the former capital of the Incan empire, awash with historical, archaeological and cultural attractions. Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and an undisputed highlight of any Peruvian adventure. Popular with tourists, it forms a convenient base for those planning a visit to Machu Picchu. But before heading further to the Amazon, be sure to spend some time soaking in the rich heritage of this unique city. 

Wander between the impressive Inca and Spanish sites, being sure not to miss the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral and the Qoricancha sun temple. Head to the atmospheric San Blas neighborhood, populated with artists’ studios and trendy bars, and for sweeping views over the city take a trip up to the Sacsayhuamán ruins. At the end of the day, unwind and explore Cusco’s thriving culinary scene, dining in one of the many fine restaurants that populate its historic centre. Read our Top 10 Things to Do in Cusco post for more information.



For more information about our Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley Tour highlights, please contact us. We would be happy to help you combine your Amazon River cruise with this once-in-a-lifetime Peru tour. 

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About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA