Background to Machu Picchu Patagonia Tours
Imagine a land so geographically diverse, so rich in natural beauty that it draws explorers and adventurers from the world over. When you journey with us through Peru and Patagonia, you’ll live and breathe these sublime landscapes, from spreading glaciers to sun-drenched vineyards, from vast flatlands to the misty crags of the Andes.
But your South American escape isn’t just about the outdoors. Legendary cities also await you—cities like Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, with its Spanish colonial churches and stone temples to the sun; or Buenos Aires, birthplace of the tango.
Best of all, whether you’re scaling the peaks of Machu Picchu or horseback riding in Nahuel Huapi National Park, our expert guides will be by your side, to help you live your odyssey to the fullest.
Naturalists and adventure travelers describe the Peruvian sierra and Patagonia as wild, unspoiled paradises. Learn why when you come with us to these gorgeous, life-changing places.
Sample Machu Picchu Patagonia Tour itinerary
Day 1: Lima, Peru
After a long international flight, we’ll meet you at the airport in Lima and take you to your hotel – either at the airport (if flying to Cusco next day) or in central Miraflores (if staying in Lima).
Day 2: Lima / Cusco
We recommend adding a day to see Lima and decompress from your international flight. Choose from a city tour including visits to its grand colonial plaza, catacomb-filled churches, and pre-Colombian museums, a market visit and cooking class, or visit a traditional fishing village.
But you can also head straight up to Cusco on this day. You would fly from Lima over the Andes to arrive at the Inca capital of Cusco – 11,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, we’ll pick you up and take you to stay in the Sacred Valley, located at a lower and more manageable altitude to acclimatize. If there’s time, we’ll stop by the town and markets at Chincheros, before arriving at your hotel.
Day 3: Sacred Valley
Today we’ll bring on a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, accompanied by a professional, English-speaking guide. You’ll have the chance to visit the markets at Pisac – the most famous in the Valley – with wares from local vendors, and if there’s time, the ruins above the town. With a lunch break included, you’ll also visit the village and ruins of Ollantaytambo – a special Inca fortress with a unique history … and the departing point for trains to Machu Picchu.
Day 4: Machu Picchu !
Today you’ll catch a train to Machu Picchu town, where your guide awaits to bring you on the bus up to the entrance of the incredible Inca citadel. These are not just ruins – it’s a city – a staggering archeological and engineering masterpiece! After an expertly guided tour, you should have some time to enjoy if further at your leisure – walking to the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate, taking more photos, or simply sitting in quiet contemplation. In the afternoon, you’ll catch a train back to Cusco.
Option: You can choose to spend an extra night in Machu Picchu town, visiting Machu Picchu again the following day and climb the ubiquitous peak of Huayna Picchu.
Day 5: Cusco
Today you can join a small group for a tour of Cusco – the ancient center of the Inca universe. The Cusco cathedral and central Plaza de Armas are special in their own right. And the visits to the Q’oricancha (Temple of the Sun) and Sacsayhuaman make it even more worthwhile.
Day 6: Cuzco – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Today you’ll fly to one of South America’s cultural meccas – Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango music and dance. We’ll bring you to stay in one of its fashionable neighborhoods, such as Palermo or Soho, for easy access to a tango show that same night or shopping and a tour the following day.
Day 7: Buenos Aires
Along with your travel partner and English-speaking guide, keep your eyes and ears peeled for street performances, old-time cafe notables, boutique shops and restaurants, world-class parrilla beef, Evita Peron’s grave, and the day-glo, colorful houses of La Boca.
Day 8: Fly to El Calafate
You’ll take a short flight to El Calafate—the gateway to southern Patagonia. You can visit the fabulous glacier museum in the afternoon, or just rest and relax in your hotel or mountain lodge.
Day 9: Perito Moreno Glacier
On this full-day tour of the blue Perito Moreno Glacier—one of the few in the world that’s not receding—you’ll take a boat ride that brings you within touching distance of a wall of ice as big as a city. And explore walkways a bit further. You’ll also head to Redonda Bay, home of swans, flamingoes, upland geese, and South American coots, before returning to El Calafate.
Day 10: Estancia Cristina, Upsala Glacier, 4×4
Here, from the turquoise waters of sprawling Lake Argentino, you’ll embark on an exciting 4X4 off-road trip into the huge expanses of Patagonia, where you’ll spot condors, guanacos, wild horses, and all manner of birds. And pass by the wonders of the another, special glacier – Upsala.
Day 11: Fly to Buenos Aires – Home
Depending on your flight time, you may have room for a guided tour of Buenos Aires before going to the airport—and then on to your connection home.
All our tours are customized and can depart on any day. Contact us for your personalized tour program.
Other, Additional Days, Destinations in Patagonia
Patagonia is massive, covers both Chile and Argentina and contains many other famous destinations worth a visit. You can expand and/or replace the above sample itinerary with some of these other tourist gems:
- Chile – Santiago (City, Valparaiso, Wine), Puerto Varas (Lakes)
- Argentina – Bariloche (Lakes), Mendoza (Mountains, Wine)
- Chile – Torres del Paine (Mountains, Glaciers)
- Andes Lakes Crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche … or vice versa