A testimony to the genius of the Inca civilisation, it’s the stunning Andean setting that makes Machu Picchu so mind-blowing. To get there you can walk the iconic Inca Trail and camp, or if you want to avoid the crowds you can follow lesser-known routes up to the Mountain Lodges of Peru. Don’t think you’re up to the trek? Taking the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train is an unforgettable way to see Machu Picchu. Winding your way up the mesmerising Andes, spend a night at a luxurious and beautiful hotel such as Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo or Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (within the Inca city itself), and explore Macchu Picchu in more detail the next day. For this, and a whole raft of Peruvian adventures, see our Peru by Rail and River Holiday.
Just outside Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is a stunning spot dotted with tiny villages and ancient Inca towns. Those in search of adventure can raft down the Urubamba River and go trekking, riding, mountain biking and paragliding. As for the ruins of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, they may not be on the scale of Machu Picchu but they are some of the best preserved examples of Inca town planning you’ll see. Explore the water ducts, watchtowers, tunnels, and other incredible feats of engineering. For an authentic Peruvian experience, with stunning views of the Sacred Valley, it’s got to be Sol & Luna. For something a little different, the Salinas de Maras salt pans make a great day trip.