There are few landmarks in the world that provoke as much awe and intrigue as Machu Picchu. The lost city of the Incas, swept high in the mist-shrouded Andes and ringed by mountain sentinels, is a staggering sight to behold. Discover the secrets and curiosities of this ancient Incan citadel on our post-conference tour. Arrive in the gateway town of Aguas Calientes in style aboard a glass-domed train, or jump off early and complete the final section of the Inca Trail on foot. Brush up on Incan history on a walking tour of Cusco, learn the art of traditional Andean weaving, and dine in a 500-year-old chapel.

Day 1

Rio de Janeiro - Lima

Arrive in the Peruvian capital, Lima, and stay overnight at the airport hotel.

Day 2

Lima - Sacred Valley

Fly to Cuzco and don’t be afraid if you feel a little lightheaded – Peru’s oldest city is a dizzying 3,400 metres above sea level. Save your city sightseeing for later, we’re heading to the Sacred Valley, where our cultural exploration of the ancient Inca civilisation begins.

Stretch your legs at Awana Kancha, an indigenous ‘palace of weaving’ where Andean textile traditions are preserved. Meet the four South American camelids – alpaca, llama, vicuña and guanaco – and see how their fleeces are shorn, dyed and hand woven into colourful textiles. Enjoy lunch at Huayoccari Hacienda, a private estate nestled in nature and housing an impressive collection of pre-Colombian, Incan and colonial artefacts.

Day 3

Aguas Calientes

All aboard! Today we’re travelling to South America’s greatest archaeological site in style – aboard a glass-domed train. Sit back and delight in the panoramic views of the Andes as we inch our way towards Machu Picchu and the anticipation builds.

If you want to experience the Andes like the Inca did, stop the train! Hop off at KM 104 (optional) and make the 10km trek to the gateway of Machu Picchu on foot.

Pass through beautiful cloud forest, pausing at the ruins of Wiñaywayna, a terraced 15th century Incan city built into a hillside overlooking the Urubamba River.

Arrive at Sun Gate, on the final leg of the Inca Trail, and savour your first glimpse of Machu Picchu spread out below you.

If you opted to stay on the train, your Machu Picchu experience starts today with a tour of the ancient citadel.

Day 4

Aguas Calientes

Today is all about Machu Picchu. And the granddaddy of archaeological sites does not disappoint. Perched more than 2400 metres above sea level, the magnificent lost city comprises more than 150 buildings constructed with engineering precision centuries ahead of their time.

See the remains of temples, workshops, tombs and crop terraces, and hear theories about the citadel’s function. Was it a royal retreat or spiritual enclave? Site of pagan pilgrimage or astronomical observation?

If you toured Machu Picchu yesterday, enjoy free time at the site or in Aguas Calientes, before returning to Cuzco.

Day 5

Cuzco - Australia

Transfer to the airport for the return flight to Australia.

Dr Gary Kilov (1:42)
Dr Asha Nair (1:31)
Dr Ralph Audehm (1:11)