2019 June 29 to July 7
A Gay Travel Peru Cultural Tour to the Lost City of the Incas
Stay 2 nights at the Machu Picchu ruins in the renowned Sanctuary Lodge. Contemplate the towering Andean peaks (Incan gods) at sunrise over Machu Picchu, dine at a private hacienda overlooking the Sacred Valley, shop at colorful Andean markets, and be carried away by native music on this gay Machu Picchu & Peru tour. Conclude at the Hotel Monasterio, an amazing former monastery.
Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Hanns Ebensten Travel has been leading gay tours to Machu Picchu and other sites throughout Peru for over thirty-five years. From the excitement of Lima to the beauty of the Sacred Valley and the charm of Cusco, our intimate tour of Peru is filled with wonder.
Our tour starts in Lima, with a rare look into a private art collection and a tour of South America’s oldest colonial home (the family still lives there). We spend two days exploring the Sacred Valley, with its lovely terraced fields and beautiful river views.
Then we head to Machu Picchu, a wonder of human strength and spirit whose mystery still haunts the stones of this great city. Our rare two-night stay is at the renowned Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located adjacent to the ruins. We conclude our tour with two nights in Cusco at the Hotel Monasterio (a former monastery, complete with beautiful courtyard), voted as the top hotel in South America by readers of CondeNast Traveler Magazine. This itinerary allows plenty of time for sightseeing and leisure and offers a taste of the best Peru has to offer.
Days 1-2: Lima
There are no activities scheduled on the arrival day, so you can schedule your flights to arrive in the evening of Day 1 or during the night. Whenever you arrive, we offer a transfer to our hotel, where rooms have been reserved starting from the evening of Day 1. On Day 2, we enjoy a full day tour of Lima including the Colonial section, the cathedral, San Francisco Church, and the presidential palace. We will also visit a private art collection and a Museum showcasing Peru’s heritage. This evening we enjoy dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant overlooking a pre-Incan site.
Days 3-4: Cusco to Sacred Valley
In the morning we transfer from our Lima hotel to the airport for the scenic one-hour flight over the Andes to Cusco.
Upon arrival at the Cusco Airport, we will transfer to our private air-conditioned van for a ride into the Sacred Valley. We drive over the Pampa de Anta Pass, then descend a steep mountain road into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, one of the loveliest valleys on earth. Look for llamas, women dressed in colorful clothing and stunning mountain vistas as we make our way through the valley. During our two days in the Sacred Valley, we will visit the Incan ruins at Ollantaytambo. We spend the next two nights in our unique hotel that captures the essence of the Valley. A day in this beautiful and fertile valley provides us with a restful interlude between our busy days of sightseeing. A short morning drive takes us to Pisac, with its extensive Inca terraces, the remains of a royal palace and a colorful market. After lunch at a private hacienda, the afternoon is at leisure.
Days 5-6: Machu Picchu
Today, we drive to Ollanta station where we board the train for Machu Picchu. Riding along the Urubamba River is an exciting and visually stunning experience. We pass through narrow gorges and see lovely terraced fields verdant with vegetation high up in the mountains. Our home for two nights is the fine Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, managed by Orient-Express. Lunch will be served upon arrival.
Just beyond the terrace of our hotel is Machu Picchu, a complete Inca city high on a mountain saddle, sometimes hidden in a forest of clouds. Its steeply terraced slopes fall away to the river, which rushes through a great hairpin bend 1,200 feet below. The Spaniards supposedly never found it, and for centuries it remained unknown, untouched and overgrown with vegetation. In 1911, Dr. Hiram Bingham rediscovered it and brought it to the world’s attention. Since then, Machu Picchu has attracted travelers, explorers and archeologists. Much has been written and revealed about this great city, but much is still debated and unknown.
Over the next two days, we will have plenty of time to contemplate the mystery of this fascinating site as we walk among the ancient ruins of staircases, temples and a sundial. Nothing is more delightful than stretching out on a blanket alongside the Inca walls amidst the wildflowers, lying in the sun, reading, writing up travel notes, or daydreaming.
Dawn is an incredible sight at Machu Picchu. As the clouds part and the sun appears over the tops of the snow-capped Andean peaks, the light begins to color the ancient stones. Shadows and light transform the ancient city. If you wish you can be awakened early to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, a challenging climb of about an hour and a half (not recommended when wet), and return to the hotel for a well-earned breakfast.
During our time here, we can return to the Inca city at our leisure, making additional hikes to the Sun Gate or to the curious Inca drawbridge, or simply relaxing in this unique place.
Days 7-8: Cusco
Our last morning at the Sanctuary Lodge is free for one final personal exploration of Machu Picchu. After lunch (on your own) we take the bus from our hotel down to the railroad station in the valley, and return to Cusco by train and bus, a journey of approximately four hours.
For our stay in Cusco, our accommodations are at the stylish Hotel Monasterio, a restored 16th century monastery now managed by Orient-Express. The traditional Spanish-style rooms are beautifully appointed and offer oxygen enrichment for those who feel affected by the altitude. The courtyard, dining area and main hall offer a quiet charm unknown in most hotel experiences. Dinner is on your own this evening, with a wealth of fascinating restaurants to choose from in the nearby main square.
On our morning tour of Cusco we see the great Spanish colonial churches and palaces built upon massive Inca stone foundations. The cathedral is atop the Inca Wiracocha’s palace. Santo Domingo Church stands upon the huge semi-circular walls of Coricancha, the Inca temple dedicated to the sun. To saunter along the cobbled streets of Cusco is to see archaeology come to life. Lunch is on your own, then dinner is at a very special restaurant inside a museum.
Day 9: Departure
In the middle of the day we transfer from our hotel to the airport for the one-hour flight to Lima. Travelers leaving in the late evening can make arrangements for a day room at a hotel by Lima Airport, sightseeing or last-minute shopping. Individual extensions to an Amazon eco-lodge or to a private island in Lake Titicaca may also be available following our tour. Please contact us if you would like to extend your Peruvian holiday.
For travelers wishing to spend more time exploring South America, consider extending your fun with HE Travel’s Galapagos Gay Cruise immediately before coming to Peru.
Existing in virtual isolation for millions of years, the Galapagos Islands are home to many species found nowhere else on Earth. Join this gay Galapagos tour and experience this abundance and variety of equatorial wildlife closely, as we walk, hike, snorkel, swim and imagine Darwin’s dream.
Price includes: Airport-hotel transfers on arrival and departure days; Flights between Lima and Cusco; All ground transportation within Peru; Deluxe hotels each night; 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners, including wine at Welcome and Farewell dinners; All hotel service charges, government taxes, porterage, and meal gratuities; Hiking permit to Huayna Picchu (permits are limited, so reserve early). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: International airfare; Departure taxes for international flights; 2 lunches and 1 dinner; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
Optional Tour Choices:
$2100 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
$190 Day Room at end of tour (single occupancy)
$100 Day Room at end of tour (per person in double occupancy)
“I wanted this trip to be the trip of a lifetime; little did I know that it would be life-changing” -Stephen H., Edina, MN
“This trip was worth every penny. I could never have put together a trip for myself that would run this smoothly, and that allowed me to see so many things.” – Stan S., Los Angeles, CA
“HE Travel takes care of all the stress and details of travel allowing you to enjoy the full experience of the country, the culture, and the unforgettable sites. HE Travel sets the Gold Standard for traveling.” -Neil E., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
“Another spectacular and challenging trip with a wonderful group of men and excellent guides that I will remember with great fondness.” – D. O’Brien, Madison, WI
“Our trip to Machu Picchu was the best adventure that we have experienced. The knowledge of the staff and accommodations were A-1. They made our 20th anniversary trip a memorable one.”-Mick and Kevin, San Rafael, CA
“Entire trip was extremely well thought out and run well, also was flexible to the our groups requests. We all became a great family, and I really missed everyone when I came home. Now I’m ready to go again…”-Carl Ross, Sylmar, CA
“Came for a tour, received an adventure.” -Jerome H., Minneapolis, MN
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts and ends in Lima, Peru.
On our Historic Machu Picchu Tour we stay in lodgings managed by Belmond that win awards as being among the finest hotels in South America. The properties share an emphasis on the high quality of rooms and service, but each is unique in terms of setting, architecture and views. HE Travel is one of the few tour operators that includes two nights at the Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel adjacent to Machu Picchu itself.
To fully enjoy this tour, one should be able to walk on uneven surfaces for extended periods and enjoy outdoor activities.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174