Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post-Program Option
Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience featuring Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas," the Incan and Colonial traditions of Cuzco and the lush Sacred Valley. Located high in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu was obscured from humankind for 400 years until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham literally stumbled upon it in 1911. Nearly a century of extensive research and study still has not revealed the secrets of its purpose, its residents or its abandonment; nevertheless, this UNESCO World Heritage site has been carefully excavated and preserved. The rushing Urubamba River flows through the beautiful Sacred Valley, where ancient engineering marvels, such as the fortress of Ollantaytambo, stand as lasting testimony to the powerful and far-reaching Inca empire. Here, village craftsmen employ age-old techniques to weave intricate tapestries and sculpt colorful pottery. In the historic Inca capital and UNESCO World Heritage site of Cuzco, grand Baroque- and Renaissance-style churches and the Incan stone fortress of Sacsayhuamán provide a fascinating mix of pre-Columbian and Colonial influences.