Americans generally think of Machu Picchu as one of two things. Either:
- A crazy Incan Disneyland with barefoot costume characters dressed as monks
- A sacred site that rewards the people who endure the nosebleed altitude with mystical enlightenment and Bewitched-like powers
Regardless of your spiritual or secular view of the place, it really is extraordinary. But that exceptionality comes at a price:
- Tickets are hard to get, because the number of daily tourists is restricted
- It’s time-consuming and complicated getting there
Although you can do Machu Picchu alone, if you want a memorable – and physically safe – experience, it’s best to do it as part of a larger tour. And the more deluxe the tour, the more comfortable the experience will be.
Brand g’s 12-night Amazon Expeditions in April and May of this year are squarely at the deluxe end of the spectrum.
For starters, we take away all the stress of getting to (and into) Machu Picchu, by handling all entrance tickets and train and bus transfers. All you have to do is worry about what outfit will photograph best against those astounding Andes peaks.
And we hire only the most knowledgeable Machu Picchu guides, who are licensed and certified. These amazing men and women are wellsprings of information. We’ve passed random, unlicensed guides hired by visitors outside the gates – many of whom appeared to be auditioning for a Will Ferrell movie.
The Brand g Expedition tours begin with two days in Lima, followed by a 6-night river cruise in the Peruvian Amazon on the ultra-luxurious all-suite Delfin III.
From there, we fly to Cusco for four nights in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. The reason our itinerary devotes so much time to this area – aside from the incredibly fascinating culture of Peru – is that it takes time to adjust to the altitude. Spending time in the Sacred Valley beforehand gives your body time to gently acclimate. This way, your time at Machu Picchu can be spent taking Incan selfies or meditating in energy vortexes rather than dealing with altitude sickness.
Finally, given that Peru is not exactly Las Vegas, there are a limited number of deluxe hotels. You can rely on our expertise to choose the best properties. In the Sacred Valley we’re staying at the gorgeous and mystical Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel. In Machu Picchu, we’ve booked the well-located and well-appointed Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel. And in Cusco we’ll be staying at the Palacio del Inka – all five-star properties that earn rave reviews.
Regardless of whether you do your Machu Picchu expedition with Brand g or not, we hope you’ll consider doing it as part of an organized tour. Machu Picchu is definitely a bucket list destination, and one that’s much more fun and easier to do with a group. Especially a gay group!