Are there senior-friendly tours to Machu Picchu?

Senior Q&A
by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on April 18, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, guided tour, Machu Picchu, Molly Feltner, Senior Q&A, senior travel, vacation package.

Dear Editor,

Are there any senior-friendly tours to Machu Picchu?

E.L.

Dear Reader,

Yes, a number of senior tour operators run Peru trips that visit Machu Picchu, including Overseas Adventure Travel, Elderhostel, and 50plus Expeditions.

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  • Overseas Adventure Travel, a branch of the senior tour operator Grand Circle, has the most affordable trip we found, the nine-night "Real Affordable Peru" tour. The trip features stops in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu. Rates start at $1,495 per person and include airfare from Miami, accommodations, some meals, guide services, transportation during the tour, and sightseeing.
  • If you're interested in an in-depth exploration of Peru's ancient civilizations, Elderhostel offers a 13-night "Majesty and Mystery: Ancient Civilizations of Peru" tour. This tour has a heavy educational component and features visits to Lima, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, and Cuzco. Rates start at $2,866 per person and include accommodations, most meals, guide services, transportation during the tour, and numerous excursions, lectures, and tours. Airfare is extra.
  • For explorations a little further off the beaten path, 50plus Expeditions runs an 11-night Peru trip that covers Lima, Juliaca, Sillustani, Puno, Lake Titicaca and islands, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, Pisac, Ollantayambo, Aguas Calientes, and Machu Picchu. Prices start at $3,095 per person and include accommodations, most meals, guide services, transportation during the tour, and many excursions and tours. Airfare is extra.

All three tours reach Machu Picchu by train from Cuzco or Urubamba to the tourist town of Aguas Calientes followed by a short bus ride to the site, so you don't have to be a hardcore hiker to get there. However, to explore the site, you will have to be able to climb steps and handle a high elevation (8,500 feet). These tours also involve a good deal of walking (three to four miles per day) plus optional hikes, so it's important to make sure you're physically able to keep up before committing. Be sure to speak directly with a company representative before booking if you have any concerns.

 
 
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