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Sat, Sep 29


Aguas Calientes

National Geographic Journeys: Machu Picchu Adventure

Join on this incredible eight-day photographic adventure that gives back to local and indigenous peoples of gorgeous Peru as we make our way into Peru’s culture and history… offering an ideal introduction to the history and culture of the country.

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National Geographic Journeys: Machu Picchu Adventure

Time & Location

Sep 29, 2018, 7:00 AM – Oct 08, 2018, 11:00 PM

Aguas Calientes, Aguas Calientes, Peru

About The Event

Start off walking the streets of Lima to visit some of the city’s iconic locations such as San Francisco Church and its catacombs, Miraflores and the colorful neighborhoods with homes vibrant blues and pinks – it’s gorgeous. Take a scenic train to the famous citadel and enjoy free time to explore its many corners. Roam the Sacred Valley, taking in incredible views of the Andes. Traveling with myself as your photographic guide and knowledgeable National Geographic and local guides who know this region best, we’ll leave no stone unturned.

Being partnered with National Geographic Journeys for these trips means:

  • Carbon offset – your trip is supplementing reforestation, protecting wildlife and carbon-neutral projects in all of the countries we go to.
  • Reinvesting in the people – each restaurant we eat at, tour provider we use, hotel we rest our head is locally owned and run by a family working just as hard as we are to be there.
  • You are on a first of its kind and exclusive National Geographic Journeys Photographic Tour to take you into these areas with myself as your photographic guide and instructor. This has never been done before.
  • Unique interaction with local experts for incredible learning opportunities.
  • Insider access to people or projects supported by National Geographic Journeys.
  • Culturally immersive time and opportunities to forge true, human connections.
  • Skilled Chief Experience Officers (CEOs).
  • Freedom and independence for those seeking the freedom to roam but within the structure and security of a small group.
  • Traveling with fellow photographers who are curious and seek genuine cultural immersion without sacrificing comfort.



Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort


Light hiking in addition to walking.


Small group experience; Max 12.



Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley with our expert National Geographic Journeys guide, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, enjoy traditional treats and foods


Visit the Cusco Planetarium, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Use telescopes to gaze up at the southern sky and see thousands of stars. Spot the constellations of the southern hemisphere, and learn about the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos.


Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.


Potato Park

Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travelers – and part of G Adventures for Good – visit the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), a network of six rural agricultural communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Walk through this special community with a local guide for immersive time observing agricultural, weaving, and cultural traditions.


Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley with our expert guide, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, enjoy traditional treats and foods.



Friday, September 28

Fly to LIMA (overnight flight from U.S.)

I recommend arriving into Lima a day or two ahead of the trip commencing to take advantage of exploring this incredible city. Please keep in mind you will need to be at our meeting place the evening of Sunday, September 30th 18:00h for a group meeting and trip itinerary.



Saturday, September 29

Arrive/Be LIMA

We are going to spend this first day exploring and photographing the neighborhoods of Lima seeing the vibrant and colorful barrio de Miraflores where the homes are pastels of the rainbow and cobblestone streets mixed with vibrant city life and old VW bugs: it’s a juxtaposition awaiting your camera. We will also visit other highlights such as the San Francisco Church as its impressive catacombs as well as Plaza de Armas. This first day will be all about getting acquainted with the group, meeting new friends and experiencing sights, sounds and smells entirely new to you with the goal of capturing this with your lens.

Meals: None

Sleep: Lima; San Agustin Exclusive Hotel (or similar)


Monday, October 1


Group Meeting 18:00h

The main objective of this day is our Welcome Meeting becoming familiar with the trip itinerary taking place at 18:00h.

Meals: None

Sleep: Lima; San Agustin Exclusive Hotel (or similar)


Tuesday, October 2


Board an early flight to Cusco then on to the Sacred Valley to explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Maras and Moray ruins. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialties.

Moray Ruins Guided Tour

We will explore the ancient site of Moray, which archeologists believe was used to conduct agricultural experiments. Climb down to the bottom of the great circular depressions and notice how the temperature shifts with the depth – sometimes as much as 15°C (27°F)!

Las Salineras Pre-Incan Salt Pans Guided Tour

We will continue on our exploration by visiting the pre-Incan salt pans of Las Salineras – still in use today. Marvel at the terraced pools set amongst the beauty of the Sacred Valley photographing these incredible structures nestled in the mountains near Cusco.

For dinner we will have a traditional Pachamanca Dinner

The thousand year-old tradition of Pachamanca involves baking an assortment of meat and vegetables in an oven of hot stones, earth, and grass. Meat is usually seasoned with local spices and wrapped in a banana leaf before it’s placed on the hot stones and can include lamb, pork, chicken or guinea pig. Savour this traditional meal prepared by an experienced chef.

Photographic Component: Today will be a blend of landscape and travel-style photography practicing capturing sharp images without the use of a tripod.

Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

Sleep: Cusco; Hotel San Agustin Urumbamba (or similar)


Wednesday, October 3


Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”). Exclusive to Journeys travellers and part of G Adventures for Good – walk through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Also, explore the Ollantaytambo and Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.

Exclusive Inclusions:

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives Traditional Andean Experience

In Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Inca, six communities of approximately 6000 indigenous people are working together to preserve over 700 species of potato – a cornerstone of life here. As part of an experience exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers – and part of our G Adventures for Good program – visit this area, named “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), to learn about life in an Andean agricultural community. Walk through the park here with a local guide, dropping by the seed bank (which has direct ties to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway) and then head out to the fields to watch the planting or harvesting process, depending on the season. After, enjoy some of the delicious varieties of potato and visit the small stone hut where traditional weaving takes place. Learn about the natural dyeing process and witness alpaca wool strands being transformed into beautiful textiles through a centuries-old backstrap weaving style. Your visit to this special community means this local enterprise can continue earning an income that supports their development and conservation goals.

G Adventures for Good Parque de la Papa (Potato Park)

Parque de la Papa (meaning "Potato Park") serves two important purposes for the community of Pampallacta: the preservation of agricultural biodiversity and economic opportunity. National Geographic Journeys travellers visit the park to learn about life in a rural agricultural Andean community and take a tour of the seed conservation program, which is preserving heritage potato species. They also learn about traditional planting, harvesting and indigenous weaving practices. With G Adventures' support, the community is able to create jobs in the area and invest in local businesses, which helps the community preserve their culture.

G Adventures for Good Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley

Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.

Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour

Tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site; it still shows signs of its former glory, including agricultural terraces, a Temple Hill, and storehouses. Learn how the area, overlooking the Urubamba River Valley, was an important stronghold during warfare between the Spanish and Incas.

Photographic Component: We will be spending much of our day traveling and visiting these various locations so our time behind the lens might be a little limited; however, we will have the ability to meet and capture compelling imagery of the workers in the Parque de la Papa and surrounding areas. It will be a day of practicing respectful and responsible portrait and travel photography which I will work with everyone on.

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Sleep: Cusco; Hotel San Agustin Urubamba (or similar)


Thursday, October 4


Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes where we will make an afternoon visit to the city in the sky - Machu Picchu to get familiar with the lay of land for our sunset shoot this evening and sunrise the following morning.

Photographic Component: Landscape photography working with location scouting, reading light, working with filters and preparing ourselves for incredible light!

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Aguas Calientes; Hotel Taypikala Machupicchu (or similar)


Friday, October 5


Rise and shine – the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. We will be photographing sunrise in this incredible location before following our local guide learning about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).

Photographic Component: Landscape photography working with location scouting, reading light, working with filters and preparing ourselves for incredible light!

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Cusco; Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)


Saturday, October 6


Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking. There's plenty to see and do in Cusco, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like visiting Museo Inka, Museo de Historia Regional, and whitewater rafting. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Exclusive Inclusions: National Geographic Journeys Exclusives Cusco Planetarium

Look to the night sky for a different view of the city. Explore the Cusco Planetarium surrounded by the serene nature of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars (weather-permitting).

Carte Blanche

Basically just free time! If you do not wish to participate in the Planetarium visit feel free to just relax and enjoy a nice and relaxing dinner on your own.

Photographic Component: We will wander the streets and neighborhoods of Cusco taking photos of the main square, fountains, women with alpacas and more!

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Cusco; Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)


Sunday, October 7


We will fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru’s bustling capital heading back out to Miraflores or another energetic area of the city. Dinner will be on your own or simply hang with me and we'll photograph the city and grab food along the way taking it all in! Peruvian food is hard to beat, I promise!!!

Photographic Component: City and Street-style photography techniques

Meals included: Breakfast

Sleep: Lima; San Agustin Exclusive Hotel (or similar)

DAY 9 - End

Monday, October 8


Depart at any time for your flight back to the U.S. or feel free to stay and extend your trip. If you would like to extend please let us know, we will be more than happy to assist in the logistics and booking this out for you.

Meals included: Breakfast


  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Traditional Andean Experience, Urubamba
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Cusco Planetarium, Cusco
  • G Adventures for Good: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Urubamba
  • G Adventures for Good: Parwa Community Restaurant, Sacred Valley, Lamay
  • Arrival transfer
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner (allow $255-335 for meals not included)
  • Two-day Sacred Valley tour including Ollantaytambo, Moray, and Pisac ruins and pre-Incan salt pans
  • Traditional pachamanca-style dinner
  • Scenic train and guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Internal flights within Peru
  • All transportation between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Pack n Go travel insurance (trip cancellation coverage available at additional cost)
  • Daily photographic workshops by yours truly, Joseph Roybal
  • National Geographic Journeys Chief Exeperience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides


  • Airfare
  • Trip/Travel Insurance
  • Meals outside of what is listed above
  • Alcohol/Snacks


Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with National Geographic Journeys, you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Most meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.


Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Trip cost: $3,299 per person, double occupancy (round-trip international airfare from the U.S. to Lima additional). Please get in touch to find out more.

*Valid passport for six months beyond return date required*

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