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Peru (Machu Picchu)

Peru and Machu Picchu


Itinerary for Peru and Machu Picchu Photo Tour with Tim Vollmer and Dean J. Tatooles

Diversity of cultures and unique landscapes, mountains, jungle, lakes, valleys …
To all these natural wonders, we should add Inca buildings that are worth visiting, the architectural art in perfect harmony with the natural environment. An incredible assortment of photographic opportunities.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is undoubtedly one of the most popular excursions for those seeking adventure and mystery that the Incas have left us.

Day 1 – Lima
Arrival in Lima. Reception at the airport. Transfer to the hotel for accommodation and overnight. Dinner at the hotel restaurant

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: D

Day 2 – Lima / Cusco / Sacred Valley
Breakfast-buffet at the hotel restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to airport for our flight to Cusco.  Upon arrival to Cusco transfer into the Sacred Valley. The “Valle Sagrado” is embraced between the towns of Písac and Ollantaytambo, it has wonderful landscapes where its inhabitants, native of the Quechua ethnic, conserve many customs and ancestral rites. Picturesque towns located in the skirts of Intihuatana hill (place where the sun is tied). It has the best “andenería” system (platform system) achieved by the Inca in all the Andes. Near the town is located the “Parque Arqueológico de Pisac” (Archaeological Park of Písac), Inca archaeological locations, constructions in finely assembled refined stone, citadel, turrets, military fortresses, astronomical observatories, etc. Písac is located at 32 Km. (20 miles) from Cusco, 2,972 meters above sea level (9,751 feet).  Other locations we will visit in the Sacred Valley include:

Caeca-Town –

Caeca-Town town in located between beautiful landscapes, in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that has as a beautiful background, the snowy mountains of Pitusira and Sahuasiray. Near the town are the medicinal spas of Machacancha (thermal sulfurous springs) and Minasmoqo (cold gassy springs). Near Calca is located the archaeological Inca complex Huchuy Cusco. Calca is located at 50 km. (31 miles) from Cuzco, 2,928 meters above sea level (9,606 feet).

Yúcay –

The beauty of Yúcay’s landscape, and the benign of the weather made of Yúcay the elected place for the Inca royalty resort, which is also attributed to be a place with mythological character and powers on the human spirit. The fertility of its lands transformed it into one of the main centers of agricultural production during the Inca time, big “andenerías” (platforms). Numerous Inca constructions exist, outstanding among those the Palace of the Inca Sayri Túpac, stone and adobe construction with decorations in its walls on high and low embossment. In the town a small place museum exists; comfortable and good hotels exist in the area. It is located at 68 km. (42 miles) from Cusco, and 2,857 meters above sea level (9,373 feet).

Urubamba –

Urubamba is another old Inca town, located in fertile valley, formerly great agricultural producer center of the Inca, and today a beautiful countryside, with great production of fruit bearing. Urubamba is in the skirts of the majestic snowy mountain Chicón, to which you can arrive easily and achieve its ascent. Urubamba is also called the “Capital Arqueológica del Perú” (Archaeological Capital of Peru), for the rich Inca archaeological locations that exist in the area; also called “La Perla del Vilcanota”, for the incomparable landscapes that surround it, natural scenarios of an indescribable beauty. Indigenous communities of marked ancestral customs exist. Lunch at local restaurant Tunupa.

Ollantaytambo –

The legend counts that Ollántay (the titan of the Andes) of plebeian origin, loved the princess Cusi Coyllor (cheerful star) the Inca king’s daughter Pachacútec, who was in disagreement with this love. Pachacútec sent the princess to a house of Virgins; Ollántay tried to abduct her, without getting her, being able to escape. From the fortress that Ollántay controlled he rebelled against Pachacútec, and after bloody battles was defeated, but the generosity of Pachacútec forgave the life of Ollántay. Actually you can visit this fortress, and also the rich Inca archaeological locations, conformed by the temple to Inti (god sun), the icamisana, the spas of the Ñustas (princesses), the chullpas of Cachiccata, a group of terraces symmetrical and steep stairs in the slope of a hill. In the summit of the archaeological complex out stand six monoliths of enormous size, assembling with incredible precision, that have mysterious engravings of Inca iconography. The complexity and beauty of the Inca constructions and the contemporary town, the immense agricultural complex, great administrative and social center, religious and military, is considered by many scientists and historians like one of the most important alive museums in the world. Return to the hotel in Urubamba and Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D.

Day 3 – Sacred Valley – Wiñayhuayna – Machu Picchu Town
We have breakfast at the hotel then transfer to the railway station station in order to aboard the train that will lead them to the KM104, located in the railroad Cusco-Machu Picchu. KM104 will be our departure point for the adventure and we will be arriving there at 10:00. At this point we will leave the train and start walking to the city of Machu Picchu, across the Urubamba River through a bridge that offers a spectacular view of the mountains.

During the trip we will make our first visit to one of the Inca sites known as Cachabamba, a beautiful palace with nice walls carved in stone. Then our guide will explain part of the story of the Incas. We will start walking again and start climbing through a mountain totally covered by vegetation, for about 8 Km, until we arrive to Wiñaywayna, located at a height of 2700 meters above sea level. After Machu Picchu, Wiñaywayna is one of the most beautiful buildings made by the Incas, is a cloudy forest. Wiñaywana shows a perfect example of the agriculture during Incas time, showing a great number of terraces, where the Incas used to grow different plants and vegetables, including coca leaves. The name of Wiñaywayna comes from a beautiful orchid which grows in that region and means “forever young”. After exploring this marvelous site we will have lunch near to this zone. Later the same day we will continue our walk towards a cloudy forest until the Inti Punko or “Door of the Sun”. At this point the adventurers shall have access to the most amazing view of the city of Machu Picchu. This is a very special site, where we will rest for some minutes and take a lot of pictures of Machu Picchu. After we will descend towards Machu Picchu (the guided visit will be next day) and we will arrive to the town of Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night in a hotel or a hostel, depending on the preferences of the passenger. Lunch.

At night you will explore and get to know the little town and will be able to try the thermal baths located in the superior part of the city near the Main Square. We will stay for the night in the chosen hotel. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D.

Machu Picchu – Cusco
After breakfast, we will take a short bus ride directly to the ruins. Once there, we will can enjoy an extensive walking tour of the ruins and explanation of the fascinating history behind the Incas. If time permits, we can explore the Inca Bridge, Watchman’s hut, or try the strenuous climb to the sun gate – “Inti Punku.” Some may prefer to just relax and take in the stunning location. After a full day exploring the site, we will take the bus down to Machu Picchu Town, and spend some time in the artisan market

We will then return to the railway station and take the train Vista dome 504 to Ollantaytambo.  Upon arrival into Ollantaytambo we head back to Cusco and our hotel via the Sacred Valley of the Incas. That night, for those of us with energy left, can explore Cusco’s excellent nightlife. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D.

Day 5 – Cusco
After breakfast we embark on a walking city tour in the Cusco historical center. We will wander around Cusco, visiting the Plaza de Armas and its impressive cathedral, Qoricancha temple, once home to life-sized statues in solid gold and if time permits, visit one of the bustling markets, full of tropical fruits fresh from the Amazon or visit the San Blas artisan district.

We continue with our tour to the near ruins to Cusco. We will visit the impressive archeological site of Sacsayhuaman. Huge stone ramparts surround a beautiful grass amphitheater. Once the scene of fierce battles, it now hosts the recreation of traditional Inca ceremonies such as Inti Raymi and Warachikuy. We continue to the Inca water temple of Tambo Machay lying at 3.700m (12,000 feet), with its intricately carved water channels, which have been used both for ritual cleansing as well as the worship of water. We will finally visit the Puca Pucara fortress on the way back to Cusco. Lunch in local restaurant. Dinner at the local restaurant with folk dances show.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D.

Day 6 – Cusco – Puno

After breakfast, we depart for to Puno. We will have 4 excursions and guided tours along the way to places of interest in the corridor south of the plateau Andahuaylillas visiting the temple or the Sistine Chapel of America, the Inca temple of Raqchi, passage de la Raya at 4.335 m and the Museo Inka Aymara of Pukara.  Transfer to the hotel and some rest.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D

Day 7 – Puno – Uros and Taquile islands – Lima
After breakfast, we will be transported to the port of Puno to take a motor boat to the wonders of the “floating islands” of Uros located in famous Titikaka lake. The residents of the Uros are known as the “water tribe”, because they must construct its own Islands periodically, adding new layers of totora reeds, which grows in the lake, to create the conditions that ensure the islands stay afloat.

Following our visit to Uros, we will be led to the Island of Taquile -a rustic experience with a colorful landscape, rich customs, rituals, religious, and folkloric traditions. There we will taste its world famous trout and visit a craft fair on the plaza that sells exceptional wool goods, which are of very fine quality.

After our visit to Taquile, we will return to Puno and transfer to the airport in order to take our flight to Lima. Upon arrival into Lima we are transferred to our hotel and are at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B-L-D.

Day 8 – Lima

After breakfast and some leisure time, we are transferred to the airport for our onwards flights.

Overnight: Hotel, Included meals: B



Sept. 11 – Sept. 18, 2017


8 Days / 7 nights

Photographic themes:

Architecture, landscape, landscape, nature, people


Lima, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Calca-Town, Yúcay, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, Wiñayhuayna, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puno, Uros and Taquile islands


3995 US$

per person in double room

Single supplement

Price includes

  • Private transport for all the transfers and excursions.
  • 07 night accommodation with breakfast.
  • All lunches and dinners
  • National air tickets: Lima / Cusco and Juliaca / Lima.
  • highly qualified local English speaking guides
  • Inca trail program 2 days / 1 night
  • Fee entrances for the Inca Trail & Machupicchu.
  • Bus ticket from Machupicchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes
  • Round trip bus ticket Aguas Calientes – Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket (Expedition Class) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Train ticket (Expedition Class) from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

not included:

  • International airfare from your home to Guayaquil
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Fee entrances to the hot springs.
  • Early check-in, late check-out, at the hotels
  • Travel insurance;
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and waitresses
  • All other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.

Photography Instructors


Tim Vollmer

Tim has devoted his life to photography, which has been his long held hobby and great passion. Tim has always felt himself drawn to the power and beauty he finds in nature. Tim has been leading photo tours and workshops in Iceland and in many different countries over the years. He has had the world as his workplace. Photographing everything from the dramatic landscape in Iceland, to the native people in the remote corners of the world and the culture that are unique to each country. His journeys have taken him around the world in pursuit of memorable travel experiences and the creation of compelling images. His work has been featured in international publications. His images and stories are shared on various internet outlets. As a driven artist, professional, entrepreneur and an adventurer, Tim is eager to share his passion, knowledge in photography and travel through the tours he designed on his own, or through his partnership with professional photographers from around the globe. Tim and his family currently lived 11 years in Iceland. Now they are based in Czech Republic.

Phone: (00420) 732203764

See his Website:

Photography workshops

Dean J. Tatooles

Chicago-based photographer, Dean J. Tatooles, is the owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris. In his professional career, Dean has specialized in landscape and wildlife photography and indigenous portraiture. His travels have taken him across all seven continents multiple times.

Dean works primarily with Nikon digital SLR equipment to capture his wildlife images and indigenous portraits and a Linhof 617 S III Technorama medium format panoramic camera to produce his majestic landscapes. At a young age, Dean became fascinated with the topography, culture and wildlife of certain locations in the Southern Hemisphere. In that spirit, he created Southern Cross Galleries after the constellation that bears its name and is only visible from below the Equator. His hope is that his work touches that sense of adventure in everyone and that viewers of his photographs will be transported to another time and place, even if it’s for just a moment.

As owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris, Dean in conjunction with his global partners, has lead photo tours all across the globe. The world is his workplace and Dean is eager to share his passion for photography with others whenever he can. Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris’ photo tours are always small and intimate –with rarely more than six to eight guests on a given trip. Wherever possible, mass tourism and the norm are avoided, opting for the more “off the beaten path” locations. Dean understands that light and timing are everything in creating that perfect photo and makes sure to have his guests in the right place at the right time to maximize opportunities. Accordingly, scheduling is flexible and his tours adapt constantly to conditions on the ground. Dean is happy to have many return guests over the years and hopes that you will choose to travel with us on your next adventure.

Phone: +1 (312) 898-0248

See his Website:

Dean J. Tatooles

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Peru (Machu Picchu) April 25, 2016