The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare to Lima and two local flights (one from Lima to Cuzco and the other from Puno to Lima) all via LAN Airlines, nine nights' accommodations, eight buffet breakfasts, two dinners, all local transportation—including train, boat, and sightseeing tours—admission fees, services of experienced English-speaking guides, airline fuel surcharges, and hotel taxes and service charges, from $1,999 per person—plus estimated airport taxes and fees of $72.
When: Sept. 7, Oct. 19, Nov. 9, 2009, Jan. 18, Feb. 8, March 8, 2010; add $100 for July 13, 2009.
Gateways: Miami; no additional gateways are available.
The fine print: The savings of $400 per person are reflected in the starting rate. Taxes and fees are about an additional $72. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $499. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: May 28, 2009; add $400 per person for reservations made after that date.
Contact: smarTours, 800/337-7773, smartours.com.
Why it's a deal: First, by booking early you save $400 per person compared to the regular rate for this tour. And here's a quick comparison of the cost of airfare: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fares between Miami and Lima start at $430 for travel in early September (LAN). For an additional $1,641, the smarTours package covers international airfare, as well as two local flights, transportation by boat and train, nine nights' accommodations, some meals, guided sightseeing, admission fees, services of experienced tour guides, fuel surcharges, and all taxes.
Tour highlights: You'll arrive in Lima, then take a short flight to Cuzco. Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Indian Market in Pisac, and take the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. See the main Inca and colonial monuments, including the Plaza de Armas, on a guided sightseeing tour of Cuzco. Travel through the Andes to Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca, stopping along the way at Andahuaylillas, as well as La Raya, where you'll visit the Llama and Alpaca Research Center. Sail along Lake Titicaca and visit the floating islands of the Uros Indians and Taquile Island. Stop by the Chullpas burial towers at Sillustani before boarding a short flight from Puno to Lima. Sightseeing tour in Lima includes the historical center, San Francisco Church, Plaza de Armas, the Government Palace, and the stylish San Isidro and Miraflores districts. Board your homebound flight from Lima.
Lodging: Two nights at the Sonesta Posada del Inca in Yucay. Three nights at the Casa Andina Private Collection - Cusco or at Hotel Novotel Cusco. Two nights at Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel in Puno or Jose Antonio Puno. Two nights at Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores or a similar property in Lima.
More: There are two optional activities you can join while in Cusco—a half-day excursion to visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman or a dinner with a show—each for about $30 per person. Pre- or post-tour extensions are not available for this trip.
Before you go: For up-to-date travel information and tips, visit the official Web site of the Peruvian Bureau of Tourism. U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter and depart Peru; an entry visa is not required for visits of up to 90 days. You can find the latest travel updates here.