Peru Photography Workshop with Nate Luebbe and Quay Hu


July 11th TO 17th, 2019

DAY 1: July 11th - Arrival and acclimatization day

Please try to arrive no later than 12pm! After collecting your bags and clearing customs, your guide will take you to your hotel for check in and a bit of relaxation. 

Cusco sits over 11,000 feet (3,400m), and many of our photo adventures will be higher than that. As such, we'll be spending our first day in town mostly relaxing and adjusting to the high elevation. We'll take a leisurely stroll through the historic district and get our first immersive look at the local culture. We'll visit the ancient Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman for our first photo excursion. At 7pm we'll head to a favorite restaurant in the town center for a group dinner. 

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (double occupancy)

Meals: Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 2: July 12th - Salineras and the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes

Today we will explore three beautiful sites, also located in the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas. Departing around 8:30am we will take private transport to the local village known as Maras. Here you will see colonial architecture with incredible facades made of thin stone and lintels with sculptures in bas-relief. We then drive to Moray (3450m/11,319ft) where you can explore the incredible and still mysterious circular agricultural terraces with complex irrigation system that are surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Finally, we will visit the salt mines (Salineras) where you can walk amongst the 3000 salt pools and watch the salt miners harvesting the salt of the Incas! They have a cute little shop where you can buy some hand mined Andean salt to take home with you if you wish. After seeing Salineras we take our private transport to the train station in Ollantaytambo where we catch our train to Aguas Calientes. Check into the hotel and freshen up before we have our group dinner!

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Aguas Calientes, Peru (double occupancy)

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks on the tour, dinner in a local restaurant

7 Day Adventure!


DAY 3: July 13th - Machu Picchu Sunrise, back to Cusco

A very early morning breakfast prepares us for the amazing day we have ahead of us! We take the first (5:30am) bus directly to Machu Picchu (2,400 m/7,875 ft.). From the entrance it is a 15-minute walk to the famous views from the South Zone of the farming terraces at the end of the Inca trail. Along our walk we encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu.  We spend the morning on a guided tour of the city’s highlight, unfolding the mysteries, history, architecture, flora and fauna of this magical site. You will enjoy a packed lunch in sitting in this most magical of cities, after which you will spend time with Nate and Quay taking pictures among Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and crannies.  Enjoy a boxed lunch in the ruin site and continue exploring Machu Picchu until it closes (5:30pm), getting to take pictures of the ruin site as the sun sets. After closing time we will walk down to Aguas Calientes (1 hour) where we will relax at the hotel and enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choosing. Rest up for another early morning in Machu Picchu again tomorrow!

Overnight: 3 Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (Double Occupancy)

Meals: Breakfast in the hotel, snacks, boxed lunch in Machu Picchu

Optional Add-Ons: Extra hike within Machu Picchu

DAY 4: July 14th - Rainbow Mountain Trek (camping and astrophotography)

After eating breakfast at your hotel we leave at 6am to drive 4 hours to the small village of Quesouno. Here we start hiking for 3 hours on a gradual path along the Chillca Valley until we get to our lunch spot located at Anantapata 4400m/14,435ft with amazing views of green hills and snow-capped peaks. After lunch and a little rest and relaxation, we will hike gradually uphill for 1½ hours until we reach the Warmisaya (aka Pitumarca) pass 5050m/16,568ft. After enjoying the views at the top we descend for 20 minutes to Yanacocha lake where we set up camp for the night. After dropping our bags, we take our gradual 1 hour sunset hike to the Rainbow Mountain Pass and watch as the sun sets over the stunning Rainbow Valley. Once we have finished enjoying the view, we hike 45 minutes back down to camp at Yanacocha to have happy hour (tea and snacks) followed by a hearty dinner.

Approximate walking distance: 11 km/6.8 miles (about 7 hours). Campsite elevation: 4400m/14,435f

Meals: breakfast (hotel), lunch, dinner, snacks

Overnight: 3 person, 4 season tents (double occupancy)


DAY 5: July 15th - Rainbow Mountain Trek - Cusco

After a very early breakfast (5am) we hike 1 hour up to the Rainbow Mountain Pass (Vinicunca Mountains or Montañas de Colores), the highest pass of the trek, again to see the beautiful Rainbow Valley at sunrise (5050m/16,568ft)! Enjoy the view for an hour without the crowds as we are one of the first groups to arrive. Your guide will walk you to the best spots to get the perfect postcard pictures of these incredible mountains and the other surrounding peaks. Your guide will explain what makes these mountains so unique: they are composed of various minerals, which make different colors of stone striations. This is definitely one of the most stunning places in South America and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Peru. There are Rainbow Mountains in only a few other locations in the world. After enjoying the sunrise view we hike for 4.5 hours further into the Rainbow Valley than any other trekking company. You will be able to walk along the beautiful Rainbow Mountains and hike behind these peaks to experience the Red Mountain Valley with all it’s incredible colors. You will see a small waterfall and some sections of this trail are rocky, narrow and uneven. Enjoy the views as we walk to the small community Hanchipata (3800m/12,467ft) where we will have lunch and end our trek. After lunch our private transport will drive us back to Cusco – about a 3.5 hour drive that provides nice views of the Andes, passing some traditional villages along the way. Once in Cusco we will go to our hotel to freshen up and relax.

Approximate walking distance: 16 km/9.95 miles (about 5.5 hours)

Meals: breakfast, lunch, snacks

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (double occupancy)

DAY 6: July 16th - Lake Humantay

Today is an early departure from Cusco! We'll stop in the small village of Soraypampa for breakfast and coffee before heading up the valley into the Choquequirao Preserve where we'll enjoy a short hike up to Lake Humantay. After some snacks and liesurely exploration of the lake we'll head back down towards our transport and return to Cusco. The drive back will be through staggering mountain passes with glaciated peaks and we'll stop several times for photos along the way. 

Once back in Cusco we'll take some time to freshen up and pack our bags.  Since it's our last night of the trip we'll all meet in the plaza and have one last group dinner. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner at a restaurant in Cusco. 

Overnight: Three Star Hotel in Cusco, Peru (double occupancy) 

DAY 7: July 17th - Departure

Sadly, today is the last day in Peru. This morning you’ll get to share some studio time with the photographers so be sure to book an afternoon flight out so you don’t miss this time! Private transport takes you to the Cusco airport for your departure flight to Lima. Connect to your departure flight home.

What's Included: 

  • Pre-trek briefing the night before the Rainbow Trek

  • All transfers to and from airports/hotels, trek

  • 7 Days of professional guide service with a licensed, professional, English-speaking guide and two professional photographers

  • 1 night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (double room)

  • 4 nights in a hotel in Cusco (double room)

  • Tour of Sacred Valley, Cusco Ruins, Maras, Moray Salineras, Lake Humantay

  • 1 night camping Rainbow Mountain) in 3 person, 4 season Mountain Hardwear Tents (double occupancy)

  • Extra thick foam mattress sleeping pads and self-inflating mattresses

  • Sleeping bag

  • Meals on the trek

  • Train tickets from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and private transport to Cusco

  • Personal porters to carry overnight gear up to 8kg/person – can be removed if desired

  • Dry bags in which to put your overnight gear on the trail (for porters to carry)

  • Machu Picchu Entrance fees (both time slots AM and PM)

  • Trek cook, kitchen and dining tents, tables and stools, stainless steel dishes and utensils

  • Boiled and purified water to refill your water bottle/bladder every morning/afternoon/evening

  • Hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes

  • Campsites with portable toilets, toilet tent, toilet paper

  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen tank

  • Bus ticket roundtrip from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes

  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu with plenty of time to explore on your own

  • Guided tour of Maras, Moray, Salineras and tourist ticket, snacks and transport

  • Studio time with the photographers

  • Booking/credit card fees

What's Not Included:

  • International and domestic flights

  • Personal equipment: walking poles (note: walking poles must have intact rubber bottoms)

  • Additional excursions or tours in Peru

  • Single Supplement (Single room, Single tent)

  • Meals outside of the trek and as noted

  • Travel/medical insurance (required)

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Personal meals and expenses beyond what is included above

  • Souvenirs

Optional add ons:

  • Vegetarian/vegan menu (free of charge)

  • Private room (Per night - $40 per person)

  • Private tent ($100 per person)

  • Extra nights in hotels (price upon request, depends on hotel)

  • Meals on non-trek days (price options upon request)

  • Trekking pole rental (10 USD per person per day of rental)


All of our standard terms and conditions apply.


Nate Luebbe

Nate is a professional landscape/travel photographer from Seattle, Washington. He is a member of the Sony Alpha Collective and his work has been featured in several national publications in both print and online.

You can find more of Nate's work at @NateInTheWild

Quay Hu

Quay Hu

Quay is a professional photographer based out of Orlando, Florida. He is part of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective and is sponsored by Vanguard World and AdoramaPix. His work has been published both digitally and on print across the world.

You can find more of Quay's work at @AroundQ