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Journey to Peru with the Inca Trail

Machu Picchu Trip Information

  • Private Journey
  • Land Based Adventures
  • 2 Capacity
  • 10 Days
  • Year-round, available upon request
  • Price from
  • $4,895
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Summary : This special trip to Peru includes 'must-sees'—and important highlights of Peru, including an incredibly rich combination of cultural heritage, history, stunning nature, geography and scenery, living cultures, spirituality, traditions and beliefs. Explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, with the chance to visit the most important remains of the Spanish and Inca legacy and also, to get in touch with local communities and learn about their ancient traditions and beliefs, as well as their lifestyle today. Trekkers agree there is so much more to hiking than walking—direct contact with natural surroundings, spectacular views, and overall majestic scenery. And the final destination is the most breathtaking citadel perched high above the clouds—Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is Peru’s best-known trek and possibly one of the most stunning in the world. This classic 43-km route leads to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu along an unforgettable trail. Archaeological sites, spectacular mountain scenery and lush cloud forests rich in Andean flora and fauna lead to Machu Picchu, the renowned UNESCO World Heritage site and the most iconic example of the Inca legacy.

Activities : Culture, Hiking


Prices from
$4,895 to $6,295

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Day 1

Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.
Sonesta Hotel El Olivar
Miraflores Park Hotel

Day 2
Lima / Cusco / Sacred Valley

Today your representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you back to the airport to take your flight to Cusco.

Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be driven to the “Sacred Valley of the Incas”, a succession of picturesque Andean towns, agricultural terraces, and many archaeological sites, as well as the world’s most famous white corn cultivated for export. The mild climate, the varied and dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, lush green hills and spectacular flora and fauna, make the Valley a prime adventure destination in South America. At a lower elevation than Cusco, the Valley is a warmer and less physically taxing environment for visiting the many attractions of the region, including Machu Picchu.

On your way to the Sacred Valley you will visit Sacsayhuaman which is the largest and most impressive of four archaeological ruins on the outskirts of Cusco. Built by the Incas, it served an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish in 1536. The complex was constructed out of massive stones, some weighing as much as 300 tons, cut to fit together without the use of mortar.

For an immersion into the heart of the Andean culture you will visit the charming Amaru community and its wonderful and amazing people. Straight from the hands of local craftspeople, you learn about textiles and the weaving process. The vivid colors of the Amaru villagers’ clothing are derived from natural dyes made from plants and other organic elements with which they decorate wool. Today you will learn about “cochineal” red and the secret properties of some other medicinal plants in the area, as well as from other activities the community runs. Enjoy lunch at the community.

After lunch visit the nearby town of Pisac and its market, originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products. Pisac has evolved to one of South America’s most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some ‘empanadas’ baked in traditional clay ovens. Try your bargaining skills here always keeping in mind handmade artwork is worth it!

Finally you will arrive to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay
Sol y Luna

Day 3
Sacred Valley

Today you are driven to the ruins of Moray. The circular terraces of Moray were an agricultural "research laboratory" for the Incas, who studied temperature variation from one terrace to another in order to develop different crop varieties. The hardier varieties of seeds were distributed throughout the Inca Empire. On the other side of the Urubamba Valley you’ll see dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba cordilleras (mountain ranges).

Leave this interesting archaeological site to follow the trail to the town of Maras, which grew in importance in the 17th century because of the exploitation and commercialization of the "salineras" or salt pans. Cross the extensive Maras Pampas, where people farm the land and rear cattle and sheep. The Urubamba mountain range and its snow-capped peaks provide a spectacular background for your hike. In the town of Maras, see the fronts of the ancient houses, made from finely worked stone, indicative of the economic heights achieved by the town's population at that time.

Enjoy a picnic lunch and experience a very special ceremony of sound and traditional offerings to Mother Earth. This ceremony evokes the spirit of healing; taking part in this ritual are many sacred medicines such as Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mama Coca, Agua Florida, Condor’s Feathers, Grandfather Puma, Essences and Incenses. See the use of many pre-hispanic instruments that have no written musical register, and enjoy their essence, thought to heal with joy, love, color and life as the power of sound becomes a collective prayer that creates healing frequencies. Share in this experience to connect with the culture of Peru's original people.

Experience the feelings of stepping back into the 15th century and finish the day exploring Ollantaytambo, a still-thriving Inca village, set below an ancient Inca fortress and temple with stunning views over the valley. Admire the magnificence of this important Inca site and stroll through the quaint streets of the present town.

Return to your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay
Sol y Luna

Day 4
Sacred Valley / Inca Trail / Wayllabamba

In the early morning, private transport will pick you up from your hotel. Drive to Piskacuchu (2,700m / 8,856ft), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco–Machu Picchu railroad, which is the starting point of the Inca Trail. Begin your hike by crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River and walking along its left shore as it flows northwest along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, arrive in Miskay (2,800m / 9,184ft), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (2,650m / 8,692ft). Continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until you reach the community of Wayllabamba (3,000m / 9,840ft), where you'll set camp. All along the way, enjoy a diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley, and spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5,832 meters above sea level.

Total distance: 12 km (7.47 miles)
Estimated walking time: 5-6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 5
Inca Trail / Pacaymayo

Wake up around 6 am and after breakfast, begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km. Along this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's Pass – 4,200 m / 13,776 ft), you may see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at this high altitude. Cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds, including hummingbirds and sparrows, and the Andean bear, also known as the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). Your daypack should be well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness. Immediately after the pass, descend into the Pacaymayo Valley (3,600m / 11,808ft), where you camp after approximately 7h of hiking.

Total distance: 11 km (6.84 miles)
Estimated walking time: 6-7 hours
Maximum altitude point: 4,200 m (13,776 ft)
Campsite altitude: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 6
Inca Trail / Wiñaywayna

This day is the longest but also the most impressive and the most interesting, due the number of archaeological sites and the lush cloud forest area that you cross, rich in Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo, climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3,970m / 13,022ft). Halfway up, stop to visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 3,800m / 12,464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3,624m / 11,887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3,700m / 12,136ft). Along this climb, appreciate the magnitude of the Incas' ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multi-leveled Andean geography. Pass through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means "town over the clouds". From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and impressive views of the Urubamba River Valley. Continue your trek down the long descending stone steps that lead to Wiñaywayna (2,650m / 8,692ft), an impressive Inca complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, close to which your camp is located. After visiting the impressive archaeological site, enjoy your farewell dinner at camp.

Total distance: 16 km (9.94 miles)
Estimated walking time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 3,900 m (12,792 ft)
Campsite altitude: 2,650 m (8,692 ft)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 7
Inca Trail / Machu Picchu

Today you will wake up ealry to leave Wiñaywayna and climb to the Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. Hike along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, you may see the sunrise over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. From Intipunku, descend into Machu Picchu, and 40 minutes later, enter the citadel from the highest point through the "House of the Guardians". Descend to the control point where you register and leave your backpacks. Immediately begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours as you explore its main temples and hidden corners. In the afternoon, take a bus downhill to Aguas Calientes.

Enjoy lunch at the restaurant of the Sanctuary Lodge, and return to Machu Picchu for further exploration if desired. In the afternoon, take the bus back to town and check in at your selected hotel.

Total distance: 4 km (2.49 miles)
Estimated walking time: 2 hours
Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m (8,829 ft)
Machu Picchu altitude: 2,400 m (7,872 ft)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Day 8
Machu Picchu / Huayna Picchu / Cusco

Wake up early to admire Machu Picchu in the early morning. Enjoy a free day to optionally continue to explore the pathways of the Sacred City before the crowds arrive. You may choose to continue visiting the main ruins, the fabulous Inca Bridge or climb up Huayna Picchu, offering impressive views over Machu Picchu (please note that spaces must be booked in advance, as there is a maximum daily allowance visitors and set entry times). In the afternoon, return to Aguas Calientes by bus to take the Vistadome train back to Ollanta or Poroy station. On arrival, your assisted and transferred to Cusco for accommodation at your selected hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast
El Mercado Tunqui
Hotel Monasterio

Day 9

This morning visit Cusco’s main attractions. Start with the Santo Domingo Monastery and the legendary Korikancha (Temple of Gold)–the most important Inca temple devoted to worshiping the Sun, whose walls used to be plated with sheets of gold. Follow your experience with a visit to the Cathedral, an amazing example of Colonial architecture, with interiors housing fine paintings of the Cusco school. Continue to the San Blas quarter with a walk by this quaint district and one of the finest views of the city. This quarter is home to the workshops and stores of the most renowned craftsmen in Cusco, including Mendivil, Merida, Rojas and Palomino. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast
El Mercado Tunqui
Hotel Monasterio

Day 10
Cusco / Lima

A representative will transfer you to the airport for your return flight to Lima. Upon arrival, you are met by a representative who will assist with the international flight departure check in procedures.

Meals Included: Breakfast


These trips fill quickly, as hotel space and permits for entry to Machu Picchu are limited. Program availability is contingent upon securing permits, and all attempts will be made to secure the hotels listed in the itinerary. If the original hotels are not available or are overbooked, the next best available option will be reserved. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Hotel Options:
Guests stay at Sonesta El Olivar on Day 1, at the Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay on Days 2-3, at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel on Day 7, and at El Mercado Tunqui on Days 8-9.
Guests stay at Miraflores Park Hotel on Day 1, at the Sol y Luna on Days 2-3, at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge on Day 7, and at Hotel Monasterio on Days 8-9.

NOTE: These trips fill quickly, hotel space and permits are very limited. All attempts will be made to secure the hotels listed in itinerary; if original hotels are not available or overbooked, the next best available option will be reserved. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Transfers with local representative; meals as indicated in itinerary; accommodations with private bath in the selected hotel category, including breakfast; entrance fees to all sites visited; private transportation from Cusco airport to the hotel at Sacred Valley; Sacsayhuaman, Amaru Community, and Pisac Market visits; Maras, Moray with special ceremony, and Ollantaytambo visits; 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and tent accommodations on a shared basis; half day walking visit of Cusco; scheduled excursions with English-speaking guide services. Inca Trail includes: pre-departure briefing; private transport to trailhead; Inca Trail and Machu Picchu entrance fee; personal 3-season tents (2 people per 4-person-capacity tent); one inflatable sleeping pad per person; one sleeping bag per person; one pillow per person; dining tent with table and chairs; toilet tent with biodegradable toilet facilities; English speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for group of over 8 people); chef and cooking equipment; porter (carry tents, food, and cooking equipment); meals (vegetarian or special menus available at no additional cost); one textile snack bag per person; filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards; biodegradable personal hand soap; biodegradable dishwashing detergents used by kitchen staff; hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes; first aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle; bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes; train ticket from Aguas Calients to Ollanta or Poroy in Vistadome service; and transfer from the train station to the hotel in Cusco. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

International airfare; domestic airfare; visa and/or passport fees; excess baggage charges; additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations; international departure tax; alcoholic beverages, bottled water and snacks; insurance of any kind; laundry; phone calls; radio calls or messages and items of personal nature; any meals not indicated in itinerary; items of a personal nature; extra expenses due to itinerary changes or others due to force majeure or other circumstances beyond tour operator's control; gratuities.

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