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Journey to Peru with the Inca Trail

Peru Trip Information

  • Private Journey
  • Land Based Adventures
  • 2 Capacity
  • 10 Days
  • Year-round, available upon request
  • Price from
  • $4,895
  • I'm Interested

Summary : This special trip to Peru includes 'must-sees' and important highlights of Peru, including a rich combination of cultural heritage and history; stunning nature, geography and scenery; living cultures; and spirituality, traditions, and beliefs. Hike 26.7-miles along the Inca Trail, one of the most stunning and best-known treks in the world. Trekkers agree there is so much more to hiking than walking: direct contact with natural surroundings, spectacular views, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Explore the Sacred Valley and discover some of the most important remains of the Spanish and Inca legacies. Visit local communities to learn about ancient traditions and beliefs as well as their lifestyles today. Archaeological sites, spectacular mountain scenery, and lush cloud forests rich in Andean flora and fauna lead to Machu Picchu, sacred city of the Incas and breathtaking citadel, perched high above the clouds. A renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu is the most iconic example of the Inca legacy. An overnight in Cusco allows time to explore the Temple of Gold and the San Blas quarter (home to local artisans) before returning to Lima.

Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Arrival in Lima, Peru

Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.

Sonesta Hotel El Olivar
Belmond Miraflores Park

Day 2
Lima / Cusco / Sacred Valley

Today your representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you back to the airport for 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. Here you'll find world famous white corn cultivated for export. The mild climate, 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'll 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 will 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'll learn about “cochineal” red, the secret properties of some medicinal plants in the area, and the community's activities.

Enjoy lunch in the community then 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 into 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 but keep in mind handmade artwork is worth it!

End the day at your selected hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay
Sol y Luna

Day 3
Sacred Valley

This morning, visit the circular terraces of Moray, an agricultural “research laboratory” for the Incas, who studied temperature variation from one terrace to another in order to develop different crop varieties. Later, the hardier varieties of seeds were distributed throughout the Inca Empire. On the other side of the Urubamba Valley you’ll see the dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba cordilleras (mountain ranges). Depart this interesting archaeological site for the town of Maras, which grew in importance in the 17th century because of the exploitation and commercialization of the salineras, or saltpans.

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 backdrop for your visit which you may choose to do by van or via a gentle hike. In the town of Maras you will learn about the facades 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 participate in a very special ceremony of sound and traditional offerings to Mother Earth. This ceremony evokes the spirit of healing and uses many sacred medicines such as Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mama Coca, Agua Florida, condor feathers, Grandfather Puma, essences and incenses. Also used in the ceremony are pre-hispanic instruments that have no musical register written. Their purpose is to heal with joy, love, color, and life. You must come with an open heart to feel how the power of sound becomes a collective prayer that creates healing frequencies. One of the main purposes of sharing this ceremony is to reevaluate and radiate the culture of the area's original people. It can be recognized as an amazing cross-cultural experience.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon.

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 and drop you off in Piskacuchu (with an altitude of 8,856 feet), a community located between the 50th and 51st mile of the Cusco–Machu Picchu railroad and the starting point of the Inca Trail. Begin your hike by crossing a bridge over the Urubamba River and walking along its left shore as it flows northwest along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along flat terrain, arrive in Miskay (9,184 ft) where you will see—from the tallest point of an overlook—the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (8,692 ft).

Continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until you reach the community of Wayllabamba (9,840 ft) where you'll set up camp. All along the way, enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 19133 feet above sea level, not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found in the valley.?

Total distance: 7.47 miles
Estimated walking time: 5 to 6 hours
Maximum altitude point: 9,840 ft.
Campsite altitude: 9,840 ft.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 5
Inca Trail / Pacaymayo

Wake up around 6 a.m. After breakfast, begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 5.59 miles. 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, 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 (11,808 ft), where you'll camp after approximately 7 hours of hiking.

Total distance: 6.84 miles
Estimated walking time: 6 to 7 hours
Maximum altitude point: 13,776 ft.
Campsite altitude: 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'll cross, rich in Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo, climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (13,022 ft). Halfway up, stop to visit an archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 12,464 feet, 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 (11,887 ft). 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, continue toward the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (12,136 ft). 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. Later, pass through an Inca tunnel to arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to a 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 (8,692 ft), 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: 9.94 miles
Estimated walking time: 8 hours
Maximum altitude point: 12,792 ft.
Campsite altitude: 8,692 ft.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 7
Inca Trail / Machu Picchu

Today you will wake up at 4 a.m. to leave Wiñaywayna and climb to 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'll 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.

Lunch at Tinkuy restaurant, located just next to the main entrance, is included. After lunch you can return to Machu Picchu for further exploration if you'd like.

In the afternoon, take the bus back to town and check in at your selected hotel, where you will enjoy dinner in the evening. Your guide departs this afternoon, leaving you with instructions for the following day.

Total distance: 2.49 miles
Estimated walking time: 2 hours
Maximum altitude point: 8,829 ft
Machu Picchu altitude: 7,872 ft

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Day 8
Machu Picchu / Cusco

This morning you will have a second opportunity to visit Machu Picchu on your own and climb the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, where you might experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it.

In the afternoon, take The 360° train back to Ollantaytambo station. On arrival, you'll receive assistance and a transfer to Cusco for accommodation at your selected hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast
(Lunch is included on this day if choosing the Deluxe option.)

El Mercado
Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Day 9
Cusco

This morning your guide will take you to visit Cusco’s main attractions. Start with a visit to Santo Domingo Monastery and the legendary Korikancha (Temple of Gold). The most important Inca temple devoted to worshiping the Sun, its walls were once plated with sheets of gold. Continue with a visit to the cathedral, an amazing example of Colonial architecture with an interior that features fine paintings from the Cusco School. Then make your way to the San Blas quarter and enjoy a walk through this quaint district to enjoy 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.

Spend the rest of the day at your leisure: further explore Cusco on your own, go shopping or just relax in your hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

El Mercado
Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Day 10
Cusco / Lima / Depart

A representative will transfer you to the airport for your return flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima you'll be met by a representative and provided assistance for your departure flight.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Notes

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:
Superior:
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 by Mountain Lodges of Perú on Days 8-9.
Deluxe:
Guests stay at Belmond Miraflores Park on Day 1, at the Sol y Luna on Days 2-3, at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge on Day 7, and at Belmond Hotel Monasterio on Days 8-9.

Included:
Hotel accommodations with private bath in selected hotel category, including breakfast; transfers with local representatives; private services with local English-speaking guides; entrance fees to all visited attractions in the itinerary including Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain on Day 8; four days on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with tent accommodations on a shared basis; all meals as stated in the itinerary. 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; kitchen tent; dining tent with table and chairs; toilet tent with biodegradable toilet facilities; English-speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups over 8 people); chef and cooking equipment; porters (to carry tents, food, cooking equipment, and personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg/19.84lbs per person including sleeping bag and sleeping pad); meals as mentioned in itinerary (vegetarian or special menus available at no additional cost); one textile snack bag per person (to avoid usage of plastic bags that contaminate the environment); 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; boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead; first aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle; bus ticket from Machu Picchu ruins to Aguas Calientes; train ticket from Aguas Calients to Ollanta or Poroy via The 360° train; transfer from train station to hotel in Cusco. Inclusions 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, insurance of any kind; laundry; phone calls, radio calls or messages, and other items of a personal nature; any meals not indicated in itinerary; extra expenses due to itinerary changes or others due to force majeure or other circumstances beyond tour operator's control; gratuities. Subject to change without notice.

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