Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located Ramada Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up for your Peru tour ahead. Your exciting trip is filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andes Mountains!
Andean history comes alive in Cusco. Quechua-speaking descendents of the Incas fill the streets and markets, colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the Conquistadors, and campesinos (Peru's rural farmers) in colorful dress move busily back and forth across the plazas. In the afternoon, you'll explore Cusco's largest open market and the adjacent witches' market. After tasting a few unique local foods, visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions (if visiting the Sacred Valley on Sunday, you will visit their center in Chinchero instead). Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form.
Today is free to relax and explore with your guide or on your own. You can visit the churches and surrounding ruins, such as the enormous Sacsayhuamán ruins that overlook Cusco (these ruins showcase building blocks the size of pickup trucks). You can also wander through the bustling Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco, shop for love potions in the local markets, or people watch from the cafes and restaurants that line these lovely streets. For those bursting with energy, horseback riding, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting (Class III-IV) can be arranged. The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife where live folk music and excellent food abound!
This morning, journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your Peru trip and you will soon see why! You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may also hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate today. Visit the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Eventually, you will make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo where you relax for the night.
Walk in the footsteps of the great Inca civilization as you journey along their ancient trail to the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Andean history comes to life along this special route as each day you pass ever larger ruins. Notice how the scenery changes from snowcapped mountains to lush green cloudforest. The Inca trail trek is made with pilgrims from all over the world, and your friendly crew of guides and porters will take great care of you along the way.
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Day 5 - Kilometer 82 to Huayllabamba
Trek length: 7.8 miles (5-7 hrs) Camp elevation: 9,691 ft
Day 6 - Hiking Huayllabamba to Pacaymayo
Trek length: 5.1 miles (5-7 hrs) Camp elevation: 11,833 ft
Trek high point: Dead Woman's Pass (13,776 ft)
Day 7 - Hiking Pacaymayo to Phuyupatamarca
Trek length: 4.5 miles (4-6 hrs); Camp elevation: 12,067 ft
Day 8 - Hiking Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
Trek length: 6.9 miles (5-7 hrs); Machu Picchu elevation: 7,875 ft
Some itineraries will hike farther on day seven and camp at a closer location to Machu Picchu, making the hike on day eight shorter. This will be up to the discretion of your Tour Leader and the Peruvian National Park Service. Your Tour Leader will notify you locally of your camping itinerary.
The group descends 3,000 feet from their campsite at Phuyupatamarca to reach spectacular Machu Picchu in the afternoon. Tour the ruins and continue to the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly called Aguas Calientes) below the ruins. Enjoy one of many excellent local restaurants or end your day soaking in the hot springs after exploring one of the most magical archaeological sites in the world.
Today is your chance to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu and to listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants before the hikers from the Inca Trail arrive. You can choose to book a permit to climb the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu, hike to the Sun Gate which overlooks the ruins or take a walk through the lush cloudforest to the Temple of the Moon. In the afternoon, you'll return by train to Cusco with your guide. (Let us know if you would like help arranging entrance fees or hiking permits for today – these are not included and sell out in advance!)
Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to the Amazon or to Lake Titicaca. Click here to see our Peru extensions!
$625 single supplement
June 15 & 22 departures include the Inti Raymi Festival and are 11 days. Please add $700 per person for the extra day.