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Hiking to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail

Short Inca Trail Hike To Machu Picchu

Example 7 Day Tour
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Experience the wonders of Peru's ancient Incan Empire on this popular highlights tour that includes one day on the famed Inca Trail. Wander Cusco's cobblestone streets, bustling markets and enchanting temples, experiencing the vibrant traditional culture of this Andean city. Visit the impressive Sacsayhuamán ruins and Pisac, explore rural Andean pathways in the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo. Spend a challenging day hiking to Wiñayhuayna and along the Inca Trail, entering Machu Picchu through the famed Sun Gate. This seven-day tour offers travelers an opportunity to experience Peru's fascinating historical and cultural landscape with an additional adventure on the Inca Trail. 
The parade in Cusco Relax in the bustling Cusco plaza and watch the people go by during your Peru travelsInca Trail hikeGreat trekking crew!Machu Picchu ancient ruinsCeremony of the Virgin TroupeSacsayhuamanHiking to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail
Highlights
  • Explore Cusco's temples, churches, markets and ruins
  • Watch the sunrise over the lost city of Machu Picchu
  • Visit the ancient Incan ruins of Sacsayhuamán
  • Hike the Inca Trail through the Sun Gate
Activity Level: Challenging
Requires high-intensity physical efforts that push the limits of one's fitness. May include tours with multiple days in a row of strenuous physical activity or single requiring more than 7 hours of activity. Recommended for travelers maintaining a demanding fitness level.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Lima

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 Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up for your Peru tour ahead.

Day 2: Fly Cusco | Afternoon Walking Tour

Walk across the street to the airport in Lima for your domestic flight to Cusco. 

Andean history comes alive in Cusco. Quechua-speaking descendants 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.

You will be picked up at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel to drop off your luggage and rest. In the afternoon, you'll begin to explore Cusco on a guided walking tour of the city. The sites visited today are flexible, as your guide sets the pace and agenda according to your interests and your ongoing adjustment to the altitude.

Day 3: Explore Cusco

Today is free to explore with your guide. 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 in advance.

The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife where live folk music and excellent food abounds! Enjoy the night of your Peru vacation.

Day 4: Sacred Valley

This morning, journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your trip and you will soon see why! The day is flexible based on your interests, market days, and the weather. 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 make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo and overnight.

Day 5: Hike the Inca Trail

This morning board an early train bound for Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Disembark after about an hour at Trail Marker 104, where you will hike for approximately 3 hours to Wiñayhuayna. This is a challenging hike that winds diagonally up the side of the canyon, climbing about 2,300 feet to an elevation of 8,366 feet. Stop for a picnic lunch and a short visit to the Wiñayhuayna ruins. After exploring the site you will join the famous Inca Trail, hiking for about 2 hours to the famous Sun Gate (Inti punku), where you are treated to stunning views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. Continue down toward the ruins for a guided tour of this historic site. 
Join the buses down the mountain to the village of Aguas Calientes. Spend your evening trying one of the many excellent local restaurants or relaxing with a soak in the hot springs. Overnight in Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. 

Day 6: Return to Machu Picchu | Cusco

Explore the ruins further with your guide, learning about the ancient traditions and customs of the Incan Empire. For those looking for a more active morning, you can opt to hike the sacred peak of the Huanya Picchu or the picturesque overlook of Machu Picchu Mountain. Return to Cusco this afternoon for one final evening in Peru (Let us know if you would like assistance arranging hiking permits for today - these are not included and sell out in advance!). 

Day 7: Fly Lima | Return home

Depart on the recommended flight to Lima and use the included group airport transfer. Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to the Amazon or to Lake Titicaca. Click here to see our Peru extensions!

Accommodations

Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport

Costa del Sol, Lima Airport
Costa del Sol, Lima Airport
Costa del Sol, Lima Airport

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Cusco - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,244

Notes

Select a Date
Included
  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Box Lunches
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Park Entrance Fee: One Day Inca Trail Permit
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Internal Flights: Lima - Cusco - Lima
  • Optional Excursions - Hiking in Machu Picchu

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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