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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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The parade in Cusco
  • 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: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Lima

Arrive in Lima and overnight at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel, conveniently located across the street from the airport. Settle in for a restful evening before your Peruvian adventure begins. 

Day 2: Fly to Cusco

Arise early this morning to catch your short flight to the Andean city of Cusco. History comes alive along Cusco's meandering cobblestone streets, where Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas fill the colorful markets and plazas. Explore ancient temples and colonial-era churches. In the afternoon, you'll visit Cusco's largest open-air market as well as the neighboring witches' market. Your guide will introduce you to unique local foods before your tour of the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a Peruvian organization dedicated to preserving ancient weaving traditions (if visiting the Sacred Valley on a Sunday, you will visit the Chinchero center instead). Retire to your hotel to rest before tomorrow's further exploration of Cusco. 

Day 3: Explore Cusco

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 abounds! 

Day 4: Sacred Valley

Today you will venture into one of Peru's most beautiful regions: the Sacred Valley. This fertile valley once formed the heart of the Incan Empire, and its sweeping valleys and towering mountains are sure to awe even the most seasoned traveler. Your tour today is flexible, and will depend primarily upon your personal interests, market days and the weather. Test your bargaining skills at some of the valley's great textile markets, hike to the fascinating ruins of Pisac, learn about Incan agricultural experimentation at Moray or wander to the seldom-visited pre-Columbian salt mines in Maras. Your day will ultimately conclude in the historic town of Ollantaytambo. 

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

Today you have the opportunity to experience an unforgettable sunrise over Machu Picchu, basking in the stillness of the ruins before hikers arrive from the Inca Trail. 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

  • 1 Breakfast
Fly to Lima for your return flight home, or extend your stay with a visit to the Amazon or to Lake Titicaca.

Photo Gallery

Hiking to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail The parade in Cusco Relax in the bustling Cusco plaza and watch the people go by during your Peru travels Inca Trail hike Great trekking crew! Machu Picchu ancient ruins Ceremony of the Virgin Troupe Sacsayhuaman



Wyndham Costa del Sol

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

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  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Box Lunches
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Park Entrance Fee: One Day Inca Trail Permit
  • Entrance Fee: Cathedral 
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • If you are interested in purchasing a hiking pass for either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, please contact us asap. These are not included in the cost of the trip and must be arranged in advance. Hiking permits, especially for Huayna Picchu, often sell out months in advance. 
  • Internal Flights: Lima - Cusco - Lima
  • Optional Excursions - Hiking in Machu Picchu

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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