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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. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lima
Day 2 : Fly to Cusco
Day 3 : Explore Cusco
Day 4 : Sacred Valley
Day 5 : Hike the Inca Trail
Day 6 : Return to Machu Picchu | Cusco
Day 7 : Fly Lima | Return home

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

Places Visited

  • Peru
  • South America
  • Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo)
  • Cusco
  • Lima
  • Machu Picchu
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Sacred Valley

Activities

Trip Type

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

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

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 decedents 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.

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Cusco - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Wyndham Costa del Sol

Per person starting at
$1,629

Notes

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Included

  • 6 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
    • 6 Nights Hotel
  • 5 Days Guide Service
  • Park Entrance Fee
    • One Day Inca Trail Permit
  • Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets
  • Ground Transportation

Excluded

  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights
  • Internal Flights
    • Lima-Cusco-Lima

Budgeting

  • $120 Meals not Included
  • $43 Airport Departure Tax
  • $75 Optional Excursions
    • Hiking in Machu Picchu
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Mary C

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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.

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