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Trekking the Peruvian Andes

Black Diamond Trek to Machu Picchu

Example 12 Day Tour
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Experience Peru's ancient wonders and natural beauty on this exciting 12-day Black Diamond Trek to Machu Picchu. This trip seamlessly blends luxury camping and cozy mountain lodges, accompanied by seasoned guides and a dedicated support team. Explore Cusco's markets and ruins before starting a trek to Piuray Lake, with options for kayaking or biking. Journey through the Sacred Valley, visiting Pisaq and Cancha Cancha villages, enjoying scenic hikes and traditional dinners. Discover Andean villages known for textiles, and hike to Jaukani and Sonqococha Lagoon. Follow the Inca Trail to Pumamarka and Ollantaytambo, concluding with a guided tour of Machu Picchu and a hike up Huayna Picchu Mountain.
The mysterious city of Machu PicchuMachu Picchu ancient ruinsEnjoying a mountain bike rideTrek in PeruTrekking the Peruvian Andes
Highlights
  • Explore Cusco's streets, markets, and historic colonial churches and ruins
  • Enjoy a morning kayak trip or biking adventure at Piuray Lake
  • Journey through the Sacred Valley enjoying scenic hikes and tasty cuisine
  • Trek up Huayna Picchu Mountain at Machu Picchu for stunning birds-eye views
Places Visited
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 in 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 to Cusco | Walking City Tour | Trek Briefing

An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco where Quechua speaking descendents of the Incas bustle back and forth in the busy plazas and markets. Colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the arrival of the Conquistadors. The church walls have fallen many times throughout the years, but the Inca walls remain. The morning is yours to explore Cusco's narrow streets and bustling markets.

In the afternoon, you can tour Cusco's traditional markets, talking to the women selling natural medicines and charms for curing heartache and other afflictions. You will 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.

This evening, Meet your MLP guide and fellow travelers for a general trip briefing and Q&A before heading out on your trekking adventure in the morning.

Location: Cusco
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes

Day 3: Piuray Lake | Explore Sacsayhuaman

Begin a hike from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco to Piuray Lake. Along the journey, explore the Sacsayhuaman archaeological site and indulge in a picnic lunch at Senqa Mountain before arriving at the Piuray campsite.

Distance: 8 miles / 13 km
Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 8 hours

Day 4: Hike to Huchuyqosqo

Start your day with a morning kayak excursion* on Piuray Lake, followed by a hike to Huchuyqosqo. Enjoy a picnic lunch and explore the Huchuyqosqo archaeological site. Finish the day with a downhill hike to Lamay Lodge in the Sacred Valley.

*If preferred, opt for a morning bike ride to Huchuyqosqo instead of the kayak trip.

Distance: 9 miles / 14.5 km 
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 8 hours
 

Day 5: Hike to Viacha | Explore Pisaq

Begin your day with a refreshing hike from Amaru village to Viacha community. Next, explore the Pisaq archaeological site with a guide. After that, hike to Pisaq town center and catch a ride back to Lamay Lodge in an MLP vehicle. When you reach the lodge, enjoy a traditional Pachamanca dinner prepared by the staff.

Distance: 5.1 miles / 8.2 km
Difficulty level: Moderate
Approximately 3 hours

Day 6: Full-day Hike to Cancha Cancha

Start your day with breakfast at Lamay Lodge, then head out for a short drive to Huaran in the Sacred Valley. Begin a full-day hike to Cancha Cancha village along an Inca trail. Conclude the day with a trip briefing and dinner around the campfire.

Distance: 5.4 miles / 9 km
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 6.5 hours

Day 7: Quiswarani

Start your day with a filling breakfast at Cancha Cancha campsite before hiking up to Pachacuteq Pass. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the pass before descending to the remote village of Quiswarani.

Distance: 8 miles / 13.5 km
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 6 hours

Day 8: Quelquena | Huacahuasi

Energize yourself with breakfast, then hit the trail for a morning hike to Sonqococha Lagoon. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the serene waters before setting off towards Quelquena. After some well-deserved rest, tackle the final hike of the day to Huacahuasi Lodge.

Distance: 7.9 miles / 12.7 km
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 8.5 hours

Day 9: Visit a Remote Village | Hike to Jaukani

Begin your day with a visit to a remote village famous for its stunning traditional Andean textiles. Enjoy a refreshing hike to Jaukani with stunning scenery, followed by a delightful picnic lunch with a view of the majestic Andes. Return to Huacahuasi on a scenic drive in the afternoon.

Distance: 5.6 miles / 9 km
Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 5 hours

Day 10: Ollantaytambo

Start the day with breakfast at the break of dawn, followed by an early start for a morning trek from Huacahuasi to Patacancha. Once you arrive, your MLP driver will be ready to pick you up for a short, picturesque drive to Pumamarka. There, you'll have lunch and explore the ruins with a guide. Wrap up the day with a hike on amazing Inca terraces leading to Ollantaytambo, South America's oldest inhabited town. In the evening, enjoy a trip briefing and dinner at your hotel.

Distance: 8 miles / 20 km
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 8 hours

Day 11: Full-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Take an early-morning train from Ollantaytambo to the KM 104 marker along the rail route after breakfast. As you cross the Chachabamba Bridge, begin a day-long hike along the traditional Inca Trail, passing through Winay Wayna and reaching the renowned Sun Gate entrance of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, descend along the citadel's perimeter to catch the shuttle bus down to Aguas Calientes, situated at the base of Machu Picchu.

Distance: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Difficulty level: Challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 6 hours

Day 12: Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Begin your day with breakfast at dawn before setting out on a guided tour of the Machu Picchu citadel in the early morning. Following the tour, trek up Huayna Picchu Mountain* and afterward, return to Aguas Calientes for lunch. Conclude your day by catching an afternoon train to Ollantaytambo, where you'll meet your MLP vehicle for a sunset drive back to Cusco.

Distance: 2.5 miles / 4 km
Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
Approximate Hike Time: 3.5 hours

*Note: Permits for Huayna Picchu are subject to availability; please consult with your travel specialist when you confirm your reservation.
**In the event that Huayna Picchu permits are not available for your desired date, Machu Picchu Mountain (the second peak within the sanctuary) permits will be secured instead.

Accommodations

Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport

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

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

Lamay Lodge

Lamay Lodge used on Sacred Valley Adventure
Lamay Lodge used on Sacred Valley Adventure
Lamay Lodge used on Sacred Valley Adventure

Huacahuasi Lodge

Huacahuasi Lodge on Sacred Valley Adventure
Huacahuasi Lodge on Sacred Valley Adventure
Huacahuasi Lodge on Sacred Valley Adventure

Cusco - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,829 2-3 travelers

Notes

Select a Date
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • 1 Day 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
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu Sanctuary (entrance, transportation to and from the site)
  • Bilingual guide (English-Spanish) for the duration of the standard itinerary
  • Transportation of personal belongings during the trip by pack horses/mules and/or porters
  • Wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) at all lodges and hotels
  • All meals and beverages including soft drinks and a house selection of beer, wine, and spirits including pisco
  • Entrance fees to archaeological sites and other points of interest
  • All gratuities for the staff at all MLP lodges and in the field —does NOT include gratuities for the staff at affiliate hotels. 
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry services 
  • Massage services
  • Permits for Huayna Picchu Mountain and/or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Bottled water and sports drinks. Guests are encouraged to use the refillable water bottle that is provided to each guest at the pre-trip briefing. The highest-quality filtered water is available at all MLP lodges
  • Gratuities for the guides are not included and are at your discretion. In general, it is suggested to give $10-20 USD per day per person for lead guides and $5-15 USD per day per person for assistant guides
  • Local taxes (18% IGV) on meals and lodging applicable to Peruvians, foreign residents, and tourist traveling in Peru for 60+ days
  • Optional Activities: Chakana Inca Excursion, Horseback Riding (subject to change)

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.

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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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