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Our guide as the sun breaks through the clouds

Inca Pathways

Inca Trail - Example 13 Day Tour
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Explore the best of the Inca Empire on one of our most popular Peru tours that culminates in a 4-day trek ending in Machu Picchu. To acclimatize for the trek, spend time experiencing the local culture staying with a family on the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Next, we'll travel to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, exploring ruins and bargaining at busy Andean markets along the way. The 26 mile-long 4-day Inca Trail trek is an exciting high Andes experience where you'll hike up to 13,800 feet, pass glacier covered peaks culminating at the Gate of the Sun overlooking the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lima
Day 2 : Fly to Juliaca | On to Lake Titicaca
Day 3 : Islands of Lake Titicaca
Day 4 : Taquile Island | Return to Puno
Day 5 : Journey to Cusco
Day 6 : Explore Cusco
Day 7 : Sacred Valley of the Incas
Days 8-10 : Pilgrimage on the Inca Trail
Day 11 : Machu Picchu
Day 12 : Free Day at Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco
Day 13 : Fly to Lima | Return Home


  • Explore the floating islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Visit Cusco's surrounding churches, plazas, and ruins
  • Walk to Mara, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate
  • Trek the Inca Trail to the sacred city of Machu Picchu

Places Visited


Trip Type

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Our guide as the sun breaks through the clouds There is always time to pose for a picture as you hike the Inca Trail during your Peru travels Day 4 trek: Breakfast al fresco above the clouds Machu Picchu at sunrise Local Peruvian rows towards shore on Lake Titicaca Maureen Hiking the Inca Trail Camping along the Inca Trail Inca Trail

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. Your exciting trip is filled with ancient ruins, local markets and hiking through the beautiful Andes Mountains!

Day 2 Fly to Juliaca | On to Lake Titicaca

An early morning flight takes you to Puno where you will be met at the airport and transferred to Puno on the shores of mystical Lake Titicaca. Legend has it that the first Inca rose out of its azure waters.

Enjoy a relaxing evening on your own in Puno.

Day 3 Islands of Lake Titicaca

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart this morning with your guide to the floating islands of the Uros people. Peru's floating islands are built using the buoyant totora reeds that grow along Lake Titicaca, and these reeds are interwoven to make homes, boats, and crafts.

We continue to Amantani Island, a quiet island known for its hilltop ruins that honor Pachamama and Pachatata (Mother and Father Earth). Here we meet our host families whose generosity is apparent with their open arms (and open doors to their homes) and smiles. Explore this island with your guide and then settle in to share a short day in the lives of the Aymara.

Day 4 Taquile Island | Return to Puno

After breakfast and bidding farewell to your host family, travel to Taquile Island. Climb the steps to the plaza at the center of the island for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

In the afternoon, return to Puno and relax this evening on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Day 5 Journey to Cusco

A spectacular bus ride to Cusco crosses the 14,403 feet La Raya pass. Grab a window seat and enjoy Peru's altiplano. Along the way, enjoy optional visits to the "Sistine Chapel" of Peru and a pre-Incan site, as well as a huge lunch featuring traditional Peruvian cuisine. Your final destination is the Navel of the World--Cusco, Peru!

Day 6 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 abound!

Day 7 Sacred Valley of the Incas

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.

Day 8-10 Pilgrimage on the Inca Trail

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.

Trek Details

(Click here for more information)
Day 8 - Kilometer 82 to Huayllabamba
Trek length: 7.8 miles (5-7 hrs) Camp elevation: 9,691 ft
Day 9 - 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 10 - Hiking Pacaymayo to Phuyupatamarca
Trek length: 4.5 miles (4-6 hrs); Camp elevation: 12,067 ft
Day 11 - 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 ten and camp at a closer location to Machu Picchu, making the hike on day eleven 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.

Day 11 Machu Picchu

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.

Day 12 Free Day at Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

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 hiking permits for today – these are not included and sell out in advance!)

Day 13 Fly to Lima | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to the Amazon or to Colca Canyon. Click here to see our Peru extensions!

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Amantani Homestay

Cusco - Hotels

Inca Trail - Campsites

Puno - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Wyndham Costa del Sol



Flexible Departure Policy
For new bookings made from March 30, 2020, forward pay 2020 prices for 2021 departures, with the flexibility to change travel dates free of charge through December 2021. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures up to Dec 31, 2021

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  • 11 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 12 Nights Accommodations
  • 9 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
  • Entries to Machu Picchu - 2 Daily Entrance Fees
  • Gear Rental: All Camping Gear
  • Park Entrance Fee


  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Optional Excursions - $20 for hiking passes at Machu Picchu on second day
  • Internal Flights - Lima-Juliaca, Cusco-Lima
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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.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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