Machu pichu & Inca Trail
$2495 per person, based on double to triple occupancy. Grouped by same gender unless requested otherwise.
Select hiking or non-hiking on registration form. Note that hiking spots sell out early, as much as 8 months prior.
+$895 single supplement
Room options include Queen (shared double bed) and Twin/Triple (private beds). Please note preference on registration, rooms are first come first serve. Single supplements are limited in availability.
Hiking only option:
+$195 Personal porter for hiking (max 12 kilo)
+$25 Sleeping bag rental for hiking
Trip Does Not Include:
- Additional excursions and activities
- Lunches, except as specified (3 hiking, 1 non-hiking)
- Required travel insurance
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive in Cusco by 3:00 p.m. and be transferred to your boutique hotel in central Cusco. Settle in, meet your roommate and watch the sunset over this beautiful city as you acclimate to its elevation of 11,150 feet. We’ll convene for an early dinner to get to know your guide and other travel mates for the week.
Day 2: Cusco
We’ll take today easy as you adjust to the elevation with a morning walking tour through Cusco and a visit to the market. You’ll have lunchtime and the afternoon to explore the city’s many fabulous cafés, cobblestone streets, and abundance of shops & museums. We’ll have dinner at a spectacular Peruvian restaurant that sources local meats & produce and presents traditional dishes with a modern twist. Try specialties such as aji de gallina (a creamy chicken dish), causa (an Andean potato dish), or – if you’re daring – cuy (guinea pig).
Day 3: Sacred Valley & Community Partner
After breakfast we’ll visit our community partner, a local school that emphasizes sustainability and social responsibility through its programs. We will specifically learn about its Quechua curriculum and the efforts the non-profit is making to preserve this ancestral language by teaching it to the younger generations. We’ll enjoy lunch with the students, using ingredients harvested from their on-campus organic garden and we’ll learn about their initiatives in farming, cooking, and nutrition education in the community. We’ll enjoy an early dinner together with time to rest or get organized in the evening. Hikers will need to be ready for an early departure tomorrow.
Day 4: 1st Hike day or Moray & Salinerals
Hiking: Get up bright and early to be picked up by our local, bilingual guide Edwin who will brief you on the journey ahead. We’ll have breatkfast on the go, arriving at the starting point at Wayllabamaba by 10:30. You’ll need your passport to enter the trail, and once we cross the foot bridge over the Urumbomba River our hiking begins! The first few kilometers are a relatively easy climb with gorgeous views of La Verónica and Patallackay. We’ll take a break for lunch at Tarayoc and continue on to Huayllabamaba for camping and dinner our first night.
Non-hiking: After breakfast we’ll depart for the concentric Inca terraces at Moray, four natural sinkholes that the Incas used for agriculture. We’ll then descend to a unique Sacred Valley site, Salineras, thousands of salt pools that the Inca diverted from a spring of warm, salty water and is still harvested today by local collectives. In the afternoon, we’ll check in to our Ollantaytambo accommodations. This will be home base for the non-hikers for the next 4 nights.
Day 5: 2nd Hike day or Farm Lunch
Hiking: Today is the hardest day of the trail, with the first half strait up and the second straight down. We’ll ascend the highest point of 13,900 feet at Wuarmihuañusca where you can see panoramic views of the cordillera of Vilcambamba. Depending on your speed, this is about a 3-5 hour ascent. You’ll see the terrain slowly change from high desert to the Andean rainforest, with bromeliads and greenery all around. We’ll ascend to the valley of Pacasmayo to camp for the night.
Non-hiking: After breakfast, you’ll have time to explore the ancient village of Ollantaytambo before enjoying a leisurely farm tour and lunch at an organic farm project. The farm uses many traditional techniques, including crop rotation and plowing with oxen. We’ll learn about local cooking traditions and enjoy numerous foods from the area including camote (local sweet potatoes), grilled meats, and chicha morada (a purple corn drink). Afterwards, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the local rum distillery and brewery.
Day 6: Hiking
Hiking: Our last and final full hiking day is known as the “Incan Flats” for its rolling landscape, as compared to the steep climbs and infinite stairs of yesterday. We’ll see the ruins of Runquracya and learn about different architectural styles of the Inca. We’ll also pass Sayacmarca and go through a tunnel at Phuyupatamarca. The terrain is rich in flora and fauna, and though it’s a long hiking day there are fewer climbs than yesterday. We’ll camp at our last site, Wiñayhuayna.
Non-hiking: After breakfast we’ll head to Pisaq, which is home to an Inca fortress and an artisanal market filled with Andean goods such as carved gourds, ceramics, paintings, and weaving. We’ll then visit the nearby ruins which feature multiple architectural styles including agricultural terraces, military forts and religious purification paths.
Day 7: Machu Picchu
Hiking: We’ll get up super early this morning – 3:30 – to have time for breakfast, packing up and heading to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, for our sunrise entrance to Machu Picchu. We’ll have plenty of photo opportunities as we descend to the city, where we’ll meet up with the rest of our group for a guided tour by Edwin. After some time to explore on your own, you’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where you can store your backpack with a local restaurant partner and take time for lunch and exploring on your own. We’ll all depart on the 6:30 train back to Ollantaytambo where we’ll stay for the night. A late, light snack will be provided on your return or you can head in to town for dinner.
Non-hiking: We’ll get up bright and early to take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll catch a bus up to Machu Picchu. There we’ll meet with the hiking group and enter together for a tour of the city with our guide Edwin. After some time to explore on your own, you’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and we’ll reconvene for the 6:30 train ride back to Ollantaytambo. A late, light snack will be provided on your return or you can head in to town for dinner.
Day 8: Cusco
We’ll take our time this morning to sleep in and recover, departing by van back to Cusco, around 10:00. You’ll be able to drop your bags at reception at our accommodations and will be able to check in after 3:00. The afternoon is yours for R&R, shopping, or consider a walk or taxi ride up to Sacsayhuamán just outside of town. We’ll reconvene for our final group dinner and farewell.
Day 9: Departure
Plan your airport departure for the morning or mid-day. Check-out is by 10:00 a.m. You’ll receive a transfer to the airport according to your flight time.