machu picchu incas peru hiking tour

Machu Picchu, Peru

From the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu, we explore the ancient Inca world on wonderful day hikes, with overnights in fine hotels.

Photo by Bill Abbott

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Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Spectacular Hikes and Welcoming Lodges in the Realm of the Incas

Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4995  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 8 nights fine hotels, including the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Moderate to steep trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes up to 12,000 feet


  • Exhilarating day hikes and charming hotels—no camping!
  • Hike to remote Inca sites, visit families in Quechua villages
  • Explore magnificent Machu Picchu, with an overnight right at the ruins
  • Enjoy a traditional pachamanca, a Peruvian feast

The trip was magical and met or exceeded every expectation that we had as experienced travelers. It was one of those experiences that leave you incapable of selecting the best day or best experience. Every day was unique and full of wonder and amazement.Steve A.—Pleasanton, CA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

The Incas placed their revered sites high above the Sacred Valley, with mystical Machu Picchu perched at its farthest reaches. Our exclusive journey is the perfect way to explore this realm, with fantastic hikes by day and overnights in comfy hotels and lodges (no camping!). Our hikes bring you to hidden Inca ruins surrounded by granite crags and snowy peaks, a traditional Quechua village where you’ll enjoy a pachamanca feast, and to Machu Picchu for an overnight right at the ruins. Gorgeous days on uncrowded trails, evenings in cozy lodges enjoying a great meal and a glass of wine—this is hiking in WT style!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Cusco / Sacred Valley / Pisac

Enter the world of the Inca with a hike from the stunning fortress of Saqsayhuaman, with its perfectly fitted limestone blocks, right into Cusco. In the mountain-ringed Urubamba Valley (the Incas’ “Sacred Valley”), hike from Chinchero past traditional farms to Urquillos, then descend past one of the oldest Inca cemeteries known to archaeologists and arrive at Pisac, an elaborate temple-ruin filled with astonishing Inca stonework.

Days 5-6
Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo

Our hikes lead past the ancient terraces of Moray and to a remote Andean village where we are welcomed like family at a festive pachamanca (barbecue). In Ollantaytambo, where the rebel Manco Inca and his men held out against Pizarro’s forces, discover the exquisite traditional village below the splendid ruin.

Days 7-9
Machu Picchu / Cusco

At enchanting Machu Picchu, explore the ruins with our specialist guide and enjoy optional hikes with condor’s-eye views. Staying at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right at the ruins, gives you plenty of time to experience this celebrated site without the crowds. Return to Cusco and depart on Day 9, or join one of our extensions.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 3+. Most hiking is between 9,000 and 13,000 feet. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed; the group will spread out along the trail during the day to cover normally a maximum of 6 to 8 miles per day (3-6 hours of hiking). Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is a good bit of up-and-down (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip. The most important factor in deriving the maximum enjoyment from your trip is a spirit of adventure.

A Typical Hiking Day
Hiking distances are normally measured in hours, not miles, since the steepness of the terrain is much more of a factor than actual distance. With rest stops and photo stops, few people walk faster than one mile an hour in a mountainous region. Some hiking days are shorter than others, and some days are more difficult than others due to altitude gain and loss. There is always a guide in the lead, usually the Trip Leader, and a “sweeper” who trails behind the last hiker. We ask you not to hike ahead of the leader because trails are often not well-marked.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Apr 15-23, 2016   Holly Wissler
May 7-15, 2016   Peter Boehm
Jun 1- 9, 2016   Andrea Heckman
Jul 5-13, 2016   Holly Wissler
Jul 21-29, 2016   Peter Boehm
Aug 27-Sep 4, 2016   Pepe Lucho Corpancho
Sep 21-29, 2016   Peter Boehm
Oct 11-19, 2016   Pepe Lucho Corpancho

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$4995 (13-15 members)
$5195 (10-12 members)
$5495 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1350
Forced single supplement: $1150
Internal airfare: $475 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension
   from: $995
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $825
Sipan and Chan Chan Extension
   from: $980
Lake Titicaca Extension
   from: $995

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels, including the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu, the Palacio del Inka in Cusco, and beautiful inns in the Sacred Valley
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Airport transfers as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Lima, Peru
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Lima, Peru (airport code LIM)­—or Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ, if you are booking your own internal flights)
Suggested Arrival Time in Lima: 6:00 am or earlier
Lima, Peru
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Lima, Peru (airport code LIM)
Suggested Flight Departure Time: after 1:00 pm

Palacio del Inka

Palacio del Inka

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 8 (1 night), Cusco, Peru

Set in front of the Coricancha, just off Cusco’s central square, is the Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel. It is a favorite among ...
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Sonesta Posadas del Inca

Sonesta Posadas del Inca

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Yucay, Peru

An 18th century monastery converted into a country inn, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca is delightful retreat in a tranquil valley near the village of ...
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Hotel Pakaritampu

Hotel Pakaritampu

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Ollantaytambo, Peru

A cozy hotel with a countryside feeling, the Pakaritampu is just a few blocks from the main plaza in the traditional village of Ollantaytambo. The ...
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Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Day 7 (1 night), Machu Picchu Ruins, Peru

You can’t get closer to the Machu Picchu ruins than this! With only 31 rooms, this property is famously set right at the gate of Machu Picchu. ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Peter Boehm

Departure Dates: May 7-15, 2016, July 21-29, 2016, September 21-29, 2016

Peter Boehm is German-born but says, “I have Latin blood running through my veins.” Pete has guided in Peru and across South America since 1984. He arrived as a traveler and became one of the first to trek many of Peru’s then unexplored Inca trails. With countless captivating ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Pepe Lucho Corpancho

Departure Dates: August 27-September 4, 2016, October 11-19, 2016

Pepe Lucho Corpancho, of Cusco, Peru, is an experienced trekking guide who has been leading groups in Peru and the Amazon since 1985. His specialties are star-gazing, botany, and Peruvian cultures, and he loves to cook. Pepe Lucho speaks English and basic Quechua, the language of the Andes, along ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Andrea Heckman

Departure Dates: June 1- 9, 2016

Andrea Heckman has a PhD in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, with a focus on Anthropology and Art History. She is one of our most beloved leaders and has traveled and guided in Peru since 1978. In 1996, Andrea spent a year in Peru on a Fulbright Fellowship. “My ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Holly Wissler

Departure Dates: April 15-23, 2016, July 5-13, 2016

Holly Wissler, a musician and ethnomusicologist, is one of our most experienced and gifted Trip Leaders, drawing upon her many years of trekking and living in Peru and Nepal. Holly is deeply passionate about Andean culture and music, the topic of her PhD in ethnomusicology and the focus of two ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica

Exploring Waterways and Nature Trails

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension

Colonial Splendor and Natural Wonders

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2

Lake Titicaca Extension

Mystical Birthplace of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 2

Frieze at the Temple of the Moon, near Trujillo

Sipan and Chan Chan Extension

Ancient Wonders of Northern Peru

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

The trip was magical and met or exceeded every expectation that we had as experienced travelers. It was one of those experiences that leave you incapable of selecting the best day or best experience. Every day was unique and full of wonder and amazement. Steve A., Pleasanton, CA The combination of activities, tour guide, hotels, the connection to the community, and inside look at the culture was all fantastic. I will definitely be traveling with Wilderness Travel again. Maura C., Charlestown, MA A perfect combination of education, history, hiking, and Peruvian culture. Each day brought a new adventure. Sheryl P., East Meadow, NY We are enriched and thrilled with our experience and look forward to our next adventure with you. It was a perfect trip that far exceeded our vision of what might be. Barbara C., Tempe, AZ This trip wildly exceeded our expectations. The itinerary was superb, the pace comfortable, the food excellent (and again exceeded expectations), the staffing was wonderful and very attentive, the hotels were gracious and first class, and the amenities superb. Menzi B., Madison, WI This was a fabulous trip. I loved every minute of it. Nancy L., Los Gatos, CA Wilderness Travel provides a learning and adventure experience free of any pretentious attitudes. It is a very relaxing way to travel—every detail is done ahead for you. Ty B., Dallas, TX An amazing trip with memories I will treasure forever. Katy C., Monterey, CA Truly an amazing experience. Wilderness Travel made the trip so easy and enjoyable. Everyone took such great care of us. Gary R., Monterey, CA The whole trip went like clockwork, we were well taken care of, and it could not have been a better trip for us. We enjoyed every minute of it! Lindsey L., Boise, ID I loved this trip and would like to do it again! Karen J., Madison, WI This trip met all my expectations and was one of the best trips I have ever been on. Helen G., Eugene, OR It was more than I expected. I cannot wait to plan my next adventure with WT! Ghislaine I., New York, NY A beautiful trip, with great leaders, an excellent group of participants, good interaction with locals, wonderful food, and incredible sites and history. Janet S., Greenwich, CT We really enjoyed our vacation and being able to relax in the hands of professionals. We learned a great deal, made new friends, and saw parts of Peru away from the crowds. The hikes were terrific, the scenery amazing. It was more wonderful than we expected. Marcia A., Del Mar, CA This was an amazing trip. I have traveled a lot and taken several group tours but this was absolutely the best—very well planned and very well executed. I loved the hikes and thought the visits to numerous Incan sites before we hit Machu Picchu were so important to having a context. It was also great that we were not surrounded by other tourists on our hikes. Vicki V., Baltimore, MD
We really enjoyed this trip. Awesome itinerary, awesome leaders, great group of people, and a nice mix of culture, hiking, and food! Kathy P., Atlanta, GA Every last detail was thought of and executed flawlessly. Anthony G., St Louis, MO The trip of a Lifetime! Enjoyed every minute! Christine W., Encino, CA Outstanding experience. We were hoping for a trip of a lifetime and we certainly got it. Cathy S., Charlotte, NC This was one of the best of the 10 trips we've taken with WT. Howard M., La Jolla, CA Our first adventure with Wilderness Travel was first class! Walking through the countryside and past Inca ruins and enjoying the Peruvian food and culture and camaraderie of the group made this trip a lot of fun. Pat B., Delta, BC This was a magical trip! John S., New York, NY Wilderness Travel made our first trip to Peru and South America an awesome experience! Peggy O., Albuquerque, NM One of the best trips ever! Elizabeth L., Eden Prairie, MN We had a wonderful trip full of unexpected side trips and visits with local artisans, shepherds, people from many walks of life. Jane E., Laguna Niguel, CA As perfect as any WT trip I’ve taken, the full package of cultural learning, great hikes, great leaders, great hotels, and great meals. I’m a fan! Elizabeth S., Boston, MA We loved the fact that we didn’t have to camp but we could still go hiking. Sue G., San Diego, CA A very well thought out and executed trip. Susan G., Pittsburgh, PA Good balance of hiking, cultural, town, and wilderness. Day 5 was worth the entire trip price! Cathleen C., New York, NY Every trip we have taken with WT has been outstanding. Once again our every need was taken care of. The food was 5-star and we especially liked the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Fred and Anita G., Costa Mesa, CA A wonderful, well-rounded experience of the people and places of the Cusco-Machu Picchu area. Jocelyn W., Gainesville, FL Trip of a lifetime! We can’t wait for the next one. William J., Washington, DC