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 Cusco’s Hotel Libertador and 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
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Highlights

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


Trip of a lifetime! We can’t wait for the next one.William J.—Washington, DC

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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.

References

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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

The Incas placed their revered sites high above the dramatic Sacred Valley, with Machu Picchu, the glorious city of stone, perched on a promontory at its westernmost reaches. We’ve created the perfect adventure for exploring this realm, with fantastic hikes by day and overnights in welcoming hotels and lodges (no camping!). Our trails bring us to hidden Inca ruins surrounded by a dazzling landscape of granite crags and the snowy peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, to a traditional Quechua village where we are warmly welcomed to a Peruvian pachamanca feast, and to Machu Picchu, where we overnight right at the ruins. Gorgeous days on the trail, evenings in cozy lodges enjoying a great meal and a glass of wine—this is hiking in style!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Cusco

Our introduction to the Inca world begins with a wonderful hike from the stunning fortress of Saqsayhuaman, with its three tiers of outer walls of perfectly fitted limestone blocks, to the imperial baths of Tambo Machay and along an ancient Inca road to Cusco, where we walk through the colonial neighborhood of San Blas to our hotel.

Days 3-4
Sacred Valley / Pisac

In the mountain-ringed Urubamba Valley (the Incas’ “Sacred Valley”), we hike from traditional Chinchero past rows of Inca terracing and fields of traditional farms to Urquillos. From a village at 12,000 feet, we descend past one of the oldest Inca cemeteries known to archaeology to arrive at Pisac, an elaborate temple-ruin filled with astonishing Inca stonework.

Days 5-6
Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo

Our hikes in the Sacred Valley lead past ancient salt mines where a natural saline spring is collected in hundreds of terraced pools, and to a remote Andean village where we are welcomed like family at a festive pachamanca (barbecue). This village has had close ties with WT for more than 30 years. In Ollantaytambo, where the rebel Manco Inca and his men held out against Pizarro’s forces, we clamber over Inca stones and discover the exquisite traditional village below the ruin, which retains the stonework, narrow streets, and family courtyards of its original Inca plan.

Days 7-9
Machu Picchu / Cusco

Enchanting Machu Picchu is set in one of the most mystical locales in the world. We explore the ruins with a specialist guide and enjoy optional hikes around the citadel. Staying at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right at the ruins, gives us plenty of time to contemplate its mysteries and enjoy this celebrated site without the crowds. Return to Cusco on Day 8 and depart on Day 9.

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

2014
May 10-18, 2014  Peter Boehm
Jul 5-13, 2014  Andrea Heckman
Aug 9-17, 2014  Peter Boehm
Aug 31-Sep 8, 2014  Pepe Lucho Corpancho
Sep 25-Oct 3, 2014  Peter Boehm

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$4995 (13-15 members)
$5195 (10-12 members)
$5495 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1385
Forced single supplement: $1185
Internal airfare: $475 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Arequipa and Colca Canyon Extension
   from: $945
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $725
Sipan and Chan Chan Extension
   from: $925
Lake Titicaca Extension
   from: $910

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 Libertador 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.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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 Orient Express property is famously set right at the gate ...
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Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima Airport

Ramada Costa Del Sol Lima Airport (Day Room) (Day Room)

Day 9, Lima, Peru

Very conveniently located right across the Lima international airport, this hotel is just a two- minute walk across the street from the terminal, ...
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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 10-18, 2014, August 9-17, 2014, September 25-October 3, 2014

Peter Boehm is one of the most experienced trekking guides in the Peruvian Andes and helped us create our special Hiking the Sacred Valley journey. He has a fascination with Andean culture and an astounding knowledge of the remote trails and hidden ruins of the ancient Inca Empire. Peter is an ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Pepe Lucho Corpancho

Departure Dates: August 31-September 8, 2014

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: July 5-13, 2014

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

Optional Extensions

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

Peru

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

Trip of a lifetime! We can’t wait for the next one. William J., Washington, DC A wonderful, well-rounded experience of the people and places of the Cusco-Machu Picchu area. Jocelyn W., Gainesville, FL 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 Hotel Monasterio and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Fred and Anita G., Costa Mesa, CA Good balance of hiking, cultural, town, and wilderness. Day 5 was worth the entire trip price! Cathleen C., New York, NY A very well thought out and executed trip. Susan G., Pittsburgh, PA We loved the fact that we didn’t have to camp but we could still go hiking. Sue G., San Diego, 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 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 One of the best trips ever! Elizabeth L., Eden Prairie, MN Wilderness Travel made our first trip to Peru and South America an awesome experience! Peggy O., Albuquerque, NM This was a magical trip! John S., New York, NY 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 one of the best of the 10 trips we've taken with WT. Howard M., La Jolla, CA Outstanding experience. We were hoping for a trip of a lifetime and we certainly got it. Cathy S., Charlotte, NC The trip of a Lifetime! Enjoyed every minute! Christine W., Encino, CA Every last detail was thought of and executed flawlessly. Anthony G., St Louis, MO 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 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 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 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