Trek in the Footsteps of the Incas

Overview

Venture into the heart of the mysterious world of the Incas on a spectacular trek that offers the utter solitude of a hidden Inca realm! The terrain and scenery on our Hidden Inca Trail trek is very similar to that of the famous Inca Trail, but here you’ll have the trails all to yourself. Revel in views of ice-clad peaks and turquoise mountain lakes, visit traditionally dressed Quechua herders in their beautiful and remote villages, and enjoy pampering by our experienced camp staff. And the grand finale? Exploring magical Machu Picchu!  

Our Classic Accommodations feature the Casa Andina Private Collection in Cusco, built around a colonial mansion, and the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel at Aguas Calientes, with whitewashed cottages connected by stone pathways.

Our Optional Upgrades feature the Hotel Monasterio, a 16th century monastery close to Cusco’s central square that is now a luxurious 5-star hotel, and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, with its unique status as the only hotel right at the entrance to the ruins.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Cusco and Highland Inca Ruins

On a privately guided tour, explore Cusco, where the streets are flanked by intricate Inca-built stone walls recalling the city’s fascinating past. Hike amid the important Inca ruins overlooking Cusco, including the imperial baths at Tambomachay and massive Sacsayhuaman fortress. In the beautiful Sacred Valley, discover the stupendous ruins of Pisac, whose Inca-built terracing sweeps around the mountain spur on which the ruin is perched. Hike past the largest known Inca burial site, explore the temple complex, and visit the modern village below, which has excellent artisan shops and a lively market.

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Days 3-6
Trekking an Inca Trail

The Incas were an extraordinary people who built their cities on knife-edge precipices above sacred valleys. Masters of stonework, they built thousands of miles of trails connecting these cities and fortresses, the most famous of which led from Cusco, the heart of their empire, to Machu Picchu, the mysterious city in the sky. Our extraordinary trek affords you the pleasures of hiking in unspoiled Andean countryside along an original section of this famous Inca trail. Our trek takes you up a beautiful canyon between high granite walls festooned with tumbling waterfalls and tiny orchids and bromeliads, all framed by spectacular views of ice-clad Mt. Veronica (20,275’), past small settlements populated by Quechua villagers with their herds of llamas, across the broad plateau of Huallanay Pass (14,900’), with its incredible views of Salcantay, Huallanay, and other peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba, and alongside several small pristine lakes where Andean geese and black ibis are often spotted. Along the way you’ll explore isolated Inca ruins, including Paucarcancha (10,500’), an archaeological site that was probably an ancient gateway to Machu Picchu. From the village of Huayllabamba (9,600’), the unique experience and solitude of your route will be even more appreciated as you see the crowds coming in the opposite direction along the standard Inca Trail. Your last night’s camp is on the beautiful Urubamba River, right in front of the spectacular Veronica Glacier, with the comforts of a hot shower, fireplace, and even a rustic sauna! On tonight’s menu: a pachamanca, a traditional Peruvian-style barbecue.

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Days 7-8
Stunning Machu Picchu

At the lofty sanctuary of Machu Picchu, perched in an incredible mountain setting high above the Urubamba River, explore the haunting ruins of staircases, altars, temples, and fountains of this marvelous city on a privately guided tour. So well hidden in the jungle-covered ramparts of the Cordillera Vilcabamba that the Spaniards never knew of it, this “lost city” allows a vivid experience of the Inca world. Return to Cusco on the late afternoon train on Day 8.

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Days 9-10
Cusco

Explore enchanting Cusco, with its Inca-paved streets, colonial mansions, sidewalk cafés, and artisan galleries. Depart on Day 10.

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Highlights

Highlights

Trek a hidden Inca Trail through the Andes and enjoy a spectacular mountain realm virtually to yourself!
Incomparable Machu Picchu, “Lost City of the Incas”
Your own private guide and porters, delicious camp cuisine prepared by your personal cook
Enjoy the comforts of our legendary camping services—the best on the trail!
Upgrade your accommodation to include an overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, with its extraordinary access to the ruins
Optional one-day hike to Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, the original entrance to Machu Picchu

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $3995  
Arrive: Cusco, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 4 nights in beautiful hotels and haciendas, 4 nights full-service deluxe camping
Meals: All meals except 2 dinners and 2 lunches
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

4-day trek on moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, altitudes between 8,000-14,900 feet
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