Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

Spectacular Hikes and Lodges


The Incas placed their most revered sites high above the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River, with mystical Machu Picchu perched on a promontory at its farthest reaches. We’ve created a fantastic adventure in this stunning valley with exhilarating hikes by day and comfy overnights in hotels and lodges (no camping!). Our hikes bring us to major Inca sites as well as hidden Inca ruins as we descend traditional paths to farming villages in the Sacred Valley, with breathtaking views all the way, and we follow trails to fascinating archaeological sites. We’ll also visit a Quechua village for a traditional pachamanca feast honoring Mother Earth, and finish with an overnight at the coveted Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right next to the ruins.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Cusco / Sacred Valley / Pisac

Exploring Inca sites on foot, we hike from the imposing Saqsayhuaman fortress down past the rock monolith of Q’enqo and Inca springs at Tambo Machay, with a final stroll right into Cusco’s colonial neighborhood, San Blas. From atmospheric Chinchero, built on Inca foundations high above the valley, we descend rows of Inca terracing as we cross the mountain-ringed Sacred Valley. One hike brings us through an Inca cemetery to spectacular Pisac, a temple-ruin clinging to a mountain spur. Its Inca agricultural terraces are still in use today.

Hotel Monasterio
Cusco, Peru
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Day 8 (1 night)
Sonesta Posadas del Inca
Yucay, Peru
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-6
Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo

We visit the enigmatic terraces of Moray, where the Incas built concentric terraces in natural depressions in the valley, then hike from Maras to the roaring Urubamba River, a great spot for our picnic lunch. In the early morning, when the light is dramatic and there are fewer visitors, we visit the massive ruins of Ollantaytambo and the quaint 13th century town below it, a beautiful example of Inca city planning. At a remote village, we enjoy a festive pachamanca lunch (meat slow-roasted over hot stones). Generations of trail crew, cooks, and porters for Wilderness Travel’s renowned Inca Trail staff are from this traditional village, and we are welcomed here as family.

Hotel Pakaritampu
Ollantaytambo, Peru
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 7-9
Machu Picchu / Cusco

The morning train brings us to Machu Picchu. Many travelers rush in and out of here within a few hours, but our overnight stay at the Sanctuary Lodge, right at the gates of this indescribable Inca city, gives us plenty of time to discover its mysteries with our specialist guide. Return to Cusco on Day 8 and depart on Day 9.

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Machu Picchu Ruins, Peru
Day 7 (1 night)
Hotel Monasterio
Cusco, Peru
Day 8 (1 night)



Day hikes and charming hotels
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, an Andean feast


Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5895  
Arrive: Cusco, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 8 nights in hotels and lodges including the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, and inns in the Sacred Valley
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Moderate trails, 2-4 hours a day, activities at altitudes ranging from 9,000 to 13,800 feet