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Spectacular Hikes and Lodges

Overview

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 unique adventure in this stunning valley with exhilarating hikes by day and comfy overnights in hotels and lodges (no camping!). Our hikes bring you to all the major Inca sites as well as to hidden Inca ruins. From the ridgetops, we’ll descend traditional paths down to farming villages in the valley, with breathtaking views all the way, and follow trails past fascinating archaeological sites. We’ll also visit an off-the-beaten-path Quechua village for a pachamanca feast, and have a memorable grand finale: an overnight at the coveted Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right next to the ruins. Gorgeous days of hiking uncrowded trails, evenings in cozy lodges enjoying a great meal and a glass of wine—this is traveling WT style!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Cusco / Sacred Valley / Pisac

Exploring Cusco’s Inca sites on foot, we hike from the imposing fortress at Saqsayhuaman down past the rock monolith of Q’enqo and the Inca springs at Tambo Machay, with a final stroll right into Cusco’s lovely colonial neighborhood, San Blas. From atmospheric Chinchero, a colonial town built on Inca foundations on a plateau high above the valley, our trail descends past magnificent rows of Inca terracing with breathtaking views across the mountain-ringed Sacred Valley. We pass through an Inca cemetery, where the ancestors rest in caves in the high cliffs, and follow the trail right down to spectacular Pisac, a famous temple-ruin clinging to a mountain spur. Visible from miles away, Pisac was the Incas’ largest fortress-city complex. Its circular, stone-walled Inca agricultural terraces are still in use by local inhabitants.

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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 along natural saline springs 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 gather for a festive pachamanca (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.

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Days 7-9
Machu Picchu / Cusco

Catching the morning train to Machu Picchu, we explore one of the most mystical settings in the world. Many travelers rush in and out of Machu Picchu 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.

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Highlights

Highlights

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

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5695  
Arrive: Cusco, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 8 nights fine hotels, including the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Moderate to steep trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes up to 12,000 feet