This circuit of the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu with the Amazon forest of the Manu National Park, is designed for lovers of nature and great adventures in Peru.
During the 12 days, our clients will be able to learn about the great biodiversity that exists in one of the best preserved biomes of the Amazon forest. Since the Manu National Park is listed as home to many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, amphibians, and a huge list of plants and trees, which are investigated for their medicinal properties.
From the first contact with the arboreal nature of the Manu National Park you will be able to feel this beautiful land, with unique contrasts of colors and animals, you will enjoy an environment with pure air and the best experience of your vacation in the jungle of South America. .
After visiting the Amazon jungle, we will visit the majestic sacred valley, and walk through the most famous archaeological attractions, such as the Ollantaytambo fortress, the Moray terraces, and the snow-capped mountains of the Vilcanota mountain range.
The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is rated Vigorous (level of hike very challenging). Trip members need to be strong, experienced hikers in good physical condition and be able to hike 8 miles within about 4 hours at sea level.
Participants should enjoy short walks on trails full of moisture, mud and heat, in the wild jungles of South America. In many of the circuits that our guides will take you are close to the lodge, there will be days when we will have to do our walks with some rain. Weather conditions and remote locations are a combined physical stress that can make this activity a bit more challenging than it normally would be.
Be prepared to face large rivers, in small motorboats, and taste unique food from the region. Usually you do not need to be a tourist with experience in hiking, since the attraction is approximately 500 meters above sea level.
Inca Trail Camping Tents: 3 nights
The overnight stays during the Inca Trail hike are made in double-roofed tents, which are installed by the accompanying team. The tents are equipped with thick foam mattresses that are carried by the porters. Sleeping bags can be rented on site for a fee prior to the start of the inca trail trek. The camps have permanent sanitary facilities, some have toilets, but most of them are of the “squat” variety. They may not be the most hygienic, but try to use them instead of nature, remember you are in one of the most amazing natural environments in the world. Please bring toilet paper with you. A dining tent offers enough space to eat together and end the evening in peace.
Amazon Eco Lodge (standard) 3 nights
This lodge is located in the tropical jungle on the shores of Alto Madre de Dios in the protected area of the Manu Biosphere Reserve.
Built in the style of the local Machiguenga tribe, the property offers 10 bungalows with private bathrooms.
There is a separate dining room and relaxation area with tables and sofas, as well as a covered area with hammocks, where you can relax after a busy day. Meals are taken in the common dining room. (there is no electricity).
Hotel in Sacred Valley: 1 night
Featuring river views, La Casita Huaran in Calca has a restaurant, a shared lounge, a garden and a terrace. The lodge offers free WiFi and free private parking.
Welcome to Cusco, upon arrival of your plane at the Cusco airport, a representative of Andean Great Treks will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. There you will be able to rest and adapt a bit to the altitude.
In the afternoon, together with your local guide, together with other travelers, the tour of the 4 ruins will begin. First we are going to see the ancient temple of the Sun Qorikancha, then we travel in our bus to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, in fact this is one of the largest megalithic constructions of the Incas, with stone blocks of more than 150 tons. Nearby are the other archaeological sites of Quenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.
Our tour will end at 18:30 pm, after which you can visit any restaurant to have your dinner.
Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health.
This day the pickup will be from your hotel or lodging in the city of Cusco, at 6:00 am, and then we will head towards Paucartambo, the first stretch lasts 3 hours, this day you can buy your first breakfast in the town of Huancarani. Then we will visit the chullpas of Ninamarca, which was a pre-Inca funerary complex of great importance. From here it is another hour to the colonial town of Paucartambo, a beautiful colonial city. Continue to the cloud forest, an area rich in endemic species such as the spectacled bear, the cock of the rocks, you can also see the woolly monkey, the capuchin monkey. In this part we will make several stops to observe birds and mammals of the Manu amazon rainforest. Our lunch will be in the middle of the jungle enjoying the beautiful landscape with varieties of orchids, bromeliads and ferns, etc. This day we finish the tour at 5 pm, arriving at our lodge in the town of Pilcopata.
After breakfast we will continue on private transportation to the Atalaya Port, which is located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River (700 m). Here we will take a boat that will take us to the second lodge in the middle of the jungle, the trip takes 30 minutes, along the river you will see an enormous diversity of bird species, such as herons, vultures and cormorants, kingfishers, if You can also see Capibara one of the largest rodents in the world, leopard, etc. Upon arrival at the lodge you can enjoy the warm climate of the jungle. At 10 am, we will start the walk in the forest where the guide will point out and explain the interesting diversity of wildlife that surrounds you. In the afternoon there is a visit to Machuwasi Lake, here you can take a ride on a handmade raft, on the site you can see several endemic birds, it is also possible to see the alligator, monkeys, etc. This day we finish the adventure at 5:00 p.m.
Today we will get up very early (5:15 a.m.) to go to the lick of the parrots, by boat it is 15 minutes. If we are very lucky we will have a very beautiful show of the macaws, which have reds, yellows, blues feathers, as well green parrots with turquoise, likewise many parakeets, who descend to the clay cliffs in search of minerals and sulfates very important for their diet of the birds. On our return we will have a delicious breakfast with lots of energy for a 3-hour walk in the forest, to learn about medicinal plants, fruits, if you are lucky you can also see the lazy bear, this day you will meet the largest tree “the ceiba ” In the afternoon after lunch you participate in a therapy activity with mud, you can also swim in the Madre de Dios river. To end the day we visit a small lake near our lodge, to know the family of capybaras and also nocturnal monkeys. Today we will have our special farewell dinner with all the work staff.
Our awake at the lodge is at 5:00 am, to have breakfast and pack all our stuff. Those who wish can also do the shooting activity of the bow and arrow. At 6.45 am we left our boat to the town of Atalaya, where we pick up the private transport to Cusco, this trip will last 7 hours. During the trip you can still see some observation of monkeys and birds if they did not have much luck the first day. Today we will have lunch at the Ajanacu pass at 12.00 pm. After descending to the valley of Challabamba, we pass Huancarani, and finally we reach the City of Cusco at between 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The final point will be the Kusipata square, which is very close to the city center.
This morning starts with a pick-up from your hotel. Pick-up will take place will be between 07:00 and 07:20 in the hotel foyer.
In Cusco some of the streets are quite narrow and many have strict parking restrictions so it’s likely you will need to take a short walk with a representative to where the bus is.
The first stop after 40 minutes is the town of Chinchero, where the Inca square is visited with its covers and terraces. You will also be able to interact with the weavers of Chinchero, who are very famous for making one of the most beautiful textile works in Cusco. We continue the tour to the circular terraces of Moray, which in the past were used for the agricultural laboratory of many species of potatoes and cereals. Nearby is the other attraction, Las Salineras de Maras, which are a set of thousands of salt pools, where local people extract salt in an artisanal way.
At noon you will arrive at the town of Urubamba, which is where you will have a stop for buffet lunch.
Then you will visit the town of Ollantaytambo, which is considered the best preserved Inca city, together with your guide you will visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, and try to figure out how those terraces were build or the big boulders that are part of the temple of the Sun got to the place where you can find them now, the top of the mountain.
Your guide will point you in the direction of the train station where you will wait for the departure of your train that takes you to Aguas Calientes. (Please note that depending on the time of your train, if your departure time is later then you may have some time to explore the town)
A 1.5 hour train ride through the winding Urubamba Valley takes us to Aguas Calientes, nestled in the cloud forest (2040m above sea level) at the foot of the magnificent Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival a representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel and give you the last instructions for your tour the very next day.
Accommodation: Hotel in Sacred Valley (1 night)
We will pick up you from your hotel in Sacred valley at 7:00 am, then we go in private transportation that will take us to Km 82, Piscacucho, start of the classic Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu; vía Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, at the checkpoint we will meet our porters, and we will weigh the equipment and control the passports and their tickets, for the classic Inca Trail hike, then we will start our trek at 9:00 am, along the Urubamba River until we reach Llactapata an important archaeological site at 12:00 pm, where we will learn a bit about the history and culture of the Incas, then at 13:00 pm we will have lunch at the site of Tarayoc, then we continue 2 hours of walking to our first camp of Huayllabamba, this site is the last town that we will see on the route, it is inhabited by farmers who still plant their plots of corn and potatoes. This day you can take advantage to charge your devices with electricity. In the afternoon it will be our presentation with our porters, and a very nutritious dinner to rest.
Your porters will wake up you, at 5:00 am with a hot cup of coca tea to get you ready for the day. Today is our longest day and we will start at 6:30 am. We’ll hike for roughly 4 hours to the highest pass of the classic inca trail trek to machu picchu, Dead Woman’s Pass (4215 meters/13829 feet). The first 2 hours , you will walk into highland forest, the way is steps and uphill. Then you will get the place of Llulluchapampa, where we will stop a long time, from this point until the dead woman pass is one hour and a half , the landscape gonna change , is a new microclimate, because the altitude it gonna be very hard, but not impossible to reach the pass at 12:00 pm, we’ll stop a short break to enjoy the views before setting off again to descend to the next valley (Pacaymayo Valley ). It’s another hour and a half down the side of the valley to our lunch spot, we will end the hike at 2:00 pm . In the afternoon is a free time, to relaxing , in case you like a cold shower there is , if not just enjoy the beauty of the landscape, this day we have also tea time and the dinner.
We begin early again, wake up at 5:30am to begin what is commonly felt to be the most beautiful day of the whole classic Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. We begin ascending again to the second pass of the trek. It’s 2 hours to the pass and along the way we’ll stop at a small Inca site (Runcu Raccay) and see two huge waterfalls cascading down the opposite side of the valley. After the second pass, it’s another hour downhill hike to reach the magnificent Inca site, Sayacmarca (an otherwise inaccessible village). We’ll stop here for a rest and have a quick tour of the site and then watch the Vilcabamba mountain range. It’s then just another 20 minutes until we stop for the lunch place, in Chaquicocha at 11:00 am (Dry Lake, 3600 meters). After lunch, we hike for 2 hours along what we like to call “Inca flat” (gradual inclines) and begin to enter the jungle, known as the Cloud Forest. As we walk we will have the opportunity to see the majesty of Salkantay, the second highest snow-capped mountain in Cusco. Towards the end of the Inca flats we begin to make our way up to the last peak at Phuyupatamarca (3600 meters) from where we’ll have great views overlooking the Urubamba River. Down the valley we get our first views of Machu Picchu Mountain but the site itself is still hidden from view. From Phuyupatamarca it’s a 3 hour walk down a flight of steps, to our last campsite, arrival time is at 16:00 pm. Wiñay Wayna is the most spectacular Inca site on the trail after Machu Picchu and the most popular campsite because of its proximity to Machu Picchu.
Wake up time is at 4:00 AM. Then we will do a line in order to wait at the checkpoint to be opened. At 5:30 am once the park rangers do the last checking we start the walk to the Sun Gate, along the way we have spectacular views of the mountains and Urubamba river. We will reach the Sun Gate at 6:30am, over there you can take the first picture of Machu Picchu with amazing views, after to enjoy the sunrise, we will go down to the sacred citadel. At 8:00 am we will arrive to the gate of Machu Picchu , overe there we have to leave all our backpacks, because into the archeological site is not possible to do with rucksacks. As well you can use the toilets and buy some coffes or sodas. At 9:00 am we start the tour guiding into the complex with your tour guide for 2 hours , then you can explore a little bit more by yourself. At midday you have to go down to Aguas Calientes town, and look a restaurant for your lunch. So the return to Ollantaytambo by train is at 14:55 pm. After 1h 45m the train arrives to Ollantaytambo train station where gonna pick up you our staff, after to have amazing days you will arrive to your hotel in Cusco at 18:30 pm.
After an impressive experience, today is completely free for you. Enjoy again the beautiful city of Cusco, stroll through the pretty streets or watch life in the “Plaza de Armas” from one of the many cafes and restaurants. By the way, this is also an ideal place to buy souvenirs. Our tip: Here you can buy very nice oil paintings at very reasonable prices! Of course, our guide will also be happy to advise you on other optional activities, such as museum visits, rafting, mountain biking, or Peruvian cooking classes.
After having your breakfast, our staff will pick you up from your hotel to take you to the Cusco airport, where you will take the flight back home or continue your trip in South America.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides everything you need to know about this adventure and more.View Essential Trip Information
The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and November, when the weather is dry and bright, with more frequent rainfall occurring between November and April.
To book this tour, a minimum of $ 800 USD per person is required, the remaining balance will be paid upon arrival in Peru, at the Cusco office.
Any other additional information, please coordinate with your travel agent.
Peru is a country of basically free access. Most of the countries of America and Western Europe do not require a tourist visa to enter Peru, and the maximum length of stay granted by the authorities is 183 days (it cannot be extended). For a stay for a longer period with other objectives (business, study, work, etc.) it is necessary to previously request the corresponding visa from the Peruvian consulates.
To enter Peru it is an essential requirement to present a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from your entry into the national territory. Citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Chile can enter with their national identification document.
Traveling is one of life’s great pleasures and what most of us dream to do at one time or another in our lives. Discovering new cultures and visiting ancient ruins is what motivates us to travel. Peru has a rich and colorful history with many different regions to explore. While thinking of your Peruvian holiday you might want to also consider a group or individual tours in Peru. Both options are viable when traveling in Peru if you prefer the company of other people when you travel then a group tour will be for you. You’ll always have someone to keep you company along the route, but you don’t always have to walk together. Wherever possible your Andean Great Treks leader will allow everyone to walk at their own pace, regrouping regularly along the route.
The currency in Peru is the Sol. It doesn’t take long to get used to it. There are just over three Soles to the US Dollar (USD), around three and a half Soles to a Euro (EUR) and just over four Soles to the Pound (GBP). Rounding up helps you make quick conversions when deliberating prices and making payment. While some businesses accept US dollars and some ATMs allow you to withdraw it even, it is much easier to pay for day-to-day things with Soles including food and drink, shopping at local markets and entry to local attractions. There are ATMs in every major city in Peru and as a point of reference can also be found near each city’s Plaza de Armas (the main square). It’s highly unlikely that you will find any ATM in more rural areas including villages and small towns. The fee for withdrawing money at the Peru ATM is around $5-$7 per transaction. The maximum withdrawal is around $200 – $250 per transaction.
Like many other countries in developing destinations, the region’s beauty and uniqueness are countered by inequality and lack of investment. This has led to crime rates (mainly theft and scams) not being uncommon in the larger cities. We know this doesn’t sound very attractive, but it’s important to mention it regardless. Most experienced and well-traveled visitors will understand this well and not be too concerned. However, having said this, it is our duty to take care of you during your visit. That’s why we present you here with a few recommendations to be extra safe. Avoid walking alone at night on empty streets. Don’t flaunt valuables! If going for a walk or going on public transport, be sensible and avoid showing off expensive items such as expensive watches and jewelry. Be careful of pickpockets! Don’t leave your bags anywhere that doesn’t look safe, and make sure to take them with you.
Every Andean Great Treks holiday has been thoughtfully planned and crafted by our specialists. They draw on their own extensive travel experience and the guidance and expertise of our local partners to create superb holidays. Our specialists are committed to making every aspect smooth and enjoyable; they genuinely want to ensure that the holidays they create leave you with wonderful lasting memories.
Every Andean Great Treks traveller is accompanied by an experienced tour guide, you will be immersed in Historic cities, ancient ruins and unfamiliar landscapes are all brought to life by our carefully selected local guides. They want to share their expertise and help you make your own discoveries too; their sole mission is to ensure you enjoy every moment.
Giving you the freedom to make your holiday even more memorable. We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday and we pride ourselves on the choice and flexibility that we offer to enhance every aspect of your experience. Whether it’s getting to the airport, upgrading your room or booking an additional excursion, we can help.
Our guides are the stars of the show; it is their unrivalled knowledge, passion and expertise that will transform your tour experience from good to truly extraordinary!
Because the have grown up in the area and know it like the back of their hand, so they can help you experience whichever aspects most interest you. They’re passionate about sharing their corner of the world with you, and as you explore together, they’ll open your eyes to the intricate details, provide background to enhance your understanding of what you’re seeing, and share stories that will bring everything to life.
“Your inspiration for a trip can be a single word or a highly evolved outline, but it’s the conversations we have that help us understand the experience you’re looking for. Meanwhile, I’m looking back on the time I spent at the destination.
‘The great thing about working with a specialist at Andean Great Treks is how they take your complete jumble of ideas and turn them into something absolutely spectacular.’
As you begin to share your ideas with your specialist, it will connect them immediately back to a time in their own travels. Conjuring a picture of the rest time they made that same discovery, reminding them how it felt.
Your specialist understands that, when the journey is right, it has the power to excite your emotions in the most profound ways after all, that was the effect on them.
They carry a treasure box of moments, captured over many journeys, into every suggestion they’ll share with you, as they ask you how you want to feel on your trip.
EXPERIENCES THAT CALL TO YOU
It’s what you do in a destination that helps bring it to life. It’s why we strive to choose experiences that help you connect to a place, absorbing a little of its complex character. Wherever your passions lie, we’ll recommend experiences that speak to you, and we’ll recommend the guide or local expert who’s most qualified to help you explore. Packing your holiday full of special experiences means some early starts and long days, but you can be sure that you’ll return home with many incredible memories! Read our Tours and check the Physical Ratings to see if the pace and activity levels are right for you.
STAYS WITH DIFFERENCE
We know that where you stay is a cherished part of your travels. So, we go to great lengths to find places to stay that exceed expectations, or go above and beyond the ordinary, whether in their character, hospitality, or location. Over the years, we’ve discovered the very best properties, trying and testing them, so we can choose the right one for you. We’ve nourished long-standing relationships with these establishments and the people who founded them, and we’ve stayed there many times often, we’ll even know which rooms have the best views (and reserve them for you).
Our style of travel — authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the people and places you visit — is inherently respectful and considerate of the destinations we love. We design each aspect of your trip exactly as you want it, which includes its sustainability. That might mean choosing a train journey instead of a flight, staying at eco-friendly wildlife lodges, or opting for experiences that give back to the communities you’re visiting. The choice is yours.
Responsible travel has always been at the heart of what we do. First and foremost, because it gives you the best experience, but, also because it helps to preserve the communities and landscapes you visit. This isn’t new for us we collaborated with local communities and outside experts so we can grow to be better ambassadors.
The most authentic and interesting experiences often directly benefit the local people. We prefer to buy local products that are produced in the organic farms of the Sacred Valley, we also have alliances with local artisan organizations who provide us with souvenir items for our clients, your money directly benefits the local economy.
‘There’s a saying: we don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When we show you our country, this philosophy guides everything we do. It’s our responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife, and support communities. That means using slower modes of transport, like cycling, employing local people, and working with communities who’ll benefit directly from your visit. This also gives you the best, most authentic impression of the places we want to share with you.
We prefer to buy local products in ecological bags, to avoid the use of plastic bags, likewise we teach the use of soaps and ecological products in each tour that we organize. We also work on reforestation projects with local communities who take care of landscape resources such as communal reserves, national parks.
Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. From the depths of the Colca canyon to the heights of the Andes and on to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca, be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities.
One of our most popular trips in Peru combines the cultural heritage of the Sacred Valley and the challenge of doing one of the most popular hiking trails in the world. The four-day trek on the Inca Trail will reward you with a stunning combination of the area's ruins, mountainous landscapes, and cloud forests.
Feel the magic and the energy of Cusco and Machu Picchu, then continue to where the legend began – Lake Titicaca, to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the peace and tranquility on the shores of the Lake.