Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Hike the cultural highlights of Cusco and the Sacred Valley at your own pace
  • Discover the mighty 13th century Inca fortress, Sacsayhuaman
  • Trek the one day ‘Royal Inca Trail’ to the lost city of Machu Picchu
  • Visit the colourful artisan markets of Cusco
  • Take an optional journey to Lake Titicaca and stay with a local family on Amantani Island

Hike through the historic Inca civilisation on a series of guided and independent walks in and around Cusco, the Sacred Valley and to the exquisitely preserved citadel of Machu Picchu; staying in charming hotels within the artistic center of San Blas, the heart of Machu Picchu and enchanting valley of Ollayantambo.

Begin with a guided introduction to South America’s largest empire and unlock the architectural majesty of Cusco before venturing on your own exploration of Inca trails and sacred archaeologic sites. Hike high above Cusco to the mighty 13th century stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Trek to the fascinating agricultural terraces of Moray and enjoy friendly encounters with Peruvian farmers, en-route to the salt pans of Maras. Venture deep into the Sacred Valley ascend to strategic Inca outpost of Raqaypata that once protected the hidden city of Machu Picchu.

At Ollantaytambo, the gateway town to Machu Picchu, hike in the company of an expert guide on the one day ‘Royal Inca Trail’. Trek through Andean cloud forest to Inti Punkti (the Sun Gate) and soak up classic vistas of Machu Picchu, before descending to explore the world’s most famous ‘Lost City’.

Day 1: Arrive Cusco

Only an hour’s flight from Lima, Cusco is the ancient heart of the Inca Empire. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel by a local guide, who will brief you on the days of adventure ahead and provide a short orientation of the nearby Plaza de Armas and San Blas (the following day you will further explore Cusco with your local guide).


As Cusco is at 3400m above sea level we therefore suggest to take the day to relax and allow your body to gently acclimatise to the altitude. 


Overnight: Cusco


Day 2: Discover Cusco

Begin the day with your local Cusco guide and companion who will introduce you to the Inca Empire (the largest empire to have dominated South America). Stroll through the cobbled streets from San Blas to the Qorikancha (temple of the sun). Although destroyed by the conquistadors (who constructed the Santo Domingo Church in place of it), many of the original temple buildings remain. Discover the famous ‘Hatun Rumiyoq’ stone wall, with it’s phenomenally perfect stone work and visit the artisan markets where you can see brightly coloured being woven into throws and blankets.


Later in the afternoon, relax with a café con leche and people watch from a café balcony in the Plaza de Armas.


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Cusco


Day 3: Walk to Sacsayhuaman & Incan Temples

Leaving San Blas, the route heads across Cusco city and skirts around the  fringes of a eucalyptus forest where you will encounter your first Incan ruin, Cusilluchayoc (Temple of the Monkey). The trail continues to ascend into the foothills above Cusco, arriving into mighty walled complex of Sacsayhuaman. Once the site of a fierce battle between the Incas and Conquistadors, the gargantuan stones of Sacsayhuaman are believed to have been sourced from Rumicolca some 30km away. 


Hike: 15km


Ascent / Descent: 760m / 800m


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 4: Hike to Moray & Maras

This morning, transfer to Chinchero (approx 45 minutes drive). Here begin hiking to the incredibly well preserved agricultural terraces of Moray. The concentric terraces can easily be mistaken for an amphitheatre but the design was applied to cultivate different crops utilising the microclimate of each terrace. From Moray, the trail heads where you are likely to encounter local farmers tending to their crops and livestock. Continuing onwards to the salt pans of Maras the trail descends to the road head where a vehicle will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.


Hike: 12km


Ascent / Descent: 200m / 750m


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Ollantaytambo


Day 5: Incan Trails to Ollantaytambo

A short, early morning transfer today’s trail begins deep in the Sacred Valley. A steady ascent leads to the Perolniyoc waterfalls, spilling out of the rockface above. Hiking onwards, you will soon reach the impressive ruins of Raqaypata, a former outpost, built to protect Machu Picchu. The trail continues along the ancient route where you can enjoy far reaching Andean mountain views. Descending to the valley floor, a private transfer will meet you and drive you back to your hotel. 


Walk: 15km


Ascent / Descent: 900m / 1275m


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Ollantaytambo


Day 6: Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Today, an expert guide will join you (as it is an official requirement). After meeting your guide at your hotel, begin with an early morning train journey along the Urabamba River, jumping off at KM104 to join the famous ‘Inca Trail’. Your guide will set a steady pace as the trail ascends through tropical cloud forest to the ruins of Chachabamba and the impressive Incan bath houses at Winay Wayna. After a picnic lunch, the afternoon walk heads through lush vegetation accompanied by the sounds of tropical birdsong. A final Incan stone staircase ascends to the spectacular Inti Punkti, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the ‘famous first glimpse’ of this well-preserved citadel. From here, continue the descent to your hotel, as tomorrow a full day of exploration is dedicated to Machu Picchu.


Walk: 12km


Ascent / Descent: 13750m / 1100m


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo


Day 7: Guided explorations of Machu Picchu

Perched high on a hill top, cloaked in dense vegetation and flanked by steep escarpments, Machu Picchu is an incredible feat of Incan engineering. A short 30-minute bus journey transports you from your hotel to the entrance. Your guide will reveal the temples, gardens and exquisitely preserved stone architecture of this 15th century citadel. With time for your own exploration, soak up the scale of this ancient site and wander between the giant terraces. In the afternoon, return to Machu Picchu Pueblo and board a train for a picturesque journey along the Urubamba River to Cusco.


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 8: Onward Travel or journey onto Lake Titicaca

If you are departing Cusco today, an airport transfer is included at a time of your choice.


Depending on your onward travel plans, you may have time to further explore Cusco, or even choose to extend your stay by a night or two.


From Cusco, you can also head onto Lake Titicaca to experience an overnight community stay of the Island of Amantani.


Meals Included: Breakfast 


Optional Add-on: Lake Titicaca & Amantani Island Community Stay



This 4 day, 3 night addition to your Peruvian adventure explores the islands of Lake Titicaca and includes an overnight family stay on the Island of Amantani.



Departing Cusco, travel to Lake Titicaca’s harbour town of
Puno. Join a small group cruise and head out on the world’s highest navigable
lake (3827m). Visit the reed islands of Uros and head across to Amantani Island.
Here you will be met by a local family who will host you for an overnight stay
in their home. After a short hike, arrive at your hosts dwellings where you will
be served a traditional dinner, followed by an evening of folklore and dance. The
next morning, bid farewell to your generous hospitality of host family and soak
up views of the Andes on the return cruise to Puno where you will spend the
night prior to your onward travel the next day.



If you have any further questions about this adventure to Lake Titicaca, please do contact the office. Alternatively you can easily book this extension at the time of booking.

 

Accommodation

During this trip you will spend 7 nights in stylish 3* and 4* hotels. Examples of the types of accommodation booked on this tour are listed below. On occasion, we may have to use alternate accommodation and will let you know at the time of booking should alternatives have to be used.



Meals


All breakfasts and 5 lunches are included. Typically, breakfasts consist of fruits, juices, breads, eggs, muesli, yogurts and a plentiful supply of tea and coffee.


Included lunches will be at a restaurant or picnic/boxed style lunch. Picnic lunches are made up of sandwiches (made of different breads), fruits, sweet treats and local specialities. Your guide will arrange the picnic lunch for you. You will also receive a small supply of snacks.


Alcoholic drinks are not included and consumption should be limited when at altitude, especially during the first few days of your tour.


1 Dinner is included on the sixth day of this tour. All other dinners are not included, so you can choose to dine at your hotel restaurant or in one of the many restaurants nearby. There are also an excellent choice of cafes, bars and restaurants in Cusco, so we do recommend exploring the streets to sample the local fayre available. For further information on traditional Peruvian cuisine, please refer to your country guide.


Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know. We try to accommodate all requirements where possible but as some of the accommodations are in remote locations, dietary alternatives may not be possible without prior notice. It is essential you let us know at least a month in advance of any dietary needs. Should you have a specific diet, it is always worth bringing a small supply of your own snacks.


Extra Nights

You may like to add extra nights at any
point on this tour. There is always plenty to see in Cusco. If you are
travelling via Lima, we can also easily arrange extra nights in the
capital city if required. Extra nights can easily be added to your
booking at anytime.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you’re exploring
with friends or family and prefer to have your own room, single rooms
are available subject to a supplementary payment. This tour is not
available to solo adventurers.




 

 

 



Hotel Ananay Quintana - Cusco

Located in artistic quarter of San Blas, this boutique 4* star hotel is only a couple of minutes from the mighty rock of Hatun Rumiyoc and San Blas Church. Guests can enjoy a sipping a Pisco Sour on the terrace or in the lounge area. Rooms are spacious, fresh and are haven of peace after a day of exploring the nearby Plaza de Armas.



 

 

 



Hotel Pakatitampu - Ollantaytambo

This comfortable 3* hotel is a only a few minutes walk from the main square and famous ruins of Ollantaytambo. The extensive gardens are wonderful to rest the legs and soak up the sun before your early morning train journey. Inspired by mother earth, the hotel has been designed to showcase the best of Peruvian culture.



 

 

 



Hotel Mapi – Machu Picchu Pueblo

A 4* contemporary hotel in the heart of Machu Picchu Pueblo. Lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and natural furnishing create an ambience of well-being. After a day on the trails, relax in the hotel spa or around the open lobby bar where you enjoy a beer with like minded adventurers.


Availability


This tour departs on any day of the week from mid-March through to
early December. If you are planning on travelling from June through to
August we suggest contacting us as soon as your travel plans are
finalised as theese can be very busy months on the trails.


Can I tailor the itinerary?

Of course! If you have limited holidays you can easily remove one of the day walks, though we would suggest always to have 2 nights in Cusco at the beginning of this tour to aid your acclimatisation. It is also possible to extend this tour by adding on a visit to Lake Titicaca, the Amazon or even Colca Canyon. Please do let us know if you would like to extend your travels in Peru and we can discuss options with you.


Grade, Navigation & Support

This adventure tour is graded moderate to strenuous. The tour begins in Cusco which is at an altitude of 3400m. Spending the first 2 nights at this altitude  helps your body acclimatise. For further information on altitude and acclimatisation please refer to your country guide.


This trip includes 3 self-guided days of hiking (days 3, 4 and 5), 1 guided day of hiking (day 6) and a guided tour of Machu Picchu (day 7).


For each of the self-guided walks you will be provided with detailed route notes, maps and our easy to use navigation app. You will also receive the support of our local partner and as per the itinerary a private vehicle will collect and transfer you at the start and end of each hike as described. You will also receive a Garmin inReach device, which will allow you to send and receive text messages to our local partner and UK office, should you need assistance when hiking, so you don’t have to worry about cell or mobile phone devices being out of signal.


It is compulsory when hiking the Royal Inca Trail and exploring the site of Machu Picchu to be accompanied by a local guide. On the morning of day 6 and 7, your guide will arrive at your hotel and lead you through the natural and archaeological wonders of the world-famous Inca Empire, including Machu Picchu.


Days are paced around your needs and in the evening you are free to spend the time as you wish. You will have also 24/7 telephone local partner support should you need to contact your guide or Macs Adventure at anytime during the tour.


Experience & Fitness


This trip is graded moderate to strenuous. You will be a regular trekker and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks. It’s always a good idea to get out and trek back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.



Distances are between 12-15km with a maximum altitude of 3700m. The most challenging day is day 6, with 1370m of ascent. Your experienced hiking guide will help pace the day for you. During each walking day, all you have to do is carry a small day pack and enjoy the beauty of Peru.


Equipment

While hiking you will only have to carry a day bag
with water, snacks, and extra layers and your camera. On days when you
will be travelling to a new destination, your main baggage will be
transported for you. Please limit your main baggage to one bag of up to
20kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in
Cusco if you are returning there at the end of your journey.


General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the
recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items,
(for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen).
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes
standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and
waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for
summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate
travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation
and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your
policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude.


Getting to / from Cusco

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com  


To Cusco


Most travellers arrive into Cusco Airport via a 60 minute flight from Lima Airport which has excellent connections to North America and
Europe. We would suggest checking Sky Scanner for the extensive flight
options available.


You may prefer to have an overnight in stop in Lima before travelling
onto Cusco. Please let us know if you would like extra hotel nights in
Lima.


If you would like domestic flights in Peru arranged for you, we can include this as part of your package. Please let your adventure specialist know at the time of booking.

Included

  • 7 nights in 3* & 4* hotels
  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts & 5 lunches
  • National Park Fees & trekking permits
  • Guided Royal Inca Trail hike & exploration of Machu Picchu
  • Train ticket from Aguas Caliente to Cusco
  • Garmin Inreach device for self-guided walks
  • Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • 24/7 telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to / from Cusco
  • Entrance fees for attractions
  • Lunches & dinners other than those described
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • Travel insurance (details of your travel insurance must be provided before travel)

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Single room supplement(s)
  • Domestic flights within Peru.
  • Lake Titicaca Community Visit

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate to strenuous. You will be a regular walker and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks. It’s always a good idea to get out and trek back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.

Distances are between 12-15km with a maximum altitude of 3700m. The most challenging day is day 6, with 1370m of ascent. Your experienced hiking guide will help pace the day for you. During each walking day, all you have to do is carry a small day pack and enjoy the beauty of Peru.

When is the best time of year?

Peru has very distinct seasons. The main trekking season in southern Peru is March through to December. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20 to 25 degrees from March through to December, which make for pleasant trekking conditions. Being at altitude means the evenings are cooler and the month (with June to September temperatures dropping to 0-5 degrees). 

The months of March, November and December may have some showery days but usually the rain doesn’t last for long and typically is an afternoon downpour.

What equipment do I need?

You will not need to any specific equipment for this tour, besides your standard walking gear, including sturdy footwear. We supply you with a comprehensive kit list but if you would like to discuss this tour, please contact the office and we'd happy to share our own experiences.


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