Machu Picchu & Cusco Trails

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • 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’.
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What To Expect

Graded moderate to strenuous, combine hiking with a cultural exploration of Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Designed for adventurous aficionados, discover this world-famous region of Southern Peru at your own pace. Enjoy the independence of self-guided hiking into the Cusco hills, along ancient Inca trails and friendly Andean encounters. Enriching this experience is a guided one day ‘Royal Inca Trail’ hike to Machu Picchu where you will spend a full day at the world-famous lost city. Rounding off each day is a warm welcome at your locally owned hotel.

Tour Style:

Independent Adventure | Mixture of self guided days to take at your own pace, benefiting from a guide on some days.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

This trip is suitable for:

Multi-Generational, Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Historical Journeys
  • Mountains

Activity Level & Terrain

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.

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.

Navigation

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.

Experience & Fitness

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.

Accommodations

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 is 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 any time.

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.

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
  • Domestic flights within Peru
  • Lake Titicaca Community Visit

When To Go

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 these can be very busy months on the trails.

Getting to the Start

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

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 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.

Luggage Transfer

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.

Equipment

While hiking you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, and extra layers and your camera. 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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Cusco Day 2 Discover Cusco Day 3 Walk to Sacsayhuaman & Incan Temples 4.5 miles / 7.2 km Day 4 Hike to Moray & Maras 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 5 Hike from Chinchero to Urquillos 6 miles / 9.2 km Day 6 Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 7 Guided explorations of Machu Picchu Day 8 Onward Travel or journey onto Lake Titicaca

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