Peru Walking & Hiking
- Walk amid the Inca Salineras' beautiful honeycomb of pools
- Machu Picchu: the incredible "Lost City of the Incas"
- Visit a weaving community hidden in the hills
- Sacsayhuamán ruin, "Stonehenge of the Andes"
- Rub elbows with the locals at Pisac's lively market
- Exclusive Peruvian cuisine cooking class with Sol y Luna's chef
From Cusco to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu has a gravitational pull. So strong that Inca culture still influences people today. Some still practice the 600-year-old pottery techniques. Others, like you, are influenced from thousands of miles away. It urges you to hike the hills of Cusco at 11,000 feet above sea level, investigate the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, "Stonehenge of the Andes," make friends with the local schoolchildren who live in hidden weaving communities in undiscovered valleys, stand above it all at the summit of Montaña Machu Picchu and testify to the resilience of humanity. Theirs and yours.
Permits to hike the Inca Trail are extremely limited. We recommend booking a minimum of 4-6 months prior to departure date to significantly increase your chance of securing a permit. If permits are unavailable during some seasons, you will take a train to Aguas Calientes, bus to the entrance and hike into Machu Picchu.
Days 1-2 Extraordinary archaeological sites Explore Cusco, once the center of the pre-Columbian Inca Empire Visit Coricancha, a Spanish Colonial church built atop the ruins of an Inca temple Our local guide shares deep insight into Peru's culture and ancient civilizations as we journey through Puca Pucara, Q'enko, Temple of the Moon and Sacsayhuamán A long-time friend and Quechua shaman teaches us the meaning of his indigenous "Pago a la Tierra" ceremony Discover the superb collection at Cusco's Museum of Pre-Columbian Art and sip a pisco sour in the museum's historic courtyard.
Day 3 Walk amid the Inca salt pans' beautiful honeycomb of pools high above the Urubamba River Valley Alpaca sweaters, decorative gourds, appetizing smells and colorful characters fill Pisac's lively market Admire some of the finest Inca masonry at the Pisac ruins.
Day 4 Visit a weaving community tucked in the hills to experience authentic rural Andean life In peaceful Ollantaytambo, meet kids at the local school, climb the ruins of an Inca fortress and walk along the terraced valley Urubamba is a great place to shop for ceramics crafted using traditional Inca techniques at the internationally acclaimed Seminario Studio A culinary highlight is our exclusive Peruvian cuisine cooking class with Sol y Luna's chef.
Days 5-7 Machu Picchu, the incredible "Lost City of the Incas," replete with intricate stonework and mysterious religious designs Hike on the Inca Trail, lined with ancient stones and stairs, to reach the Gate of the Sun and your first unforgettable view of Machu Picchu Got an intrepid streak? Summit Machu Picchu Mountain for a bird's-eye look at the ruins Spend a second full day exploring the "Lost City" with a local expert who provides insight into this sacred site Explore the grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel with a local naturalist to learn more about the area's flora and fauna.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
I had an amazing week. When thinking about the value of the trip, I could not have put together the number and range of activities for a single week on my own. Not even close. So really, it is like having three weeks of vacation seamlessly organized into a single week. All I had to do was show up. My favorite aspect of the trip is how the activities fit together like a story across the week as opposed to a random collection of activities. Wow.- Ventura, CA
Backroads delivered what they promised and more! Hiking among Inca ruins would have been enough. But the gorgeous flora and fauna of the Forest of the Clouds and beautiful accommodations made this hiking trip incredible. In addition, the fantastic leaders made the trip safe and fun, and the hiking itinerary was very well set-up to prepare you for the most difficult (and important) hike to Machu Picchu. Thanks for a wonderful and memorable vacation!- Los Angeles, CA
I have wanted to see Machu Picchu for a very long time. This trip was the ideal way to see it. The best part was that the timing of the trip meant I spent my birthday hiking the Inca Trail, coming through the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time and drinking champagne while looking down at the ruins. It was truly a special day. The trip was also fun because I discovered there is so much more to Peru than just Machu Picchu. The trip up to Huilloc was very touching. Being able to give the children in the village the food we brought was very special. Having the llamas and alpacas hike along side us on the way down from Tombo Machay was great fun. The trip was well designed. It made sure to allow everyone a chance to get acclimated to the new altitude while getting us out to see all the area had to offer.- Bethesda, MD
Cusco (2 nights) "An outstanding Orient-Express property housed within a converted 16th-century monastery situated just a short stroll from the Plaza de Armas," says Andrew Harper. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best.
Sol y Luna Lodge
Urubamba (2 nights) "An unpretentious but impeccably maintained lodge set in a wonderful garden surrounded by mountains," according to the Hideaway Report. (pool, spa, tennis)
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Aguas Calientes (2 nights) This hotel is just minutes from the ruins of Machu Picchu. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
This Trip Is Rated Level 2-4
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|1||Cusco guided walk (3.5 hours)|
|Ollantaytambo ruins guided walk (0.6 miles)|
|Machu Picchu guided walk (3 hours)|
|7||Early-morning naturalist walk (45 minutes)|
The terrain on this trip includes mountain trails, Inca stone jungle paths, village and archaeological site walks.
Altitude and rugged terrain make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage suggests.
* Includes a shuttle