It's about that picture. You know the one. Every website and coffee-table book has it. History, archaeology, anthropology guides all have it. You'll have it too. Standing above Machu Picchu, wispy white clouds floating by, the jagged Andes in the background, you'll snap the picture. But being there, feet firmly planted above that scene, will forever reset your view of humanity, society and history. How did they do this? When was this again? There are maybe ten places on Earth like this spot. And to think, it's only one moment in a week's worth of incredible moments.
Permits to hike the Inca Trail are extremely limited. We recommend booking a minimum of 4-6 months prior to departure in order 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 Hike to impressive Inca 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.
Day 3 Las Salineras, a stunningly beautiful honeycomb of tiered pools, where salt has been raked and gathered by families for generations Check out the Colonial church in Chinchero, where the residents still wear traditional clothing and live in ancestral homes Bike along dirt roads through the altiplano amid a panorama of snowy peaks and traditional villages In Moray, learn how the Inca ingeniously farmed using high-altitude terraces.
Days 4-5 Experience Quechua culture in an off-the-beaten-path weaving community where master weavers work After an expert guide unlocks the historical treasure trove of Ollantaytambo's enigmatic ruins, climb the temple's 200 stone steps Visit the world-renowned ceramics studio of Pablo Seminario Enjoy a private dinner at the historical Hacienda Huayoccari Pedal on paved and dirt roads through the Sacred Valley Explore the ruins at Pisac, offering sweeping vistas of the terraced hillsides Interested in shopping for alpaca sweaters or decorative gourds? You'll find plenty to choose from at the Pisac market Learn the secrets of Peruvian cuisine during our exclusive cooking class with Sol y Luna's chef, a highlight of our trip.
Days 6-8 Machu Picchu: the incredible "Lost City of the Incas" After taking the train to Aguas Calientes, hike to the Gate of the Sun for an unforgettable bird's-eye view of Machu Picchu (you may have the option to take the famed Inca Trail) Spend a second full day exploring the "Lost City" A local expert provides insight into the exquisite stonework and mysterious astrological designs of this sacred site Stroll through the grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel with a local naturalist to learn about the local flora and fauna.
- Our local guide shares deep insight into Peru's culture and ancient civilizations
- Machu Picchu: the incredible "Lost City of the Incas"
- Cusco, alive with the energy of the Inca and history of the Spanish conquistadors
- Hike to impressive ruins: Tambo Machay, Temple of the Moon and others
- Experience Quechua culture at an off-the-beaten path weaving community
Hotel Monasterio (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 (3 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 (2 nights): This hotel with Andean-style casitas is just minutes from the ruins of Machu Picchu. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List; Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
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.
Routes For All Abilities
|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|
|Other||Machu Picchu guided walk (3 hours)|
|8||Other||Early-morning naturalist walk (45 minutes)|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 70% dirt and 30% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 8/13-20 Price: $5398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/10-17 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/8-15 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/29-11/5 Price: $5198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1180 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/3-10 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/12-19 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/9-16 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/7-14 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/28-11/4 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
I have been on several trips, and this was the best so far. I think it was the combination of outdoor adventure and cultural exploration. When people call and say which trip should I go on with Backroads you should say, "They are all great, but have you thought of Peru!"- Atlanta, GA
The trip was fantastic - yet another fabulous Backroads experience. I really feel rested and relaxed - not an easy thing for a New Yorker! I love the feeling of being taken care of for a week - not having to worry about anything, knowing that Backroads has thought of everything I could ever want, in addition to a whole bunch of stuff I never would have thought of! I'm already planning my next trips.
This wasn't just a trip; it was a life experience.- Mississauga, ON
The trip was fabulous! As one who has done very little in the way of group travel, I must tell you that it surpassed my hopes and made me want more! Our leaders were extremely accommodating to our needs, and helped us achieve our individual and group goals. Having different levels of each activity really allowed each of us to do what we wanted to do. It would only have been better if we could have added more hours to each day, so that we could have had more time to enjoy each of the beautiful places we stayed.- Lutz, FL
My sister and I just returned from the Peru multisport trip and I wanted to tell you what an extraordinary experience it was! It was truly the trip of a lifetime, due, in no small part, to the enormous attention to detail offered by your company. This was our third Backroads experience, topping off two other great trips in the past two years. For one couple in our group, it was their 23rd time with Backroads; for another fellow, it was his 14th trip. Almost everyone else had taken a Backroads vacation at least one other time. This speaks volumes about your company! Keep up the good work!- Redondo Beach, CA
This was a fabulous trip. The memories that will stay with me are walking with the llamas to our lunch tent in a meadow where Peruvian musicians serenaded us while we ate amazing food. Biking on a dusty road in the altiplano alongside glacier-covered peaks and encountering a boy herding a flock of sheep with his soccer ball. Going to Machu Picchu before sunrise and watching the clouds swirl and alternately obscure and then reveal the ruins before finally lifting entirely for sunrise at Inti-Rami.- Bristol, VT
It is difficult to express to you how much we enjoyed this trip. My wife and I have traveled extensively, but we think we have finally found the company that best matches up with the way we like to travel. No more cruises, or other hiking companies for us. We are looking forward to our next Backroads vacation. This particular vacation in Peru was a perfect combination of cultural, physical and emotional experiences for us. The leaders we had are wonderful representatives of your company. They played an invaluable part in making this trip so complete. Many thanks to them for all their efforts. I wish I knew how to provide more superlatives for them. The local guides were extremely helpful and very outgoing. Peru is a beautiful, charming and friendly country.- Arden, NC
Peru was a difficult place to create such an amazing journey! The flow, the content, the history, the activity were all exceptional. We could not have asked for a finer introduction to Backroads than being with folk who have travelled with you 15 times, 3 times, etc.!! A commentary on the excellence provided by the company and the leaders that are hired. Congratulations to you all. We loved our trip and will return.- Toronto, Ontario
This was our honeymoon, and I cannot think of a better way to have spent it. The leaders were among the best I have ever encountered and they managed to enhance what would have, in itself, been a magnificent trip. From the educational aspects to the food to the hiking, everything was perfection! Thanks again, Backroads!- Minnetonka, MN
I can't thank you enough for such a wonderful, enriching, calming trip. I felt like I was really far away from home and was able to relax, mellow out, take some time to myself, learn about another place, READ, sleep, eat in peace, and all the things that I don't get to do at home. THANK YOU.- Palo Alto, CA
WOW! Telling everyone they need to go on this trip. The Leaders were both excellent. The group was amazed that the leaders were able to keep everything together and seamless. The group was perfect. Food and lodging were first class. The hiking and biking routes were truly "Backroads!" There was nothing I would change about the trip. The best part was finishing the Inca trail and seeing Machu Picchu from the Gate of the Sun..- Frisco, TX
A great trip - excellent routes and great mix of hiking & biking with cultural events. I have taken a number of active travel trips in the past and this was outstanding. The bike ride from Chinchero to Moray was probably my best day ever on a bike. Overall, beautiful views and fun riding!
Best vacation I've ever had! A deeply interesting and culturally textured experience. Fun and active but also very human and inspiring.