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.
- 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
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 (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 (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)
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|
|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)|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/20-26 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/21-27 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/25-31 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/22-28 Price: $5098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/20-26 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/23-29 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 3/26-4/1 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 4/27-5/3 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/25-31 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/19-25 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/20-26 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/24-30 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/21-27 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/19-25 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/22-28 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/30-1/5 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $890 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
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
A wonderful way to get introduced to a part of the world I had read and heard so much about. Our local guide was fantastic - he gave us a deep understanding of not just the ancient history, but also how recent history, politics and socioeconomic influences have made Peru what it is.- New York, NY
This was my first trip with Backroads and I am hooked! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience-hiking to Machu Picchu provided a great way to see the sites up close and personal. I am a 'Type A' person who sometimes has problems letting go, but Backroads planned everything so well I could sit back, relax and truly enjoy my vacation. I knew that our leaders had every detail under control. And our local guide was great, providing us with insight about the local culture and history. I really enjoyed our 'culture day' when we went to a local village to visit a school and also traveled to a mountain village to take in how the locals lived on a day-to-day basis. You don't get this with other companies or traveling on your own. It is the type of insight that makes you feel like you've made a connection with the local culture of the country. A wonderful experience! Thanks Backroads for a great vacation!- Folsom, CA
The trip was great. Our local guide was a fabulous addition to the trip, and I truly enjoyed his talks on the Incan culture and history. The visit to Huilloc will forever be etched in my mind; the people, the culture, the community and the weavings. Everything we could have possibly wanted all brought together for us to experience.- Wilmington, DE
I thought it would be hard to top my last Backroads trip, but the additional cultural learning, made possible by having a local guide with us every day, certainly made this trip extra special. For me, Day 4 was an excellent example of what would be impossible for me to arrange on my own but what Backroads can do to perfection: Ollantaytambo, lovely hike by the river, bountiful spread for our picnic lunch; up to meet Octavio and his family in Huilloc; visit to the Seminario Ceramics shop and meeting the proprietor and finally ending the full day with dinner at the Hacienda. WOW! As last time, I found my fellow trip-mates to be very interesting and engaging people and I had a wonderful time!- Williamsburg, VA
This was the best trip we have taken with Backroads. Peru was wonderful, the cultural experiences were amazing, the local guide was fantastic and his support crew was off the charts. They are individually excellent and together seemed to work so well. We loved the experience with the local people, children's school and the village we visited. Backroads giving to the people made it all the more special.- Englewood, CO
Our leader was much more than a trip leader to us. She was our nurse, counselor, translator, friend and humorist. She demonstrated exceptional fortitude, resourcefulness and compassion. She is an irreplaceable asset to Backroads and we hope that she is treated accordingly. We are confident that your organization recognizes individuals of extraordinary talent. She is such an amazing person.- Louisville, KY
The leaders were phenomenal. Always prepared, very well informed and made the workings of the trip look easy. There was always excitement around every corner, the llama lady, the musicians at lunch, the dancing, the fashion show on the train, the weaving and seeing Dolores' house, the going to the primary school. What an insight into the Peruvian culture.- Ontario, Canada
Another great trip full of new experiences, people and culture. But, most of all I love your flexibility. You offer levels for everyone, from the die-hard to the not so die-hard. I can say this is one of the main reasons why I'm coming back to Backroads. It's beginning to feel like family whenever I contact you.- Campbell, CT
I cannot say enough wonderful things about our local guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable, and I learned more than I could have dreamed of about Peru. Just all the little details he had gave us such a rich understanding of life for people in Peru. I wish we could have everything he said written in a book because he gave us so much and it was all so interesting. He also had grace and humility and charm. He was so easy to listen to and I can easily say that I love him!!- Seattle, WA
Everything was perfect from start to finish and the trip extremely exceeded my expectations. I would not have been able to do 75% of these things if on my own. The combination of outdoors/exercise with cultural experience was perfect. The added bonuses - for example of music at lunch when hiking in Cuzco, visiting Huilloc to see local weavers, having a lama-herding woman hiking with us - were not expected and really made the trip. Giving food to the children in Huilloc is something that I will never forget. I appreciate that Backroads gives to the local people.- Cambridge, MA
The trip was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. The Backroads touch (organization, local contacts, trip leaders) made all the difference. It was a fantastic trip in all respects.- Chicago, IL
This trip was fantastic in every area! We couldn't have asked for better! I thoroughly enjoyed the hiking on this trip as well as the cultural, historical, and educational opportunities. Every day was filled with surprises...our leaders were terrific! They pulled it all together so well. I would enjoy being on another trip with them both! This was a trip of a lifetime!- Elyria, OH
I can't imagine visiting or experiencing Machu Picchu and the Andes any other way. This was PERFECT. I love backroads and can't wait for my next trip! It's truly the best way to travel because you glean an in-depth understanding of the culture and places you visit. Also you meet great people, stay active and have the opportunity to relax in some amazing spas and hotels!- New York, NY
I chose to celebrate my 50th birthday on Machu Picchu with 20 strangers. Thanks to Backroads and the leaders, it was an outstanding trip that I will never forget.- Portola Valley, CA