Region Overviews: Peru Travel Guide: Overview
From the Amazon jungle to the to the Pacific Ocean, Peru is extraordinarily diverse. In fact, few places on this planet can claim the geographical variety of Peru.
It's easy to grasp the ancient Inca mindset—once your lungs adjust to the rarefied Andean air. From your 15,200-foot vantage point atop Salkantay Pass, it's clear why these majestic pinnacles inspired awe among the native inhabitants. And at the apex of this trek, Machu Picchu. You're breathless. Is it the altitude or the views? A little of both.
THIS ITINERARY: 9 days, 8 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Savor stunning vistas of the Cusco Valley as you trek to the Inca sites of Q'enko, Temple of the Moon and fortress-temple Sacsayhuamán with a local expert | Visit the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art to view unique artifacts from ancient Peruvian civilizations.
Located between the San Blas arts district and Cusco's vibrant main square, this serene oasis mixes contemporary fixtures with traditional design. A Relais & Châteaux member.
Explore the Inca ruins of Killarumiyoc | Ascend to Soraypampa with breathtaking mountain and valley vistas, including your first look at Humantay Mountain | Consider a soak in our lodge's outdoor whirpool tub or sit by the fireplace with a cup of coca tea | Walk up to a glacial lake or opt for a horseback ride—either way, take in views of towering glacier-covered Salkantay Peak, Inca mythology's most sacred mountain | Taste pisco sours, the country's national drink, before our dinner of organic regional cuisine.
This stylish mountain lodge, set at 11,800 feet, welcomes you with a hot tub and incomparable views of Salkantay, the region's highest peak.
Get ready for today's exhilarating high-altitude trek to Huayraccmachay via Salkantay Pass | Condors soar overhead as you travel up the Río Blanco Valley, circling Humantay Peak | Descend through a lush subtropical landscape above the Salkantay River before passing a patchwork of orchards and coffee plantations.
Overnight at "the place where the wind lives" and enjoy a hot tub soak at 12,000 feet.
Make your way into the cloud forest—one of the world's most fascinating and threatened ecosystems | Amid the Ceja de la Selva (or "eyebrow of the jungle"), look for frogs, hummingbirds, parrots and beautiful flowers, including orchids, asters and begonias | Feeling adventurous? Try cuy (guinea pig) at a traditional Andean Pachamanca feast.
This lodge features a hot tub and rests in a cloud forest at 10,300 feet in the Collpapampa Valley.
Trek through an incredible portion of the Santa Teresa River Valley | Follow an undulating route through wild highland landscapes to the river, up a picturesque mountainside | Try specialties like giant avocados and exotic granadilla fruit in the town of Playa | Hike on a restored ancient Inca trail to our serene lodge, nestled amid coffee plants and banana, avocado and eucalyptus trees.
Savor spectacular views from this lodge, built right into the mountainside and flanked by an avocado orchard.
Gaze upon Machu Picchu from the seldom-traveled Llactapata Trail | Head through bamboo forests to the Vilcanota River | Take a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes and explore its markets and shops | Rise early for a full day in Machu Picchu | Spend the morning exploring the ruins | Hike to the Gate of the Sun or up Machu Picchu Mountain for an impressive overview, then get up close as our local guide reveals secrets of Machu Picchu's discovery | On your final morning, learn about native orchids, birds and tea plantations with our hotel's naturalist.
This hotel with Andean-style casitas is just minutes from the ruins of Machu Picchu. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
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. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of village and archaeological site walks, Inca stone jungle and mountain trails. Overnight trekking lodges are located at elevations of 6,600–11,800 feet and trekking routes reach up to 15,000 feet. The altitude and rugged terrain can make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage may suggest. Some routes involve substantial elevation loss.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
One of our hikes requires the Machu Picchu Mountain Inca Trail permit that Backroads will obtain on your behalf (included in your trip price). Therefore, we recommend booking your trip at least 7–9 months prior to departure to have the best chance of securing your permit. Without it, you will miss this portion of the Trail but will still do the full Machu Picchu Citadel tour within the ruins.
Our hikes through Peru's captivating rugged terrain climb rocky and sometimes uneven paths, many of which are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles will get us to and from the trailheads, but the nature of these trails is such that we won't see our vans along the route. Ample trail support in the form of water, snacks and encouragement is provided by your Backroads leaders and local guides.
This trip has been designed to offer as many hiking options as possible. Since many of the trails are unmarked, we recommend that you hike with the company of a Backroads leader or one of our local support staff. On the few days when we're in national parks, regulations require you to hike in the company of one of our certified park guides.