You're out of breath. But that's okay. It gives you an excuse to stop and gaze. At the stunning views. At the incredible Inca stonework. At the kids enraptured. Not that you need an excuse. It's only human to pause in the presence of natural beauty, of engineering genius, of youthful wonderment. You'd better get used to it. It'll happen time and again this week. From Sacsayhuamán to the Inca salt pans, from Cusco's market to Ollantaytambo's school. All the way to magical Machu Picchu it'll happen. Long after you're used to the altitude.
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.
Hiking the Inca TrailPermits to hike the Inca Trail are extremely limited. We recommend booking a minimum of 4 to 6 months prior to departure in order to significantly increase your chance of securing a permit.
Also, due to national park regulations and difficulty securing permits, your Backroads leaders may not be able to accompany you along the Inca Trail. Rest assured, you will always be well supported by our local Peruvian guide, who we've worked with for years, and a staff of porters.
Days 1-2 Local guides share deep insight into Peru's culture and ancient civilizations 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 Kids make traditional Andean pan flutes (zamponas) with a local Cusqueño musician in his instrument workshop 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 will teach us the meaning of his indigenous "Pago a la Tierra" ceremony A private live performance of Andean folk music accompanies our picnic in a secluded mountain meadow Discover the superb collection at Cusco's Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
Day 3 Pedal on paved and dirt roads through the Sacred Valley Explore the ruins at Pisac offering sweeping vistas Kids take part in a fun market challenge Interested in shopping for alpaca sweaters or decorative gourds? You'll find plenty to choose from at the Pisac market.
Days 4-5 Engage with Quechua culture in a weaving community well off the beaten path, where master weavers work While grown-ups explore Ollantaytambo's enigmatic ruins, youngsters visit a school and its students Visit the world-renowned ceramics studio of Pablo Seminario Adults enjoy a private dinner at the historical Hacienda Huayoccari while kids participate in an interactive mask-making activity with artisans, followed by dinner at a local home Bike along dirt roads through the altiplano and Sacred Valley amid a panorama of snowy peaks and traditional villages In Moray, learn how the Inca ingeniously farmed using high-altitude terraces Hike through Las Salineras, a stunningly beautiful honeycomb of tiered pools,where salt has been raked and gathered by families for generations A culinary highlight is our exclusive Peruvian cuisine cooking class with Sol y Luna's chef.
Days 6-8 Machu Picchu: the incredible "Lost City of the Incas" After a train ride, hike the Gate of the Sun trail for a bird's-eye view of Machu Picchu (you may have the option to take the famed Inca Trail) A local expert provides insight into the exquisite stonework and mysterious astrological designs of this sacred site Spend a second full day exploring the "Lost City" Got an intrepid streak? Ascend Machu Picchu Mountain (with a special permit that Backroads secures on your behalf) for a memorable view of the ruins Stroll through the grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel with a local naturalist to learn more 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"
- Kids make Peruvian masks and Andean pan flutes
- Interact with schoolchildren in Ollantaytambo and visit a weaving community in Huilloc
- Cooking class of Peruvian cuisine - fun for the whole family!
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|
|1||Other||Cusco Guided Walk (3.5 Hours)|
|Kids||Pan Flute-Making Class (1 Hour)|
|Other||Pisac Ruins Guided Walk (1 Hour)|
|Other||Pisac Market Visit (45 Minutes)|
|Other||Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Walk (1 Hour)|
|Kids||Morning: Activities in Ollantaytambo (2 Hours)|
|Kids||Evening: Mask-Making (2 Hours)|
|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
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 7/8-15 Price: $5348 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/29-8/5 Price: $5548 pp dbl. occ., (+ $970 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 3/29-4/5 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1030 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/7-14 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1030 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/28-8/4 Price: $5298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1030 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 12 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- No Burleys or Piccolos available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $5,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $5,598 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,998 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
This trip was simply exceptional: great Backroads leaders, ideal itinerary, exceptional local guide with good logistics support and excellent accommodations. Combine that with the natural beauty and historic significance of the area, and this seems like it will be hard to beat - but we felt that way after biking in the Canadian Rockies. Backroads has outdone itself. The itinerary was very well thought-out and ideal as setup. What made it even nicer is that I felt that the itinerary as followed was adapted just for me. I was able to do more or less as desired and the leaders made the changes on the fly (and apparently effortlessly, although I know better) based on what I requested and what everyone else requested.- Houston, TX
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