Hiking in Peru: Santa Cruz trek & Machu Picchu

Tailor-made holidays
Duration (in days): 15

From: UK

To: UK



Inc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Enjoy an active adventure and go hiking in Peru along unspoilt routes and ancient paths on this holiday that includes the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu. First, you’ll hike the lesser-known, 50km Santa Cruz trek that runs along the magnificent Cordillera Blanca mountain range, with scenic camping spots along the way so you can enjoy the landscapes to the max. After your trek, fly to Cusco for a few days visiting the city, the Sacred Valley and iconic Machu Picchu! This is a unique Peruvian experience, with the added benefit of supporting local community economies as you hike along the Santa Cruz trek, away from the more typical crowds of the Inca Trail. Enjoy the tranquillity and wide-open spaces of Peru’s spectacular scenery on this active holiday.

This Peru itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

This holiday includes

  • International and domestic flights
  • All transfers
  • All accommodation in Peru
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 3 nights camping with all equipment
  • Private guide during the trek


  • Trek along Peru’s striking Cordillera Blanca mountain range
  • Reach an altitude of over 4,750m at the beautiful Punta Unión
  • Enjoy off-the-beaten-track routes with few visitors
  • Visit Machu Picchu, Peru’s most iconic site          


Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night in Lima
  • 1 night overnight bus
  • 1 night in Huaraz
  • 3 nights camping
  • 1 night in Huaraz
  • 1 night in Lima
  • 4 nights in Cusco


Day 1: Depart UK

Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

Included: International flight

Day 2: Arrive in Lima

On arrival at Lima airport, you will be met and taken to your hotel by private transfer, to check in for a 1-night stay.

Included: Transfer, hotel

Day 3: Lima to Huaraz

Today you have free time to explore Lima and get your bearings. We’ve included a late check out at your hotel, then this evening, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the bus station to catch the overnight bus to Huaraz, the trekking capital of the Andes!

Included: Breakfast, transfer, overnight bus       

Day 4: Arrive Huaraz

You’ll arrive at Huaraz bus station around 6am, and you’ll be met and taken to your hotel by private transfer, to check in for a 1-night stay. You have some time to relax today, in preparation for your trekking adventure that starts tomorrow.

Included: Transfer, hotel            

Day 5: Huaraz, Llanganuco and Vaqueria

After breakfast, you’ll be collected and driven along the magnificent Callejón de Huaylas Valley between the breath-taking Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra mountain ranges, until you reach Vaqueria where you will start your hike.

Walking along the Huaripampa Gorge, you’ll pass the villages of Collo, Manchaca and Huaripampa and enjoy stunning views of the two towers of Chacraraju mountain, as well as some swampy meadows, small lakes and lush forest until you will reach your camp at 3,780m.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, lunch, dinner, camping    

Day 6: Punta Unión, Taullipampa

Today will be filled with pleasant surprises and gorgeous views as you will walk through grassy areas and along the Morococha lakes. You will climb stone-carved, pre-Incan steps to reach the Punta Unión Pass that will mark the highest point of your trek at an impressive 4,780m. The panorama in front of you is dominated by the majestic iced walls of Taulliraju Mountain rising above Taullicocha Lake. Your camp tonight is at Taullipampa, a 4,250m. Stop for the night and relax as you watch a beautiful sunset.

Included: Full board, camping  

Day 7: Taullipampa, Alpamayo base camp and Llama Corral

Today involves another beautiful day trekking as you pass through different ecosystems, beneath the icy peaks of the Cordillera. In particular, climbing at Arhuaycocha Lake will provide glimpses of the iced and fluted south face of Alpamayo Peak in all its rugged grandeur. To end the day, you’ll descend beside Jatuncocha and Ichiccocha lakes to reach Llama Corral where you will set camp at 3,780m.  

Included: Full board, camping

Day 8: Llama Corral, Cashapampa and Huaraz  

The final day of this beautiful trek takes you down the left ridge of the deep Santa Cruz Canyon. The first glimpses of the Cordillera Negra on the horizon will announce your approach to Cashapampa village.

Your trek is completed here, and a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Huaraz for a well-earned rest!

Included: Breakfast, lunch, transfer, hotel           

Day 9: Huaraz to Lima

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and afterwards, you’ll be collected and taken to the bus station to catch a bus to Lima. On arrival, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel by private transfer where you will check in for a 1-night stay.

Included: Breakfast, bus, transfers, hotel             

Day 10: Lima to Cusco

Today you’ll be collected and driven to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Once you land, you will be met and taken to your hotel where you will check in for a 4-night stay in Cusco.

Included: Breakfast, transfers, domestic flight, hotel      

Day 11: Cusco          

After breakfast, we’ve included a guided tour of Cusco. The historical centre is beautifully preserved and you’ll have the chance to explore and learn about the city’s rich history. This afternoon will be at leisure.

Included: Breakfast, tour, hotel

Day 12: Pisac and Ollantaytambo 

Any holiday to Peru has to include a visit to the famous and mystical Sacred Valley of the Incas! Today you will join a small group tour to visit Ollantaytambo fortress and Pisac market, with lunch included in a traditional Andean restaurant. After the tour, this afternoon you will be driven back to your hotel in Cusco.

Included: Breakfast, tour, lunch, hotel                   

Day 13: Machu Picchu        

Today you’re off to Machu Picchu! Early in the morning, you will be driven to the train station to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu.

In Aguas Calientes, your guide will meet you and take you on the short bus ride to the Machu Picchu. You’ll have a guided tour of the citadel, and also some time to explore on your own. Early in the afternoon, you will take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, with a little free time here to look around, before catching one more train back to Cusco. Here, you will be met and taken to your hotel to spend the last night of this unforgettable holiday!

Included: Breakfast, tour, entrance fees, hotel                   

Day 14: Depart Cusco         

You’ll be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport by private transfer to connect with your international departure flight.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, international flight            

Day 15: Arrive UK    

Why not add in a stopover?


You can visit Peru throughout the year, however, the period between May and September offers the best weather conditions for the Santa Cruz trek. Also, Machu Picchu and Cusco will enjoy sunnier and drier days. July and August will be peak months in visitors’ numbers to the archaeological site.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

What's included: 

  • International and domestic flights
  • Return airport transfers
  • Overnight bus from Lima to Huaraz
  • Private guide during the trek
  • All camping equipment
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Return train ticket to Aguas Calientes
  • Return bus journey to Machu Picchu
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu

Not included: 

  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities


8 nights in 3* and 4* standard accommodation and 3 nights camping during the trek. One night will be spent on an overnight bus from Lima to Huaraz.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Jose Antonio Executive

  • Andino Club Hotel Huaraz

  • Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco
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