Ancient Peru: Cusco, Sacred Valley & the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 7

From: Lima

To: Cusco

From

£1,805

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Experience ancient Peru! Spend a night in the Sacred Valley before trekking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! Walk in the footsteps of the Incas before watching the sunrise at Machu Picchu, one of Peru’s most important historical sites. This trip explores some of the most important historical sites in Peru and can be fully tailored to fit you.

The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in Peru and is classed as one of the top 5 treks in the world. On the Inca trail, you will pass through beautiful mountain scenery, sub-tropical jungle, cloud-forest and see plenty of Inca relics such as Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels. This 4-day trek takes you along the final, and most spectacular part of the trail – ending at Machu Picchu in time for the sunrise on the final day. This Peru itinerary is truly unforgettable!

Highlights

  • Spend 1 night in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Trek along ancient Inca roads
  • Explore the Ollantaytambo fortress
  • See the sunrise over Machu Picchu
  • Spend a morning touring the ancient site of Machu Picchu
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night Lima
  • 1 night Cusco
  • 1 night Sacred Valley
  • 3 nights camping on the Inca Trail
  • 1 night Cusco

 

Day 1: Arrive Lima

On arrival in Lima you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the city.


Day 2: Lima to Cusco

After breakfast you will be collected and taken to the airport for your flight to Cusco. On arrival you will be greeted and taken to your hotel where you will check in for a 1 night stay.

This afternoon we have included a tour of Cusco to take you to the key sites of this historical city, you will visit the Santo Domingo Convent built over the Inca Qoricancha temple, one of the most important temples dedicated to the worship of the sun as well as the cathedral at Plaza de Armas which features an elaborate Renaissance-baroque complex.

Afterwards you will head to the hills above Cusco to visit the remains of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman and witness panoramic views over Cusco!


Day 3: Cusco to Sacred Valley

Following breakfast depart for the Urubamba River Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop off at the Awana Kancha where you will learn about llamas, alpacas and vicunas. Pisac is the next stop and a wander through the markets of this historic town before breaking for lunch at a local diner.

After lunch head to the Ollantaytambo fortress, which controlled access to the Sacred Valley. This site is a huge archaeological complex which was originally a tambo, a leisure city used by people travelling long distances.


Day 4: Sacred Valley to Inca Trail

You will be collected from your hotel this morning and taken to km82 of the Sacred Valley highway. After breakfast you will begin your trek along the Inca Trail! The Inca roads are part of a road network of around 60,000km which joined the Inca Empire, its hub was located in Cusco.

You will walk all day today, stopping at noon for lunch and continuing on until 5pm when you will stop and set up camp for the night. After your first day hiking at altitude you are bound to be tired so its dinner at camp and an early night tonight.


Day 5: Inca Trail

A very early start today, after breakfast at the camp its back on the road by 7am. The road changes slightly now with more ascents and descents and breath-taking views as you trek, the path today was part of the main route of the Inca roads and is one of the most spectacular in the world.

After a hard mornings hiking you will set up camp in Pacaymayo where lunch and dinner will be served.


Day 6: Inca Trail

This is the longest and most impressive day of the trek due to the quantity of archaeological complexes and the cloud forest you will find on the way. After a delicious lunch in Chaquicocha you will ascend to the Phuyupatamarca pass, walking through a cloud forest to reach the final camp at Winayhuayna.


Day 7: Arrive Machu Picchu

You will get up in the dark today and make your 2way along the final bit of the trail to Machu Picchu by torchlight with the help of your guide. On arrival you will get to sit and watch the sun rise over the ruins, you will make the final descent to the official entry and spend the morning touring the ancient site before descending to Agues Calientes.

From here you will make your way by train back to Cusco, on arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel.


Day 8: Depart Cusco

You will be collected from your hotel this morning and taken to the airport to connect with your onward flight.


 

Info

The Classic Inca Trail can be hiked at any time of the year although between April to October can be more comfortable as the weather is drier at this time. January and March can be wet, so a good rain jacket and a waterproof tent is a must. June, July and August are peak season – there are only a limited number of permits given for this trek so for busier times pre-booking months in advance is essential. The Inca Trail is closed every year in the month of February for conservation work to take place.

It is recommended you spend at least 2 days in Cusco prior to the trek, to ensure you have fully acclimatised to the altitude. This trek is rated moderate and any reasonably fit person should be able to cover the route, although it can be quite challenging with altitudes of 4,200m being reached.

We can also help with booking your land arrangements in Cusco and throughout Peru, please ask one of our consultants for details.

What's included: 

  • Tour guide (Spanish & English)
  • Transfers as mentioned in the itinerary (shared basis)
  • Train from Agues Calientes to Cusco
  • 4 nights accommodation in 3* hotels
  • 3 nights camping
  • Daily breakfast
  • Entrance fees to sites mentioned
  • Tours as mentioned in the itinerary (shared basis)
  • Lunch on days 3 & 7
  • All meals on the Inca Trail (days 4, 5 & 6)
  • Train from Agues Calientes to Cusco

Not included: 

  • International & domestic flights
  • Any activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals other than those stated above
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
Accommodation

7 nights in a mixture of 3* standard accommodation and camping

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