Immerse yourself in Quechuan culture with hikes to remote villages in the Sacred Valley. Explore the lost city of Machu Picchu and conclude your journey with a memorable ride on the luxury Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco.
Peru Trip Overview
Itinerary at a Glance
THE BOUNDLESS JOURNEYS ADVANTAGE
- A passion for travel. Simply put, we love to travel, and that is woven into every one of our journeys.
- Unique, award-winning itineraries. Our flexible, hand-crafted journeys have received accolades from the world’s most revered travel publications.
- Insider connections. There is simply no substitute for traveling with a knowledgeable insider.
- Small groups. We tread softly, and our average group size is just 6-8 guests.
- Flexibility to suit your travel style. We offer both small-group departures and Private Collection trips, so that you can choose which works best for you.
- Customer service that goes the extra mile. There is no request that is too big – or too small – for our staff to handle.
- Sustainability. We are committed to traveling responsibly – striving to preserve traditions and cultures around the world, and to protect fragile natural habitats.
Our tours often fill months in advance, and our maximum group size is smaller than most tour operators. It's very quick and easy to reserve a trip. Give us a call at 800-941-8010 or complete the online Reserve a Trip form. We will confirm your reservation with a $500 per person deposit, payable by check or credit card.
Trip Rating (1 Easiest - 5 Most Strenuous)
Traveling to and From
Most Convenient Airport:
Jorge Chavez Lima - Calleo International Airport, Lima, Peru (LIM - for international arrivals), and Cusco Valazco Astete Airport, Cusco, Peru (CUZ - for domestic arrivals from Lima)
Meeting Time and Place:
12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Hotel Novotel in downtown Cusco.
Departure Time and Place:
Cusco airport in time for your departing flights to Lima on the last day of the tour.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Boundless Journeys’ trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu is rated 2+, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The walks and hikes on this trip are easy to moderate with some moderately strenuous options, at altitudes of 8,000 to 12,000 feet. Walks and hikes are generally from 2-6 hours in length with minimal vehicle support. On days with significant ascents or descents, we have noted them in the itinerary.
Inca Trail hike option:
The Inca Trail hike itself is rated 3+, an approximate 5-6 hour hike, over 6 miles, with 2600 feet gain and 890 feet loss. The terrain is a hiking trail, with rocks and roots, and uneven stone steps, thus requires sturdy boots and comfort hiking on uneven trails.
Preparing for this Trip
It is very important that you realistically assess your physical condition with regard to the demands of this trip. The more well prepared you are for the activities on this trip, the more you will enjoy yourself! Please engage in moderate aerobic activities (hiking, jogging, or cycling) for at least 30-45 minutes several times a week for 4-6 weeks before the trip. If you live in a flat area, try to incorporate some stairs into your workout, or use a treadmill with varying incline capability. Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.
Peru’s geography is as diverse as its culture, with altitudes from sea level to over 22,000 feet. Our trip begins and ends in Cusco, which is situated at 11,150 feet, in the foothills of the Andes. After our first night, we move to the Sacred Valley, and our hotel is located at 9,350 feet. Our third hotel, in Machu Picchu Pueblo, is located at about 6,500 feet. Our walks and hikes will take place at elevations of 8,000 feet to approximately 12,000 feet. There is time to move at a comfortable pace, allowing ourselves to adjust to the mountain air. Keeping well hydrated, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating frequent, light meals, and getting plenty of rest will help with any effects of altitude that you may feel.
The mountainous areas of Peru have pronounced rainy and dry seasons, which are more responsible for the prevailing weather than seasonal temperature fluctuations. While the dry season lasts only from May through September, the most significant rains fall from January through March. Temperatures do not fluctuate as much, although nights do tend to be colder from May through September. Any time of year, dressing in layers is a good strategy so that you can shed or add layers as the day heats and cools.
The following are average temperatures in Cusco:
high / low
April: 66°F / 43°F
July: 66°F / 34°F
August: 66°F / 37°F
October: 68°F / 44°F
December: 66°F / 45°F
You may obtain more detailed weather information at www.weatherbase.com.
When to Reserve
It is important to sign up early, as the Peruvian government has a permit system in place which strictly limits the number of hikers on the Inca trail at any given time. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. If you dream of hiking into Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail, now is the time to reserve. There are alternative hiking options if permits are not available at the time when you reserve. This will not affect our visit to Machu Picchu, just the hike to the ruins. Please contact our office with any questions regarding this.
When to Go
Peru is generally delightful for hiking from April through December. We avoid scheduling trips during January through March as this is the height of the rainy season. That being said, the hillsides and valleys tend to be greener in April, May and June. Later in the dry season the fields turn golden and the campesinos harvest their crops.
Overview: First-class Cusco hotel and historic country lodges, all private baths.
Night 1: Hotel Novotel
Built to incorporate an early 16th-century house, this well-located hotel in the heart of historic Cusco showcases the exceptional style of colonial architecture.
Nights 2, 3 & 4: Posada del Inca
This country lodge is located on the site of a restored, 350-year-old monastery surrounded by the foothills of the Andes. Property features include a quaint chapel, restaurant, gift shop, and lounge.
Nights 5 & 6: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru
Highest rated hotel in Machu Picchu region (Travel + Leisure, "World's Best Hotels")
With Andean-style individual bungalows in a quiet riverside spot in the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo, this acclaimed hotel is renowned for its progressive sustainability programs. An impressive tropical garden showcasing a wide variety of native plant species, stone paths, and canals flowing with spring water create a special atmosphere.
Night 7: Hotel Novotel
See description for Night 1
Peru Detailed Itinerary
Arrival to Cusco; afternoon city tour and Sacsayhuaman
Walk – easy to moderate, 2-3 hours.
After time to freshen up at our hotel, we dine at one of our favorite restaurants while enjoying traditional music.
Chinchero, Moras to Moray, and into the Sacred Valley
Hike – easy to moderate, 2-4 hours on hiking trails and country roads; optional horseback riding – about 1 hour.
From Chinchero, we continue toward the Sacred Valley, taking a side trip to Moray, an important experimental agricultural site for the Incas. After time to explore this interesting site, we drive a short distance to the Maras Salt Mine, whose white pools have provided salt for the southern highlands since the time of the Incas.
Later this afternoon, we arrive at our hotel for the next three nights, a charming country lodge on the site of a restored, 350-year-old monastery. You may choose to relax with a Pisco Sour in front of the lodge’s fireplace, before we meet for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Kiswar Lake and Pisac
Hike – easy to moderate, 2-3 hours.
After lunch, we descend to Pisac. The well-preserved ruins above the town offer excellent views and further insight into the spiritual life of the Incas. Here are good examples of Inca stairs, and the hills above the site are dotted with caves which functioned as ancient burial grounds. The belief was that the ancestors would be able to watch over and protect the living from their vantage point on the hillside.
We have some time to relax and enjoy our hotel this afternoon, before dinner tonight at a local home in Yucay, where we have the opportunity to enjoy traditional Peruvian dishes and learn about life in the Sacred Valley.
Mountain Village and Ollantaytambo
Hike – easy to moderate, about 3 hours on dirt roads and trails; some steep stone stairs at ruins.
Tonight we enjoy dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants before retiring early in anticipation of tomorrow’s journey to Machu Picchu!
Machu Picchu by Rail
Hiking – easy to moderate, with possible more strenuous options.
Sunrise and full day at Machu Picchu; return to Cusco by Hiram Bingham train
Touring Machu Picchu – easy 2-5 hours; optional strenuous hike, 2-3 hours.
Upon concluding our excursion to Machu Picchu around mid-day, we return to Aquas Caliantes by bus and enjoy lunch before having some independent time for exploration and shopping.
Morning at leisure and exploration of Cusco
Optional walking – easy, 1-2 hours.
Departure from Cusco
After breakfast we say goodbye and transfer to the Cusco airport in time for flights to Lima and homeward.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary to take advantage of weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these should the need arise.
- May 17–24, 2015
- Jun 14–21, 2015
- Jul 05–12, 2015
- Aug 16–23, 2015
- Sep 20–27, 2015
2015 Land Cost
$4,395 per person
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.
- Expert leadership
- All accommodations
- All meals
- All transportation during the tour
- Archeological site entrance fees
- All activities as noted in the itinerary
Please complete the following information to request a reservation. A trip deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your reservation (payable by check or major credit card). Once we receive your request we will contact you within one business day to confirm availability and answer any questions you may have.
About our guides
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work – the mark of a truly great leader – our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own.
Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
Harry Cavero: Harry was born in the village of Calca in the center of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and began hiking the Inca Trail and exploring the Vilcabamba region when he was just seven years old. The son of a traveling teacher, Harry had the opportunity to travel extensively through the mountains and villages surrounding Cusco and near Machu Picchu.Starting as an assistant guide at the age of 13, Harry has now been assisting and leading tours through his homeland for more than 20 years. In addition to guiding, Harry has worked with NGOs in support of Andean families who have few resources, and participated in anthropological projects studying the native communities of Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras to assess similarities with his native culture.
With a degree from the University of San Antonio Abad and official certification from the Polytechnic Guide’s School in Cusco, and a true passion for the cultures of the Andes, Harry is an ideal companion for exploring the mountains and villages of Peru.
Ruben Choque: Ruben grew up in the quaint and historic city of Cusco, and from a very young age was exposed to the rich cultural and natural heritage of his native country. Upon completing his university degree in Archeology and Tourism and a Masters in Business Administration, he pursued guiding, his ultimate passion. He has an intimate knowledge of the adventure travel industry in Peru and draws from his extensive experience not only as a guide, but from working in tour operations and as a consultant in sustainable tourism development. At present, Ruben brings to the table more than a decade of experience leading groups around Peru. He is dedicated to uncovering the unique cultures and landscapes of Peru through cultural, adventure and ecological tours.
What other guests have said about our Peru guides:
“Our trip was very special and it was made even more so by [our guide] Harry and our driver, Ever. Their knowledge and experiences made everything move smoothly. This makes enjoying the various activities and destination effortlessly enjoyable.”
– K.S, Kansas City, MO
“I arrived home last night and am still in a mental daze. The trip far surpassed my expectations. It was glorious! Everyone in our group agreed that our guide was central to making it all work. He is truly an amazing person. There is no praise I could give that would equal what he actually offers with his knowledge of the culture, his managerial capabilities and the spiritual connection with the land that he conveys.”
– J.C., Aspen, CO
Picture Yourself Here:
Experienced local guides – the very best in Peru – lead walks through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the ruins of Pisac, and Quechua town of Ollantaytambo
Journey on the Hiram Bingham luxury-train from Machu Picchu to Cusco
Traditional Quechua culture, including festive local markets and dinner in a local home
Inca and Spanish city of Cusco, with beautiful cathedrals, fine dining, and a lively atmosphere
- May 17–24, 2015
- Jun 14–21, 2015
- Jul 05–12, 2015
- Aug 16–23, 2015
- Sep 20–27, 2015
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Prefer a private departure?
Please see our Private Collection:
Inca Trail hiking permits are issued first-come, first-served and can sell out 4-6 months in advance for peak periods. Please plan ahead!
What others have said...
"The best trip we have ever taken. It was the trip of a lifetime."
-M. LoVerde, Aurora, CO
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"This trip was the perfect blend of fascinating history, stunning scenery, exhilarating hiking, contemporary Spanish and Basque culture, and delicious meals with excellent Rioja wines."
- Katharine Svenson, Spain: Vintage Rioja