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. Peru: 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.
Traveling To and From
Most Convenient Airport:
Jorge Chavez Lima-Calleo International Airport, Lima, Peru, for international arrivals (airport code LIM)
Cusco Valazco Astete Airport, Cusco, Peru, for domestic arrivals from Lima (airport code CUZ)
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
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.
When to Reserve
It is important to sign up early, as the Peruvian government has a permit system in place that strictly limits the number of hikers who are on the Inca trail at any given time. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Now is the time to reserve if you dream of hiking into Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. 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.
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.
You may obtain more detailed weather information at www.weatherbase.com.
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.
Dinners in Peru feature generous portions of beef, lamb, chicken, or fish, potatoes or rice, and fresh vegetables, such as locally grown avocados, summer squash, and olives. Delicacies such as roast cuy (guinea pig), alpaca, and ceviche (chilled marinated fish) are available on some menus. Breakfast generally features common continental offerings, cereals made from quinoa, as well as scrambled eggs and sausage. Delicious hearty soups are also a staple of Peruvian meals, and are often available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.