Trek in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu as part of an epic holiday to Lima, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley in Peru.

Lima, Cusco and Inca Trail Experience Map

Departures: Daily

Length: 10 days / 9 nights

Destinations: Lima / Cusco / Sacred Valley / Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Highlights: Visit Lima, Peru's modern capital and a global culinary champion of fine cuisine. Tour Cusco city and the Sacred Valley of the Inca and be immersed in the colonial and Inca history and architecture, then trek to Machu Picchu on the infamous Inca Trail, one of the worlds finest walks.

Price: from £1499 per person

Single Person Supplement: £POA

Price Information: Based on 2 people travelling and sharing a double or twin room in our selected standard-class hotel accommodation and two-man tents on the Inca Trail. See our Peru hotel guide for more information on our accommodation. For a quote based on superior or luxury accommodation, or to tailor this holiday itinerary please Contact Us..

Holiday Itinerary

Arrive in Lima at any time. On arrival we will meet you and escort you by private vehicle from the airport to your hotel in the Lima district of Miraflores. The remainder of the day will be free time for you to relax and refresh following your long haul flight, and to explore your new surroundings in the capital of Peru and the Culinary Travel Destination of the Year 2012, 2013 and 2014 (World Travel Awards).

Meals: None

Overnight: Hotel in Miraflores, Lima

Lima Free Day - Pacific Coast
Lima Free Day - Huaca Pucllana

Today following breakfast in your hotel we will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Lima airport to take a domestic flight to Cusco, the capital city of the Inca Empire. The remainder of the day will be free time for you to explore this wonderful city, and to start to acclimatise to the altitude ahead of your trek.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Cusco

Cusco City

After breakfast the remainder of the morning will be free time for you to use at your leisure. Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, is an outstanding city of archaeological, architectural, religious and historical beauty and is a destination in itself, so we recommend exploring some of the countless museums, historical sites, plazas, galleries, churches, shops, markets or cafes in and amongst the city. In the afternoon you will go on a city tour of Cusco and the surrounding area and visit some of the many historic sites in this wonderful city. You will visit the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha), once the main Inca temple in Cusco, and later the tour will continue to the fabulous Inca ruins on the outskirts of the city: the famous and important site of Sacsayhuaman with its enormous megalithic stones and outstanding masonry, and the ruin of Tambomachay.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Central hotel in Cusco

Cusco City Tour - Korikancha
Cusco City Tour - Sacsayhuaman
Cusco City Tour - Sacsayhuaman

The Sacred Valley is an important location for the Inca Empire, positioned beteween Cusco, the capital city of the Empire, and the ruined citadel of Machu Picchu. The valley is an awe-inspiring and beautiful destination, and dotted along the valley are many Inca sites worth visiting. Today you will journey along the length of the valley on a full-day tour visiting the best and most impressive of these sites, furthering your knowledge of the Inca Empire before you embark on the infamous Inca Trail. The tour will first visit the quaint and traditional Andean village of Chinchero, and here you will observe a demonstration of the traditional crafts techniques employed by the Andean people that live here, as well as visiting the Inca ruins and colonial church within the village. Next you will visit the stunning and unique Inca ruin of Moray which consists of terraced depressions crafted into the earth, it is a fascinating place to visit. Later the tour will take you to the salt pans of Maras which date from Inca times. Here one half of a small gorge has been converted over hundreds of years into a network of salt-pans creating a visual spectacle that must be seen to be believed. Finally the tour will visit the town of Ollantaytambo which sits at the end of the Sacred Valley. This Inca town still retains its network of Inca streets, but the most impressive feature is the Inca citadel that overlooks the town, and you will tour the ruin. Following the visit the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, you will return to your hotel in Cusco for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Central hotel in Cusco

Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas - Moray
Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas - Maras
Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas - Ollantaytambo

You will be collected very early in the morning from your hotel in Cusco and transported by bus through the Sacred Valley to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Following a short rest, during which time you will be able to purchase breakfast, we will continue further to a point of the route known as Kilometre 82, where you will leave the bus and civilization behind, meet your guide, porters, cook and the other members of your group, and will officially start your Inca Trail! The first days trekking is a relatively easy section of the trail route and great to allow time to acclimatise, listen to the guide explain some of the flora and fauna or history of the Inca empire, or simply admire the stunning view. Later in the day you will pass your first Inca site – the impressive and large terraced ruin of Llactapata sitting below you near the base of the valley. This site was used by the Inca as a farming site to supply Machu Picchu with maize. You will spend the evening in 2-man tents underneath the Andean sky.

Meals: Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Camping

Approximate walking time: 5-6 hours

Approximate distance: 12 kilometres

Approximate altitude: Start at 2750m, Finish at 3000m

Llactapata Inca Trail
Llactapata Inca Trail
Inca Trail

After a hearty breakfast at camp you will set off on your second day of the Inca Trail, which is the most difficult but as beautiful as it is tough-going. You will start the day in the Huayllabamba valley and initially find yourself walking through the trees of a cloud forest habitat, but as the path starts to rise the landscape changes to more sparse shrubbery and you will leave the forest, passing a meadow called Llulluchapampa, to discover outstanding views of the valley below you and the climb ahead of you. At the peak of the climb you will pass over a section of the Inca Trail 4200 metres above sea level, known as “Dead Woman’s Pass”, or Warmiwañusca, named not due to some dreaded accident but to the shape of the landscape resembling a woman lying down. After taking a short well-deserved rest at the top of the pass the route continues over the pass and descends down Pacaymayu valley to your campsite for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Camping

Approximate walking time: 7-8 hours

Approximate distance: 13 kilometres

Approximate altitude: Start at 3000m, Highest Point at 4215m, Finish at 3800m

Inca Trail Day 2
Inca Trail Day 2

Day 3 of the Inca Trek is, for many, the most enjoyable day of trekking on the route towards Machu Picchu. The route follows a slow descent down the valley as the Inca Trail slowly descends and on the way passes many other smaller but equally impressive Incan structures that are only accessible via the Inca Trail. The first ruins you will encounter, around an hour into the trek, are those of Runkurakay, which are a small Inca site poised on the edge of a valley from where there are impressive views. Further into the trek you will visit the ruins of Sayacmarca, which is translates to “Inaccesible Town” due to its position precariously situated on the top of some cliffs. Sayacmarca was probably used as a resting station on the route towards Machu Picchu, although its precise role is not fully understood. The route continues along original Incan stone pathways, passing some enjoyable and impressive precipices and tunnels in and amongst the mountain-top cliffs. Further into the descent you will arrive at Phuyupatamarca, the largest and most impressive Inca site on the trek so far, with its ancient yet still functioning water fountains. Later in the afternoon the trail descends further and finally reaches the campsite near the ruins of Wiñayhuayna. If you have the energy then you have the option to visit these outstanding and very large ruins before you reach the campsite. The ruins, often referred to as mini Machu Picchu, are visually astounding and have literally been built into the steep valley side, with an extensive terracing network and building complex. If you feel up to it then Go Andes would definitely recommend you make the effort to visit before arriving at the campsite for the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Meal

Overnight: Camping

Approximate walking time: 7-8 hours

Approximate distance: 15 kilometres

Approximate altitude: Start at 3800m, Finish at 2650m

Phuyupatamarca Inca Trail Day 3
Runkurakay Inca Trail Day 3
Sayacmarca Inca Trail Day 3

On the final day of the trek you will wake very early and will set off on the short walk to the Sun Gate at the entrance to Machu Picchu. From this position you will suddenly find the whole of Machu Picchu, one of the modern 7 Wonders of the World, spread out before you… truly one of the most famous and awe-inspiring sites in the world, and a site that we guarantee will make the hard work of the trek so much worth while. From the Sun Gate you will be able to appreciate morning sun glisten over Machu Picchu and the mountain of Huayna Picchu in the background. After descending from the Sun Gate to the site itself you will have time to appreciate the view from the classic “post card” view of Machu Picchu, as well as have time to take photos, before starting a 2 hour tour of the site and its most important features, after which you will have free time to explore the remainder of the site as you wish, or climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu. If you do wish to climb the mountain please let us know. Later in the afternoon you will take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the valley below Machu Picchu, where you will be able to have some lunch before taking the scenic train back to Ollantaytambo, from where a bus will transport you back to Cusco. Upon arrival at Cusco you will be transported to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Central hotel in Cusco

Approximate walking time: 2 hours

Approximate distance: 6 kilometres

Approximate altitude: Start at 2650m, Finish at 2400m

Tour of Machu Picchu
Tour of Machu Picchu
Tour of Machu Picchu

At the appropriate time we will collect you from your hotel in Cusco and will escort you to Cusco airport where you will take a domestic flight to Lima where we will escort you to your hotel in Miraflores. Here the remainder of the day will be free time for you to shop for some souvenirs and have your final Peruvian meal in the culinary capital of the Americas.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Hotel in Miraflores, Lima

At the appropriate time you will be collected from your hotel and will transfer to Lima airport where you can check-in for your international flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: N/A

Included

  • Two domestic flights within Peru (Lima - Cusco / Cusco - Lima)
  • All excursions with English-speaking guides
  • Entry fees to all sites included in the itinerary (including Inca Trail to Machu Picchu)
  • All accommodation (hotels in Cusco, camping on the Inca Trail)
  • All meals detailed
  • All transfers as required
  • Inca Trail includes: permits and tickets to enter the Inca Trail; safety briefing in Cusco before the trek; Inca Trail guide throughout the trek; Porters to carry 7kg per person of personal belongings, all tents, food and cooking equipment; drinking water from Day 2 of the Inca Trail; all meals, some snacks and tea and coffee during mealtimes; bus transport from Cusco to the start of the trek; train journey from Machu Picchu back to Cusco; full tour of Machu Picchu

Not Included

  • International flights to/from South America. We exclude international flights to give the option to compare flight pricing or use air miles, however we can include and provide international flights as part of your holiday and any international flights booked through us would be ATOL-protected as part of your package with us. Depending on time of year, departure airport and airline preference flight prices start from around £480pp economy. If you would like us to include international flights or provide a quote just let us know your preferred departure airport when you enquire.

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Inca Trail Permit Information

Access to the Inca Trail is strictly controlled by the Peruvian government and authorities to help protect this important UNESCO World Heritage Site. Entry Permits for the Inca Trail are strictly limited to 500 per day (including guides, porters, cooks etc), are sold on a first-come-first-served basis, cannot be reserved in advance (as they are non-refundable and linked to passport details) and they sell out fast - we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance to avoid missing out. We will take care of all Inca Trail permit reservations for you. We take full payment for the Inca Trail at the point of booking as permits are non-refundable and once a booking is made it is not possible to amend, cancel, change the date, or change a name.

Inca Trail Campsites

The Peruvian Government Authority UGM are responsible for control of access to the Inca Trail and for allocation of campsites on the trail to the relevant trekking companies and groups. Although we make every effort to guarantee the tour is as described in very rare situations for a variety of reasons the UGM may allocate us to different campsites. We try to make Wiñahuayna our last campsite (as it is only a 2 hour trek to Machu Picchu) as described however we cannot guarantee this to be the case and on occasions we have been allocated space at Phuyupatamarca (nearly 5 hours from Machu Picchu). We therefore cannot guarantee you will be able to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Unfortunately these matters are outside of our control and are outside the control of all tour companies. If any other company “guarantees” a specific campsite then approach with care as it is impossible for them to do so.

Contact us if you want more information or want to book this holiday. One of our South America holiday specialists will be more than willing to help.