Magical Machu Picchu Trek

Machu Picchu

Tour Details

Machu Picchu Trek

Type: Co-ed Tours
Dates: October 14 - 22, 2018
Number of Days: 9
Cost: $3,450

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Sold Out* We’re sorry you missed this tour. Please contact us if you’d like to be put on the wait list (if/when someone cancels) or if you would like to join us on a future Machu Picchu tour.

 

WanderWorld Foundation – A portion of your tour cost will go toward supporting a program in Peru that will help a local community. Details forthcoming.

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HIGHLIGHTS of the Machu Picchu Trek

* Choose from either the one-day trek OR the four-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu
* Take an early morning guided tour of Machu Picchu once you’ve accomplished trekking to the top
* Enjoy a walking tour of Cusco, an ancient town central to the Inca Empire
* Soak up the Sacred Valley and see traditional handicrafts at a local farm/shop and at markets
* Returning WanderTours participants receive a 5% discount on land cost
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Note: Cancellation fees apply. Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions before registering.

Machu Picchu Trek Itinerary

The adventure starts in Lima on October 14. Consider arriving a day or two early in case of flight delays, to explore Lima on your own, to shake off jet lag and to start getting acclimated to the altitude (Lima is 5,080 feet). We can book additional nights at the hotel for you.

Day 1
Sunday, October 14, 2018 – Lima
Meals: n/a

Upon arrival in Lima, you’ll be met by our driver and taken to the hotel.

Overnight at Casa Andina Select or similar in Lima.

Day 2
Monday, October 15, 2018 – Lima – Cusco
Meals: Breakfast

Cusco Walking TourAfter an early breakfast, we’ll head to the airport for our short flight (1.5 hours) to Cusco, considered by the Incas to be the belly button of the world! Upon arrival, we’ll be met by our driver and taken to the hotel to check in and grab a bite to eat (lunch is on our own as there are many restaurants near the hotel).

In the afternoon, we’ll take a walking tour of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire with its fascinating fusion of Inca and Spanish cultures. We’ll visit La Catedral, the most important religious building in the city, before visiting Koricancha Temple (also spelled Qorikancha or Coricancha), an ancient Inca palace once covered with gold. A short walk through the streets brings us to the San Blas neighborhood, home of Cusco artists, craftsmen and our hotel!

Overnight at Ananay-Quinta San Blas or similar in Cusco.

HIGHLIGHT! Visiting Koricancha will be a highlight of this day, considered the most important temple of the Inca Empire. Gold sheets weighing more than four pounds each lined the walls at the height of its popularity.

Pisac PeruDay 3
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 – Cusco
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we’ll head through the Sacred Valley of the Incas on our way to the village of Pisac. Along the way, we’ll visit Awana Kancha, a handicrafts store specializing in beautiful handmade wool products. The store is located on a farm where we’ll see llamas, vicuña and guanaco, as well as both suri and huacayo alpacas. In Pisac, we’ll visit the local market and have a chance to soak up the enchanting atmosphere of the Andes.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll go onward to Ollantaytambo, an Inca military, religious and agricultural center built on a mountain summit. Here, we’ll see the narrow streets of the eponymous village, together with canals unchanged since the Inca Empire.

Overnight at Pakaritampu or similar in the Sacred Valley.

HIGHLIGHT! Ollantaytambo (also known as Ollanta) was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region in the mid-15th century. While the ruins are well worth a visit, the area is best known for its gateway to Machu Picchu. 

On Day 4, the group will split up between those wanting to trek the four days to Machu Picchu (Group 1) and those wanting to take the train and trek for just one day (Group 2).

Group 1 Jump to Group 2

Day 4 (Group 1)
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 –
Cusco – Huayllabamba
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Route: Sacred Valley – Piscacucho – Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu
This route follows the trail of the Incas that leads toward Machu Picchu Sanctuary. During our four days of trekking, we’ll feel as though we’re part of the Andean world as we’ll visit archaeological sites while also experiencing the region’s varied ecosystem. Our highest pass will be 13,779 feet before descending through the cloud forest (low hanging fog found in tropical mountain forests) and the entrance to Machu Picchu.

Peru Inca Trail

In the early morning, we’ll drive to the trail head (commonly referred to as KM 82) at the Cusco-Machu Picchu railroad. This is the start of our journey by foot on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! We’ll begin by following the Urubamba River to the first archaeological site, Llaqtapata. We’ll have lunch and a rest here in a beautiful setting before continuing into the valley where we’ll start to gain altitude in the Piscacucho Valley. We’ll stop for the day in Huayllabamba where we’ll camp for the night at 9,694 feet.

Overnight in a tent at Huayllabamba.

Altitude at camp: 9,694 feet, Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours, Distance: 7.5 miles

Day 5 (Group 1)
Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Huayllabamba – Pacaymayo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll start our ascent to the highest pass on our trail: Warmiwañusca at just under 14,000 feet. The climb up will take us most of the morning. This is where we’ll have some of the best views of the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota Ranges. We’ll have lunch along the way before descending about two hours down to the valley and on to our next camp, Pacaymayo at 11,480 feet.

Overnight in a tent at Pacaymayo.

Altitude at camp: 11,480 feet, Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours, Distance: 6.84 miles

Day 6 (Group 1)
Friday, October 19, 2018 – Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sayacmarca PeruToday is going to be our most diverse day on the Inca Trail. We’ll start in the morning with the ascent of our second pass, Runcuracay, at 12,303 feet. It will then take us about two hours to descend to Sayacmarca, a stunning archaeological site.

We’ll have some time to explore this area before we continue on a stone path originally used by the Incas. We’ll pass through semi-tropical cloud forest and over our third pass, Phuyupatamarca, at 11,712 feet. With good weather, we’ll have spectacular views of the surrounding snowy peaks as well as the valley below. From this pass, we’ll descend to our camp at Wiñaywayna. This is one of the most beautiful sites that we’ll visit.

Overnight in a tent at Wiñaywayna.

Altitude at camp: 8,692 feet, Hiking time: 8 – 9 hours, Distance: 10 miles

Day 7 (Group 1)
Saturday, October 20, 2018 – Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we’ll have an early breakfast and then hike another two hours through cloud forest to the famous Sun Gate, Intipunku. This is where we’ll have our first breathtaking view and best panorama of the iconic Machu Picchu. A short walk brings us down to the site (yay!). We’ll then have the chance to wander (and celebrate our accomplishment) around the lost city of the Incas before we board our bus for Aguas Calientes where our hotel is located.

We’ll join Group 2 for dinner and overnight at Casa Del Sol Boutique Hotel or similar in Aguas Calientes.

Highest altitude: 8,964 feet, Hiking time: 2 hours, Distance: 2.5 miles

HIGHLIGHT! Your first view of Machu Picchu will be all that you had expected after so many years of seeing it in photos or on TV. In person, it just might take your breath away.

At the end of Day 7, both groups will meet up in Cusco at the hotel.

Group 2 Jump to Group 1

If you’d prefer the one-day trip to Machu Picchu, this is for you! Rather than four days of trekking and three nights of camping, you’ll have a chance to tour around Cusco and the Sacred Valley before taking the train and short hike to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu. Note that this group will be with a local guide only and not the Tour Escort (Beth).

 

Day 4 (Group 2)
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – Cusco
Sun Gate Machu Picchu Peru
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, those not hiking the full Inca Trail will set off for the geometric salt pans of Maras. The salt in this region has been harvested since the time of the Inca Empire. It continues to produce what many consider to be the finest salt in the world. To this day, it is only sold in small batches by local families at the nearby market.

On this day, we’ll also visit the terraces of Moray, where several circular depressions are found (the deepest is 98 feet) that provide a view of the Urubamba Valley.

We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before going onward to the village of Chinchero. This picturesque village was an important Inca center and is known for traditional Andean weaving techniques still used to this day. In the town square, we’ll find the locals wearing traditional clothes and selling local handicrafts.

Tonight we’ll have dinner on our own with the chance to explore the area where Salt Pans Marasthere are many options.

Overnight at Pakaritampu or similar in the Sacred Valley.

HIGHLIGHT! Each layer of the concentric circles of Moray has its own microclimate. It’s theorized that these were used as a botanical laboratory by the Incas to determine the best conditions for which grow specific crops.

Day 5 (Group 2)
Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast

Today, we’ll limber up our legs and take an easy half-day hike in preparation for our Machu Picchu climb. We’ll first drive to the town of Yucay where we’ll begin our hike to the Incan terraces and aqueducts.

Once there, we’ll be able to appreciate the enormous Incan walls surrounded by aqueducts. We’ll follow the path that reaches the highest point of the citadel and another path that will take us to ancient wall paintings. We’ll then return to Yucay.

Tonight we’ll have dinner on our own with the chance to explore the area where there are many dining options.

Overnight at Pakaritampu or similar in the Sacred Valley.

Day 6 (Group 2)
Friday, October 19, 2018 – Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast

On this day, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from several optional activities. The full list is coming soon but your choice(s) don’t need to be made until a few weeks prior to the tour.

Tonight we’ll once again have dinner on our own with the chance to explore the area where there are many dining options.

Overnight at Pakaritampu or similar in the Sacred Valley.

Day 7 (Group 2)
Saturday, October 20, 2018 – Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today is the big day to hike to Machu Picchu!

After an early breakfast, we’ll depart the hotel for the short ride (about 35 minutes) to the Ollantaytambo station to board the 8 a.m. Vistadome train that goes to WinaywaynaAguas Calientes. About 1.5 – 2 hours in, we’ll disembark to find beautiful views of the Urubamba River and mountains. We’ll cross a hanging bridge by foot and continue onward to the Chachabamba ruins, believed to have functioned as a secondary gate guarding the entrance to Machu Picchu.

From Chachabamba, we’ll continue for about two hours until we descend into a valley where the cloud forest begins to appear.

After lunch at this stop, we’ll reach the ruins of Wiñaywayna. These are some of the most spectacular ruins on the Inca trail as well as one of the most important spiritual sights on the way to Machu Picchu.

Leaving Wiñaywayna, we’ll join the classic Inca Trail route and after a few hours walk, arrive at the famous Sun Gate, Intipunku. This is where we’ll have our first breathtaking view and best panorama of the iconic Machu Picchu. A short walk brings us down to the site (yay!). We’ll have the chance to wander (and celebrate our accomplishment) around the lost city of the Incas before we board our bus for Aguas Calientes where our hotel is located.

We’ll join Group 2 for dinner and overnight at Casa Del Sol Boutique Hotel or similar in Aguas Calientes.

Starting elevation: 7,381 feet, Ending elevation: 7,970 at Machu Picchu, Distance: 8 miles, Highest elevation: 9,350 feet, Time: 7 – 8 hours

HIGHLIGHT! Your first view of Machu Picchu will be all that you had expected after so many years of seeing it in photos or on TV. In person, it just might take your breath away.

Day 8 (Groups 1 and 2)
Sunday, October 21, 2018 – Cusco

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Hike Machu Picchu PeruAfter breakfast, both groups will return to Machu Picchu (about a 25-minute drive) for a two-hour guided tour.

Lunch will be on our own as there are cafes at Machu Picchu as well as in Aguas Calientes. After lunch, we’ll take the train (about two hours) back to Ollantaytambo and transfer via vehicle another two hours to our hotel in Cusco.

Tonight will be our last evening together so we’ll enjoy a final dinner at a local restaurant with a plentiful buffet (including local and international foods) and a lively folklore show!

Overnight at Ananay-Quinta San Blas or similar in Cusco.

Day 9 (Groups 1 and 2)
Monday, October 22, 2018 – Cusco – Home
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight back to Lima.

Note: If you are joining us for the Galapagos Island Land-based Tour (which immediately follows this), there is an additional cost for the nights of October 22 and 23 that will be between $345 – $500 (depending on number of people) that covers airport transfer, flight from Lima to Quito, two nights accommodation and breakfast.

** Itinerary subject to change without notice.

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Sold Out* We’re sorry you missed this tour. Please contact us if you’d like to be put on the wait list (if/when someone cancels) or if you would like to join us on a future Machu Picchu tour.

Costs

Tour: $3,450
Single supplement: $550
In-country flights: Approximately $450 (we book)

Interested in sharing the cost with another fabulous traveler? We do our best to pair up our tour participants so you can avoid the single supplement. However, priority is given to the first deposits received. If you’re interested in sharing, please send in your deposit as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this benefit. (Why a single supplement? See this FAQ page for an explanation.)

Booking and Payment Details

Price includes: Accommodation, meals as outlined in the itinerary, land transportation, local guides, tips, bottled water, tourist tickets and entrance fees.

Price does not include: Flights to and from Lima, Peru, in-country flights (charged separately), visa, evacuation insurance (highly recommended), beverages other than water during activities and purchases of a personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry service, etc.

This trip is limited by the number of rooms we’re able to hold (10). The group size will depend on the number of single rooms requested. This tour requires an $800 deposit to secure your spot.

Minimum bookings required: 8 people (minimum not yet reached)

Final payment is due no later than August 14 , 2018.

We love checks as it helps keep our costs down by avoiding credit card fees. If you’re able to pay the deposit or full amount by check or wire transfer, we’ll not only love you more but we’ll send you a free copy of one of Beth’s books (your choice which one). ** U.S. residents receive a print copy, international residents receive a PDF.

Here’s our mailing address:

WanderTours
PO Box 16102
Seattle, WA 98116

Of course, you can pay by credit card as well. Simply click on the Register Now button below and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you add your debit or credit card information for the $800 deposit. Though this goes through PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account. Subsequent payments may be made through PayPal or by check (see above for our wonderful offer!). 🙂

Note: Cancellation fees apply. Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions before registering.

The fine print


Machu Picchu Trek Registration Form 2018 (online form)

Machu Picchu Trek Itinerary 2018 (PDF)

We recommend Insure My Trip for travel and/or evacuation insurance.

For questions, contact Beth at:
beth (at) wandertours (dot) com
206-317-1860

beth Whitman baliTrip Escort: Beth Whitman
Beth has become an avid hiker in recent years having completed the Snowman Trek in Bhutan twice (considered the most difficult trek in the world) as well as Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Wanting to expand her own trekking pursuits and provide the chance for others to do so, Machu Picchu was, of course, next on the list.

Join Beth on this inaugural tour to Peru and Machu Picchu and consider adding on a tour to the Galapagos Islands as a reward once you’ve completed the trek!

Beth is the author of the Wanderlust and Lipstick guides including The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo and For Women Traveling to India. She is also the publisher and founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours and hosts the Be Bold podcast which can be found through your favorite podcast provider.

She is also the founder of the WanderWorld Foundation.

Photo credits:
Woman in Pisac – Kathy via Flickr
Sayacmarcau – My Favorite Pet Sitter via Flickr
Sun Gate – bobistraveling via Flickr
Lama in Yucay – McKay Savaga via Flickr
Winaywayna – AHLN via Flickr
Panorama mountains – McKay Savage via Flickr
All other photos: Pixabay