Peru – The Inca Trail Hiking Tour 2023
With this journey to Peru, you will explore the country in all its diversity. Starting with a culinary experience in Lima – the culinary capital of South America – you will continue to the Andes region of Peru, not only exploring Cusco and its surroundings but also hiking along the famous Inca Trail, with a panoramic view of Machu Picchu upon arrival. Finish the tour with a visit to the amazing jungle region, where you will experience walks and excursions to one of the most pristine jungle areas from your comfortable lodge. After this journey, you will truly have experienced all regions of Peru – coast, highlands, and jungle!
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Tour Profile: Medium. Sightseeing and cultural activities designed for people who are generally fit and are comfortable walking up to 6 hours per day.
Travel Season: Departures on request from January 4 to December 20, 2023
Please note that the Inca Trail is closed in February.
*Group rates available for this tour. As this is a guided tour, the pricing improves with more people participating. Please ask us for details.
3* hotels and lodges, all with private washrooms. Tent accommodation during hike to Machu Picchu
With this journey to Peru, you will explore the country in all its diversity. Starting with a culinary experience in Lima - the culinary capital of South America - you will continue to the Andes region of Peru, not only exploring Cusco and its surroundings but also hiking along the famous Inca Trail, with a panoramic view of Machu Picchu upon arrival. Finish the tour with a visit to the amazing jungle region, where you will experience walks and excursions to one of the most pristine jungle areas from your comfortable lodge. After this journey, you will truly have experienced all regions of Peru - coast, highlands, and jungle!
Arrival in Lima
You will be welcomed at the airport and driven to your hotel in Lima.
Lima, also known as the “City of Kings”, was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. Located directly on the Pacific coast, Peru’s capital city is a melting pot of cultures where you will encounter people, flavors, and history from different regions. The bustling metropolis has something for all tastes and ages: indulge in exquisite, internationally-praised cuisine, catch some waves on the coast, visit museums, and stroll around the historical center or the bohemian district of Barranco.
Lima Culinary Tour including Market Visit 5 hours
Begin your culinary adventure at a typical Peruvian market. Walk through the colorful stands, admire a wide variety of national products, and taste exotic fruits. After the visit you will go to your cooking master class. Arrival at a traditional eatery where your chef will give you a practical demonstration of how ceviche, the most representative dish, is prepared as well as the mixing and a tasting of a delicious pisco sour, the world famous cocktail. Continue your journey to another well-known restaurant in Miraflores located overlooking the Pacific Ocean in order to taste a wide variety of traditional Peruvian cuisine. Afternoon at leisure.
Lima - Cusco Cusco Walking City Tour 3.5 hours
You will be welcomed at the airport and driven to your hotel in Cusco. Start your walking tour at the “Plaza de Armas” and visit the impressive renaissance style Cathedral. Make your way through small alleys edged with Incan walls until you reach Koricancha, the temple dedicated to the sun, “Inti”. Believed to be the most important temple for the Incas, it was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Its foundations were used to build the Catholic Church Santo Domingo, marking an evident clash of cultures.
Cusco - Cusco Ruins 3.5 hours
Journey into the past as you explore the different Inca ruins around Cusco. Start at Sacsayhuamán, the Inca ceremonial fortress dedicated to the sun. Admire the gigantic rocks used to build the site and the way they were perfectly fitted together: some are as high as 8.5 meters and weigh up to 200 tons. Nearby, head to Qenqo, a temple carved in a gigantic monolith. Admire the tunnels and chambers that were hand carved by men thousands of years ago. Visit the Puca Pucara fort. Its strategic location, large walls, terraces and stairs was a military checkpoint for Inca Empire. End your tour at the Inca Baths known as Tambomachay and learn about the aqueducts and channels that allow the water to flow naturally.
Beautiful and easy trip by the Sacred Valley of the Incas with mountain range views, safe and fun white water rafting. Experience is not necessary; flotation option is available. At 8:30 am you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco and driven through the mountains towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas until you reach our private river put-in located in Pachar. Here you will receive your rafting equipment and a safety briefing (toilet facilities are available). After a brief period practicing on the flat parts of the river, start your journey on easy waters, while you admire the spectacular view of the mountains and archaeological remains. You will continue towards Ollantaytambo and its amazing Inca terraces, at the time you will experience class 2 - 3 rapids and then finish with “El Resbaladero” (The Slide), a strong class 3 rapid that includes waves and small whirlpools. Then you will have lunch in a traditional restaurant located on the riverside owned by the local community. This is a great chance to enjoy the Andean cuisine while supporting community projects. Finally, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Cusco.
Cusco - Wayllabamba 12 km 5 - 6 hours
Pick up from your hotel in Cusco and early morning drive through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Km 82 of the Machu Picchu railroad. After a short arrival break, start the hike crossing a footbridge to hike a gentle two hours down the Urubamba Canyon. On the way you pass imposing sculpted Inca farming terraces and the settlement of Llaqtapata on the banks of the Cusichaca side river. Then climb a short way up the Cusichaca Valley to Wayllabamba, the last inhabited village on the trail, where you stay the night.
Wayllabamba - Pakasmayu 11 km 6 – 7 hours
Climb the steep sided Llulluchapampa valley past a rushing stream and through enchanted native polylepis woodland. Crossing the rim of a small plateau, you abruptly find yourself in the puna, the treeless grasslands of the high Andes. The trail traverses an open slope opposite mighty mountain crags as we ascend to the first and highest pass, Warmiwañusca (4,200 meters). Here you encounter spectacular views of the trail ahead to the second pass and look back to the sweeping snow peaks and valleys of the Huayanay massif. The trail leads you to the floor of the forested Pakasmayu valley, where the night camp will be prepared.
Pakasmayu - Wiñay Wayna 16 km 8 hours
Climb up an Inka stairway and ascend again past the small Inca site of Runkuracay. As you reach the second pass, the landscape opens onto spectacular new views to the snow peaks of the Pumasillo range. Descend to the ruins of Sayacmarca (Inaccessible Town), an intricate labyrinth of houses, plazas and water channels, perched precariously on a rocky spur overlooking the Aobamba valley. The Inca trail, now a massive, buttressed structure of granite paving stones, continues along the steep upper fringes of the cloud forest through a colorful riot of orchids, bromeliads, mosses and ferns. At the third pass pinnacles topped with Inca viewing platforms overlook the archaeological complex of Phuyupatamarca (Cloud level Town). Pausing to explore the wondrous maze of Inca stone towers, fountains and stairways that spill down the mountainside here, begin a long descent through ever changing layers of cloud forest. An Inca stairway partly cut from living granite leads you finally to your camp by the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young), the largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites.
Wiñay Wayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco 4 km 2 hours
A very early morning hike takes you across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud forest of giant ferns and broad leaf vegetation. Suddenly you cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is on every traveler’s bucket list: it is undoubtedly one of the “must-see” archeological sites in the world. The most remarkable site from the Inca Empire was never found by the Spaniards and was re- discovered during the 20th century. Since then, archeologists continue to investigate, excavate, and reconstruct the ancient city that used to serve as a political, religious, and administrative center. Temples, agricultural terraces, and archeological observatories enclose a history and a mystery that go back thousands of years. Complete the final leg down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and into the heart of Machu Picchu, where you spend the rest of the morning with a guided tour of the highlights. In the early afternoon a bus takes you to the small town of Aguas Calientes, where you board your return train to Cusco.
Cusco - Puerto Maldonado
Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Puerto Maldonado is the capital of the Madre de Dios region in the Peruvian Amazon. At the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers, it now has many protected parks and natural reserves. Its beautiful landscapes and virgin rainforest hide an incredible biodiversity with unique fauna and flora. There is no doubt that Puerto Maldonado will allow travelers to see, feel, and hear the Amazon firsthand. Start your journey arriving to Puerto Maldonado, where the staff of the lodge will welcome you and provide the necessary information for your stay. Navigate by outboard motorized canoe along the Madre de Dios River to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción for approximately 25 minutes. Enjoy lunch with organic ingredients and native flavors. After lunch, take a walk through Concepcion Trails, inside property nature trails, where you will discover and learn about primary and secondary rainforest, its components, uses, transformations by the human being, and its relevance for the world. At dusk navigate by outboard motorized canoe, at the Twilight River excursion. By sailing on the Madre de Dios River, you will learn about its ecosystem, Amazonian creeks, nocturnal animals’ behavior, and the southern constellations. In the evening enjoy a nice dinner in the Casa Grande´s dining room.
New experiences are ahead and after taking a nutritious buffet breakfast, get ready for a long trek through terra firma into the Tambopata National Reserve towards Lake Sandoval. Here you will understand why Madre de Dios is called the biodiversity capital of Peru, while learning about the
Reserve’s conservation efforts and the lake’s formation. Navigate by dugout canoe across this mirror like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), and one of the world’s biggest fresh water scaled fish, the paiche (Arapaima gigas). Back to the lodge for lunch, and later the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway & Anaconda Walk wait for you. Take a 20 minute ride by outboard motorized canoe to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center where you will learn about its construction and the conservation projects of ITA-Inkaterra Asociación (NGO). Ascend one of the two 30 meter towers and cross the 7 hanging bridges that connect the treetops at 28 meters high. Enjoy the breathtaking vistas and get the chance to watch white-throated toucans (Ramphastos tucanus), woodpeckers, trogons, squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) and the three-toed sloth (Choleopus hoffmani). After descending keep on feeling the incredible primary rainforest energy going along the 200-meter wooden bridge over the swamps (aguajales). You will learn about the fauna and flora of this flooded ecosystem. At night get ready for an adventure during the rainforest by night excursion, where you will explore the Amazon rainforest that gives way to nocturnal animals who display intriguing behavior patterns, and enhanced senses as adaptation mechanisms. Listen to nocturnal living nature sounds, and penetrate this hidden world. End up your day with a pleasant dinner.
The sun rises once again and after an early breakfast you will take our native farm excursion where you will be able to learn local techniques of cultivation and taste some of the products during the visit. Then visit the botanical garden, discover the immense variety of medicinal plants considered part of the “natural pharmacy” used by the habitants at the amazon region. Compare the medicinal uses of local medicine with traditional remedies. Getting back to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion you will have lunch. Take a rest and get ready for the cocha water excursion. Enjoy a dugout canoe ride on the Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion natural pond (cocha). Try native fishing applying the “catch and release” techniques, as you enjoy the scenery observing hoatzins (Opisthocomus hoazin), a diversity of fly catchers, and gray-necked woodrails (Aramides cajanea). Disembark at the remains of Fitzcarrald steam boat; learn about its history and how it inspired Inkaterra to ask Werner Herzog to film the award-winning “Fitzcarraldo”, best director at Cannes, 1982. You will go to a clay lick during the evening, where you will see different species and their night routines by observing through our “blinds”. End up your day with a pleasant dinner.
Puerto Maldonado - Lima
After breakfast buffet, take a ride back to Puerto Maldonado by outboard motorized canoe. Arrive at the Butterfly House where you may wait for your flight back home or to your next destination, while visiting this beautiful butterfly house and learning about the fascinating transformation of these colorful insects.
- 12 nights’ accommodation
- Meals mentioned in the tour description ( 12 x breakfasts, 8 x lunches and 6 x dinners)
- All guiding services
- Luggage transfers between hotels
- Entrance fees
- Tax and service charge at the hotels
- Mandatory luggage handling fees at the hotels based on one piece per person
- Optional tours
- Domestic airfares
- Personal expenses
- Extras at the hotels
- Drinks during meals if not otherwise mentioned
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