For those looking to travel to Peru on a tour that includes epic day hikes in the legendary Andes Mountains and to Machu Picchu along with comforts along the way, this is the tour for you. This Peru trip visits all of the significant Inca sites, ending each challenging day of high-altitude hiking with a hot shower, tasty restaurant meal, and comfortable hotel lodgings. It is a trip filled with roads less traveled and sites not seen by most visitors on Peru tours, offering an intimate view of the fascinating cultural mix that has shaped the Andean experience. This unforgettable nine-day trip explores the Inca Empire from Cusco to the last city of Machu Picchu on six unique day-hikes, culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu Mountain that starts at Machu Picchu and continues along the stone Inca Trail high above the citadel for a bird’s-eye view of these most famous of Inca ruins.
Your tour begins in Lima where our representative will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. For anyone arriving early, we can arrange optional tours according to your interests, of the city, museums and other sights. Overnight in Lima hotel.
Your day begins with a morning flight to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. An Apu Andino representative will pick you up at the airport and take you into the city center, for a quick tour of the beautiful Plaza de Armas. From there, you will be taken to your hotel for a free day to relax and acclimatize to the altitude (3,300m / 10,825 ft). Overnight in Cusco hotel. (B)
Today you’ll spend hiking in the Inca Empire, learning about the region’s rich cultural history. The day starts with a guided walking tour through Cusco’s craft markets. You’ll visit the colonial cathedral and Qoricancha, the Inca’s Temple of the Sun, before enjoying a delectable lunch of regional cuisine. The afternoon will be spent visiting the other significant Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco including the mammoth fortress of Sacsayhuaman above the city, noted for its megalithic stone terraces, Qenqo with its distinctive zig zag-patterned carved stone and subterranean alters, the hillside outpost of Puka Pukara, a small fortress that formerly protected the royal capital and the Tambomachay water temple that served as royal baths. You’ll be returned to your hotel for another free evening in colonial Cusco. Overnight in Cusco hotel. (B)
Today involves an exploratory tour of some less visited Incan sites. From your hotel we will hike up to the Temple of the Moon, via one of the Inka trails leading out of Cusco. Your guide will explain the significance and history of this magnificent complex. After this we will hike for 45 minutes to the Inka caves and explore the caves for about one hour thirty minutes. We will enjoy a picnic lunch and then return to Cusco city center passing by Sacsayhuamán, ending our day hike in the Plaza de Armas. Overnight in Cusco hotel. (B,L)
Hiking Statistics: Approx 4.5 miles / 7.3km; 4-5 Hours; Altitude: from 3,300m/10,825 ft to 3,690m/12,100 ft (uphill).
After a hearty breakfast, you’ll be picked up at your hotel to reach serene Lake Piuray where today’s challenging high-altitude hike begins. Over the next several hours, you’ll climb through rolling hills with scenic views to an elevation of 4,200m/13,805 ft. Here you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas and an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings before dropping into a secluded spot for a delicious gourmet picnic lunch prepared by our chefs. The hike continues downhill to the day’s destination, Huchuy Qosqo. You’ll have a chance to relax and explore the ruins before travelling to Ollantaytambo for the night. (B, L)
Hiking Statistics: Approx 8.2 miles /13.2km; 6+ Hours; Altitude: from 3,670m/12,045 ft to 4,200m/13,805 ft.
Today’s rigorous hike takes you to Cachicata, a site of great importance because it is here that the Incas formed the stones for some of their monumental building projects. To get to the quarry, this three to four hour trek takes a gradually ascending trail, crossing the Urubamba River through scenic mountainous areas visited by few travelers on Peru tours. This experience allows visitors to appreciate the great ingenuity of the Incas who were able to construct their colossal structures at locations so distant from their building materials without the benefit of the wheel. After lunch in an idyllic setting, you’ll descend back to the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo for a free evening and second night at your Ollantaytambo hotel. (B, L)
Peru Hiking Details: Approx 7.9 miles/12.7km; 5+ Hours; Altitude: from 2,665m/8,745 ft to 3,710m/12,175 ft.
On today’s Inca adventure, you’ll finally reach the long-anticipated destination of Machu Picchu, symbol of the Inca Empire. To get there, you’ll walk from the hotel to the train station for a picturesque ride along the Urubamba River into a cloud forest before arriving in Aquas Calientes, the town closest to Machu Picchu. You’ll go by bus the rest of the way to Machu Picchu at an elevation of 2,400m/7,875 ft. You’ll spend the day exploring the ruins and then return to Agua Calientes in time for a soothing soak in the town’s famed hot springs before enjoying a leisurely dinner on your own. Overnight in Aguas Calientes hotel. (B)
Departure from Ollantaytambo by train 8:00 am. 10.30 am arrive at KM 104. After registering at the checkpoint, begin the hike to WinaWayna (approx. 3.0 hours). During the hike you will see ruins, waterfalls and many varieties of flora and fauna. Spend one to two hours exploring the impressive and beautiful ruins of WinaWayna. From here it is another 2 hour walk to arrive at Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the ruins in the late afternoon when there are few visitors. After a brief tour of Machu Picchu, transfer to Aguas Calientes by bus. The evening is free to explore this charming town and soak in the hot springs. Overnight in Aguas Calientes (B,L)
Rising early enough to escape the crowds, today’s extraordinary itinerary returns to the last Inca city, starting with what is for most travelers the highlight of their Peru tours: sunrise at Machu Picchu. From here, you’ll continue along the Inca Trail ascending another 2,000 feet to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain for a breathtaking view of the magnificent complex and surrounding area that most travelers never get to experience. This three to four hour hike concludes after returning to Machu Picchu. After, you will descend by bus to Aguas Calientes, eat lunch and take the early afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo where you’ll transfer to a private van to travel to the colorful market in the village of Chinchero. Here you’ll visit a community of textile artists who craft original organic pieces according to the techniques of their ancestors, learning how the wool and alpaca are shorn, spun, dyed and woven into the high-quality creations for which this region is known. The visit to Chinchero gives travelers the perfect place to find uniquely Andean souvenirs of their Peru tours. You’ll be transported back to Cusco for a final relaxing evening and overnight at your hotel. (B)
Peru Hiking Details: Approx 5.8 miles/9.3km; 3-4 Hours; Altitude: from 2,375m/7,800 ft to 3,065m/10,055 ft.
You will be taken to the Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima and then make connections to your international flight home or next destination, marking the end of your Lima to Mapi Day Hikers Tour with Apu Andino. (B)
Key: (B)reakfast (L)unch (D)inner
For this tour, Apu Andino recommends preparing in advance for challenging day hiking expeditions. It is important to bring appropriate clothing and footwear.
Should you decide to upgrade this package and include the two day hike to the Inca Trail, please advise Apu Andino in advance.
An additional upgrade is to add the climb to Huayna Picchu, which provides 360 degree views and a superlative perspective of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains.