Peru Highlights Active: Hike & Bike Peru’s Top Spots

An active exploration of the country’s most famous highlights

Itinerary in Brief:  Actively Explore Peru’s Spectacular Highlights

  • Explore Cusco on foot
  • Walk and explore unique Incan sites
  • Downhill biking trip into the Sacred Valley
  • 5 hour hike on Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Private trip (not a group tour)
  • Charming first class hotels each night
  • Outstanding local guides
  • Can be customized or extended

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1      Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine or art tours for those with special interests.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2      Fly to Cusco / Sacred Valley of the Incas / Chincheros

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.  When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long fertile river valley surrounded by snow capped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.  You’ll stop for a short weaving demonstration at a local cooperative known for their high-quality textiles, located in the small town of Chincheros. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life. Afterward you will have lunch at a restaurant specializing in cuisine using local ingredients from the region.  Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3      Pumamarca Ruins / Ollantaytambo

Today you will hike to the Pumamarca Ruins and visit the town of Ollantaytambo. Above the town of Ollantaytambo you enter an area still steeped in traditional Andean ways; it’s a great place to explore on foot and appreciate the Andes and the ways of life of the people who have lived here for thousands of years. Included is a non-strenuous hike to the much less visited Incan site of Pumamarca. You’ll also visit the ruins and town of Ollantaytambo, one of the only towns that has maintained the same layout since Incan times.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 4     Mountain Biking in the Sacred Valley

Today you will continue your trip with one of the best one day mountain biking trips you could find anywhere.  Non-technical and almost all downhill, you start near the town of Chincheros and descend past the unique Incan site of Moray and the village of Maras, and finally past the ancient salt pans below Maras, to the valley floor.  A first class picnic lunch is included.  Not just for serious mountain-bikers, this is an accessible but still excellent mountain biking experience, visiting some off the beaten path locations.   Alternate activity:  you also have the option of a white water rafting trip on the Urubamba River (class III intermediate rapids), through the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 5      Inca Trail Express (One Day Hike to Machu Picchu Along Inca Trail)

Today you will start your 2 day/1 night trip to Machu Picchu. In the morning you will catch the train towards Machu Picchu, but disembark at Kilometer 104, where you start your 5-6 hour hike to Machu Picchu along the last part of the Inca Trail (6-7 miles in total).  You hike upward at a gentle grade for a couple hours, passing the large Incan site of Winay Wayna, and then hike along the last section of the classic Inca Trail for the last 2 hours to arrive at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate (Inti Punku).
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 6     Machu Picchu

Today you will return to Machu Picchu with your guide in the early morning, which is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. If you take the earliest shuttle up to the site, you can be at the ruins at dawn. You’ll also have the chance to hike up to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours roundtrip).  After visiting the ruins, you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 7 Cusco/Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights. Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. You have the afternoon free to explore some more of the city on your own.
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 8     Return Home

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.  Upon arrival to Lima you will have assistance at the airport in making your connecting flight home.  If you have extra time in Lima on your last day prior to your international flight, we often arrange a driver for our travelers so you can go out to eat and see some of Lima prior to departure.