Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Cusco & the Sacred Valley, then the classic Inca Trail
Days: 10 | From: $4,700/per person
Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then renew your sense of wonder exploring lost Incan cities and contemporary Peruvian culture. Journey for several days along the classic Inca Trail, hiking and camping, to reach a most magnificent view of Machu Picchu.
- Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
- Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
Talk to a Vaya Travel
We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.
We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.
At a glance
1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
- Sacred Valley
2 nights: Andean life and ancient ruins in this magnificent river valley
- Inca Trail
3 nights: hike and camp among mountain scenery, lush jungle, and Incan ruins
- Machu Picchu
1 night: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
2 nights: walk the streets of the captivating former Incan capital
All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.
Day by day itinerary
Welcome to Lima
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.
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.
Accommodations: Hotel de Autor
Located in the center of Miraflores, the 4-suite Hotel de Autor is a set in a beautiful private house. Each of the suites features either a private balcony or an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub; the suites are large rooms with charming details and local artifacts. Definitely a unique experience, being in the Hotel de Autor is more like staying in a private home than a commercial hotel.Upgrades and alternatives: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Your time here will help you acclimatize to the high altitude of the region before beginning your hike.
Visit Chincheros, a traditional small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Explore a colonial church with remarkable paintings and frescoes, which was constructed over the ruins of an Incan temple and is surrounded by impressive Incan terracing. Chincheros is also home to several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life.
Afterward enjoy lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna, 2 nights
The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Alternative lodging options: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who want to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Incan Sites and Ancient Villages: Moray, Maras, and Ollantaytambo
Spend the day exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.
Discover the unique Incan site of Moray and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After a scenic picnic lunch, visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna, 2 nights
Begin Your Trek Along the Legendary Inca Trail
Start your hike along the Inca Trail toward Machu Picchu.
Begin with a scenic train ride toward Machu Picchu, getting out at Kilometer 82 to trek for approximately 4 hours along a little-visited section of the trail, following the Urubamba River.
Arrive to Chamana, in the Llactapata area, where you will make camp.
In the afternoon after setting up camp, you will hike to some nearby Inca sites to help you continue to acclimatize.
(Hiking time: 4-5 hours; distance: about 5 miles)
Accommodations: Camp at Chamana
Hike Through Local Communities and Arrive to Llulluchapampa
Follow the trail to Patallacta and continue up the Cusichaca Valley, passing local settlements along the way, and arrive to the small community of Huayllabamba. From here the trail ascends to a large pampa (grass field), where you will camp for the night.
(Hiking time: 6 hours; distance: about 5.5 miles)
Accommodations: Camp at Llulluchapampa
Climb Through Breathtaking Andean Views en Route to Phuyupatamarca
Ascend to the highest pass on the trek, Warmiwanusca (13,692 feet), before descending to the Pacaymayo River and past the Runkuraqay ruins.
This day is filled with breathtaking views as you walk through the Andes, finally reaching Phuyupatamarca (which means “the town at the edge of the clouds” in Quechua), where you will make camp for the night.
(Hiking Time: 8 hours; distance: about 8.5 miles)
Accommodations: Camp at Phuyupatamarca
Start the day’s hike hike with views out toward the Vilcabamba region and its snowcapped peaks. As the trail winds downward you enter a cloud forest, arriving to the Inca site of Winay Wayna.
After about 2 more hours of hiking you will find yourself at Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, where you have a magnificent view of Machu Picchu.
After descending to the ruins along the final stretch of the Inca Trail, catch a shuttle down to the town of Aguas Calientes for the night.
Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. This hotel is a part of its natural environment in the cloud forest, and it should be noted that you may experience some humidity in your room. The hotel offers a high level of service, great design, and a first-class restaurant with views of the rushing Vilcanota River.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Machu Picchu and Cusco
Return to Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to explore the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu (about 2 hours round trip).
After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco, 2 nights
A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka
Private Tour of Cusco: History, Culture, Architecture, and more
Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, visiting the historical highlights of this fascinating city. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. Afterward enjoy the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco, 2 nights
Depart for Home or Your Next Destination
Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.
Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary
Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Peru’s Lake Piuray.
Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon or Lake Titicaca, both easily accessible from Cusco.
Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.
Why Travel with Vaya?
We're TRUE specialists
South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.
From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.
Thoughtful, respectful travel
Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.