Classic Inca Trail Hiking Tour | Peru Unbound | Inca Trail Journey

Trek through history with Peru Unbound as you explore the lost Incan cities of Machu Picchu, the Secret Valley, Cusco and Lima. This 7-day journey takes you through the Peruvian capital of Lima into the heart of the Incan Empire. Trek through Peru’s stunning natural landscapes with hikes through high sierras and shallow fields. Experience local Andean culture and delve deep into the mysteries of cultures lost to time. Take a scenic train ride through Peru’s scenic countryside and taste dishes that have been passed down throughout the ages. It’s Peru along the Inca Trail—it’s Peru on the path of the Incas. 

Itinerary

Welcome to Peru!

Fly into Lima, where our Peru Unbound guides welcome you and take you to your hotel for the evening. 

ACCOMMODATION : Lima Hotel

Lima, Cusco & The Sacred Valley

Wake up and enjoy breakfast before heading to the Lima Airport, where you board your flight that takes you over the scenic Andes to the heart of the Inca Empire: Cusco. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport in Cusco and escorted to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. En route, visit the town of Pisac, a picturesque Andean Village best known for its traditional market. The market’s main day is Sunday, when locals from all over the region congregate at Pisac to sell their products. 

After visiting Pisac, continue our journey to Urubamba, were you enjoy lunch and a Peruvian Paso Horse presentation. Up next we tour Ollantaytambo, known for featuring the Inca’s distinct urban planning. Visit the religious, astronomical and military complex and marvel at huge boulders weighing nearly 60 metric tons which the Incas moved to this site. 

This evening, continue to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. 

Note:  For this day we recommended flights that arrive to Cusco until 11:00 am.Note:  For this day we recommended flights that arrive to Cusco until 11:00 am.

ACCOMMODATION : Sacred Valley Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Chinchero, Maras & Moray

Today we begin our day with a journey to the town of Chinchero, where we visit the remains of an Incan palace, a colonial church and impeccable cultivation terraces. We then continue to the  town of Maras, known for its "trabajos de sal”—a large number of small saltwater pools. During the dry season, workers fill the pools with saltwater that comes from natural springs at the top of the Maras complex; when the waters evaporates from the pool, the salt is left for collection.
Nearby, we discover the experimental agricultural terraces of Moray. It is believed that the Incas created their own microclimate here to adapt certain plans to this altitude. Enjoy the views, learn about the Inca’s fascinatingly advanced culture and relax with a picnic lunch. 

ACCOMMODATION : Sacred Valley Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Picnic Lunch

Sacred Valley, KM 104 to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu

Today is Machu Picchu day! After breakfast, travel to the Ollantaytambo train station to hop on your train. Upon arrival, we begin a trek up to the well-preserved remains of Wiñay Wayna. As you walk, witness tumbling waterfalls, native flora and soaring birds. Take a break with a picnic lunch and for some exploring—you can find houses, terraces, towers and a local museum here. 

Our day’s journey also takes us to Inti Punku, the Inca Gate of the Sun, where we get our first sight of Machu Picchu. Cross a bridge leading up to Machu Picchu and experience the transcendent sight of one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries. Discover and explore the mysteries of Machu Picchu before traveling down to Machu Picchu town. Spend the night here and enjoy the Peruvian views.

ACCOMMODATION : Aguas Calientes Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Machu Picchu and Cusco

After a hearty breakfast, begin the day’s journey to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Learn about the Incan culture as you explore the sights. You also have the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu to experience even more panoramic views. 

We take a break for lunch before continuing our adventures with an afternoon train ride to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival, continue on to Cusco—our final stop of the day. Spend the evening explore the sights and discovering delicious Peruvian dishes. 

ACCOMMODATION : Cusco Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Cusco City Tour: 

Spend the morning exploring Cusco’s ancient Incan and Spanish Colonial monuments such as the Main Square—known in Inca times as Huacaypata, or the Warrior’s Square—which saw many key events in Cusco’s history. We also visit the Cathedral. Originally built on the site of the old temple of Suntur Wasi (House of God),  the building is now the church of El Triunfo. Look upon the choir cloisters, pulpit, and altar engravings as you explore the historic monument. 

Continue onto the Convent of Santo Domingo, a Spanish church belonging to the Dominican Order. The Spanish built it upon the foundations of the Inca temple of Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun. Koricancha (meaning “site of gold” in Quechua) was the Inca’s main religious building dedicated to the worship of the Sun. Its walls were supposedly plated with sheets of gold., and stunning blocks of finely carved stone were used in its construction.

After, visit the surrounding ruins of the city of Cusco and Sacsayhuamán, a huge Incan fortress which is built on three large, overlapping platforms. 

ACCOMMODATION : Cusco Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast

Cusco, Lima, Home

Enjoy a final morning in Cusco before traveling to the airport to meet your return flight.

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2018
Daily Departures
$2,635£0€0$0$0$2,635£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Year round daily departures available.

Price $2635 per person, based on 2 people sharing in Tourist Superior Hotels

Please inquire for availability and specific pricing.  

Included: 
•    All Accommodations as outlined on the itinerary 
•    All meals as outlined on the itinerary 
•    Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English 
•    All transportation while on tour
•    Full service of our Adventure Consultants

Not Included:
•    Airfare to and from Peru
•    Meals not specified on the itinerary 
•    Alcoholic beverages
•    Gratuities
•    Items of a personal nature

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FAQ & More

When is the best time to visit Peru?

Weather in Peru varies by region, for the coast (Lima, Ica, Nazca, Mancora, Trujillo) the best time to visit are the months of November to March when it is summer on the coast. In February in particular you have events like Carnaval, a very fun time of year on the coast. You can visit coastal cities during the winter (June to August) but Lima will be fairly overcast and cold as well as some other coastal cities.

For Andean cities such as Cusco, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Puno and Cajamarca the best time to visit is during their dry season which runs from May to September. During this time you can expect warm days and chilly nights and very little rain.
The Amazon Jungles of Peru have two season and they both can be equally rewarding. If seeing lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) is your thing, then the December to May might be your best choice. (Remember: Despite being the "rainy" season, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the low water season). If jungle hikes, exotic migratory on their way through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season (June - November).

Do I need a Visa to visit Peru?

U.S citizens do not need a visa to visit Peru as long as it's a tourist visit of less than 90 days. You will be given your visa upon arrival in Lima. It's important that you hold on to this visa as many hotels will ask to see this document in order to exempt you from the IGV or Peruvian Sales Tax.

As Visa and Entry Requirements can change without prior notice, we recommend you check the current regulations before your trip to Peru with the nearest Peruvian Consulate or Embassy.

Do I need any medications or vaccinations to visit Peru?

There are no required vaccinations to visit Peru unless you plan to visit remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon, in which case you will need a yellow fever shot and you may want to take malaria medication as well. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas have not seen cases of either Malaria or Yellow fever in recent times. 

Check with your Travel doctor regarding visiting Peru, we strongly recommend you bring medications for bacterial infections (Ciprofloxacin) that can affect your stomach as well as antidiarrheal medication (Immodium). Dramamine is also great for Altitude and motion sickness. For more Health Information for Travelers in Peru visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

What is Altitude Sickness and how can I prevent it?

Altitude sickness, also known as Soroche in Peru, occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching your brain. This typically occurs at elevations over 10,000ft. Shortness of breath and a pounding heart are the first symptoms as the thin air in high altitude can make you feel light headed and dizzy. As your symptoms progress you can get extremely nauseous and suffer from vomiting and intense headaches if not remedied by either medication or descending in altitude.

Preventing altitude sickness is easy, always allow for an extra day to acclimate when you visit in a location with high altitude. Relax in your hotel and lie down, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise. It can take up to a week to become full acclimated, many travelers don't have that amount of time so in order to acclimate fastest it is best to take it easy, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods. If you begin to feel mild symptoms then we recommend you drink some Coca Tea (legal in Peru), even drinking carbonated drinks like Coca Cola help. It's important to realize that you get altitude sickness by not feeding your brain enough oxygen, so make sure you are breathing well, take decongestants if you have a cold or can't breathe well. Prescription medications such as Diamox can also be a great help.
In the higher elevation locations such as Cusco it is possible to purchase oxygen and buy medications in case you are having a real hard time acclimating.  Most larger hotels in these areas can also offer extra oxygen to be pumped in your room for an additional charge.

Should I purchase travel insurance before my trip?

Travel insurance is recommended to protect your trip as well as your belongings and scheduling should any unforeseen events arise. Guests must provide their own travel insurance. If you decide not to purchase travel insurance then you are directly responsible for your own belongings and wellbeing. Our guides will always be around to help you should any situation arise, however when it comes to paying for any medical expenses or additional flights due to airline cancellations, you will be responsibile for these.

What's the weather like in Peru?

The weather in Peru varied; it has 28 of the world's 32 different climates. Generally speaking, May through October is the dry season; November through April is the rainy season, and the wettest months are January through April in the highlands. In mountain areas, roads and trek paths may become impassable. Peru's climate, though, is markedly different among its three vastly different regions. The coast is predominantly arid and mild, the Andean region (highlands) is temperate to cold, and the eastern lowlands are tropically warm and humid. 

On the desert coast, summer (Dec-Apr) is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 77°-95°F or more along the north coast. In winter (May-Oct), temperatures are much milder, though with high humidity. Much of the coast, including Lima, is shrouded in a gray mist called garua. Only the extreme northern beaches are warm enough for swimming.
 
In the highlands from May to October, rain is scarce. Daytime temperatures reach a warm (68°-77°F, and nights are often quite cold (near freezing), especially in June and July. Rainfall is very abundant from December to March, when temperatures are slightly milder 64°-68°F. The wettest months are January and February. Most mornings are dry, but clouds move in during the afternoon and produce heavy downpours. 

Though the Amazon jungle is consistently humid and tropical, with significant rainfall year-round, it, too, experiences two clearly different seasons. During the dry season (May-Oct), temperatures reach 86°-100°F during the day. From November to April, there are frequent rain showers (which last only a few hours at a time), causing the rivers to swell, and temperatures are humid.

What should I pack for my trip?

Packing for your trip depends on the season and locations you will be visiting. Peru has almost all of the world’s climates nestled between the coast, the Andes and the Jungle. For that reason it is important that you to pack layered clothing, that is bring a piece of clothing for both hot and warm conditions, clothing you can take on and off easily as the climates change. Refer to the provided packing list for details of what to bring on your specific trip.

Is Peru safe to visit?

Peru is generally safe to visit and the security in the major cities is getting better as the economy and tourism grows. That is not to say that there is no crime, like any of the other big cities of the world opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are present.  Below are some tips to minimize your chance of falling victim to these crimes.

1. Travel in groups and avoid dark streets at night – Basic advice but good. Thieves will target you if you stumble alone into a dark street. Avoid areas that are not well lit, this applies even if you are in a group

2. When using ATM, have a friend with you – They can keep guard from behind when using an ATM and always check that the card entry slot has not been tampered with.

3. Keep belongings out of site in vehicles - When in taxis or other modes of transport put your belongings under your feet or in the back where they cannot be seen. 

4. Valuables – Most hotels will have room safes where you can leave your valuables or will have a safe in reception.

5. Blend in - don't carry large bags or luggage with you all the time, leave valuables at your hotel, try and look and act like a local. If you must check your travel guide or map then step into a cafe or restaurant. 

6. Wear backpack on front, bring travel purse - Again avoid carrying large bags, if you must carry a backpack wear it on your front. Invest in a travel wallet, where you can have your money and valuables hidden from view.

7. Be Aware - a commonly used phrase in Peru is Mosca or Fly, the saying means to be aware of your surroundings. When leaving a restaurant or nightclub be sure to check that you have not left any personal belongings. 

8. Taxis - If possible always have your hotel call a reputable taxi driver for you if you decide to go explore your location further. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi to avoid confusion later, taxis are seldom more than S/.20 for a local trip. If catching a cab away from your hotel be sure your driver has identification visible, if possible go to the nearest hotel and ask them to call you a cab.

 

What is the currency in Peru?

The currency in Peru is called the Nuevo Sol or just Sol. The current dollar to sol exchange rate is $1 = S/ 3.00 

What are the Electrical Outlet/ Voltage Details in Peru?

Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male. Some larger Hotels have US 110 volt outlets available.

How can I get the most out of my trip to Peru?

We recommend you do some reading on Peru's history to make the most of your trip. Travel guides are a great resource, this way you get to know a little more about the locations you are visiting. 

We can't stress the importance of learning about the incredible cuisine. Search for recipes online and make a list of dishes to try in Peru. These should include Ceviche, Pachamanca, Anticuchos, Papa a la Huancaina, Causa, Rocotto Relleno among others, there really are too many to name.
Learn a little Spanish. A little Spanish goes a long way in Peru, not only will it help you get better prices in cabs for example but you will be able to barter better on souvenirs and goods. Interacting with Peruvians will be more rewarding as you will learn where the local hot spots are as well as get recommendations for places to see and restaurants to try. Even just learning to say thank you (Gracias) and please (Por Favor) when asking for things will go a long way in how well you are treated by others.

Most importantly we ask that you travel with an open mind. Peruvian culture is very different from the westernized world with different values and customs. You should always be mindful of these and be very patient with people. 

Although Peru is going through a great period of economic growth and prosperity it is still a third world nation and the service sector still needs room to better develop. We're sure you'll have a great time in Peru if you visit with no expectations and with an adventurous spirit, a relaxed attitude and curiosity to explore a new culture.

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