Peru's Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Discover Inca Ruins, Hike the Andes and Explore the Sacred Valley
Hike part of the famed Inca Trail, discover the serenity of the Sacred Valley and admire the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu on our newest itinerary. Peru is rooted in age old traditions with stunning scenery and delicious local cuisine. Visit animal sanctuaries, learn about ancient cultures, explore the Andes and travel by train to one the Seven Wonders of the World. Local guides accompany you throughout this journey with overnight accommodations in comfortable lodges.
For standard meeting places and times, see Dates & Fees tab.
DAY 1: Arrive at the Cusco International Airport to meet your trip mates and local guide. Check in to your accommodations in Cusco and explore this stunning ancient city while acclimating to the high altitude.
DAY 2: Rise early and head off toward the small town of Pisac. Along the drive visit an animal rescue center run by a local family to see llamas, condors, pumas, bears, and other animals that have been saved from trafficking. Visit the Pisac archeological ruins and learn about the significance of this Inca site. In the afternoon take some time to visit Pisac's traditional market before heading to Urubamba for dinner and overnight accommodations.
DAY 3: Wake up to the rugged mountainscapes of the Urubamba Valley before heading to Piuray Lake. Spend the early part of the day admiring the mountain views via kayak before enjoying lunch on the lake shore. Afterward, head to Chinchero and visit a local women's weaving cooperative to learn about age old techniques and natural dyes. Enjoy dinner together back at your hotel.
DAY 4: Rise early for one of the most stunning hikes in the Sacred Valley. Take a midmorning tour of Pumamarca, an ancient Inca fortress. Hike towards Ollantaytambo and experience endless views of gorgeous mountainside terraces with the most spectacular views. Enjoy lunch at a small restaurant in Ollantaytambo town and try a Peruvian delicacy - guinea pig. In the afternoon view the famed Temple of the Sun, claimed to be the second most beautiful site after Machu Picchu.
DAY 5: Wake up and prepare to take a train through the Andes toward Machu Picchu. After your ride, walk on a six hundred year old Inca trail and see several indigenous sites. Catch a glimpse of Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate just as the Inca did. Spend the evening in Aguas Calientes for dinner and lodging.
DAY 6: The morning is yours to explore the town of Aguas Calientes. Shop for souvenirs, try some South American cuisine or indulge in the hot springs for which the town is named after. Enjoy lunch together. Embark on a longer guided tour of Machu Picchu and discover why this enchanting place is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
DAY 7: After breakfast, depart on an early train back to Ollantaytambo. Visit a local Chichería and sample chicha, a corn beer that Andean people still prepare and drink. On the way to Cusco stop at a local Inca museum and learn more about traditional lifestyles and history of the area.
DAY 8: Take a walking tour around Cusco, sacred capital of the Incas. Visit the Temple of the Sun and experience the local food market of San Pedro. In the afternoon visit the biggest and most impressive site left by Incas around the city, Sacsayhuaman.
DAY 9: Wake up and enjoy some breakfast before heading off to visit Tipón, one of the most impressive examples of Incan hydraulics. Afterward, stop to see the most decorated church in all southern Peru. In the evening, visit a local lake where a lecturer will share insights on the southern skies and Inca constellations. View some planets and a number of stars only seen from south of equator.
DAY 10: Enjoy your final breakfast in Cusco before heading to the airport start the journey home.
Travel, Terrain, Etc...
TERRAIN/ROUTE: This trip is a hikers' dream. Enjoy exploring the Andes, Sacred Valley, and the ruins of Machu Picchu. We will hike a few miles of uneven trail with elevation change each day.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will travel by foot as you explore the wonders of Peruvian culture. Transportation to and from accommodations will be provided by train or van.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: No previous experience is necessary to complete this trip, however the elevation and uneven terrain make this trip a bit more difficult. Enjoy active adventures as you experience the Andes first hand. Kayaking, casual swimming, and hot springs are also a possibility.
WEATHER: Temperatures between October and November can range from 43°F at night to 68°F during the during the day in the mountains. Rainfall varies - you should expect some rain throughout your trip.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 8 to 12 participants, plus one Wilderness Inquiry staff, and one local guide while in Peru. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Throughout the trip we will be staying in local hotels, B&Bs, and a guesthouse. The accommodations are simple yet comfortable. Typically there are 2-4 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds. We make every effort to ensure privacy and cleanliness.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
MEALS: Kick back and relax while nearly all meals are made for you. You'll indulge in typical Peruvian fare, including fresh fish, chicken, corn, and potatoes. Bottled water is recommended and readily available. We'll enjoy happy hours, but the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. You will need to provide your personal gear which is outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money. Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.
PASSPORT/VISA: U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Peru, and it must be valid for the entire length of their stay. One blank passport page is required for entry stamp. Travelers to Peru will receive a card from Peruvian Immigration upon arrival stating the length of approved stay (usually 90 days). Extensions are not available, and overstays will result in fines. We encourage you check with your embassy for the most up-to-date entry requirements.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Visitors to Peru will encounter a country like no other. Situated on the western side of South America, Peru contains part of the Andes mountain range and the Amazon Rainforest. It also features a beautiful coastline to the Pacific Ocean. The country is bordered by Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The main attractions are archaeological remains, local cuisine, colonial architecture, and breathtaking natural resources.
With more than 5,000 years of human habitation, Peru is rich with historical remains of civilizations past. From the geoglyphs of the Nazca lines to the reed islands of Lake Titicaca, the remnants of ancient livelihoods are abundant. The diversity of Peru's people and cultures are also seen in the country's music, art, and lively festivals.
Peru is rich in wildlife diversity and is one of the few places on earth considered to be 'megadiverse'. With over 1,800 species of birds, 500 species of mammals, and 300 species of reptiles, there is an abundance of wildlife. The Amazon basin is home to pink dolphins, jaguars, giant river otters, primates, 4,000 types of butterflies, and one-third of the world's 8,600 bird species. The highlands boast llama, alpaca, spectacled bear, and mountain tapir. Along the coast, sea lions, seals, penguins, and birds can be spotted.
The cuisine of Peru is unlike anywhere else. In addition to indigenous practices and ingredients, the cuisine has been Influenced by Asian and Spanish cultures. Ingredients are fresh and often local. Expect dishes made with potatoes (which originated here), quinoa (an ancient Inca grain), fresh seafood, and rice. Each area of the country has something unique to offer.
After the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, many areas saw a colonial influence on indigenous architecture. Cusco is one of the best examples of this. It features large adorned churches amidst ancient stone walls.
With awe-inspiring mountains, lush rainforest, sprawling sand dunes, and a dramatic west coast, Peru has some of the most breathtaking natural beauty on earth. The multitude of landscapes help make Peru an adventurer's paradise.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Your 10% deposit is non-refundable. If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!
Can people of any age attend a trip?
Yes. Adults of all ages join our adult trips. In most circumstances children under 18 years of age are only allowed on family trips. We do not recommend many of our trips for infants or children under age 3. If you have young children, or if you have questions about which trips are most appropriate please call our office at 612-676-9400.
For more information, visit these links:
Single Room Supplement
You can elect to guarantee a single room for the duration of the trip for $495 during the registration process.
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport at 2:00 PM (local time)
End: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport at 11:00 AM (local time)