Classic Machu Picchu & Cusco
Hike the Inca Trail
Explore the Sacred Valley
Sept 22-30, 2018
May & September 2019
Hiking & non-hiking options
Experience the majesty of Machu Picchu, learn about the ancient city of Cusco, and soak in Andean culture through the Inca Trail hike or a no-hike option with excursions in the Sacred Valley
$2495 per person
$850 per person hiking only, limited spots
- 8 nights’ accommodations in boutique, centrally located hotels
- Daily breakfast, 8 dinners, 3 lunches (hiking) or 1 lunch (non-hiking)
- Transfers to/from Cusco airport
- All transportation between Cusco, Ollantaytambo, and group excursions
- Cultural exchange with our community partner to learn about the preservation of the Quechua language + contribution to their organization
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu + bus to/from Aguas Calientes + train to Ollantaytambo
- Healthy, nourishing meals using traditional ingredients and local sourcing
- Small group experience, max 16 people
- 4 days/3 nights hiking the classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu
- Healthy, nourishing meals prepared by our on-site cook, starting with breakfast on departure day to breakfast on last day of the hike
- Clean, potable water throughout the hike
- A team of local porters to carry provided tents, chairs, food, medical emergency kit and other equipment
- Sleeping mat provided (you will carry)
- Entry fee to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
- Bus ticket from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes + train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
- Option for a full or half porter to carry some or all of your supplies
- Local guides 24/7
- Continued stay in Ollantaytambo
- Excursions & entry fees to the Moray ruins, Salineras salt mines, and Pisaq artisanal market
- Organic farm lunch with a visit to a local rum distillery and brewery
- Optional visit to Chinchero to learn about traditional textiles
- Train to/from Aguas Calientes + bus to/from Machu Picchu
- Entry fee to Machu Picchu + guided tour
- Traverse representative 24/7
Day 1: saturday - arrival
Arrive in Cusco by 3:00 p.m. and be transferred to your boutique hotel in central Cusco. Settle in, meet your roommate and watch the sunset over this beautiful city as you acclimate to its elevation of 11,150 feet. We’ll convene for an early dinner to get to know your guide and other travel mates for the week.
Day 2: sunday - cusco
We’ll take today easy as you adjust to the elevation with a morning walking tour through Cusco and a visit to the market. You’ll have lunchtime and the afternoon to explore the city’s many fabulous cafés, cobblestone streets, and abundance of shops & museums. We’ll have dinner at a spectacular Peruvian restaurant that sources local meats & produce and presents traditional dishes with a modern twist. Try specialties such as aji de gallina (a creamy chicken dish), causa (an Andean potato dish), or - if you’re daring - cuy (guinea pig).
Day 3: monday - sacred valley & community partner
After breakfast we’ll visit our community partner, a local school that emphasizes sustainability and social responsibility through its programs. We will specifically learn about its Quechua curriculum and the efforts the non-profit is making to preserve this ancestral language by teaching it to the younger generations. We’ll enjoy lunch with the students, using ingredients harvested from their on-campus organic garden and we’ll learn about their initiatives in farming, cooking, and nutrition education in the community. We’ll enjoy an early dinner together with time to rest or get organized in the evening. Hikers will need to be ready for an early departure tomorrow.
Day 4: Tuesday - 1st hike day or moray & salinerals
Hiking: Get up bright and early to be picked up by our local, bilingual guide Edwin who will brief you on the journey ahead. We’ll have breatkfast on the go, arriving at the starting point at Wayllabamaba by 10:30. You’ll need your passport to enter the trail, and once we cross the foot bridge over the Urumbomba River our hiking begins! The first few kilometers are a relatively easy climb with gorgeous views of La Verónica and Patallackay. We’ll take a break for lunch at Tarayoc and continue on to Huayllabamaba for camping and dinner our first night.
Non-hiking: After breakfast we’ll depart for the concentric Inca terraces at Moray, four natural sinkholes that the Incas used for agriculture. We’ll then descend to a unique Sacred Valley site, Salineras, thousands of salt pools that the Inca diverted from a spring of warm, salty water and is still harvested today by local collectives. In the afternoon, we’ll check in to our Ollantaytambo accommodations. This will be home base for the non-hikers for the next 4 nights.
Day 5: wednesday - 2nd hike day or farm lunch
Hiking: Today is the hardest day of the trail, with the first half strait up and the second straight down. We’ll ascend the highest point of 13,900 feet at Wuarmihuañusca where you can see panoramic views of the cordillera of Vilcambamba. Depending on your speed, this is about a 3-5 hour ascent. You’ll see the terrain slowly change from high desert to the Andean rainforest, with bromeliads and greenery all around. We’ll ascend to the valley of Pacasmayo to camp for the night.
Non-hiking: After breakfast, you’ll have time to explore the ancient village of Ollantaytambo before enjoying a leisurely farm tour and lunch at an organic farm project. The farm uses many traditional techniques, including crop rotation and plowing with oxen. We’ll learn about local cooking traditions and enjoy numerous foods from the area including camote (local sweet potatoes), grilled meats, and chicha morada (a purple corn drink). Afterwards, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the local rum distillery and brewery.
Day 6: thursday
Hiking: Our last and final full hiking day is known as the “Incan Flats” for its rolling landscape, as compared to the steep climbs and infinite stairs of yesterday. We’ll see the ruins of Runquracya and learn about different architectural styles of the Inca. We’ll also pass Sayacmarca and go through a tunnel at Phuyupatamarca. The terrain is rich in flora and fauna, and though it’s a long hiking day there are fewer climbs than yesterday. We’ll camp at our last site, Wiñayhuayna.
Non-hiking: After breakfast we’ll head to Pisaq, which is home to an Inca fortress and an artisanal market filled with Andean goods such as carved gourds, ceramics, paintings, and weaving. We’ll then visit the nearby ruins which feature multiple architectural styles including agricultural terraces, military forts and religious purification paths.
Day 7: friday - machu picchu
Hiking: We’ll get up super early this morning – 3:30 – to have time for breakfast, packing up and heading to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, for our sunrise entrance to Machu Picchu. We’ll have plenty of photo opportunities as we descend to the city, where we’ll meet up with the rest of our group for a guided tour by Edwin. After some time to explore on your own, you’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where you can store your backpack with a local restaurant partner and take time for lunch and exploring on your own. We’ll all depart on the 6:30 train back to Ollantaytambo where we’ll stay for the night. A late, light snack will be provided on your return or you can head in to town for dinner.
Non-hiking: We’ll get up bright and early to take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll catch a bus up to Machu Picchu. There we’ll meet with the hiking group and enter together for a tour of the city with our guide Edwin. After some time to explore on your own, you’ll take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and we’ll reconvene for the 6:30 train ride back to Ollantaytambo. A late, light snack will be provided on your return or you can head in to town for dinner.
Day 8: saturday - cusco
We’ll take our time this morning to sleep in and recover, departing by van back to Cusco, around 10:00. You’ll be able to drop your bags at reception at our accommodations and will be able to check in after 3:00. The afternoon is yours for R&R, shopping, or consider a walk or taxi ride up to Sacsayhuamán just outside of town. We’ll reconvene for our final group dinner and farewell.
Day 9: sunday - departure
Plan your airport departure for the morning or mid-day. Check-out is by 10:00 a.m. You’ll receive a transfer to the airport according to your flight time.
$2495 per person, based on double to triple occupancy. Grouped by same gender unless requested otherwise.
Sept. 22-30, 2018
May 25-June 2, 2019
August 31 - Sept. 8, 2019
$850 per person hiking only, double occupancy tents. Sept. 25-28 SOLD OUT!! + May or Sept. 2019 See details below.
Select hiking or non-hiking on registration form. 2018 Hiking Dates SOLD OUT!!!
+$195 Personal porter for hiking
+$25 Sleeping bag rental for hiking
-$200 Queen bed, shared with a same-gender friend (quad occupancy room, all same gender)
Room options include Queen (shared bed in quad or double room) and Twin (private beds). Please note preference on registration, rooms are first come first serve. Single supplements cannot be accommodated for this tour due to limited accommodations availability.
Hiking only option:
We have a limited number of hiking only spots for $850. This option starts Tuesday with pickup from your hotel in Cusco and ends Friday with your train ride to Ollataytambo. All food, entrance fees and 3 nights' camping equipment as described about in the Hiking Option are included. No accommodations, transfers, food or activities before or after the hike are included. 2018 Hiking Option is SOLD OUT!!
Trip Does Not Include:
- Additional excursions and activities
- Lunches, except as specified (3 hiking, 1 non-hiking)
- Required travel insurance
Your Traverse Representative:
Ashley Blake is an avid traveler, cultural consultant and yoga enthusiast with a background in tourism, entrepreneurship and project management. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and has worked and traveled in 35+ countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa including tours she has led in Spain, Germany, China and Canada.
Ashley is passionate about connection, communication and coordination in order to link others with the opportunities and experiences that promote self-growth and community engagement.
Ashley hiked the Inca trail with our guide Edwin in 2017 and holds it as one of her most challenging and rewarding nature travel excursions ever.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to registration for complete terms.
A $500 non-refundable deposit is required for each traveler to secure the booking.
Payments can be made either by 1) full payment on booking 2) $500 deposit on booking + payment schedule per registration. Payments will be invoiced via e-mail for credit card or Paypal payment online. To pay by check, please indicate on registration and make check payable to Traverse Journeys and send to PO Box 40516, Austin, TX 78704.
2019 Trip Payment Terms
$250 deposit due on booking refundable through 9/1/2018, less a $50 admin fee. 50% remainder due 6 months prior to trip start. Balance due 30 days prior to trip start.
Please note that Machu Picchu entry tickets and Inca Trail hiking permits are 100% non-refundable and non-transferrable. Cancellations, less the deposit ($500), are refundable through June 22, 2018. In case of cancellation, we can allow for last minute transfers for the rest of the trip – less the Machu Picchu or Inca Trail permit - for a $150 admin fee. Please notify us immediately in the case of a transfer.
Travel insurance is required for all trips with Traverse, and must cover injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation as well as trip cancellation and trip interruption. Most insurance companies require purchase to be made within 2-3 weeks of booking for full benefits (in particular, trip cancellation). Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided. We suggest using Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider, or you can choose from any carrier that meets our requirements.
Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.