The Inca Trekkers tour allows you to spend a part of the holidays in the Amazon and the Classic Inca Trail (camping). First you take a flight to the former capital of the Inca´s Empire - Cusco (where you can undertake an optional Cusco City Tour) before your dream "to trek the Inca Trail" comes true. This famous trail finishes with a guided visit of the mystique Incan city of Machu Picchu where you can continue your Inca dream! Then the tour continues by traveling to the "Folklore Capital" - Puno visiting every significant site on the road. You undertake one of the favorite Titicaca Lake tours in Puno which means visiting the Floating Uros, Taquile and Amantani islands. After that you spend the night in a family homestay. The Inca Trekkers tour ends by a heading to a nearby airport where you take a flight back to where you came from.
Day 01: Arrival to Lima
Day 02-04: Holidays in the Peru Amazon / Cusco
Day 05: Sacred Valley Tour
Day 06-09: Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Day 10: Cusco City
Day 11: Sightseeing bus to Puno
Day 12-13: Titicaca Lake Tour
Day 14: Free day in Puno.
Day 15: Departure Day
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representatives in Lima, Puerto Maldonado, Cusco and Puno and professional local bilingual Tour Guides, a Cook and Porters during the Classic Inca Trail.
Accommodation: 3* hotels (8 nights), jungle lodge (2 nights), campsites (3 nights), family homestay (1 night) on the Titicaca Lake.
Meals: 13x breakfast, 8x lunch, 6x dinner, 3x afternoon tea (Please allow 100-150 for meals not included).
Transportation: 2x domestic flight, transportation by private van, motorboat transportation, 1x train (Expedition Class).
Camping equipment: You can view our camping equipment for all our Inca Trail tours here!
Please note that the first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time. When you arrive to the airport at Lima, our Representative waits for you holding a sheet with your name and takes you to your hotel.
The capital of Lima is also known as the "City of the Kings" as it was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535! The Plaza de Armas (main square) is a heart of old Lima. There can be found the Cathedral, Governmental Palace and Archbishop´s Palace.
We transfer you to the Lima´s airport to take a flight to the city of Puerto Maldonado where all our trips to the Amazon Rainforest start. Then we take you from the city by a motorized boat over the Madre de Dios River to our lodge settled deeply in the jungle. On our journey to the lodge, you have a chance to see bird species typical for the river and the rainforest´s outskirts such as a black skimmer, a pied lapwing, a capped heron, a roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris), a kingfisher, a swallow or a tyrant flycatcher.
The jungle lodge combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge as well as multilingual Naturalists-Guides mostly consist of local communities' members.
Every day, you undertake various trips to the Amazon Rainforest with your local naturalist Tour Guide. The Amazon jungle covers about a half of Peruvian territory and it is located in the Amazon Basin! Thanks to its isolation it keeps hidden to casual travellers. Puerto Maldonado is the main city of the region and is mostly accessed by air from the capital and from Cusco. The city lies on confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. It is a busy and booming tropical frontier city which principal activities are gold mining, cashew nut collecting, timber exploitation, agriculture and ecotourism.
The area of Tambopata ranges from Andean highlands situated around headwaters of local rivers through last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of the Peru´s Amazon Basin. Tambopata is famous for a wide variety of plants and animal populations that include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot specias that are equal to 10% of the world parrot population), 200 mammal species (4 species of primates included), 90 species of frogs, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants. All of them are protected by law. Harpy eagle, a prehistoric looking hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters inhabitating its oxbow lakes are just a few to name some of these rainforest rare species.
On the last (third) day of this Amazonian trip, we transfer you back to the airport at Puerto Maldonado for your flight to Cusco located in the high Andes. You are welcomed by our Representative there and taking to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to be able to acclimatize to the high altitude as well as relax and explore a bit around this fascinating city.
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was once an important source of food to Incan people. Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keep supplying the city of Cusco with much of its production. As it lays 600 metres lower than Cusco, its average temperature is 5ºC higher so it has got a very pleasant climate.
The tour shows us around the major archaeological sites placed in Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. At Pisaq, an optional two hour (5 km) trek allows us to fully appreciate this huge antique Incan city nestled high in this Andean range. Later on, we can observe a colorful handicraft market at the modern Pisac Town that is without any doubt a unique place to find perfect souvenirs. Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, where we have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo, a place that can boast with another large Incan site. Its major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Incan urban planning and engineering. But Ollantaytambo is more than that, it is an alive and breathing Incan town. We stay overnight here to absorb its atmosphere in its total.
Ollantaytambo is strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. We spend the night in this small town before we start Machu Picchu hiking the next morning.
Today, you start one of our Inca Trail tours, which is the physically challenging 4-day Classic Inca Trail. Nevertheless, its difficulty is within ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44-km (27 mile) trek is often steep including 3 high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200 m (13,776 ft). Temperature at nights may fall below zero so it is important to get ready for that. It also sometimes rains, even during a dry season.
The Classic Inca Trail is the most famous ancient trek of the Incas. It begans with a morning trip to Km 82 - the initial hiking point. It is very important to not forget your passport with you because it is checked at the entrance as well as you get a stamp of the Inca Trail on it. Our Porters and Tour Guides are a guarantee that the trip is without any worries, so you enjoy its awesome Incan ruins (Llactapata, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarka, Wiñay Wayna) and spectacular mountain sceneries every day as much as you can. Early morning of the last day, you climb antique steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to watch the Sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu. Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas". Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb either the peak of Wayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) or the Machu Picchu Mountain (1.5 hour up) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu. At this moment, you can already understand why visiting Machu Picchu is so unbeatable experience.
In the afternoon, you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco. Arrival in the evening.
Please Note! The Inca Trail is closed during Februaries due to general maintenance. Also, closures sometimes may occur as a result of inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In this case, we may hike the Lares Valley Trek.
FREE OPTION: Those, who are not able or interested in to do trekking, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley and spend the following 2 days there. In this case, they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train (Expedition Class). They overnight in a hotel there. Next morning, they take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Inca Trail trekkers.
This option is for no additional cost.
IMPORTANT: If you decide not to do the trek, you must advice us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your train tickets. Otherwise, we are not able to guarantee you this option for free.
If you have any query, please do not hesitate contacting us.
Today is a relaxing day so that you can explore the fascinating capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, do some optional activities such as a City Tour of Cusco, a Maras-Moray-Salineras Tour or a Southern Valley Tour. You should also get ready for the last night in the city and enjoy its night life.
The Cusco City is the oldest continuously inhabited city of this continent as well as a hub of the South American travel network. The city attracts people from all around the world, who arrive not only to visit a unique destination, but also to experience an antique culture that differs a lot from the occidental 21st century´s way of life. One could easily spend a week just in and around this site. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and it is not necessary to go far to see other major Inca ruins. This is a city steeped in history, traditions and legends!
Every year, Cusco is visited by thousands of travelers, who come to delve into its noble, but tragic past. It is a perfect base for optional explorations around the city´s surroundings as well as for a range of outdoor activities.
Cusco also has got numerous colonial churches. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish. The Cathedral can pride on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city. A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
Today, we take a tourist bus that takes us to each important site of the Cusco-Puno route.
First, we need to pass through Southern Valley (also called the Sun Route), where we stop in the village of Andahuaylillas to visit the famous San Pedro Church, which is called the "Sistine Chapel of Americas" to observe the quality of its works of art. The church was constructed by Jesuits in the edge of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Its architectural structure is typical for small town´s churches while its wide walls are characteristic of colonial buildings. It is made of adobe and its facade is decorated with white painting. Two stoned columns are projected towards its main entrance. Although its architecture is relatively modest, its interior is richly decorated with amazing wall paintings.
After seeing the church, we continue towards the pre-Inka city of Pikillaqta beeing once one of the most impressive regional centers of the culture Wari. The culture was seated in Ayacucho and its centres were occupied by Incas for many years. Today, Pikillaqta is a national archaeological park of great importance. The word Pikillaqta is made up of Quechuan words "piki" = flea and "llaqta" = town, so that the meaning of the city´s name was the “City of the Fleas”. It does not want to say that fleas lived in the city nor that its inhabitants were lousy. The name was derived from the fact that each inhabitant lived in cramped conditions, in a very small room. Constructions of Pikillaqta consists of over 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (storages) and other constructions. The city accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousands of inhabitants!! Some investigators supposed that Pikillacta turned into a city of “mitimaes” during Incan times ("Mitimae" comes from the Quechuan word "mitma" meaning "resettlement". So mitimaes were originally groups of families taken by Incas from their native place to loyal or conquered towns to perform political, cultural, social, and economic functions.)
After this guided tour, we continue to Raqchi where we observe the Temple of Wiracocha (Incan god - creator).
Then, we go to La Raya representing the border between Cusco´s region and Puno´s region. This place is well- known for its viewpoint overlooking splendid views of surrounding Andes.
Our last stop is in the village of Pucara where we visit the Lithic Museum exhibiting artefacts of an pre-Inka culture.
Finally, we reach the Puno City, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel.
One of the most favourite Titicaca Lake tours is touring of the Uros Floating Islands along with Amantani and Taquile islands. So we board a boat in the morning and head first for the floating islands observing magic sceneries of the lake to later meet friendly people of its communities.
The lake is located at 3,830 metres above sea level resulting in extreme wheather conditions with very cold nights and strong sunshine during days. The city of Puno situated on its shores is well-known for wealth of its traditional dances, there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in street processions celebrating of Catholic feast´s days. Another highlight and a popular optional activity of Puno is a visit of its nearby spectacular Chullpas of Sillustani, tower-like tombs of pre-Incan culture Colla.
Titicaca Lake is the largest lake in the world above 2,000 metres and the highest placed navigable lake in the world! Our first stop on the lake are the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from militant Colla´s and Incan tribes. Unfortunately, Uros´ language got extincted, so nowadays´ Uros people speak Aymara due to intermarriages with Aymara´s speakers. There are about 300 families living on the islands, however, their number has been slowly declining.
The islands are made of layers upon layers of totora reeds that grew in the shallow of the lake. When layers, which are the nearest to water, start to rot, they are replaced with fresh totora layers on the top. Totora is basically used to make everything on the islands, including real boats and small model boats serving as souvenirs. A construction of a real totora boat takes up to 6 months.
After visiting the Uros Floating Islands, we continue towards Amantani Island. There, we land and our Tour Guide shows us around the island with its stunning Titicaca Lake views and friendly inhabitants with their particular folklore. We overnight in familial houses on the island to experience a bit more of the local culture.
The following day, we continue our motorboat ride after breakfast in the familial houses. Our next destination is Taquile Island, famous for its fine handwoven textile and clothing considered as the highest-quality handicraft of Peru. Taquile and its textile art was even recognized by UNESCO in 2005.
After a visit of this spectacular island and enjoying its amazing Titicaca Lake views, we return to the Puno City at afternoon hours. There, we transfer you from the Puno´s port to your hotel.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around Puno, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, take some optional activities (for example, a visit of the Chullpas de Sillustani) and enjoy the last night in the city.
Puno is the most important city of the same named region. The city is considered as the Capital of Folklore because of its typical dances, for example, the Sikuri and the Diablada that are typical dances performed during festivities such as the Virgen de la Candelaria, the city’s patron.
Transfer to the Puno´s airport. End of the tour, or alternatively, a good time to extend your trip.
Please note: a return flight to Lima can be arranged upon request.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 200-250 for meals not included in the package.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights and a single tent for the Inca Trail.
Local flights: One local flight is included in the cost of your tour unless noted otherwise. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of your booking in order to process all air tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and they will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
Check our policy and booking procedures of the Inca Trail If you prefer not to hike or is fully booked, you can choose one of these optional trips:
Machu Picchu by train so this trip does not involve much physical activity.
It is very important to book this trek a good time in advance!!! As there are only 500 permits (Tour Guides, Porters and Cooks including) issued per day for the Inca Trail!!
A general recommendation on how long time in advance to book is:
If you like to do the Inca Trekkers Tour, please first check an availability of Inca Trail on this Peruvian government website: Ministerio de Cultura. You can choose your language clicking on flags on top of the page. Then, go to the section “Consultas” (“Queries” in English version), select “Inca Trail” from the Archaeological Centre section, choose year and month when you like to do the tour. Please note: the Inca Trail starts on the sixth day of the Inca Trekkers Tour! (For example, if you like to start the tour on the 6th of August, you need to check Inca Trail availability of the day 11th of August!)
If there is still availability of the Inca Trail on your date requested in the time of your booking, the booking of the Inca Trail Expedition Tour will be confirmed firstly by our Reservation Department via e-mail. Then your full personal details wil be required as well as a deposit in order to purchase your Inca Trail permit. (Please note that an Inca Trail booking is valid only for 1 hour!! If it is not paid within this time, it expires!!!)
Each February, the Inca Trail is closed to allow its conservation as well as to give vegetation a chance to recover. This is a suitable month to close it since it is the wettest month of the year too. However, Machu Picchu itself remains open during the month so you can visit it!
All Tierras Vivas adventurous group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
A kind of luggage you need to take with depends on a kind of tour you plan to undertake, a part of the country you like to visit, a year season and a length of your trip. In general, you should pack as lightly as possible because you carry your own luggage during most of our tours (however, there are not long walking distances – up to 30 minutes). We recommend you to keep weight of your luggage under 10 kg (22 lb.).
Most of travelers use a suitcase. However, a big backpack would be more suitable. In any case, please do not forget a small rucksack that you will need for daily travels (to carry your bottled water, camera, snacks, etc.). It is better to avoid a wheeled luggage and use luggage with shoulder straps.
Clothing to take with you depends on a year season in Peru and a part of country you plan to visit.
When visiting coastline of the Northern Peru and surroundings of Lima, then you need to pack some light cloths (for example, shorts, skirts, dresses, T-shirts), flip-flops, sandals, a head cover as a protection against the Sun (a hat or a cap), sun protection cream, sunglasses, mosquitos repellent and swimsuit, of course.
If you plan to visit Peruvian mountains (Andean mountain range or Altiplano), then we recommend you to take some trousers suitable for hiking, shorts, T-shirts and trekking shoes for the days; and sweaters, fleeces, hats, scarves and warm jackets for the nights. You also should take a sun protection cream, sun glasses and in some cases, mosquito repellent (depending on a route chosen). It is very convenient to have a light rain-gear available in a daypack (e.g. a waterproof poncho or jacket and/or waterproof trousers) as weather changes quickly and rains can suddenly occur. For more details, please check the below link of “What to Bring on the Inca Trail Expedition Tour”.
If you like to see the Amazonian rainforest (Manu, Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, etc.), then the most important item of your luggage must be a mosquito repellent (20 DEET as a minimum recommended)!! Except that, you should take some light clothing with long sleeves and long trousers (to put into your shoes as a kind of protection against insect). You should not forget some waterproof cloths (especially, if you plan to visit the rainforest during a rainy season), comfortable and closed footwear, long socks and a hat.
Traveling to Peru is to connect with oneself, is to enter 5 thousand years of living history. If the heart says yes, dare to visit it.
The city of Cusco, located in the Andes mountain range at 3 399 MASL, was declared the Historical Capital of Peru, being an impressive sample of high Inca engineering whose main tool was stone. As well as places like Choquequirao, Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Tambomachay, Ollantaytambo and especially Machu Picchu, architectural jewel built with the wisdom of the ancient Incas that served as political, religious and administrative center of the time.
The Inca citadel is located in the tropical forest, about 2 430 m.s.n.m, was declared a new wonder of the modern world in 2007, is a fantastic architectural complex built during the Inca Pachacutec amid, has a great variety of flora and fauna.
Puno, andean plateau dominated by the solemn presence of Lake Titicaca, is another sacred place of the Incas, populated by dozens of natural and artificial islands, pre-Hispanic archaeological sites. Discover Peru
Peru is the land of the ancient Incas, an incredible civilization that knew how to dominate its rugged geography and coexist in harmony with the rivers, the sun, the rain, the sea and the Amazon, the mountains and the dry cold of the Andes, adapting to its environment and surviving thanks to the beneficial fruits of the Pachamama. Part of that millenary society lives today in each town and is discovered in the customs of the people.
Cusco, mystical sacred city, considered the capital of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire with a great historical and architectural legacy. Surrounded by green valleys with imposing tourist attractions, culture, tradition and faith still dormant. Known as the navel of the world for being the political and territorial center of the Inca Empire, the department of Cusco shows a striking geographical variety from natural mountain ranges and reliefs, to rivers like the Urubamba.
Puno has prehispanic archaeological sites of circular constructions called from their origin chullpas, which attract tourism every year. Its churches are characterized by a marked colonial architecture. Puno is a legend, multicolored party, populated by natural and artificial islands Arequipa, also known as the "White City" for architecture of beautiful colonial buildings in white ashlar, such as churches, temples, monasteries. From here you can visit the Valley of the Volcanoes, the famous Colca Valley and the Colca Canyon, natural areas such as the National Reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca and more. Peru Inca Trail
There is a Peru for those who seek to enjoy to the fullest with all the senses; a Peru of attractive and sophisticated experiences in spas facing the sea, luxury excursions through the jungle and the mountains, or nights of pleasure in boutique hotels in some of the most impressive places in the world.
Arriving in Peru is to travel through time and rediscover the exciting life of the Incas, the Chancas, the Chachapoyas, the Mochicas and the Wari, as well as their great architectural works, their art, their festivals, the roots of their social strength and the energy of his men.
Live tourism in Peru and discover a diversity of worlds with landscapes, sounds, colors and flavors of their own; it travels through time through ancient civilizations and shares with Peruvians its great cultural heritage.
Enjoy countless cities, destinations, experiences that can only be fully understood once you live them in your own flesh, once you have thrown your roots and destinies. Peruvian Highlands