Peru & Machu Picchu

May 2019 • 8 Days • Price TBA

Peru & Machu Picchu begins and ends in Lima, but focuses on the Andean wonderland around Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.

Delights of Lima Extension

May 2019 • 2 Days • Price TBA

The Delights of Lima Extension will provide you with a completely different exposure to Peru, while offering a rich and relaxing way to unwind after the drama of Andean cultures and altitudes!

Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this 2019 tour! If 25 Early Birds are received for this departure, we’ll add it to our official 2019 Schedule. An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!

View Daily Itinerary

Our program provides access to some of the Andes’ most breathtaking scenery and some of the planet’s most impressive and mysterious architecture—the massive stone structures of the Incas! The otherworldly ruins of Machu Picchu are amazing, but they comprise only a fraction of the historical, cultural, and scenic connections we’ll make in Peru! To help with altitude acclimation, we drive directly from the Cuzco airport into the Sacred Valley, dropping from over 11,000 feet above sea level down to about 9,000 feet above sea level.

Highlights:

  • Cuzco – center of the powerful Inca civilization with its delightful colonial center, enticing traditional shops, and Inca stone walls that continue to defy explanation
  • Ollantaytambo – massive Inca fortress of cleanly dressed stones of amazing dimensions, marking the site of the only Inca victory over the technologically superior Spaniards
  • Moray Inca Terraces – reached on a walk offering breathtaking Andean panoramas, these terraces offer evidence of agricultural experiments practiced by these consummate farmers
  • Incomparable Machu Picchu – silent testimony to the skill and vision of the Quechua people

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Peru & Machu Picchu

Including:

  • Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
  • All land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Roundtrip train transport from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 17 meals: all breakfasts and dinners, plus 3 lunches as listed (BLD)
  • 5 Walks as outlined (IVV sanctioning for 2 stamps will be requested)
  • Fees for walking credit
  • Cultural & historical expertise of our local guide throughout
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms will be available for a supplement.

Visits to/Activities:

  • Moray Inca farming terraces
  • Maras Salt Pans
  • Pumamarca Inca Ruins
  • Ollantaytambo Inca Fortress Ruins
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu World Heritage Site
  • Chinchero weaving demonstration
  • Qurikancha —Temple of the Sun
  • San Pedro Market
  • Cuzco Cathedral
  • Guided city tour of Lima
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Delights of Lima Extension

Including:

  • Airport to hotel group transfer at end of extension
  • Land travel by motorcoach as outlined
  • Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • 4 meals: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner as listed (BLD) – the lunch is a special meal at the culmination of the cooking demonstration
  • Walk as outlined (IVV sanctioning requested)
  • Cultural & historical expertise of our local guide throughout
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms will be available for a supplement.

Visits to/Activities:

  • Peruvian cooking demonstration with locally renowned chef in her private apartment
  • Walking tour of artsy Barranco District
  • Larco Museum
  • Parque de la Reserva water and light show

“The tour was well organized and executed. We especially enjoyed the local touches….shopping in the market in Cuzco – the guinea pig lunch experience – off the beaten track in the villages and farm lands.”

-Roger & Tui M; Taranaki, NZ


“Walking in these countries brings you closer to the people, the landscapes, the flora & fauna.”

-Martha A; Detroit, MI


“Tour very well organized – Enjoyed the mix of people. Looking forward to our next adventure with WAI. Sites and walks were OUTSTANDING!”

-Elizabeth T; Covington, WA


“The entire experience was outstanding – We were amazed at the experience every day – Many thanks.”

-Mike T; Covington, WA


“Beautiful country – enjoyed all the sights. Guides, driver & fellow travelers very personable & interesting. I find I’m not ready for the trip to end yet.”

-Connie M; Kent, WA


“Loved all the information, guides were amazing both WAI & local, well organized, always felt safe & well taken care of and [enjoyed] the cultural & historical aspects.”

-Michelle L; Canby, OR


“Love the blend of history & culture; interesting side activities, like the salt mines, weaving & catacombs. Walk routes well planned.”

-Snow L; Lakewood, CO


“Walks were unique especially those through villages. I enjoyed the distances and location of every single walk…I have not enough vocabulary to describe how fantastic and unique was my first experience with WAI. Denise & Pat are friendly, patient, fun and loving tour guides. I hope to return to this same tour with my husband.”

-Alda W; AB, Canada


“I feel like I learned about Peru in addition to the Incas and ruins. The culture of the countryside was enjoyable to experience. Nice job done by all. Thank you!”

-Shirley L; Renton, WA


 “A couple of the walks I really enjoyed were the walks up to the salt ponds and Machu Picchu. When we arrived at the site, Machu Picchu was enshrouded in clouds and then slowly revealed itself for a truly breathtaking view of its beauty. It truly lived up to the tagline of ‘Mystical Machu Picchu’!”

-Michelle T; Gold Bar, WA


“Loved the trains to/from Agua Calientes. Machu Picchu was magical. The other Inca sites in the Sacred Valley a bonus, loved the museum in Lima, [and the] friendliness of Peruvians & Andean people.”

-Helene L; Ormond Beach, FL

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

25-30 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Superior Tourist Class or better

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of lunches and dinners. Letters BLD indicate which meals are included.

Airfare

Not included. The official start and finish point for this tour is the Lima Airport.

Transportation

Included. We use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 45+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Itinerary

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Click on each day for more details.

Peru & Machu Picchu

Day 1: Arrive Lima, Peru

Lima elevation: 505 feet

You arrive today in Lima, capital of Peru. A representative of Walking Adventures will meet you as you exit customs and arrange transportation to our airport area hotel. Flights generally arrive late in the evening so the first group activity is breakfast tomorrow morning at the hotel.

Day 2: Lima–Urubamba (BD)

Urubamba elevation: 9,420 feet

After breakfast, we return to the airport for an early-morning flight to Cuzco, 15th century capital of the powerful and far-ranging Inca Empire. At time of publication flight schedules are pending, so activities for the day will be based upon our arrival time into Cuzco. Our objective is to reach the Sacred Valley’s lower altitudes as quickly as possible, with stops en route to imbibe the stunning natural beauty of the Peruvian Andes. Schedule permitting, a warm-up walk may be offered in the Sacred Valley on the way to our hotel for the next three nights in the village of Urubamba.

Day 3: Activities from Urubamba (BLD)

Moray Inca Terraces Walk – 2 km, rated 2B
Maras Village Stroll – 2 km, rated 1B

After more breathtaking vistas on this morning’s coach ride, our first activity is a walk through the Andean countryside to the circular farming terraces of the Incas at Moray. Here we learn about the surprisingly sophisticated, somewhat mysterious, innovations of Inca agricultural engineers who produced a myriad of specialized subspecies of corn, potatoes, and other agricultural products. Nearby Maras offers a startling sight—evaporating salt pans carved from the mountainside by villagers to exploit the natural salinity of a mountain spring. Walk lengths are shorter in the Andes, and the rarified air of high altitudes turns our focus more to the richness of the walking experiences than the distances covered.

Day 4: Activities from Urubamba (BLD)

Pumamarca Inca Agriculture Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
Ollantaytambo Village Walk – 2 km, rated 1B, plus Ollantaytambo Inca Fortress Ruins Challenge

We spend this day in nearby Ollantaytambo. The first part of our walk introduces us to the Pumamarca Inca ruins above the town, magical vistas over the Urubamba Valley, and the advanced system of canals and hydraulics used to irrigate crops during the Inca period. After a fascinating wander through the busy, colonial-era Ollantaytambo village, a challenge hike is offered up into the massive stone masonry of the Ollantaytambo fortress ruins, where Spanish conquistadors suffered a rare defeat at the hands of defending Incas.

Day 5: Urubamba–Aguas Calientes (BD)

Aguas Calientes elevation: 6,700 feet
Mystical Machu Picchu Walk – 3 km, rated 2B, plus Inca Bridge Challenge

We board the train early this morning, enjoying a spectacular riverside rail descent through the Andes to Aguas Calientes, staging point for our journey to Machu Picchu! The balance of the day is devoted to time at Machu Picchu, first on an in-depth guided tour, and then with free time to explore the ruins at your leisure. Using the Machu Picchu bus service, we rendezvous back in Aguas Calientes for dinner and a night at the base of these dramatic mountains.

Day 6: Aguas Calientes–Cuzco (BLD)

Chinchero elevation: 12,345 feet
Cuzco elevation: 11,150 feet
Chinchero Andean Village Walk – 2 km, rated 2B

The train returns us to Ollantaytambo this morning, where we meet our coach and drive to the charming, high-altitude Quechua town of Chinchero for a very different perspective on life in the Andes. Following a memorable lunch featuring local specialties, we visit a textile shop to observe traditional Inca weaving techniques, then enjoy a stroll around town to the dramatically-situated colonial-era church. We finish the day at our hotel located just off the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco, the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city.

Day 7: Activities from Cuzco (BD)

Colonial Cuzco Walk – 5 km, rated 1B

The Adventure continues with a relaxing walking tour of this former capital of the Inca Empire. The highlight of the walk is a visit to the Santo Domingo Church, built by conquering Spaniards atop the foundation of Qurikancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. The wonder of Inca architecture with its massive, multi-surface boulders fit tightly together must be seen to be believed. The San Pedro Market offers a fun introduction to how locals shop, and a visit to the impressive Cuzco Cathedral gives insight into the transition from Spanish to South American Catholicism. Following the walk, the balance of the day is free to explore fascinating Cuzco on your own. Join us this evening for a Farewell gathering and dinner in preparation for our return to Lima, and sea level, tomorrow.

Day 8: Cuzco–Depart from Lima, Peru (BD)

This morning we say farewell to Cuzco and the Andes. After our flight arrives back in Lima, we explore the sights of colonial Lima on a guided tour by coach and on foot. Following dinner together, those continuing on for the Delights of Lima Extension will make their way to our local hotel, while travelers returning homeward will be transferred to the airport for their evening flights. Our life back home is sure to be enriched by this Adventure in another hemisphere and, in many ways, another world.

Delights of Lima Extension

Day 1: Activities in Lima (BL)

Lima is a cosmopolitan city, with food influences from all over the Andes and the world. This morning, we delve into Lima’s culinary scene as our host demonstrates the art of Peruvian cooking, including a selection of ingredients from a local market. The payoff is the consumption of her handiwork during a delicious lunch in her apartment! The afternoon activity is a walking tour through the artsy Barranco District before returning to our hotel for a relaxing evening on your own.

Day 2: Depart Lima (BD)

Lima Miraflores Sea Cliff Walk – 3 km, rated 1A

After several walks at high altitudes, today’s easy amble overlooking the Pacific Ocean seems like the proverbial “cakewalk.” This afternoon, the Larco Museum features a highly regarded collection of pre-Columbian and Inca-era art and artifacts, and offers the perfect opportunity to connect multiple facets of our Peruvian experience! We enjoy an early dinner together at the museum restaurant, then stop en route to the airport at Parque de la Reserva. This Guinness Book world record holder boasts 13 distinct fountains illuminated with continuously changing color schemes, and a laser light program synchronized with classical and Peruvian music. Our final “farewells” mark a transition for our return home, changed by our encounter with the history of the Inca Empire, our connections with the Quechua people, and the story of modern-day Peruvians.

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

Call or mail in your Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.

Travel Discounts

Our travel savings program is being revised for 2019 trips – more details will be available soon!

Andean Mountain High—A word of caution about altitude

Urubamba and Cuzco, Peru lie at elevations of around 10,000 feet (contrary to common belief, Machu Picchu is situated at a much lower elevation than Cuzco.). Our program in Peru starts in the Sacred Valley, at the elevation of 9000 feet before moving down to about 6700 feet at Aguas Calientes (base town for Machu Picchu) then back up to Cuzco at around 11,000 feet at the end of the program when most travelers have acclimated. It is important to pursue any concerns you have about altitude with your doctor. As always, travelers are free to opt out of any activities. However, acclimation to these altitudes is an important aspect of a successful visit to the Andes for most of us who live near sea level.

How should I arrange air transportation?

The official start and finish point for Peru & Machu Picchu is the Lima airport. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer, available after the tour has been finalized.

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling”; we are walking at a relaxed but steady pace.

Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Walks on this Adventure are guided walks. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to enjoy the trip, to avoid medical issues due to overexertion, and to be sensitive to fellow travelers who came prepared to walk at our typical group pace noted above. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please contact our office at 1.800.779.0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

What happens next?

We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.

If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 deposit, bringing your total on the tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.

Peru is a beautiful country, brimming with a diverse array of attractions—spectacular scenery, captivating cultures, and spellbinding accounts of the story of South America. Join us for a walking adventure that will take you behind the scenes on a journey of discovery!