Machu Picchu Lodge Trek ? Sacred Valley & Lares

Trip Length 10 Days
Group Size 4-16
Difficulty
Starting from
$4,999 for REI Members
$5,499 for non-members
Departures Dec 2019-Dec 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Choose the activity level that?s right for you as we trace ancient footsteps on this 10-day journey to Machu Picchu.

This trip takes us truly off the beaten path, from the most iconic Inca sites of the Sacred Valley to the best trails of the lesser known Lares region. We begin with a visit to Tipon and Pikillacta near Cusco to explore elaborate ancient archaeological sites. We visit the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo, an impressive, well-preserved archaeological site dating back to the 15th century. From the Sacred Valley, our journey takes us into the high Andes of Lares for more discoveries. Activity options on most days of our trip range from relaxed cultural exploration to challenging high altitude hikes over remote passes in the snow-capped Andes.

Arriving finally at Machu Picchu, we spend two days exploring the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. As we tour the grounds, our guides will share theories about each structure and its importance to the Incas. We depart having followed in the footsteps of fascinating ancient peoples.

Also see our 10-day Machu Picchu lodge trek over the Salkantay route.

This is a great trip for adults and fit, older teens. If you're traveling with younger children, check out our Machu Picchu Family Adventure.

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Trip Highlights

  • Select from a range of activities to suit your ability and interest
  • Explore impressive archaeological Incan sites in the Sacred Valley
  • Visit rural communities preserved in rich Incan culture
  • Spend two days at incredible Machu Picchu
  • Dine and rest comfortably at well-appointed mountain lodges

Activities

This trip offers two activity options on most days ranging from easy active [2] to vigorous [4]. Each traveler can choose the option offering the level of activity they prefer.

For easy active [2] outings, be prepared to walk or hike 2?4 hours (up to 6 miles) on undulating terrain. To enjoy Moderate [3] hikes, participants should be able to hike 3?6 hours (up to 8 miles) without major discomfort over terrain with some steep grades. For vigorous [4] hikes, participants should be strong hikers in excellent shape and able to hike 6?8 hours (5?10 miles) on trails with steep ascents and descents. Much of the trip is between 11,000??15,000? in elevation, making activity more challenging.

  • Hiking
  • Walking

What's Included

Accommodations in hotels and mountain lodges as noted on itinerary; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; English-speaking local guides; full baggage support/transfer while trekking (you carry only your daypack); all ground transportation within Peru as noted, airport transfers and rail tickets to/from Machu Picchu; all sightseeing excursions as noted including permits for entrance to Machu Picchu and optional unguided hikes.

Machu Picchu Hiking Permits: We require your complete passport information in order to purchase your permit to Machu Picchu and the optional unguided hikes to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. We will secure a permit for one of the optional hikes, but we are unable to guarantee which specific hike since permits are limited and issued on a first come, first served basis.

Accommodations

Hotels, 5 nights; Mountain lodges, 4 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

After arriving in Cusco, visit impressive archaeological sites.

Our trip begins today in Cusco, Peru (11,250'). Upon arrival in Cusco, we will be met by our local guide at our centrally located hotel where we'll have a brief orientation meeting. We have most of the morning to relax and acclimatize before setting out on a tour to the archaeological sites of Tipon and Pikillacta. Tipon has numerous impressive terraces that are still being used today. It is one of the most elaborate examples of agricultural terracing created by the Incas. Pikillacta provides an excellent blueprint of an ancient pre-Incan city that had a population estimated in the thousands. Dinner included.

Day 2

Today's adventure begins in Chinchero in the Sacred Valley.

After breakfast we make our way to the colorful town of Chinchero with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets and beautiful churches. Tonight we spend our first night at Lamay Lodge (9649'). All meals included.

  • Easy active option (Level 2): Extended visit in Chinchero, then a guided tour of Moray Inca Agricultural Site and the Maras Salt Mines. Optional hike to Pichingoto. Walking 2?3 hours.
  • Moderate option (Level 3): After passing impressive Inca walls, we hike downhill using an original Inca trail that eventually leads to the Rio Vilcanota in the Sacred Valley. Hiking: 3.5 hours, 5 miles, 2,725' elevation loss.

Day 3

Discover the wonders of Pisac.

Today we explore the local towns of Pisac and Viacha and hike among ancient Inca ruins. We later return to our lodging where we are treated to a pachamanca meal, cooked under hot stones. All meals included.

  • Easy active option (Level 2): Visit the town and market of Pisac. Short drive to the village of Viacha. Hike down to Pisac ruins before driving to the lodge. Late afternoon free. Walking 1?2.5 hours.
  • Moderate option (Level 3): Begin the hike from the village of Amaru, high in the Andes, to Challwaccasa Pass (14,170') where we're rewarded with great views of impressive mountains. Hike downhill to the community of Viacha where we enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch. Later, our hike leads us to a bird's-eye view of the stunning archaeological site of Pisac. Drive to lodge. Hiking: 6 hours, 5.1 miles. 1,170' elevation gain/loss 2,740'.

Day 4

Explore ancient farming areas and cross the Lares Pass.

Today's journey begins with an hour's transfer to Ancasmarca, where we explore an old Inca site that features a variety of ancient food storages, dwellings and farming areas. After today?s activities, we end at Huacawasi Lodge. All meals included.

  • Easy active option (Level 2): Drive to archaeological site of Ancasmarca and tour the ruins. Continue on to Choquecancha and visit more Inca ruins. Lunch in town. Arrive at lodge. Walking 1?2 hours.
  • Moderate option (Level 3-4): Begin hike at Cuncani. Hike for about two hours to Cruzccasa Pass (13,740'). From the pass, hike a one-hour descent to picnic lunch spot. Another hour's hike brings us to Huacawasi. Hiking: 4 hours. 3.4 miles. 1,437' elevation gain/1,240' elevation loss.

Day 5

Explore Huacawasi, high mountain passes and amazing vistas.

Today we immerse ourselves in this remote area. Lodging tonight is at Haucawasi. All meals included.

  • Easy active option (Level 2): Visit the community of Huacawasi and meet local people in their homes. Hike to a nearby waterfall. Hiking: 2?3 hours, 2 miles.
  • Vigorous option (Level 4): Hike over two mountain passes at an elevation of over 14,000?. Hiking: 7 hours, 5.4 miles, 1,978' elevation gain/2601' loss.

Feel free to take the afternoon to enjoy personal hot tubs, curl up with a good book, or take a cooking class with the lodge chef.

Day 6

Pass through traditional villages full of culture and beauty.

This morning prepare your luggage before heading out on your excursion. Tonight?s lodging is in Ollantaytambo. All meals included.

  • Easy active option (Level 2): Scenic drive to the community of Huilloc (1 hour). Continue on to the sheepherding community of Marcacocha and participate in a traditional Andean ceremony to honor the apus for the good health of their flock. Lunch at the archeological site of Pumamarka and then easy hike to Ollantaytambo town, visiting the amazing agricultural terraces along the valley.
  • Vigorous option (Level 4): Depart from Huacahuasi lodge and hike over a mountain pass at an elevation of 14,646'. End in Patacancha Village. Our vehicle will meet us here to take us to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Hiking: 7.5 hours, 8 miles. 2,250' elevation gain/2,211' elevation loss.

Day 7

Travel from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.

After breakfast we begin with a visit to the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo, an impressive, well-preserved archaeological site dating from the late 15th century. In fact, it has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. Ollantaytambo was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region and who, most archaeologists now believe, is the reason Machu Picchu was built. Later this morning we board our train for a 1.5-hour ride to the small town of Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu and enjoy a boxed lunch along the way. After checking into our hotel, we enjoy an afternoon visit to Machu Picchu Sanctuary. All meals included.

Day 8

Begin the day with an early morning tour of the sacred city.

This morning we head back up to Machu Picchu for another full day of exploration. After more site visits, we have several options: a hike to the dramatic viewpoint of Intipunku (the Sun's Gateway), an easy walk to an ancient Inca drawbridge, a more vigorous hike to the Temple of the Moon, or an ascent up Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, based on permit availability. The option to return to the hotel for a massage or souvenir shopping is possible too. Our lodging is at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel for a second night. All meals included.

Hiking: Optional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain hikes will be unguided and are steep with some exposure. Permits are limited. An alternative optional hike may be available if these permits cannot be obtained.

Day 9

Journey back to Cusco with the afternoon free to tour this city.

We board the train back to Cusco, arriving in the afternoon. After checking into our hotel, the afternoon is free to explore the city of Cusco or shop for any last-minute souvenirs. Tonight we'll toast to new friendships and exchange stories from our week of hiking in the beautiful Andes. Overnight in Cusco. Breakfast and Dinner included.

Day 10

Depart for home.

After breakfast, we head to the airport for our departing flights. Trip members can opt to return to Lima for connecting flights home or extend their travels in Peru. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering.���To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary as this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Mandatory Evacuation Insurance
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.