|from $4,798* per person||8 Days||May, October, November|
|Luxury accommodations||Exertion level: 5|
|Operator: Backroads||22 people max|
It’s about that picture. You know the one. Every Web site and coffee-table book has it. History, archaeology, anthropology guides all have it. You’ll have it too. Standing above Machu Picchu, wispy white clouds floating by, the jagged Andes in the background, you’ll snap the picture. But being there, feet firmly planted above that scene, will forever reset your view of humanity, society and history. How did they do this? When was this again? There are maybe ten places on Earth like this spot. And to think, it’s only one moment in a week’s worth of incredible moments.
Permits to hike the Inca Trail are extremely limited. We recommend booking a minimum of 4-6 months prior to departure in order to significantly increase your chance of securing a permit. If permits are unavailable during some seasons you will take a train to Aguas Calientes, bus to the entrance and hike into Machu Picchu.
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Days 1-2 Hike to impressive Inca archaeological sites Our local guide Aurelio shares deep insight into Peru’s culture and ancient civilizations during a visit to Puca Pucara, Q’enko, Temple of the Moon and Sacsayhuamán Explore the Inca architecture and water-engineering ruins of Tipon, visited by few yet a rival to Machu Picchu Discover the superb collection at Cusco’s Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
Days 3-5 Experience Quechua culture in an off-the-beaten path weaving community Amid a panorama of snowy peaks, bike along the altiplano past traditional villages In Moray, learn how the Inca ingeniously farmed using high-altitude terraces Bike in the Sacred Valley to the ruins at Pisac, site of the largest known Inca cemetery Interested in shopping for alpaca sweaters or decorative gourds? You’ll find plenty to choose from at the Pisac market Visit the jaw-dropping salineras (salt pans) and ascend the enigmatic ruins of Ollantaytambo.
Days 6-8 Machu Picchu: the incredible "Lost City of the Incas" After taking the train to Aguas Calientes, hike the Gate of the Sun trail for a bird’s-eye look at Machu Picchu (you may also have the option to hike the famed Inca Trail) Spend a second full day exploring the "Lost City," contemplating its exquisite stonework and mysterious astrological designs.