Our 16-day itinerary includes 9 days of trekking through the Peruvian Andes. We want to give you the ultimate Inca experience, trekking to Machu Picchu and taking in its lesser known sister city Choquequirao.
Our adventure begins with a stunning trek around Cusco taking in all the major sites while taking the time to adjust to the altitude. From Cusco we drive deep into the Andes and begin our trek – our first port of call is Choquequirao. which is twice the size of Machu Picchu and because of its remote location it receives a small fraction of the trekkers that visit Machu Picchu. Choquequirao receives the same number of visitors annually as Machu Picchu receives every day!
From Choquequirao, we trek along a stunning undulating trail for several days to reach Machu Picchu; we cross rivers, trekking up and over two high passes (4,150m & 4,668m) and following meandering trails through lush jungle bursting with exotic flora and fauna. At several natural viewing points along the trek, we are treated with awe-inspiring views of the snow-capped peaks of Humantay (5,700 m) and Salkantay (6,271 m).
We frequently come across traditional villages along the trail taking the opportunity to interact with the wonderful native people and experiencing life in the mountains. We take time to visit a coffee farm; picking the coffee cherries and learning about traditional coffee growing traditions. We roast the coffee over an open fire, grind the beans, brew the freshest cup of Java you will ever experience and sit back to enjoy the electrifying caffeine jolt! We spend an evening at natural hot spring soaking our tired legs under the stars.
On the day we visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu we rise early and take the first bus to begin our fully guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the two-hour hike around the site we take the steep trail up Machu Picchu Mountain. It takes a further two hours to reach the summit but the views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding landscape are worth all the effort! After climbing the mountain, you are free to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure until the last bus departs to Aguas Calientes.
This itinerary is perfect for anyone looking for a challenging trek and who wants to completely immerse themselves in ancient Incan and modern Peruvian culture. At the end of the trek we have a free day which you can spend relaxing in Cusco or you can opt for an incredible day trip to Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) which is a very special experience.
We are the only company in the world who send an International guide and doctor on our Machu Picchu expeditions while keeping group sizes sustainably small. Sending an international guide and doctor on all our Machu Picchu treks allows us to deliver an unrivalled level of safety and service for each and every one of our clients. Having smaller group sizes allows us to minimise our environmental impact and foster a stronger team dynamic.
Our itinerary goes a lot further off the beaten path than the standard Inca trail tours or Machu Picchu treks. See the trip itinerary below, or read our blog post about the new route.