Classic Machu Picchu Adventure

  • 6 Days
  • 14 People Max

    14 people max

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Cusco
  • Trip End: Cusco
A woman enjoys her Peru Adventure Tour with our local guides

Discover the highlights and hidden gems of Peru on our Classic Machu Picchu Adventure

There's no doubt you'll be mind blown by the contrasting landscapes, from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to crystal clear water of Isabela Island, on our Classic Machu Picchu Adventure. Starting in Cuzco, you'll cycle into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, hike the Huchuy Qosqo Trail, experience Machu Picchu and explore Pisac market. 

   This trip is operated by Active Adventures.

Classic Machu Picchu Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Cusco Trip End: Cusco
  • Day 1Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuaman Fortress

  • Day 2Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

  • Day 3Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

  • Day 4Visit Machu Picchu

  • Day 5Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

  • Day 6Free morning in Cuzco, afternoon flight to Lima

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuaman Fortress

    Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes each and was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary, and yet another theory is that it was the place where the old Inca king would play football using the heads of his enemies! No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later, we’ll take a walk through the colorful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.

    Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)

  • Day 2

    Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

    We’ll head into the fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas this morning, stopping just above Cuzco, where we’ll jump on our bikes and ride down through breathtaking scenery, dotted with local villages and surrounded by the massive green slopes of the Andes. We’ll finish our ride in the small town of Pisac, where we’ll have a chance to check out the colorful mercado artesanal. From here, we’ll begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. It’s a heart-pumping walk up through ancient agricultural terraces – you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring the ancient complex, we’ll descend the original Inca stairways and head further into the Sacred Valley. Our home for the night is the small village of Yucay, in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.

    Sonesta Posada del Inka, Yucay (All Meals)

  • Day 3

    Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

    We’ll set off early this morning and head to the remote market village of Chinchero. Said to be the birthplace of the rainbow, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 500 years while we explore the cobbled alleyways and beautiful town square – still the main trading centre of the Incas from over half a century ago. From Chinchero, we’ll drive past the Piuray Lagoon and on to the Andean village of Tauca, where we’ll begin our hike to Huchuy Qosqo. The dramatic mountain views of the Urubamba range and deep valleys below are off the charts! As we make our way over the Pucajasa Mountain Pass, we’ll pass through high mountain meadows, lagoons and indigenous communities that have little contact with the outside world. Shortly before lunch we’ll arrive at the spectacular ruins of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cuzco), thought to be the remnants of an Inca hideaway village. After lunch, we’ll hike down to Lamay village and drive a short distance to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll take an unforgettable train ride down to the sub-tropical village of Aguas Calientes. You’ll have a chance to wander around this colorful little town before dinner and relax after a full day of hiking!

    Hatun Inti Boutique, Aguas Calientes (All Meals)

  • Day 4

    Visit Machu Picchu

    After an early breakfast, we’ll head up to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, where we’ll meet our local guide who will show us around this fascinating ancient city. Afterward, you’ll have all morning to explore the many passageways and stone structures of this mysterious place on your own. We’ll also have the chance to hike to the Sun Gate for a unique perspective on these remote Inca ruins, set high on top of a mountain surrounded by lush peaks. After plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu, we’ll take a scenic train ride back to Ollantaytambo, known to the locals simply as ‘Ollanta’.

    El Arbergue Hotel, Ollantaytambo (All Meals)

  • Day 5

    Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

    Ollanta is dominated by two large ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th Century! The Ollantaytambo ruins offer a fascinating insight into Inca archaeology, so we’ll spend the morning with a local guide discovering the site, placing our travels into context. Later, we’ll take an incredible hike into the majestic Valle Sagrado de Los Incas. After a visit to the town of Maras, we’ll hike down to the salt pans of Las Salineras with the Rio Urubamba and the Sacred Valley below us. These unique salt terraces have been used since Inca times and provide a great opportunity to hone your camera skills. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water that the Incas diverted into shallow pools to produce salt, and this is still done today.

    Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol, Cuzco (All Meals)

  • Day 6

    Free morning in Cuzco, afternoon flight to Lima

    Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and it’s a fabulous place to wander around and get a taste for an ancient city arriving in the 21st century! Walk along Cuzco’s central streets, lined with massive Inca-built stone walls that form the foundation of the city and blend into the colonial and modern architecture that has been added over the years. You can take some time this morning to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. There’s no shortage of great food and entertainment in Cuzco, with restaurants to suit any taste, cafés for coffee in the Plaza de Armas and great bars with local music. This afternoon we’ll take the short flight to Lima and arrive in time to have dinner together as a group.

    None (Breakfast, Dinner)

Classic Machu Picchu Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $4299/pp
5 Mar 2023
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the Classic Machu Picchu Adventure

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- May 2022

Amazing trip with great guides

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable,… read more

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and always helpful. Our porters and camp staff also were friendly and highly competent. The sites chosen by the guides for us to visit were always interesting, and the guides were able to provide great information about them. The information provided to us by Active Adventures was helpful and comprehensive - my only comments regarding the pre-trip information would be to update the materials to clarify that guests need a small day pack for biking and day hikes AND a 30L plus hiking bag for the Inca trail, and the pre-trip information could have included information about tipping for the porters and guides. While it is sensible that the company would not want to pressure guests into tipping a certain amount, everyone in my group had a wonderful time and genuinely wanted to show appreciation to our porters and guides. It would have been helpful to know how much cash we should have with us when departing on the trail to be able to tip each individual adequately, as well as information about when in the trip we would have an opportunity to tip both porters and guides. read less

5 Stars (2056 reviews)

Amy, United States

- May 2022

Bucket list trip for sure!!

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I… read more

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I was delighted to finally take it this April. Active Adventures deserves huge kudos for honouring its commitment to the trip. I travelled with two friends, and we were in a group of 15 on the trip - from the US and Canada. What a fantastic group of people! Best of all though, were our two tour guides from the Galapagos, Pepo and Paulo. They were the best ambassadors for the islands and Ecuador - very knowledgeable, professional, kind hearted - and just plain fun. They made us feel safe and relaxed throughout the trip. The islands are gorgeous - and the wildlife does not disappoint. I found deep ocean snorkelling a bit out of my comfort zone, and wished I had practiced a bit in a pool before I left. However, it is an essential part of the trip, and cannot be skipped. Learning about tectonic plates, volcanoes and the conservation efforts for the giant tortoises was food for thought. As for helpful tips, bring lots of sun screen, sun protective clothing, and bug spray. These items are not readily available on the islands, but they are absolutely essential. Also bring a reusable water bottle as recommended by AA, because although bottled water is available for purchase everywhere, it makes more sense to fill up from the large reusable containers provided and not create plastic waste. I would definitely recommend this beautiful active adventure - my first with this company, but not my last. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Serena, Canada

- May 2022

Bucket List Trip

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable… read more

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable about the islands and loved sharing it all with us. The warm weather was so welcome after a winter in New England. All of the logistics were handled smoothly so that all we had to do was enjoy the varied land and marine wildlife. An amazing trip that I highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Claudia, United States

- May 2022

Somethings really do live up to the hype. This was AMAZING!!

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new… read more

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new people and well, Covid. But this was abso-fricking-lutely the BEST ADVENTURE TRIP! From our guide, Pepo (who completely hit it out of the park), to the places we saw, to the organization behind the scenes and those wonderful meals, this was amazing! If you want the best way to SEE the Galapagos Islands, this is it. I can't say enough great things about Galakiwi (Active's partner) and our guides. They made this trip unforgettable. Pepo and Paolo answered our flora/fauna questions (we had lots!) and happily shared us what makes this place so special. And man, Pepo can dance - and surf! We're already talking about our next Active Adventure - we can't wait! :) read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lori, United States

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Wonderful Patagonia

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking… read more

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking with Alvaro and Christian was compensation aplenty. read less

4 Stars (1175 reviews)

Nick, United Kingdom

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Bucket List Trip!

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better… read more

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better company! This was my 5th tour with Active!
The landscape was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. And every guide was so much fun to hang out with and incredibly knowledgeable about the culture and the land. If you are planning a trip to Patagonia and you love being in the outdoors, this is the tour company for you! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Jolene, Canada

- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Fabulous trip!

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement… read more

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement prior to the trip but once I arrived in the Galapagos, the excitement hit and so glad my friend and I decided to go on the adventure together. AA tour made the trip really easy. I really like the balance of being “active” and some downtime of my own. The tour guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. The meals were all very good except for the first night dinner on San Cristobal Island…to me, it wasn’t good. I thought the fish weren’t well prepared and tasted too fishy. Another person ordered the same meal and I noticed she hardly touched hers. Later I found out hers was too salty. Another low light for me was the accommodations on Floreana Island. Apparently, very limited hotel selections on the island. Hotel Wittmer was ran down and we all had cold showers that night. I also found a smashed dead mosquito with blood on the wall! Isabela Island was fun and where we stayed was wonderful. I wish we had more time on Santa Cruz Island. All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would recommend this trip to my friends who enjoy the outdoor and animals! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Hui-Chien, United States

- April 2022

Wonderful wildlife adventures

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was… read more

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was so passionate about the islands and knowledgeable about the wildlife and all aspects of our trip. We swam with sea turtles, rays, sea lions, and sharks!. The land tortoises were great to see in their natural habitat and in the breeding centers. I learned so much about the history of the islands, the environment, Darwin's studies and plans for the furture on the island. The snorkeling in Los Tunels was the highlight as well as the hike to the volcano lava fields. The Galapagos is truely a unique and fascinating place. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Barb, United States

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Almost to Antarctica

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February… read more

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February and the weather was good; clouds mixed with sun, and surprisingly warm…but windy. The guides, as always, were special and took care of everything. The scenery is amazing, and constant for the entire 4+ days. The Argentina border was closed so the trip was modified to include the Chile Lake District, and I opted out of that portion of the trip because it was similar to the Active Adventures Puma trip which I did a couple years ago (also a great trip!). Even doing only the W Trek was great…and I hope to return for the whole trip! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Mark, United States

- April 2022

Great trip with Great people

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just… read more

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just say that we were so surprised how much we enjoyed traveling with Active Adventures. We are typically not "group travel" people but in the Galapagos it seems necessary...so many things to line up and local people and facilities to communicate with. AAdventures did this with amazing competency. Things flowed seamlessly. Our guide Pepo and his assistant Paolo were amazing. They seemed to do all this and yet still ENJOY being with us, answering questions and getting everyone excited for the next adventure. I will advise that this is an active trip, not intense but lots of exercise, sweating and moving every day. It is important to know that and be prepared or know that you might skip some of the longer things. I also want to add that the guides' English was beautiful and Pepo's knowledge about the area, the geography and the animals was impressive. To anyone who is worried about the "group" aspect but needs the logistics AAdventures can provide, be assured. They still respect your privacy, your right to skip something if its not for you and the small size makes it not feel chaotic. Food was also very good, fresh and simple but abundant and well prepared. I had dreamed of this trip since I was a little girl and read about the tortoises in National Geographic. I never thought the experience would live up to the dream, but it truly did and I think Active Adventures had a big part in that. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lynn, United States

Ecuador Volcano and Jungle Adventure - April 2022

Tapir with Alberto

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was… read more

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was breathtaking with waterfalls, rushing river and majestic mountains. Got to sample local cuisine with I enjoyed very much. read less

5 Stars (294 reviews)

Sandy, United States

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Our 4th trip with Active

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We… read more

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We have loved every single Active Adventure. As always though, the Active guides are what make the trip special. This time Pepo and Paulo were absolutely awesome with their knowledge and communication. The people in the group always seem to come together as great friends and we have the guides to thank for that! Can't wait for the next one! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Paul, United States

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

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Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Cuzco airport (CUZ) (if your flight arrives by 11am) or you’ll meet your trip leader and your group in the lobby of Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol at 12pm. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Cuzco if you arrive before the first day, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends in Cuzco after breakfast. Please check out from the hotel by 10am, and the hotel will be able to store your luggage for the day if you decide to continue to explore.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Cuzco a couple of days before your trip begins to get accustomed to the 3,300 metres (10,000 feet) elevation. If this isn’t possible that’s okay – your trip is designed to begin very gently and ease you into being active at altitude! If you're flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Cusco by 10.30am.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, you can fly out at any time that suits.

How fit do I need to be for this trip?

As an Activity Level 3 trip, you’ll need a solid level of fitness. Typically, hikes on this trip range between three and six hours to complete. So get out there with a daypack on and train so you’ll be ready to join us! While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally involving some up hills and down hills and carrying a pack! With a little preparation before your trip begins, you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip all the more.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We’ve chosen the places we stay for their location, cleanliness and charm – not the number of channels available on the television! Many of the places we stay are off-the-beaten track and set in amazing locations. 

On the nights where we stay in Cuzco we have chosen good lodgings, ideally situated close to the main attractions without being too central, in order to avoid the most touristy and noisy areas. It’s worth keeping in mind that Peru is a noisy place – people here have a festive way of looking at life and often enjoy beeping their horns and playing loud music! We have chosen the quietest areas practical in order for people to get the best sleep possible, and earplugs are recommended in this energetic and lively part of the world. 

We recommend bringing enough clothing to only have to do laundry once during your trip and the best time will be in Cusco.

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You’ll need one piece of luggage plus a sturdy daypack (25-30 litres/2000 cubic inches) for your days out hiking. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase.

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Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”

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Central & South America

Classic Machu Picchu Adventure