Classic Machu Picchu Adventure

  • 6 Days
  • 14 People Max

    5 - 14 guests

  • 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 the 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, depart

  • 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)

    Hiking: 2 kilometers (1.2 miles, 1-2 hours, elevation +/- 200 meters (656 feet)

  • 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 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Biking: 20 kilometers (12 miles), 2-4 hours (flexible)
    Hiking: 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), 2-4 hours, elevation +/- 450 meters (1,476 feet)

  • 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 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles), 5-7 hours, elevation + 579 meters (1,900 feet) / - 1,524 meters (5,000 feet)

  • 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 or similar, Ollantaytambo (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 1-3 hours, elevation +/- 200 meters (656 feet)

  • 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 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), 1-3 hours, elevation +/- 200 meters (656 feet)

  • Day 6

    Free morning in Cuzco, depart

    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. Your trip finishes here and you're free to depart any time today.

    No Accommodation (Breakfast)

Trip Dates

Classic Machu Picchu Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $4299/per adult
30 Apr 2023
2023
30 Apr5 May
Departure Open Open
28 May 2023
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28 May2 Jun
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25 Jun 2023
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1 Oct 2023
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

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By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. 

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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 Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol at 12pm. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at this hotel directly or any other hotel in Cuzco, 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.

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travellers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travellers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travellers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Is tipping expected in Peru?

Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per trip leader and S/100 (US$30) to be shared amongst your trekking crew on the Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure (Classic Inca, Lares Inca guide and porters). During your Active Adventures trip, your trip leader will take care of all included restaurants and service tips for you. For other restaurants or services during your time in Peru, 5-10% is a typical gratuity amount.

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Our Local Guides

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.

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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.

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"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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Classic Machu Picchu Adventure