Peru: Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley
Ancient Incan architecture, stunning physical beauty, and mystical inspiration combine at Machu Picchu in a way both thrilling and meditative. You’ll walk trails formed by Inca footsteps centuries ago, see the sun rise on their “Lost City” set dramatically atop a peerless mountain ridge, and delight in the spectacle of the sprawling Sacred Valley. You’ll also share warm encounters with local Peruvians at village markets and restaurants, explore their colorful towns and archaeological sites, and learn about their enduring arts, crafts, and religious ceremonies. Once here, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley will leave indelible marks on your memory and imagination.
- Follow timeworn farming paths as you descend the Sacred Valley.
- Peruse locally harvested fruits and vegetables at a bustling market in Pisac.
- Discover the terraced Inca saltpans at the mines of Salineras.
- Enjoy meals at a traditional Andean chicheria and try chicha (corn beer).
- Step back in time at the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo.
- Arrive at immortal Machu Picchu by hiking the Inca Trail or by Vistadome train.
- Explore the towering “Lost City” as the sun rises over the Sacred Valley.
- Walk trails through Cusco, Tambomachay, and Sacsayhuaman, all alive with history.
What to Expect
This tour features a combination of cobbled streets, uneven footpaths, and rocky, irregular terrain over hills and valleys. An elective 8-mile Inca Trail hike includes a 2,000-foot elevation gain. Altitudes of between 6,500 and 13,500 feet may require a slower pace. Our VBT minibus support is available at specified meeting points for those who need assistance except on the Inca Trail, where there is no road access and you will be required to walk the entire 8 miles. Both morning and afternoon walking options are available most days. Appropriate for enthusiastic beginners and ideal for experienced walkers. Several of the walks require a transfer from our hotel to the start of the walk. Our Trip Leaders often use this time in the van for our morning route review, so we can enjoy a more leisurely morning at breakfast.
BOOK EARLY FOR THE INCA TRAIL: A permit to walk the Inca Trail is included in your VBT trip cost. However, if you want to hike the Inca Trail, please make your reservations as early as possible! The Peruvian government limits the number of hikers on the trail at any given time. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Have your passport details in hand when booking your reservation with VBT. Permits are only issued for individuals and only for a specific passport number. VBT cannot guarantee your permit. If a permit is unavailable, you will travel by train to Aguas Calientes and by bus to the entrance, then walk into Machu Picchu. This will not impact your visit to Machu Picchu, only the hike into the site. Should you elect at any time to take the train option instead of the hike, the permit is non-refundable. If you do not wish to apply for an Inca Trail Pass at the time of booking, please advise your Tour Consultant. Understand that VBT will not be able to secure a pass at a later date if you change your mind and decide that you do want to hike the Inca Trail due to the limited number of passes available.
Average Daily Mileage: 4 – 8 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 6 hours
Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Cusco
Apr 66°/43° May 67°/39° Jun 66°/35° Jul 66°/34° Aug 66°/37° Sep 67°/31° Oct 68°/44° Nov 67°/45°
Average Precipitation (in.) – Cusco
Apr 1.5 May .3 Jun .1 Jul .1 Aug .3 Sep .9 Oct 1.9 Nov 2.7
Walking Tour Only – without Air
- 7 nights in fine hotels and inns
- 16 meals – 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
Air Package Plus
- Roundtrip international airfare
- 8 nights in fine hotels and inns
- 17 meals – 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
- And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extension: Pre-trip: Lima – 2 nights for only $495 • Post-trip: Peruvian Amazon – 2 nights for only $645
Both Vacations Include
- Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
- On-tour vehicle support
- FREE use of VBT custom walking poles
- Daily route directions and maps
- Welcome reception
- Sightseeing and cultural activities
- 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
- Special Good Buy Discount
- Permits for Inca Trail and Machu Picchu (subject to availability)