Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Active Machu Picchu tour

Active Machu Picchu

Southern Explorations
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
9 days
From: $ 2,995 $ 333 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Hike To Huchuy Cusco
  • Peru Whitewater rafting adventure about an hour away while you will enjoy the canyon and scenic views
  • Visit are Cusco's temples
  • Visit Sacsayhuaman, a fortress with megalithic stone terraces
  • Visit a community of textile artists who craft original organic pieces according to the techniques of their ancestors

Short Description

To most visitors, travel to Machu Picchu means one activity, hiking the Inca Trail. This nine-day collection of Peru tours makes the adventure even more vigorous by adding whitewater rafting, zip-lining and mountain biking through this legendary landscape. You’ll spend time in famed Cusco, steeped in both colonial and Incan history that is reflected in its fascinating architecture. In addition to spending time in craft markets, you’ll explore the sights of the Sacred Valley by raft, mountain bike and on foot as well as make two excursions to the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu. This is a Machu Picchu adventure like no other.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Lima
End City Lima

Trip Includes

  • Kitchen and dining tent
  • Mountain biking gear
  • Private transportation
  • Rafting equipment
  • Zip lining equipment
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Lima

On your arrival in Lima, you will be met by our representative who will accompany you to your hotel. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional Lima tours and trips to nearby sites to fill your time. Ramada Hotel Upgrade - $40 per person. Since many international flights arrive here late in the evening, we highly recommend a hotel upgrade to the Ramada, a comfortable four-star hotel located within the Lima international airport. This upgrade is well worth the cost because it will save you up to two hours of transfer time between the city and the airport.

Day 2: Lima – Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

In the morning you will be taken from your hotel to the airport for a morning flight to Cusco (10,856 ft.), center of the Inca Empire. After checking in at your hotel, today’s Peru travel begins with a guided walking tour through the colorful markets of Cusco, making stops at the colonial cathedral and the impressive Incan Temple of the Sun (Koricancha) followed by a lunch of regional cuisine. You will spend the afternoon in the Inca heartland in the vicinity of Cusco. Among the important sites you’ll visit are Cusco's temples; Sacsayhuaman, a fortress with megalithic stone terraces; the stone Kenko containing subterranean altars; Puka Pukara, a small fortress that once protected the royal capitol; and the royal baths of Tambo Machay. You'll be returned to your hotel for the first of three free evenings in colonial Cusco.

Day 3: Whitewater Rafting

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After an early breakfast, your guide will get you to the put-in spot for today’s Peru rafting adventure about an hour away. Following a safety briefing, the trip begins with a stretch of small rapids and calmer waters to practice the basics of river-running technique, passing spectacular Inca ruins and terraces. Along the way, the guide will explain the remarkable history of these Inca architectural feats. While enjoying the canyon and scenic views, you pass under an ancient Inca bridge. The rapids continue to increase in difficulty and size, eventually progressing to Class IV. Before taking on the challenge of the final and largest rapid, you will disembark to scout this one with your guides. Once a safe line has been chosen, you will return to your rafts to run this adrenaline-filled finale to your Peru river rafting journey. After lunch, the next stop is Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.), a small town with a famous Incan archeological site before returning to your Cusco hotel.

Day 4: Hike To Huchuy Cusco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will be transferred by private van to the start of today’s Peru trek that includes an old Inca road and impressive views, as well as an opportunity to learn about local farming techniques and explore some rarely visited Inca ruins. The route travels high above Cusco and the outlying town of Cora, ending at an elevation of 13,780 feet, where Lake Qoricocha is located. The slowly contouring trail climbs to an elevation of 14,107 feet where some ancient Inca platforms in the hillside are believed to mark the boundary and entrance to the Huchuy Cusco Inca Estate. The rest of the day’s terrain is flat or downhill, passing herds of llamas and alpacas. The hike travels through the rustic village of Pucamarca, past an Inca bridge in a narrow canyon and offers spectacular views of the Incas’ Sacred Valley. You will arrive at a particularly scenic spot to enjoy a picnic lunch or snack. Continuing on, the contour on the high ridge brings you to the entrance gates of Huchuy Cusco and the extensive ruins themselves. Little is known about this mysterious site which translates to “little Cusco” in the Quechua language of the Incas and may have been the country retreat of one of the first Incas. Its three-story storage houses, trapezoid-niched walls, large main square, ten-ft terraced walls and hidden location above the Sacred Valley make these ruins a real pleasure to explore. Afterwards you will hike the rest of the way down to where the van will be waiting to return you to Cusco for a relaxing dinner and evening on your own before turning in at your hotel.  HIKE DETAILS: Approx - 8.2 miles | 6+ Hours Altitude: from 11,385 ft to 14,110 ft.

Day 5: Via Ferrata – Zip Linning

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning you will be picked up at your hotel for the start of today’s Peru tours, making stops in the Sacred Valley to capture some magnificent photos. In about two hours, you will rendezvous with your local expert guides for the unique experience ahead, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery with extraordinary views of the Sacred Valley below, lasting a good part of the day. The Via Ferrata is a system of cables and steel ladders drilled into the mountain that gives visitors without climbing experience the thrill of ascending a 984-ft rock face protected by a waist and chest harness with double-carabineer system for maximum safety. Within the Via Ferrata are several zip lines consisting of six connected cables ranging in length from 300 feet to 1,650 feet, totaling 6,560 feet. After completing this exciting day’s activities, you will be taken to the hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo, where you will spend the night.

Day 6: Mountain Biking In The Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

An early morning drive gets you to the start of today’s Peru mountain bike tour to the indigenous communities of Chequereq, Cruz Pata, the ruins of Moray, the town of Maras and the salt mines of Pichingoto. Your journey ends back in Ollantaytambo for lunch and another overnight stay in your comfortable hotel.

Day 7: Ollantaytambo – Train To Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

On today's Inca adventure, you will at last reach the long-anticipated destination of Machu Picchu, symbol of the Inca Empire. To get there, you'll walk from the hotel to the train station for the picturesque train ride along the Urubamba River into a cloud forest before arriving in Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. You'll go by bus the rest of the way, reaching an elevation of 7,875 feet and spend the day exploring the ruins. Afterwards you will return to Aguas Calientes in time for a soothing soak in the town's famed hot springs before enjoying a leisurely dinner on your own. Overnight at a nearby hotel in Aguas Calientes. (B) OPTION: INCA TRAIL HIKE KM 104 UPGRADE – $150 Per Person (If permits available) For active travelers who can’t imagine seeing Machu Picchu without hiking the Inca Trail to get there: You depart on the 8 AM train from Ollantaytambo, arriving two hours later at station KM 104. After registering at the checkpoint, you’ll hike first to WnaWayna. During this three-hour Inca Trail hiking segment you will see ruins, waterfalls and many varieties of flora and fauna as well as spend one to two hours exploring the beautiful WnaWayna ruins. From here it is another two hour walk to reach Machu Picchu. You will arrive at the ruins in the late afternoon when there are few visitors. After a brief Machu Picchu tour, you will be transferred to Aguas Calientes by bus and spend the night in a charming hotel. Your evening is unscheduled to allow you time to explore the town and soak in its famed hot springs.

Day 8: Day Hike - Machu Picchu Mountain - Chinchero Market - Return Cusco

Meals: Breakfast

Rising early to escape the crowds, you return to the royal citadel, starting with what is for most travelers the highlight of their Peru tours, sunrise at Machu Picchu. From here, you'll continue along the Inca Trail on a three to four hour round-trip hike, ascending another 2,000 feet to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain for a breathtaking view of the complex and surrounding area that most travelers never get to experience. You'll go by bus to Aguas Calientes and take the early afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo where a private van will be waiting for the trip to the colorful market in the village of Chinchero. Here you'll visit a community of textile artists who craft original organic pieces according to the techniques of their ancestors, to learn how the wool and alpaca are shorn, spun, dyed and woven into the high-quality creations for which this region is famous. Chinchero is the perfect place to find uniquely Andean souvenirs of one’s Peru tours. You'll be transported back to Cusco for a final relaxing evening and overnight at your hotel.Hike Details: Approx - 5.8 miles | 3-4 Hours Altitude: from 7,875 ft to 10,055 ft.

Day 9: Cusco - Lima - Return Home

Meals: Breakfast

Southern Explorations drivers take you to the airport in the morning for the return flight to Lima and your connecting international flight, marking the end of Southern Explorations services. Trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Lima or Cusco can also be arranged.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,995
Price Per Day: $ 333 per day
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Stride Featured in

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433 Southern Explorations Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 394
Great 31
Average 6
Disappointing 2
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Active Machu Picchu

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Company Reviews

Home time fine; but beware of guides!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities3.0
Lodging3.0
Transportation3.0
Meals3.0
Let this show that I think the American team/staff are mostly solid and organized. They could be more consultative/informative in helping differentiate between trips and options (in terms of scope and difficulty of trekking, of route options and add ons), but on the whole they organize a reliable trip.

It was the guide we had in Peru, Juan, that has left some damaging scars. Both before and after our trip with Southern Explorations, we had and have done a myriad of both private and small group hikes on every continent save for Antartica. I have never had a guide be so disrespectful, unsolicitous and arrogant. He flat out and openly would condescend and mock us; give us a difficult time for "peeling too much skin off the apple and therefore wasting it"; reprimanded us for being unprepared when we asked how much longer we had on a given day. He would hike 100's of yards ahead of us for hours at a time and act annoyed that the altitude was getting to us.

He also had us walk along a route that had been wiped out after mudslides in the off-season. One expects the unexpected when one is hiking; but the lack of thought about alternative routes etc. led to some very unsafe experiences. At one point, we took the "faster/less safe option" and our animals took the "safer" option as they couldn't physically fit on the narrow path we were on. Ok...

But 2 of the animals fell off the mountain (to its sad death) scaling the "safer" route. Not only did this leave us unconfident in Juan and the trail; it also meant we went without dinner for a night and had less food the rest of the trip.

We've have had phenomenal guides, elsewhere, and mediocre ones. But we've never had someone before or since so rude and expectant. It really felt awful to have to tip him at the end given the way he had treated us. So if you go to Peru and do the alternative Inca trail (or something there like) beware what Juan you get! The scenery remains so beautiful; but a bad guide can really sour the experience--to speak euphemistically.
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Great choice of itineraries and…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great choice of itineraries and practical arrangements worked well. Staff at Head Office and on the ground were very helpful.

We have taken two trips arranged by…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have taken two trips arranged by Southern Explorations: Argentina and Ecuador/Galapogos and both were outstanding. Great attention to detail. Great guides. Reasonably priced. Will continue to use them in the future.
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Awesome experience/worry-free pleasure!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Awesome experience; great guides, very organized, all well planned and executed.
Made travel a worry-free pleasure. Thanks!

Our experience with Southern…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our experience with Southern Explorations was great from the first encounter. Very professional, quick to respond and very helpful,

No glitches

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
No glitches, all guides, all pickup people etc arrived on time and they were knowledgeable and good at their jobs. Hotels were all exceptable, but some were more marginal, so a review of the hotels might be in order.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 8

Trip ID#:

ActMacSou

Trip Excludes

  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts and 5 Lunches

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