Hike to ancient, off-the-beaten-track Incan sites, trek through breathtaking high-Andes mountain scenery, stay overnight with a charismatic local family, and eventually find yourself among the famous, mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu! Perfect for the adventurous traveler, this tour squeezes a taste of everything into a short, sweet itinerary.

Highlights

  • Hike to Huchuy Qosqo — accessible only by foot
  • Visit ancient, off-the-beaten-track Incan sites
  • Explore famous Machu Picchu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Hike to Huchuy Qosqo Huchuy Qosqo
Day 2 Huchuy Qosqo to Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 3 Machu Picchu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Hike to Huchuy Qosqo

Traditionally dressed woman

Welcome to Peru! Start your mountain trekking adventure at Tambo Machay — a short drive from pretty alpine Cusco — and climb through a gently rising alpine pasture to your first Peruvian mountain pass, where sweeping views of the Cordillera Urubamba await. From here, continue hiking past serene Lake Quellacocha and cross three more mountain passes before descending, partly on ancient Inca roads, through the rapidly changing ecological layers of the Andean Sierra. End your hike in the isolated traditional community of Huchuy Qosqo and stay overnight in a traditional homestay. 

Walking distance: 8.7 miles 

Day 2: From Huchuy Qosqo to Aguas Calientes

Explore Huchuy Qosqo

Before you make your way deeper into the Andes, spend some time exploring Huchuy Qosqo. The impressive stone and mud-brick ruins are believed to have been one of the palaces of Viracocha — the eighth Incan emperor. Because the site is remote and there's no road access, you'll likely have the mystical, ancient site to yourself. Once you've explored every nook and cranny, make the steep descent to the road and the village of Lamay for a traditional lunch. Then board a vehicle bound for Ollantaytambo and a train to Aguas Calientes, where you'll spend your second night in the mountains. 

Walking distance: 1 mile 

Day 3: Machu Picchu!

Machu Picchu

Wake before sunrise and make your way to the famous, spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu to watch the sun rise over the ancient city — a high point for any Andean explorer. Considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the old stone city surrounded by impossibly steep, deep green mountains needs no introduction. After sunrise, join a knowledgeable guide on a tour around the massive site, then head off on your own to explore the ruin and some of the surrounding peaks before bidding this special place farewell and boarding your train back to Cusco