Inca Trail, Titicaca & Nazca

15 days
from
$3,605 AUD
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 45 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
TPD
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Hiking
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Discover Peru's contrasting landscapes, as shaped by ancient civilisations

This tour combines the best-known trek in the Americas with a taste of Peru's diverse landscapes and cultures. Lake Titicaca’s waters lie adorned with floating reed islands inhabited by indigenous groups, while the barren coastal deserts and their mysterious lines of ancient Nazca civilisations continue to fascinate visitors. Cuzco is the ideal base for archaeological discovery and for embarking on the spectacular Inca Trail trek to the imposing citadel of Machu Picchu. Alternative Moonstone Trek also available - please see 'Is This Trip For You' (below).

Highlights

  • Walk the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Free time to explore the old Inca capital, Cuzco
  • See the Nazca Lines in the coastal desert
  • Travel through the imposing Apurimac Valley
  • Traditional Taquile Island and the floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when permits have sold out

Key information

  • 11 nights hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 4215m, average 3050m
  • Travel by private bus, train, boat and 1 internal flight
  • 7kg personal weight limit on trek

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 11 nights hotels and 3 nights full-service camping
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Inflatable sleeping mat while camping

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)
Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 5-6 hours' walking per day.

Terrain:

High altitude; good paths, lots of steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 711.0km/6.8miles
Day 810.0km/6.2miles
Day 912.0km/7.5miles
Day 109.0km/5.6miles
Floating reed islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

We operate a zero‐impact policy on the Inca Trail, removing all waste from campsites and separating it so that it can easily be recycled or composted. Using a toilet tent at our lunch stops and in camp removes the need to dig holes at campsites, and alleviates the waste problems caused by the fixed toilet blocks. Our camp staff are paid a fair wage and receive all accommodation, transport and food during the trek. They are also trained and encouraged to put environmental protection practices to use in their own communities. The porters we work with are not directly employed by our local partner but we work with the same communities each year; we supply uniforms, walking shoes and provide safe transport and community support for them. Our Trek Manager is a leading figure and consultant for the Porters' Federation, which campaigns for the fair treatment of porters in the region.

We include drinking water, provided in large containers to refill a reusable bottle from, to reduce the amount of single-use plastic. 

There are plenty of opportunities to visit the markets and purchase local handicraft products or to sample Peruvian street food; try the Mercado San Pedro in Cuzco for local produce and the artisan market in Aguas Calientes for textiles. The entrance fees for the archaeological sites, museums and churches we visit, including Machu Picchu, help support their maintenance, restoration and upkeep. 

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Lima
to
Lima
  • Day 1

    Start Lima; optional walking tour of Lima's colonial centre.

    Our trip starts in Lima today. The group flights are scheduled to arrive in the morning. A group arrival transfer is provided and free transfers are also available for any flight, as long as you have supplied Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer. There will be a noticeboard in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held today. Time allowing, there is the option to take a walking tour of Lima's colonial centre this afternoon, replete with Spanish churches and colonial architecture.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Drive south to Paracas and sail to the wildlife-rich Ballestas Islands; on to Ica.

    We set off very early this morning (around 05.30am) and drive south from Lima until we reach the port of Paracas (4-5 hours' drive). Here we take a boat to the Ballestas islands, a national park that contains one of the highest concentrations of marine birds in the world. There are sea lions, numerous species of birds and the Paracas Candelabra, a curious pre-Inca design on the hillside, only recognisable from the sea. The boat trip lasts around 2 hours, and once we're back on dry land we drive for around an hour to Ica, in the heart of Peru's wine-growing region.

    Hotel Villa Jazmin (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Nazca; Nazca Lines viewing platforms; optional scenic flight.

    At the Huacachina oasis just outside Ica, there are high sand dunes where we may have time to try 'sand-surfing' (optional). We arrive at Nazca in the afternoon with time to visit the viewing platforms close to the Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous drawings and patterns etched in the desert sand. Afterwards, for those who wish there is the chance to do a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines (optional).

    Hotel Casa Andina (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Head high into the Andes to Abancay.

    We turn inland from the coastal desert today, climbing high into the Andes on today's long but spectacular drive. Vicuñas (a smaller wild relative of the llama) can be seen along this road, as this area is Peru's largest vicuña reserve. Flamingos are usually sighted at high Andean lakes near the road. This region has only recently become easily accessible to tourists due to an upgrade of the Abancay/Chalhuanca road. The altitude here can make physical exertion difficult (the highest point we reach today is Negro Nayu at approx. 4600m). It is recommended to rest in the evening after the 12-hour drive. We overnight a couple of hours before Abancay on the road to Cuzco.

    Hotel Tampumayu (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Continue to Cuzco (3400m); afternoon free to acclimatise.

    We set off towards Cuzco this morning, stopping to visit the unique Inca Saywiti stone and Tarawasi ruins. The glaciated summits of the Vilcabamba Mountain range and the descent into the Apurimac River valley demonstrate the dramatic contrasts of the Andes Mountains, and we should expect stunning scenery throughout today's 5-6 hour drive.

    Hotel Koyllur Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day in Cuzco to explore the many Inca ruins and Spanish churches.

    The city has a multitude of attractions both in and around the city, both active and historical, and today is free to explore the city and its surroundings. An optional visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Pisac ruins is available, as is the option to try paddle-boarding on a high altitude lake on the plateau just outside the city.

    Hotel Koyllur Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    Those who are doing the Moonstone Trek will join a separate transfer to the trailhead.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day. A long climb (largely up stone staircases) takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Over Runcuray Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    Another easier climb, past the ruins of Runquracay, takes us over the Runquracay Pass (3800m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; the trail passes at one point through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a quiet site on the ridge above the Inca ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3600m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    The trek ends with the iconic view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two-kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however, in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

    Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Guided tour of Machu Picchu; return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    Having been trialled in 2017, new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu will be fully enforced for 2018; of the three possible visiting slots, we will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

    Hotel Koyllur Inn (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive across the altiplano to Lake Titicaca (3800m), visiting Inca sites en route.

    Today we travel for 8-10 hours by private coach along the Vilcanota River and onto the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungle. Although it is quite a long drive, it is interesting and often spectacular. There are scheduled stops at interesting sites along the route to help break up the day and all along the route we get a feeling for the immensity of the Andean landscapes. A packed lunch is included today. This afternoon we arrive into Puno (3,800m) on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

    Hotel Casona Plaza (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Day trip to floating reed islands of Uros and Taquile.

    A full day on the lake today as we visit both the island of Taquile and the floating islands of the Uros Indians. First, we take a boat to the floating island of Uros. The Uros have been living on rafts of reeds for centuries, and although many have now moved to the mainland there are still a couple of thousand who remain on the islands which are anchored close to Puno. A reasonable amount of their income is now provided by strictly regulated tourism, but they also still fish the lake and engage in barter with communities on the mainland in order to obtain essential daily items.

    Afterwards, we continue on to Taquile Island, home to a community known for their remarkable weaving and traditional lifestyle. The panoramic views of the lake from the island are incredible, and it is often possible to see the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real in the distance. There’s the option to eat lunch on the island, before we return to Puno.

    Hotel Casona Plaza (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Transfer to Juliaca; fly to Lima.

    Today we transfer to Juliaca Airport and fly back to Lima.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Lima.

    The tour ends after breakfast today.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Lima)

Code: XPL

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. 

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Drinking water is provided. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dish, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Where lunch and dinner are not included we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants.

During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Lima, Ica and Nazca fall within the coastal desert region of Peru, with a mild climate and very little rain all year. From April to November the sky is almost always grey and cloudy and the air humid. Average daytime temperatures in Lima remain between about 18 and 24 degrees Celsius during this period, with July and August typically being the coolest. Nights are also mild - typically 15-18 degrees Celsius. From December to March the skies in Lima are clear and temperatures at their warmest but elsewhere in the country this is the rainy season.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! 

Lake Titicaca is high, lying at 3,800m above sea level, and at this altitude the sun is strong but the air can be cold, and nights can be close to freezing. You will need to bring some warm layers and a waterproof or wind-stopper. 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. In El Niño years, temperatures in Lima can be much warmer than described above but it still rarely rains in Lima.

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this trip involves some long drives and you should be prepared for this. The buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the long journeys. The road between Nazca and Cuzco involves long descents and ascents on winding mountain roads, and this, combined with the increase in altitude, may affect you if you are prone to travel sickness.

The Inca Trail is a Moderate grade trek (level 3) - please refer to our activity level guidelines. There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone with no previous trekking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We run the tour from Lima to Lake Titicaca to allow for gradual acclimatisation and have built in days in Cuzco (3400m) before the trek, which should be ample time to adjust.

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this. 

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

An Inca Trail permit is required for this trip. There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased on your behalf. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit we will contact you to discuss your options. *2018 Inca Trail permits are on sale now.*

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 7 to 10 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore, we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

Day 7 Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.
Day 8 Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.
Day 9 Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.

Day 10 Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

Please see the Moonstone Trek trip notes (code TPM) for more details. 

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each.

Although it is possible to select the Moonstone Trek preferentially when Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply. 

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. All of our hotels are small and locally-owned with en suite bathrooms and breakfast facilities. All of our Cuzco hotels are located within walking distance of the central Plaza de Armas. In Lima, we stay in the upmarket residential district of Miraflores. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at the reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, some rooms might hear the trains.

The Inca Trail (and Moonstone trek) is on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. There is a separate dining tent for meal times, as well as a toilet tent for use both in camp and during lunch stops. On the Inca Trail we stay in organised campsites which are administered by the Regional Cultural Directorate, whilst on the Moonstone Trek we use wild campsites.

Additional accommodation

Should you wish to extend your stay in Peru, Exodus can book additional nights' accommodation in Lima prior to or after your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking. We recommend the early booking of pre/post tour accommodation to guarantee availability. 

Single Supplement

Single rooms and tents can be booked throughout for an optional single supplement, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking. 

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1300 131 564
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed August 2018
    Pauline Patterson

    Stunning snow topped Andes

    Peru is a wonderful country with its varied landscapes and diverse cultures. Nothing can quite prepare you for the stunning vistas in the Andes and the once in a lifetime experience of the Inca trail, culminating at the Sun Gate and that first view of Machu Picchu. All this led by our outstanding guide Bobby and shared with a lovely group of people. A BIG thank you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Undoubtedly that first view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate after 4 strenuous but amazing days on the Inca trail. It was quite an emotional experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    What a legend Bobby is! THE most fantastic guide, who shared his passion and knowledge of his country and immersed us into its heart and cultures throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Read the trip notes carefully 2. Get yourself physically fit for the trek which I personally believe is higher than the moderate level 3 graded by Exodus. 3. Altitude will have an affect! 4. There are long drives but the scenery is always extraordinary and do help you acclimatise to the altitude. 5. Days were pleasantly warm but the nights very cold particularly on the trek and in Cusco, so layers are essential.. 6. It is worth taking the optional extra flight over the Nazca lines to fully appreciate the extent of the carvings.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Martin Perrett

    Inspirational treka

    Not just a holiday, more of an adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Achieving day 2 of the Machu Picchu trek to Dead Woman’s Pass. Although not long as a days trek, the rise in altitude to 4200 metres was tough!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, Bobby, was excellent in every department. A more capable, competent and helpful guide in all probability does not exist. His involvement with the group was welcomed by all and resulted in the trip being a huge success for the group participants. The information he provided on the various sites visited and the relevant history was most interesting and created further discussion within the group. With regard to the travelling and accommodation, Bobby took full control and made our holiday somewhat carefree, thankfully! A big thank you to Bobby!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take warm clothing for the camping part of the trip as the nights can be very cold!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The long bus journeys were tiring but it is part and parcel of the trip and seeing some great sites and wonderful scenery.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Shirley Perrett

    Nice trail,Titicaca and Nazca

    A superb trip, very well planned and executed. The views were just amazing and the porters food incredible. We were so well looked after. Our guide, Bobby, was excellent and so informative. He knew all the best places to eat as well! Hotels were all good and we would thoroughly recommend the experience to others.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Dead Woman’s Pass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobby was brilliant, he couldn’t have been better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of thermals for the camping part as it was so cold at night.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you!
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Kim Stansfield

    July 2018 Inca Trail and Peru

    Excellent Guide, Bobby (Ubaldo), helped the group understand so much about Peru’s history, culture, fauna and amazing achievements of the Incas and preceding tribes, and all done with real sense of humour. Off the Inca trail Bobby continued to look after us, so the small group that flew back to UK were looking for him to help sort us out at Gatwick. The porters and cooks were also brilliant, not sure how they covered the route so quickly and made food and camp sites so comfortable. Also helped having a really friendly group of fellow travellers. All-in-all a brilliant experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on a high point in the Andes above the camp watching the sun come up - red glow spreading across the mountain peaks, magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bobby (Ubaldo Quispe) was brilliant - gave so much insight and things to think about, always joking, but real sense he was looking after us and getting things organised. Missed him when we got back to UK!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If weather clear, take advantage of flight over Nascar lines, but don’t eat for a couple of hours beforehand. Really brings home the scale, but involves a lot of weaving. During Trail, take things slowly, but the guide will explain things like that. At Machupichu you are limited to small bag/ ruck sack, had left our small bags behind, would have been good to know about the limitation before leaving Cuzco.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only frustration was breakfast 1st day at hotel Tambo in Lima. Due to early start breakfast was minimalist, tea/ coffee, bread, jam. My wife doesn’t drink tea or coffee, so nothing to drink for her, and somebody else didn’t eat bread. Apart from that, the hotel was comfy and breakfast was good in normal opening times.
  • Reviewed July 2018

    My holiday of a lifetime Peru and Mchu Picchu

    This has been my dream holiday for as long as I can remember. Nazca lines, Andes, walking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. It was more than I could have hoped for. The amazing scenery welcoming people, amazing food, Pisco sours and a friendly enthusiastic Tour guide. Without the long coach journeys we would have missed all the amazing scenery! The flight over the Nazca lines truly amazing and well worth doing. Day 2 of the trail definitely the hardest but the thrill when you reach Dead woman's pass is nearly as inspiring as reaching the Sun gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time. I was ill at the end of the holiday so missed Lake Titicaca.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Dead Woman's pass was as equaling inspiring as the emotion that overwhelms you when you reach the Sun Gate and see Machu Picchu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group Leader Willmer Delgado was an amazing ambassador for Exodus and for Peru. His knowledge of Peru and its history had us all enthralled for the whole 15 days in Peru. Nothing was too much trouble including helping track down my missing suitcase . Our assistant guide on the trail Kleverth was along with Will very patient and being one of the slower walkers who suffered with altitude sickness I was never made to feel like I was holding anyone back.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink the coca tea when offered to you as it does help on the trail. Don't let the coach journeys put you off, the scenery is amazing, you get to see Vicunas and Alpaca's roaming free, Condor's and Flamingo's. Above all enjoy the whole experience, a few early mornings wont kill you!
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Barry Rowley

    Inca trail Titicaca Nazca 463

    The best trip ever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All of it. From the start, right to the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Couldn't have asked for a better leader. Julio was a true professional. He is very knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I would be proud to have him as a mate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get booked up and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm looking at the brochure and thinking of re-booking.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    diane Mcdermott

    Full on fun!

    This was an excellent trip which delivered exactly what it said it would. The main downside is the long days in the bus between stops and the fact that as it stands there is a very limited amount of time to spend in Cusco. However, the scenery over the Andes is spectacular, as is the view of Peruvian life the bus affords.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely Machu Picchu for me. I was just glad to get there! Spectacularly atmospheric.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was a thoroughly professional tour leader who engaged and considered everyone in the group. He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his subjects and made the tour come to life with his information about Peru, the Incas and the local wildlife. He was extremely kind and caring when I was ill and took active steps to support me. He organised the group well and gave options, but I felt he was hampered by the need to get everyone to the right place at the right time throughout the trip which at times made things feel rushed. Individual down time is limited.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unfortunately before I left I had to forego the Inca trail owing to a mobility problem. It was definitely the right decision. If you are in anyway unsure of your ability to cope, do the Moonstone Trek which though higher, allows for some support with horses if you are struggling. With the Inca trail, there is much more limited potential for support. Also you MUST have good insurance! I took out Exodus insurance just to be sure that I would be covered for everything I might need. Since I ended up in hospital for 4 days with altitude sickness, this was money well spent. ( Altitude sickness is real, but most people manage to acclimatise. Unfortunately, I didn't, but that is the exception rather than the rule.) The support team at Cusco were superb and I was so grateful for all their assistance since the rest of the group and the group leader were on the trail.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The biggest problem with this trip is that there are long spells of travelling then limited down time. We always seemed to need to be somewhere else which at times made it feel as if we were being herded at a pace slightly faster than we might have wanted. Bruce did his best to mitigate this by giving options and explaining his thinking so that everybody was in the know, but by the end of the trip, people were beginning to need a bit more leeway. This was entirely due to the fact that in Cusco in particular there was not enough time to see what the town had to offer or to explore local sites.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Justine Mole

    Brilliant holiday of a lifetime

    I've just come back from Peru and for someone who has never done a package holiday before, this one was absolutely fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at the Sun Gate after four days of trekking was incredibly emotional, it was hard at times and the altitude does affect you but with the encouragement of our guide/tour leader and the other trekkers we all made it. Getting to know other people on trip and our guide, we formed a close little group and hopefully will remain friends for years.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was wonderful, we couldn't have chosen anyone better for our group, he was very knowledgeable, and interesting, he was kind and had a sense of humour, he knew when to push us and when to hold back and let us go at our own pace, he usually stayed back with those who were struggling.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't ignore advice about altitude, we were all relatively fit but it still affected us in different ways, take it easy on the walk and don't push yourself. You won't lose weight as you can't go fast enough for aerobic exercise and you get fed too well, you get given plenty of snacks so don't really need your own.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels were all really good but sometimes other guests are noisy, take ear plugs or be prepared to tell them off, you go to bed pretty early on this trip as there are a lot of early starts and long bus journeys. The views are incredible which makes the bus trips bearable and there was plenty of room on the bus to stretch out and sleep. Also if you want to do the plane ride over the Nasca Lines take an anti sickness tablet. I rented a sleeping bag and poles rather than taking my own and they were cheap and worked perfectly well, warm and clean bag and they even provided a cotton liner.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Amanda Patton

    Amazing trip - Inca Trail, Titicaca and Nazca

    Absolutely amazing trip, wonderful guide and brilliant companions. The journeys are long but the scenery is surprisingly varied and the weather/light changes all the time - you would need to view the experience of the travel as a full part of the holiday, and not just a means to arrive - personally I loved it! The trail is tougher than I'd expected (because of the altitude) - day 2 was hard but the sense of achievement huge as a result and it made reaching Machu Picchu itself a very emotional experience (which I hadn't expected it to be). I loved that we saw so much of the country, the Ballestas Islands were beautiful, we saw penguins and sea lions and heaps of other wildlife, including big red crabs! Nazca was stunning, I'm so glad to have seen it and the flight was a great way to do so, while the haunting quality of Lake Titicaca and its extraordinary people made for a lovely quiet and relaxed finish to the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sight of Machu Picchu mountain from our campsite on the third night of the trail, with sunbeams shining through cloud onto the ruins of Phuyupatamarca below. Utterly beautiful; we sat on a rock (with feet in diy spa bags!) watching the light fade. Watching an eagle for about 20 minutes, swooping and landing right beside us in the mist at the top of Dead Woman's Pass. And corny, I know, but the first sight of Machu Picchu is hard to beat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bruce was amazing - 70% Inca and so proud (rightly) and knowledgeable of his heritage - he absolutely brought to life the stories, the people, the culture and sophisticated building skills of the Inca, along with being equally knowledgeable about the other sites, landscapes, flora and fauna that we saw along the way. Way exceeded anything I would expect of a guide; he was also patient, kind, and a fun travelling companion. He made great recommendations for dinners, even finding a restaurant where we could make our own Pisco sours, and picked up on our personal interests so he could add to them with extras and observations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It gets much colder once the sun goes down than I had realised and pretty much most days had four seasons - from hot sun to hail! I was able to borrow some extra thermal layers but would recommend at least one long-sleeved merino top for early evening/night time - even with a 3/4 season sleeping bag you needed all your clothes on at night (plus hat and gloves!). Also we all underestimated the effects of altitude and most of us were short of breath at the very least. While the trail is marked as a 'moderate' we all felt - for the second day's climb to Dead Woman's Pass - that it was tougher than this - not because there are a lot (a lot!) of steps but because climbing them at altitude was so much harder than it would be at sea level.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I've wanted to walk the Inca Trail all my life and it has been a wonderful experience, way above what I had hoped for it. I loved seeing the country, varying from desert (both flat and mountainous) through steep green mountains to high plains. The wildlife is fantastic, we saw eagles, hummingbirds, amazing butterflies and orchids, and heard a toucan (though couldn't see it!). The other half of our group (doing the Moonstone trek) also saw condors. Machu Picchu itself is something I think everyone should see for themselves! You can't quite believe you're there - and the insights from Bruce made it even more amazing.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Chris Shelley

    Good overview of Peru

    A lot of travelling by coach (3 full days, including a 5am start, in a coach) that gives you a good insight into three distinct areas of Peru. The desert, the trail and Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Inca Trail pace set by weakest, so be prepared for a slow pace!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the mountain scenery on the Inca Trail.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He's very sweet and amiable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not a good tour for walkers - or that will depend on your group. There's only one leader and he will set the pace to the weakest walker, which is right as he has no support and can't leave someone struggling behind. We were walking at a glacial pace for 20 or 30 mins and then taking a 10 minute break. I found it excruciating and frustrating. They should really have some kind of release form for the leader for people who want to walk at a reasonable pace. The trail is very clear and impossible to get lost on and lots of people around, so I'm sure they could say go on if you wish but the tour leader can't be responsible for you. I did this and the leader wasn't happy but I'd paid to enjoy my holiday too I figured and so strode out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't expect to come back rested. Some of the hotels are incredibly noisy (particularly Machu Picchu town and Puno). Exodus are absolutely upfront about the amount of travel by coach but 4 days on a coach a lot and so be really sure you want to see the Nazca Lines.

Dates & Prices

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Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2018 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.

Inca Trail Permit Status: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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