Inca Trail, Titicaca & Nazca

15 days
from
£1,899
View Trips
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 39 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
TPDA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Point-to-point
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 Holiday Style (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 4200m, average 3050m
  • Travel by private bus, train, boat and 1 internal flight
  • 7kg personal weight limit on trek

 

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 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 (UK and Eire addresses)
  • Inflatible 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:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

Pace:

Approximately 5-6 hours' walking per day.

Terrain:

High altitude; good paths, lots of steps

Day by day breakdown
Day 711.0km/6.0miles
Day 88.0km/4.0miles
Day 97.0km/4.0miles
Day 109.0km/5.0miles
Floating reed islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

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 usually arrive in the morning, and those on group flights will be met at the airport and transferred to the start hotel. Your leader will give a short welcome briefing either upon arrival to the hotel or later this evening. 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.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

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

    We set of 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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vila Jazmin (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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).

    Accommodation: Hotel Casa Andina (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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, so 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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Tampumayu (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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.

    Accommodation: 2 nights - Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

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

    This morning we transfer by bus to trailhead at Piscacucho, on the Vilcanota River. Our walk starts alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snowcapped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn to the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata. Here, we turn up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Walk Profile: approx. 11.4km / 6-7hrs walking
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4200m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) pass, at 4,215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Walk Profile: approx. 7.7km / 6-7hrs walking
    Full-service Camping

    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 (3930m). 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 (3650m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Walk Profile: approx. 6.8km / 5-6hrs walking
    Full-service Camping

    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, but anyone wishing to visit the citadel on both days can purchase an additional entry ticket today for PEN152 (approx. US$48) - your tour leader will assist with this.

    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.

    Walk Profile: approx. 8.9km / 6-7hrs walking

    Accommodation: Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo, Aguas Calientes (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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 coming from Cuzco, we wake early this morning and catch the bus (approx. thirty minutes) up the winding road to the greatest ruin in the world; Machu Picchu. The well-preserved Inca architecture, combined with its spectacular location on a mountain spur high above the Urubamba River, makes Machu Picchu one of the world's most impressive ruins. Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore at your leisure. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge.

    Once you’ve had your fill, return to Aguas Calientes in time to catch an afternoon train which winds its way through the beautiful Urubamba River Valley back to Ollantaytambo (approx. one and a half hours), and continue by road to Cuzco (approx. two hours).

    Accommodation: Hotel Warari / Koyllur (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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 shared tourist 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. This afternoon we arrive into Puno (3,800m) on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

    Accommodation:2 nights - Hotel Casona Plaza (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Transfer to Juliaca; fly to Lima.

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

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    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 Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We 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, 4 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.

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 for a nomimal charge.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not 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 is 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. The coastal desert including Lima, is generally dry but cloudy through most of the year. The exception is January to March when the skies are clear and the temperatures rise.

In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!), particularly around Lake Titicaca.

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. Whilst the Amazon Rainforest is generally warm and humid, it can be subject to drops in temperature caused by cold fronts pushing in from the south - this can occur at any time of year, but happens most often in June and July. This can send temperatures dropping into single figures, and if taking the rainforest extension we recommend that you take some warm clothing with you to the lodge in case of sudden changes in the weather.

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). 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 who is totally unused to walking. 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: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning under the 'Practical Information' section below. 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.

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. 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 due to go on sale at the start of October 2017.*

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 our special Moonstone Trek trip notes (code TPM) for more details: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/tripnotes/tpm.pdf

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 appply. 

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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 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.

Single rooms and tents can be booked throughout for an optional single supplement From £395 subject to availability at the time of booking. We recommend the early booking of single supplements, and of pre and post tour accommodation.

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

  • 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.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Suzanne watt

    Inca trail

    Wonderful trip, really. I had planned to walk the trail for a few years but was worried about my level of fitness. It was fine however. Others in the group struggled more but even those with no experience of walking at all managed to complete the trail and were well supported by our tour guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say, it was just amazing. The last night of camping on the trail was in a high camp over looking ruins and with the most amazing views and changing skies.... Reaching the top of dead widows pass felt like such an achievement and the view was stunning. I might have shed the odd tear but don't tell anyone......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great guy. I think its a very difficult trip to arrange given the different levels of fitness of people on it however he was supportive and fun to have around.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trail itself was quite cold so make sure you take layers. You are, of course, limited in what can be taken on the trail itself so make sure you have light weight cold weather clothes. Walking poles are absolutely essential as coming down from Dead Widows pass is murder on the knees! Take a blow up cushion too as they weren't provided with the sleeping bags. If you have your own inflatable sleeping mat, consider taking it along. The ones provided were not very reliable and its very cold if they deflate on you overnight.....

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Can't quite believe how good the food was on the trail. The chef and his staff are miracle workers..... Take the flight over the Nascar lines, you really can't see them otherwise and you will likely only go once....
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Sharon & Scott Forsyth

    Inca Trail, Titicaca & Nazca (plus Amazon extension)

    This was a wonderfully varied trip, taking in the many different cultures, scenery and cuisine that define Peru. From the coastal regions, up into the Andes and down into the Amazon jungle. There are some long bus trips, but the scenery more than makes up for it. The sense of achievement at completing the Inca Trial, as well as the many, quiet, Inca sites along the route made the trip worthwhile. We added the 5 day Amazon trip to the end of the holiday and are glad we did. Although basic, the lodge was well appointed, with wildlife literally on the doorstep (resident tarantula under picnic table, two-toed sloth passing overhead and fireflies everywhere!).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Sun Gate and getting the first glimpse of Machu Picchu, after 4 tough days of walking. Spending the day on Lake Titicaca, meeting the local Uros people on the reed islands, and the visit to Taquile Island on their national holiday was also a highlight. Seeing 3 condors on the road to Abancay. Coming face to face with an 8m long anaconda (luckily fast asleep!).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Frank Farfan is one of the best guides we have ever traveled with. Right from the outset he encouraged us to operate as a 'family' and support each other. In the face of many challenges (dealing with road closures and stranded bus due to a national strike, losing the second guide on the Inca Trail due to 2 members of the group having to turn back, bus breakdown and security challenges at airports) he always remained positive and took charge of situations where he was able to. He never lost his sense of humour and was an integral part of our 'family' group. His love of his country and his wide knowledge of the cultures and flora & fauna of Peru really contributed to making this a truly memorable holiday for us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take double the amount of money you think you might need and take this mostly in Nuevo Sols (some US Dollars are useful for optional trips e.g. flight over Nazca Lines). ATMs were available in the bigger places (Cusco, Puno etc.) and the exchange rate far better than changing US Dollars in a Casa di Cambio. Beware of the black midges at Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes! They are hard to spot until they have bitten you (leaving a small blood blister) and also appear immune to Deet!!! Get cream on/take antihistamines as soon as possible to prevent the worst of the itching!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The porters on the Inca Trail were truly amazing. They carried everything on the trail, from tents to tea-bags, and always with a smile on their faces. The chef on our trip (Santos) made some delicious meals, with a different soup at each meal. Do not underestimate the effect of altitude sickness. The second day of the Inca Trail in particular is tough; take the climb at a slow pace and support each other.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Anita Turner

    Inca, Trail, Titicaca, Amazon

    A true lifetime experience holiday. As others have said be prepared for long hours travelling and some early starts, but it is worth it to see the diverse spectacles Peru offers. From the wildlife of the Ballestas islands, via sand dunes and the Nazca lines to the high Andean plains, Cusco and the Inca Trail to Lake Titicaca and just for good measure we added the Amazon extension. The sense of achievement at the end of every climb on the trail and the clapping from the porters as we reached camp each night was exhilarating. The group developed a close supportive bond that helped everyone through some difficult times particularly when illness struck on the final day of the trek. All the group successfully reaching the Sun Gate was a real pinnacle. Visiting Machu Picchu the day after rather than the usual visit after a long trek at dawn was a bonus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Undoubtedly the moment we all reached the Sun Gate and had our first view of Machu Picchu. Definitely the only way to arrive. Made all the more emotional by the supreme effort of the porters who had piggy backed 2 poorly members of the group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ollie our leader was fantastic. He had superb knowledge of his country and imparted this to a group with a wide age range from 16 to over 60 in a way that kept everyone interested. On the trek he instinctively knew if someone was struggling and provided quiet support and encouragement. When illness struck he was unflappable and made alternative arrangements without any fuss ensuring that everyone was safe and recovered quickly. He gave excellent recommendations for eating on our free days, advising which restaurants were best for different types of food.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like wildlife and can afford the time, book the Amazon extension. We had an amazing 4 days in the jungle and were lucky to see jaguars, a giant river otter, lots of creepy crawlies and cayman. It was also a relaxing end to the holiday being in one room for 3 nights! Take a mix of dollars and Sol, some payments were in dollars, others in Sol.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Robert Stanton

    Peru and the Inca Trail

    A great trip with excellent company. Although there was a lot of travelling - and we were warned beforehand - the sights were terrific from the start, from the first boat trip, flying over the Nascar Lines, Cusco, not showering for 3 days on the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Without doubt getting to the end of the trail and reaching Machu Picchu was the pinnacle. As with all these journeys a lot has to be said about the group and in this case it was one of the best I've been with.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dennis Dolmos was excellent throughout. He was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, making sure he was around for anyone who required anything from him. His recommendations were always good and we were all happy to take him up on them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ignore the trip notes on currency. The US$ is widely accepted in Lima, however this is not the case anywhere else and soles will be required. They are fairly easy to get at ATMs.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Carol Sherwood

    Inca Trail, Titicaca and Nazca

    The holiday that everyone wishes they had been on. It really was the holiday of a lifetime. I was too scared to do the flight over the Nazca Lines but those that did, enjoyed it. The highlight was of course the Inca Trail and walking through the Sun Gate to see Machu Picchu. Lake Titicaca was a bit of a surprise to me as to the size of it and I will always be amazed at how the Island of Uros remains afloat on reeds, despite our being shown how. This holiday will stay with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the porters on the Inca Trail carry the amount of luggage/equipment on their backs whilst the rest of us struggled just to walk it. Of particular amazement was watching them run down the steep steps on the last day. Despite their heavy loads, the porters were always very polite and happy to say hello to us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dennis Dolmos was the perfect leader. He ensured that we were all happy and healthy at all times. Nothing was too much trouble for him to arrange and his knowledge of his country was exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    this was my first holiday as a solo traveller and I was slightly apprehensive before going, however from the moment I met the rest of the group at the airport, we all seemed to settle into "family life". Everyone was at ease with everyone else and no-one was left out at any time. I could not have wished for a better group of friends to travel with and I hope to keep in touch with them all, any maybe go on more holidays with them.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Daphne Partridge

    Amazing - Just Do It!

    Loved this holiday :) Peru is an amazing country with so much to see all around you, making the long journeys enjoyable. Thrilled to do the trek and be proud of the achievement but also wonderful trips to Lake Titicaca and seeing the culture of the people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Dead Woman's Pass which was not as bad as I thought it would be and certainly within most reasonably fit people's capabilities. Then obviously the first sighting of the Machu Picchu site from the Sun Gate made it all worthwhile :) Got to mention the camp staff /porters who were certainly inspirational and amazing - carrying everything at great speed from camp to camp and providing wonderful meals.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ollie kept our diverse small group of seven together (which wasn't an easy task for him!) and provided plenty of encouragement on the trek. Gave us plenty of information on sites and places we visited and was always available to provide help and advice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The weather in Peru is changeable with plenty of rain. On the trek we all wore the ponchos at we bought in Cusco for a couple of dollars so I could have left my proper kagoule at home. I was dreading the trek camping but loved it - went for smile supplement which was a wise move - found it comfortable and fun! Take poles and knee support with you - no matter how fit you are they really help especially on the slippery wet descents. The Exodus green trek bag did not get used by anyone (should have left it at home!) the night before we were offered lightweight bags of similar size for our 7kg porters bag which we all took instead. Rented sleeping bag was clean and warm. Take the altitude seriously and take all precautions possible to maximise the enjoyment of the holiday. Beware sunburn! Do the Nazca flight - amazing and worth the money - however VERY hot inside confined space with seven people in small plane. Day trip on Lake Titicaca was brilliant- take sunscreen, hat, music and a book as long journey (2 hours) across lake. Sit on the roof and enjoy the view :) Take plenty of US dollars and get Sol when you arrive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We booked our flights independently and so flew out a day early which gave us the chance to enjoy Lima and lunch in Miraflores and get over the travel before the early start with the group the next morning (they arrived late the night before we set off) JUST DO IT! At 58 I was one of the few oldies on the whole Inca Trail but put in training before hand and it is within your capability and feels such an incredible achievement. It's left me wondering what challenge to set myself next!

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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.

Trips you might also like

El Mist Volcano and Arequipa Cathedral - Arequipa, South America

Peru Explorer

An in-depth discovery of southern Peru from the Andes to the Amazon

Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures

Culture Holidays
23 days inc. flights
From £3,679
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
4.7 / 5
 from 
Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

Essential Peru

Discover southern Peru's archaeological and natural wonders

Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures

Culture Holidays
16 days inc. flights
From £2,459
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
4.6 / 5
 from 
Call us on 052-4811569