Machu Picchu Multi-sport & The Inca Trail
9 days: Cusco to Cusco
Journey to Machu Picchu by raft, bike and foot
The original and best multi-activity trip available in Peru
Raft, bike and hike your way to Machu Picchu on our nine day self powered journey. Our mix of fun and exciting activities is the perfect way to acclimatise before tackling the world famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. You will see the best of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, escaping the crowds under your own steam.
1. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
2. Raft the rapids to Pisac market
3. Bike Sacred Valley
On arrival at the airport we’ll meet and escort you to your hotel. After a relaxed check-in we introduce you to Cusco with the “Locals’ guide to Cusco” a short walking tour which is a great way to get your bearings and helps you get used to the altitude. The beautiful historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 with Inca and colonial architecture evident all around. In the evening your guide will give you a full briefing for the adventure ahead.
Hotel Casa Andina or similar
Included: Orientation walk, English-speaking guide, transport, room & breakfast next day
Raft the rapids to Pisac market
Today the fun really begins as you challenge the Grade II and III rapids of the Upper Urubamba river. Our expert guides will give you a thorough safety briefing and we provide the best equipment in the country. Fully prepared you launch from the bank and off down the finest one day section of whitewater in Peru. Whether you’re a beginner or expert you’re sure to finish with a grin from ear to ear.
Once you’ve changed into dry clothes you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the bank of the river before the short drive to Pisac. Spend a couple of hours exploring the famous handicraft market with the help of your guide. Perhaps you can try one of the tasty empanadas fresh from the old town oven.
Hotel San Agustin Monasterio or similar
Included: breakfast, all white-water & safety equipment, lunch, snacks, water, transport, room & breakfast next day
This is the best one day bike ride in Peru with fantastic views, fast descents and fascinating insights into local culture. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an ace racer to enjoy it. Your guide will show you all you need to know and with the help of the latest full-suspension bikes you’ll be cruising the trails in no time.
A short drive takes you to the starting point amongst the fields of the Chinchero plateau. Potatoes, beans, corn, kiwicha and quinoa blend together to make a patchwork of fields and terraces. With a backdrop of the snow-capped Urubamba Mountains this is a photographer’s dream.
The riding starts gently on mainly flat trails. Soon a few small up-hills punctuate the route to Moray where you jump off the bikes and visit the Inca ruins. Very different to anything else you will see, the concentric circle terracing is thought to have been used as an early agricultural laboratory. The different depths and aspects allowed by the circular terracing helped the Incas predict what crops might grow where. When you finish your tour of the site lunch will be set up and waiting for you.
After lunch it is all downhill: 750 metres or 2,500 feet of fantastic single track. While some parts are a bit tricky for beginners, with the help and encouragement of your guides you will arrive at the salt pans of Maras which are still mined by hand; you could even buy some to take home as a great souvenir! Finally you reach the floor of the valley and carry on along to your hotel.
Hotel Pakaritampu or similar.
Included: entrance fees, lunch, snacks, water, bike, helmet, gloves, English-speaking guide, transport, entrance to Maras, lunch, room & breakfast next day.
Your five day Inca Trail is carefully tailored to avoid the crowds. By leaving later than everyone else, and allowing an extra day, you spend the whole trail out of sync with other tourists. Thus you will literally have the trail to yourselves.
This morning you visit the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo. After a look around and some lunch you drive twenty minutes to the trailhead at Piscacucho (km 82). Here you meet the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu.
With the crowds now long gone, you hike an undulating trail above the Urubamba River to camp beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2,788m/9,146ft). Your luggage is carried by the porters, your tents are put up for you and your food is prepared for you. All you have to do is shoulder your daypack and enjoy the walking.
Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, camping equipment (except sleeping bag), Inca trail permit
Inca Trail: Llactapata to Llulluchapampa
After breakfast climb gently up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huayllabamba. This is the last inhabited place on the trail. A little steeper now, you head up the beautiful Inca path, past hummingbirds and through the cloud forest to your camp at Llulluchapampa (3,680m/12,073ft). This beautiful grassy area has outstanding views and we regularly see Andean deer that come to feed here.
Included: dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks, water.
Inca Trail: Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca
Today is the most challenging day but also the most exhilarating. Climb to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212m/13,819ft) the high point of the trail, before dropping into the Pacasmayo valley. Climbing once more you pass the Inca control post of Runkuracay to the second pass of the day (3,998m / 13,117ft). On a clear day there are spectacular views towards Pumahuanca Mountain in the Vilcabamba range.
Continue on the well preserved Inca trail to Sayacmarca at the junction of two old Inca roads, historians still argue over its exact purpose. A few more gentle ups and downs and you arrive to your stunning campsite for the night, Phuyupatamarca, or ‘the place above the clouds’ 3,650m/11,975ft).
Included: camping gear (excl sleeping bag), dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks, water.
Inca Trail: Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
This is the day you reach Machu Picchu: as you step out of your tent the views are stunning and perhaps you’ll see the sun rising over the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay (6,200m/20,341ft) and Veronica (5,800m/19,029ft). Or perhaps you will have a cloud inversion, with the clouds filling the valleys beneath your feet. After saying farewell to your porters it’s time to head to Machu Picchu.
Descend through the cloud forest on beautiful Inca stairways to Wiñay Wayna, an interesting ruin full of swallows and orchids. Contour the hillside to arrive at Inti Punku, the “Sun Gate”. As you step through the old stone gate-way, Machu Picchu appears laid out before you. This is the classic spot to get “that” shot of Machu Picchu. The rest of the day is free to explore the site, before carrying on past this wonder of the world to catch the bus down to the lively town of Machu Picchu Pueblo and a well-earned hotel bed and shower.
Hotel Santuario or similar
Included: breakfast, lunch, snacks, water, entrance fees, bus ticket, room & breakfast next day
Machu Picchu tour: Relaxed after a comfortable night, return to Machu Picchu for a fully guided tour, before the crowds arrive. There’s time afterwards to hike to the Inca Bridge, Watchman’s hut or just wander through the ruins soaking up the atmosphere.
In the afternoon descend to the waiting train to enjoy one of the great train journeys of the world, back along the Sacred Valley to Cusco.
Hotel Casa Andina Classic San Blas or similar
Included: English-speaking guide, entrance fees, bus ticket, train ticket, transport, room & breakfast next day.
Free day in Cusco with time to enjoy all that this city has to offer. Museums, chocolate making classes, souvenir hunting or even just sitting in one of the many cafes and watching the world go by. The late-afternoon flights out of Cusco allow you to maximise your time and get the most out of this wonderful South American city.
For those with more time we can offer extensions to the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and Arequipa or even to the little visited north of Peru.
Journey ends in Cusco.
Please request flight price (seasonal).
In order to fully enjoy your trip it is very important that you choose the right trip for you and fully understand what it involves.
There are risks inherent in travelling in Peru, as indeed there are in most of the activities that we provide. Many of the activities we offer also involve a significant level of effort on your part. After all, it is called Adventure Travel for a reason.
We classify this trip as:
Mountain Bike ‘Intro’- These trips are as much about experiencing Mountain Biking as they are about the time spent not on the bike – the scenery, the culture, the environment! The only pre-requirement is that you can ride a bike! Clearly it would be good if you’ve ridden in the last 20 years! Our experienced guides will help you with gaining experience and confidence on your bike – there may be times where you (but maybe not others!) are asked to walk a section of trail… Please follow the advice of the guide, they really do know what they are doing!
Paddlesport ‘Intro’– Anyone who doesn’t mind getting wet can do any of our paddlesports. Rafting can get quite adventurous, but our experienced and qualified guides will be on hand to keep you (mostly) the right way up. We are more interested in your ‘water confidence’ than your ability to swim. The only parameter is that you are mobile enough to help us get you back in the boat – even then if you do suffer with your mobility, let us know what support you might need and maybe the water is calling you!
Trek ‘Advanced’… This trek is mostly aimed at experienced trekkers – But if you are ‘fit’ (What does that mean? In this case – that you do regular exercise – walk/cycle/jog/squash/ etc) and have an ‘adventurous’ disposition, then you might consider this too! As an experienced trekker you will know that this type of trip will involve some sweating and breathing hard! It will involve steep up and down. There may be sections of rough trail where falling off is not an option! The days are likely to be long, remote and even arduous at times. Make sure you are comfortable with this description; if at all unsure, then drop us an email asking for more clarification. We want you to book the perfect trip for you!