Inca Empire

  • Peru
  • Bolivia

Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, explore the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco, witness life on Lake Titicaca, haggle at Sacred Valley markets

From the bustling market-filled streets of La Paz to Incan culture high in the Andes, this two-week adventure provides a panoramic view of Peru and a glimpse of Bolivia. Embrace cultures past and present in Cusco and La Paz and interact with locals from the region’s communities for an immersive experience that few rarely get to know. Conquer the Inca Trail, one of the world’s best known and challenging hikes, and experience the stunning views of majestic Machu Picchu. As the region’s largest operator, we run our own treks, which ensures the fair treatment of our porters, quality food, service, and equipment.

was €1,89915 days from €1,419

(€94.60 per day)

Suitable for
All ages
Trip Code
BILM
Travel Style
Classic
Service Level
Standard
Physical Grading
4 - Demanding
Trip Type
Small Group
Group Size
Max 16, avg 12
Transport
Public bus, plane, train, boat, ferry, hiking.
Accommodation
Hotels (10 nights), camping (3 nights), homestay (1 night).
Meals
14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Other
  • G Adventures for Good: Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit, Ccaccaccollo G Adventures for Good: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
  • Tiahuanaco visit
  • Floating islands of Uros visit
  • View more
    • Lake Titicaca guided tour
    • Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour
    • Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days)
    • Machu Picchu guided tour
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Day 1 La Paz

Arrive at any time.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

accommodation

Hotel Las Brisas

Optional Activities:

  • Witches' Market Visit

    Learn more about the pre-Columbian Aymara beliefs at the Witches' Market. You can witness locals buying products such as dried frogs, potions, and talismans for use in rituals and offerings.

  • Valley of the Moon Tour

    Enjoy a tour of the Valley of the Moon and observe the bizarre lunar landscape.

  • La Paz City Tour

    Explore the city on a guided tour. Check out stunning cathedrals, impressive museums, and lively markets, learning more about the history of this fascinating city. Look for majestic Mt Illimani in the background.

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Day 2 La Paz

Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.

Little is known about the Tiahuanaco people who constructed the great ceremonial centre on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca over 1000 years ago. Spend most of the day visiting these mysterious ruins—a cradle of Incan civilization—before returning to La Paz.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Tiahuanaco Ruins Visit

Enjoy a visit to this spectacular pre-Colombian archaeological site. It was the capital of an empire that extended into Peru and Chile from 300 to 1000 AD. Check out the fantastic buildings, architecture, sculptures and carvings firsthand and get a taste of an era long gone.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

accommodation

Hotel Las Brisas

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 3 La Paz / Puno

Travel by bus through the altiplano, crossing the border to the Peruvian city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Peru is made up of three main geographical areas: the Andes, the Amazon, and the desert coastal area.

Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on a full day of travel from La Paz, around Lake Titicaca, and on to Puno.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Border Crossing (Bolivia - Peru)

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

accommodation

Balsa Inn

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 4 Puno / Lago Titicaca

Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.

Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a restaurant and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, pick up some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.

Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1

Board a boat on Lake Titicaca and head to Taquile Island for a delicious Peruvian lunch at a restaurant followed by some shopping at the local weaving cooperatives. (Taquileños are known for their fine handwoven textiles and clothing, men are taught how to knit around age five and they create the majority of the textiles.) After, enjoy an overnight stay with a host family and a chance to learn about life on the islands.

Lake Titicaca Homestay

Split into smaller groups and get a taste of local life firsthand as we move into family homes for the night. Play soccer with the children, enjoy some dancing, watch dinner being made, learn about regional cuisine, and dress up in local clothes for an unforgettable evening with the whole village, enjoying traditional music and dancing. Lend a hand the next morning, and help out with chores like feeding animals, harvesting local produce, or bringing back buckets of water from the well.

accommodation

Amantani Homestay

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 5 Lago Titicaca / Puno

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.

Leave the homestay families late in the morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

Uros Floating Islands Visit

Take a tour of these unique islands. Learn about the buoyant totora reeds that grow in the shallows of Lake Titicaca used to make everything from the islands themselves to the boats the islanders use for transportation (if constructed well, they last up to six months ). Find out from locals how the islands are constructed; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.

free time

Enjoy some free time exploring the area.

Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2

Spend the morning with the homestay families, then depart after lunch. Visit the floating islands of Uros on the way back, and learn about the unique lifestyle of the locals. Meet residents and learn how they built the islands with totora reeds, which are also used to make their homes, boats, crafts (and are also edible!).

accommodation

Balsa Inn

Optional Activities:

  • Sillustani Burial Towers Entrance

    1/2-day excursion. Can be done in the morning and the afternoon. Done on a pooled service unless booked as a large group. Transport time from Puno to the ruins is 45 minutes (one way). Guided time about 1 hr. No type of experience needed. Take warm clothing and a jacket or a fleece, hat and sunglasses. Sun screen (sun block) very important.

    Take a guided tour of the Sillustani burial towers known as "chullpas." Be awed by these fantastic ruins located outside Puno – their remarkable towers stretch up to 12m (39 ft) in height.

  • Lake Titicaca Kayaking

    Take to the waters of the highest navigable body of water in the world, Lake Titicaca, and paddle out to Laquina Island. Get a glimpse into local island life before heading back across the lake to Puno.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 6 Puno / Cusco

Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.

The bus trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

accommodation

Cusco Pardo Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 7 Cusco

Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.

While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. It forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum, and the Religious Art Museum.

free time

There's so much to the colonial city— go see for yourself.

accommodation

Cusco Pardo Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Whitewater Rafting Urubamba

    The activity includes a safety briefing, transportation, professional river guides, safety equipment, rafting equipment (self-bailing boats, professional life jacket, helmet, spray jacket), and a picnic lunch (with a vegetarian option). From 08:00 to 17:00, transport to the river is about 1.5 hrs each way. Rafting is roughly 2- 2.5 hrs.

    Not recommended for kids under 14.

    Rise for an early morning pick up and drive to Chuquicahuana for a safety briefing. Enjoy a full day of rafting on the Upper Vilcanota River (about 2.5 hrs on the water). Be thrilled by fast rapids that are a constant Class III and IV for around 11km (9 mi), and don’t forget to take in the gorgeous scenery. Rehash all the excitement afterward over a riverside picnic lunch.

  • Cusco Tourist Ticket

    This ticket allows admission at 16 sights of the city of Cusco including many popular museums and cathedrals, the ticket also provides entrance to Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, and sights in the South Valley of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

  • Cusco City Tour

    Tour runs from 2:00PM. All of it is done by car, with walks around the visited ruins. Clothing depends on the weather, sunblock and a hat are recommended.

    Enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco's main sights. Walk around the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore this city steeped in one of the world's most alluring and ancient cultures. Visit Qenqo, Koricancha, the Cathedral, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, and the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman.

  • Inka Museum

    Get ready to explore the artifacts from the Inca Empire, including mummies, jewelry, skulls, and ceramics at this museum of archaeology.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 8 Cusco / Ollantaytambo

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Stop at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco for lunch. Finish the day by exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women who work here and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs right from the source.

Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and a small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Here, have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch, the proceeds from which go directly back to the remote community.

Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Go for a guided tour of the large ruin site just adjacent to the town. Ollayntaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.

Private Vehicle

Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley, descending in elevation the whole way.

Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit

Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre which G Adventures travellers' donations helped create in 2005, thereby enabling local women to sell traditional textiles to travellers. See local weaving and dyeing techniques used to create garments and souvenirs, and learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the community and those who visit it. This includes the purchase of alpacas to provide a steady supply of wool, looms, and sewing machines as well as several training courses on production, sales and small business management.

Pisac Ruins Guided Tour

Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that's still in use today. Be captivated by this truly amazing site sitting amid sweeping green valleys and mountain peaks. Explore the back of the site to see a pocketed cliff across Kitamayo Gorge, which once contained hundreds of Inca tombs.

Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley

Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.

Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour

Tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site; it still shows signs of its former glory, including agricultural terraces, a Temple Hill, and storehouses. Learn how the area, overlooking the Urubamba River Valley, was an important stronghold during warfare between the Spanish and Incas.

accommodation

Casa de Mama Valle

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 9 Ollantaytambo / Wayllabamba Camp, Peru

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into things with a straight forward day of hiking, the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins will give you plenty to look at.

Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Inca Trail Hike

The first day of the Inca Trail will get your blood pumping and give you an idea of what's to come.

Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. The trekking is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it’s just a taste of what’s to come.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.

Day 10

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Inca Trail Hike

This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax before the last full day of hiking. Take it slow and drink lots of water.

Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow, and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 11

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Inca Trail Hike

The last full day of hiking on the Inca Trail has you crossing two passes and more ruins. Cross Runquraway at 3950m and then the second pass at 3700. With clear weather the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the Urubamba Valley are both visible int he distance. Camp at either the ruins of Phuyupatamarca or closer to the Wiñay Wayna ruins.

Cross two passes and more ruins along the Inca Trail on the last full day of hiking. Traverse Runquraway at 3,950m (13,113 ft), and then reach the second pass at 3,700m (12,136 ft). Spot the gorgeous Cordillera Vilcabamba and the Urubamba Valley in the distance on a clear day. Camp at either the Phuyupatamarca ruins or the Wiñay Wayna ruins.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 12 Wiñaywayna / Cusco

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows. Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Inca Trail Hike

Wake around 03:30 to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows. Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.

Machu Picchu Guided Tour

Rise and shine – the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. Follow the local guide to Machu Picchu to learn about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).

Train

Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

accommodation

Cusco Pardo Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Inca Bridge Visit

    Use any leftover energy from your Machu Picchu hike to visit the Inca Bridge site nearby (thought by some to be a secret back entrance to Machu Picchu). Trek up to the bridge that's cleaving to a 579m (1,900 ft) cliff, and soak in amazing views of cloud forest along the way.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 13 Cusco

Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

free time

Finish up anything you didn't get to the first time around.

accommodation

Cusco Pardo Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Whitewater Rafting Urubamba

    The activity includes a safety briefing, transportation, professional river guides, safety equipment, rafting equipment (self-bailing boats, professional life jacket, helmet, spray jacket), and a picnic lunch (with a vegetarian option). From 08:00 to 17:00, transport to the river is about 1.5 hrs each way. Rafting is roughly 2- 2.5 hrs.

    Not recommended for kids under 14.

    Rise for an early morning pick up and drive to Chuquicahuana for a safety briefing. Enjoy a full day of rafting on the Upper Vilcanota River (about 2.5 hrs on the water). Be thrilled by fast rapids that are a constant Class III and IV for around 11km (9 mi), and don’t forget to take in the gorgeous scenery. Rehash all the excitement afterward over a riverside picnic lunch.

  • Inka Museum

    Get ready to explore the artifacts from the Inca Empire, including mummies, jewelry, skulls, and ceramics at this museum of archaeology.

  • Cusco Tourist Ticket

    This ticket allows admission at 16 sights of the city of Cusco including many popular museums and cathedrals, the ticket also provides entrance to Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, and sights in the South Valley of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

  • Cusco City Tour

    Tour runs from 2:00PM. All of it is done by car, with walks around the visited ruins. Clothing depends on the weather, sunblock and a hat are recommended.

    Enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco's main sights. Walk around the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore this city steeped in one of the world's most alluring and ancient cultures. Visit Qenqo, Koricancha, the Cathedral, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, and the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 14 Cusco / Lima

Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or wander the neighbourhood of Miraflores.

Take a short flight to the coast and the capital city of Lima. This vibrant city has a fantastic main square, tons of shopping, and incredible eating. Opt to join the group for one final evening out.

Plane

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

accommodation

Casa Suyay

Optional Activities:

  • Lima City Tour

    Discover Lima’s highlights on this half-day guided tour. Visit the San Francisco Church and its impressive catacombs, walk around Plaza de Armas, and get to know some of Lima's lovely neighbourhoods. For more information contact Ruben (Best Bite Peru) at +51972584092.

  • Lima at Night and Water Circuit

    Get a different perspective of this vibrant city by visiting its highlights at night. Enjoy round-trip transportation and learn about the history at Plaza San Martin while taking in panoramic views, continue on to the iconic Plaza de Armas and soak it all in. End it off with a spectacular water show complete with lights, music, and dozens of fountains at the "Circuito Magico del Agua." Contact Ruben (Best Bite Peru) at +51972584092 for further information.

  • Museum of the Inquisition

    Visit the Peruvian Inquisition headquarters showcasing somewhat grotesque wax figures in scenes of imprisonment and torture.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 15 Lima

Depart at any time.

Optional Activities:

  • Lima Paragliding

    Glide over Costa Verde, hover over Lima’s city life and see the desert dunes over Pachacamac. Tandem flights are available to those who have never glided.

  • Museum of the Inquisition

    Visit the Peruvian Inquisition headquarters showcasing somewhat grotesque wax figures in scenes of imprisonment and torture.

  • Lima at Night and Water Circuit

    Get a different perspective of this vibrant city by visiting its highlights at night. Enjoy round-trip transportation and learn about the history at Plaza San Martin while taking in panoramic views, continue on to the iconic Plaza de Armas and soak it all in. End it off with a spectacular water show complete with lights, music, and dozens of fountains at the "Circuito Magico del Agua." Contact Ruben (Best Bite Peru) at +51972584092 for further information.

  • Pachacamac - Lost Inca Citadel

    Visit the Lost Inca Citadel - Pachacamac, a series of pre-Incan adobe structures dedicated to Pachacamac or the "Earth Maker" located about 30km from Lima. Contact Ruben (Best Bite Peru) at +51972584092 for further information.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
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Booking conditions

Adventure Tour prices are subject to terms, conditions and availability.

All Discounted prices quoted are only applicable to customers who also book their international flights with USIT. Customers can choose to avail of the Adventure Tour but book their flights separately to USIT but must then pay the full price displayed for the Adventure Tour. Only 1 tour can be discounted per passenger per reservation booking. If multiple tours are booked the discount will be applied to the most expensive tour booked.