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Active Inca Trail

Book your 2021 Inca Trail tour while permits are still available! Contact us for a custom tour and quote.

Next date with permits available:
Next open date with full moon:

Other tours including the Inca Trail:

Short Inca Trail section – 6 days
Classic Inca Trail – 8 days
Ruins and Rainforest – 15 days
Peru Explorer – 21 days


Active Inca Trail

8 days, 4 trekking
US$2850 per person

Domestic flights and porters included
Discount for groups

    Looking for something less expensive? Group tours from $2150

It’s the classic Inca Trail experience with an extra day in the Cuzco area to acclimate and participate in your choice of an outdoor activity: biking, whitewater rafting or horseback riding. Why hike the Inca Trail with us? Our guides are the best in the business, with an excellent knowledge of the trail, the Incas, the flora and fauna, and excellent English to go along with it. The cooks we use are also top-notch, serving up delicious food the entire way. All you’ve got to do is hike the trail and enjoy the incredible sights and vistas unfolding before you.

Day 1: Arrive into Lima. Included city tour today or upon your return.

Day 2: Flight to Cuzco. City and ruins tour.

Day 3: Choose your own multisport activity.

Day 4-7: Inca Trail hike / Machu Picchu.

Day 8: Morning flight to Lima and departure day.

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pickup at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip.
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guides.
  • Transport from the Lima airport to your hotel.
  • All other internal transport excluding transport to optional restaurants, bars, sights and excursions.
  • Domestic flights Lima-Cuzco, Cuzco-Lima.
  • Four nights of 3-star hotel accommodation – three nights of camping while hiking the Inca Trail.
  • Four-day Inca Trail hike  including bilingual guide, cooks, porters, tent, sleeping bag and thermarest mat.
  • One of the multisport activities listed on day 3 of the itinerary above.
  • Three breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while on the Inca Trail.
  • Breakfasts with every hotel stay.
  • Machu Picchu excursion including bilingual guide, Vistadome return train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and entrance to the Machu Picchu sanctuary including Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Private Cusco city tour with entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide.
  • Private Lima city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide.
  • The Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket which includes entrance to the ruins in and around Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and many churches and museums in Cusco.
  • 24-hour customer support line while on tour.

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.

Detailed trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets, green parks, beaches and great restaurants and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon, or you will have a Lima city tour when returning to Lima. If you would prefer to stay in Cusco or the Sacred Valley and skip Lima altogether let us know.

The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor (Option 1).

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllana” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

Option 3: Bicycle tour of Lima and Barranco.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2

A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the fascinating cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

Day 3

You’ve got one more day to acclimate before you hike the Inca Trail, and you have your choice of how you’d like to spend it! 1. Mountain biking and off-road excitement, culture and spectacular scenery. On this route, situated less than an hour away from Cuzco, we will visit the impressive terraces of Moray (Inca agricultural experimentation area) and the Maras Salt Pans. Today we’ll not only cycle up and downhill through defined paths, but we will feel the excitement of following very fast and fun downhill single tracks towards the Sacred Valley. 2. Whitewater rafting the Vilcanota River: We will be navigating class III and IV rapids through the Yaucat Canyon on the Vilcanota River, which was the Incas most sacred. Lunch on the banks of the river, then return by car to Cusco in the afternoon. 3. Horseback ride to the ruins above Cusco: A more relaxed option as we follow old trails to Tambomachay, an Inca water shrine, and Puka Pukara, an Inca fort, in the beautiful countryside above Cusco. This is a half day excursion, leaving you in the main square with time to shop or stroll in the afternoon. 4. If you’d just like a free day, then what you’re looking for is our Classic Inca Trail tour.

Day 4

Early this morning we start walking the Inca Trail towards Machu Picchu! A morning drive brings us to Piscacucho kilometer 82, start of the world-famous Inca Trail trek. Our first day is an easy one to get acclimated, as we gently climb through Andean valleys to the village of Huayllabamba, making our first camp just above it. Along the entire trek we are well taken care of by our team of porters and cooks, freeing us up to fully enjoy the Inca sites and vistas unfolding before us. Parakeets, bromeliads and the major Inca site of Llactapata are some of today’s highlights. Tonight, we camp at Wayllabamba.

Distance to hike 10 km/6 m
Estimated hike time 5-7 hrs.
Min altitude 2,680m/8,790ft
Max altitude 3,000m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 5

Up and up to Dead Woman’s Pass (Warmiwañusqa) as we pass through several ecological zones and microclimates to the highest point on the Inca Trail. Near the top of the world at 4,200 meters (14,000 ft.) the air is thin, but the view is not to be believed. We then continue on to Pacaymayo, tonight’s campsite. On the way we will see more archaeological sites along the trail.

Distance to hike 10km/6m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 3,000m/9,840ft
Max altitude 4,200m/13,880ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 6

Today we continue trekking past three of the most beautiful Inca sites anywhere in Peru: Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, and Wiñaywayna. We camp at Wiñaywayna or nearby.

Distance to hike 15km/9m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 2,700m/8,856ft
Max altitude 3,750m/12,300ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 7

A pre-dawn departure brings us to the Gate of the Sun to watch the first rays of sunlight strike the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven man made wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the late afternoon we’ll catch a train back to a hot shower and the other comforts of Cusco. Add an extra night and day at Machu Picchu to your itinerary if you wish.

Distance to hike 8 km/5m
plus the distance you hike at Machu Picchu.
Estimated hike time 5-7 hrs.
Min altitude 2,400m/7,872ft
Max altitude 2,700km/8,856ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.

Day 8

Morning flight to Lima. International flights may be scheduled any time after 2pm today.

Extra accommodation

We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip, just ask.

Extra activities

Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, surfing, and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four- or five-star. Please ask then work it into your custom itinerary.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.

Single Person Supplement

A single person supplement will be added to your quote if you plan to travel alone.

Is this trip for me?

Active Inca Trail is an eight-day tour which includes a four-day, moderate trek as well as walking around ruins and during city tours. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel. Hiking the Inca Trail hike is an amazing experience.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malaria or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

During our trek, porters will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds / 7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the porters. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course, most people also carry a camera.


Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows: Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are chilly in Cuzco. Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Inca Trail hike: variable depending on altitude, from hot to very cold, with rain always a possibility. Machu Picchu: lower and warmer than Cuzco, with rain possible all year round.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$4-12 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30.  Currency Converter

Note: if your passport number changes, it is important to notify us immediately. If you are hiking the Inca Trail, you must bring at least a copy of the passport with which we procured your Inca Trail hiking permit.