Peru walking and cultural holiday

“Ten day tailor made tour featuring optional activities in and around Cusco before a relaxed five day Inca Trail trek to reach Machu Picchu after the crowds leave.”

Highlights

Cusco | Inca Trail trek | Huayllabamba | WiŮay Wayna | Machu Picchu | Optional activities include: biking, rafting or horse riding. Optional tours include: Cusco city and the Sacred Valley to Chinchero Market, Pisac and Ollantaytambo |

Description of Peru walking and cultural holiday

Explore the unique culture and history of Peruís Sacred Valley in style, combining time in atmospheric Cusco with a relaxed trek along the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Travel in the dry season from May to September for the best weather.

Cuscoís colonial streets are a perfect introduction to this ten day tailor made trip and guests can choose how they spend the first four days. Take a city tour, go rafting or cycling, relax in style at a historic hotel or take a trip deep into the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo and the bustling traditional market at Pisac.

The five-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu has been designed with a relaxed pace in mind, giving plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular scenery and archaeological sites scattered along the route. Three nights are spent camping in quality tents with delicious local food cooked along the way. And unlike many Inca Trail treks, your arrival into Machu Picchu is timed for late afternoon to beat the crowds and enjoy some quiet moments at the site.

A 14-day culture and walking holiday is also available which includes first class train travel across the altiplano to Lake Titicaca after the trek.

Travellers who prefer not to camp can also choose a more luxurious 16-day trip, which includes a six-day alternative trek to Machu Picchu with accommodation in luxury mountain lodges. This trek gives you the chance to learn more about local culture Ė exploring local indigenous communities and Incan sites en route - with six to seven hours of walking each day through stunning mountain scenery.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be organised at any time (except February when the Inca Trail is closed) with a minimum of two people. Note: itinerary can be adapted to suit your requirements.
Multi generational:
This holiday is suitable for grandparents, parents and children.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We operate this trip in conjunction with the most ecologically aware tour operators in Peru.

For hiking the Inca Trail we buy fresh local produce. In preference we choose local over imported goods, encouraging the use of Andean products in our cooking. On our treks we minimize waste by using products with minimum packaging, leaving no litter and keeping all water sources clean, leaving camp-sites cleaner than we find them. Rubbish is carried out. We ask for your full consideration and co-operation concerning all ecological matters, especially in the disposal of rubbish. Our local staff will outline for you the procedures we use in Peru.

We are involved in the ongoing training of our trek staff. All our porters on hiking the Inca Trail carry a maximum We support the Tourism Concern Porters Policy and are involved with the social project Huchuy Yachaq . We are happy to distribute your donations of much needed warm clothes and shoes to Peruvian children through this organization - please contact us for details of how you can help. Volunteers are welcome to work on the project.

Please note that as a result of a recent government environmental improvement scheme, metal tipped walking poles are no longer allowed on the Inca Trail so please ensure you pack rubber tips. Plastic water bottles are also banned so please remember to take your water carriers or platypus hydration systems with you.

We are also now supporting the UK registered chairty Amantani. As this charity is very much in keeping with our ethos of small scale, targetted help which is educational & sustainabale. HuchuyYachaq is the other main Peruvian charity we support by paying a for a full time teacher. A % of all our income goes to support those projects.
Community
Climate

4 Reviews of Peru walking and cultural holiday

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Reviewed on 05 Dec 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Peru is an exceptionally diverse and beautiful country. We knew we would need 2.5 weeks to do it justice and we werenít wrong. There were many wonderful highlights too numerous to choose...including: watching dozens of macaws congregate to feast on a natural clay lick in the Amazon, playing with Peruvian children on the river banks, canoeing in a beautiful oxbow lake as the sun was setting with abundant wildlife everywhere, hiking the yawningly deep and magnificent Colca Canyon, watching huge condors fly over us so low you could almost touch them, cuddling a baby lama ?? spending 3 hours wandering around the extraordinary and beautiful convent in Arequipa, sundowners overlooking snow capped volcanoes and visiting the remarkable Inca sites throughout the Sacred Valley. If we had to choose one exceptional experience of the whole trip it has to be reaching Macchu Pichu....the realisation of a life long dream. After a four day hike, much of it in the rain, and camping in the clouds with orchids and hummingbirds, nothing quite prepares you for the unfathomable beauty of this sacred site. Itís not just the scale of it and the amazing condition of it but itís the gravity defying location - set on a thin saddle of land strung between 3 vertiginous mountains. It completely took our breath away and we spent a wonderful 3 hours wandering its ruins and temples and terraces. More than anything it illustrates how sophisticated and advanced the Inca civilisation was.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do your research and planning well. Have a basic itinerary in mind before speaking to travel agents. Give Responsible Travel a call. They put us in touch with the most amazing company called Andean Trails. Tom was a magician. He was completely on it from the first day we called him, he was unfailing in his patience and willingness to answer our numerous questions, and with so much local knowledge, he was able to sort out last minute changes to our itinerary on account of us sadly not being able to get into Bolivia because of civil unrest. I cannot recommend him more highly. He is the reason our trip was so wonderful.
Also, build in a good acclimatisation element to your programme. It makes the whole difference to oneís overall enjoyment. And include time for yourselves. Guides in Peru are generally incredibly good, well informed and thorough. However, sometimes, all one wants is to wander quietly around some incredible site or simply sit and take it all in. One of the reasons we loved the convent at Arequipa so much is because we gently wandered about reading all the signs ourselves without being corralled from one room to the next. Having a day or two for this kind of travel is so important. The rainy season came a couple
of weeks early for us which wasnít ideal but we had proper waterproof kit including covers for our packs which are essential. Make sure you have a cup of coca leaf tea each morning while at altitude. Itís readily available everywhere and really does help to open oxygen pathways to the brain. And definitely take a battery pack each to recharge your phone/camera.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely yes. Everywhere we went, this was noticeable. And it was the main reason we approached Responsible Travel in the first place. We were also intending to visit various community and wildlife projects which we either support already or were planning to support. The wildlife and conservation projects we visited in the Amazon were impressive and supported in part by the Peruvian Government and by teams of international scientists. We are now involved with their Wired Amazon project which is great. Likewise a private project in the Sacred Valley to offer education and therapies to disabled children. We were
incredibly impressed by the standard of guiding generally and the pride with which Peruvians working in the tourist industry carry out their roles. They were so much fun too and we had some great laughs. The only area which we werenít 100% happy with was the porter system on the Inca Trail. While the company we used was fantastic and ensured the porters they use are paid a proper wage and a good tipping policy is encouraged, the overall standard for porters is
not so good and the Peruvian Government does not regulate the practice which allows for exploitation to take place. We couldnít really understand why the existing campsites arenít developed a little bit more to offer basic tea house type overnight accommodation to hikers which works so successfully in Nepal (and doesnít impact on the environment) and this would immediately reduce the excessive amounts that porters have to carry (tents, poles, pots and pans, endless bags of food, etc etc). Finally, the big dilemma we are wrestling with now is whether we should be flying long haul at all. As people who love travel and exploring the world, we are also acutely conscious of our carbon footprint. For now, we have decided to fly less frequently and make sure we try and go for longer when we do fly, to pack as much in as possible and to support small, local businesses and community projects in the countries we visit. But itís all a balancing act and governments and the airlines really need to do their bit as well.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Without doubt, one of the very best trips weíve ever been on. One adventure after the next and more life-affirming and memorable experiences than it seemed possible to have in a single journey. It was really more of a huge adventure than a holiday...a term which is way too tame for what we experienced! A massive thank you to Tom for making it all possible and for the wonderful people on the ground who were so kind to us. We have nothing but good memories and a love for a new country.

Read the operator's response here:

Our Inca Trails are organised by a local guide who started his working life as a porter in the 1990s. He is ideally placed to understand the conditions and challenges the Inca Trail porters face.

He says " We make sure we meet and exceed the regulations set down by Mincetur. Porters carry 25kg max. and this is all measured before the start of the trail.

The porters have their own tents, sleeping bags and mats and sleep in warm and dry conditions every night. Their salaries are above regulation and we provide all their trekking clothing, food, backpacks and insurance.

We have been lobbying Mincetur to provide permanent buildings along the trail, so that ALL porters have a bed, showers and somewhere to sleep every night. We continue to lobby."

Our guide told me: ďI can tell that it has been a big improvement, since I started working as a porter, to these days.

The porters are having better treatments but there are still so many things to keep improving because many companies do not respect the porters law in that way some companies are sending over weight to the porters, also don't give uniforms or tents that they can sleep.

I hope we can sit together between all the companies and our authorities in order to have a serious change for our porters. Now, still, each company is still pulling their own way, so itís very difficult to make any plans or any changes with the authorities. There is big bureaucracy with our authorities, we hope this can happen soon.

It has been an honour to work as a porter and share time with them and learn my lessons in my way to here, I respect a lot them and try to do the best for them.Ē

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting the less touristy areas of Peru - Kuelap, Gocta, Revash and Leymabamba.
Going deep into the Amazon Rainforest and learning more about this important ecosystem. The sheer diversity of Peru.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Peru is huge, distances between attractions are large and travel can take big chunks out of your vacation. Watch out for altitude sickness, there is medication you can take and itís worth discussing with your GP before leaving home.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope that the money we spent in country will benefit local people. The rainforest visit certainly supported conservation efforts and the learning from that visit will allow us to modify some of our behaviours now we are back home, for example we will stop eating beef unless it is UK reared.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic but hard work. We saw lots of Peru and really enjoyed all of the places we visited but to do that we were up early every morning and travelling most days. Lots to see and do, good food, lovely people, and everything very smoothly organised.

Reviewed on 21 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Multiple events throughout the entire Galapagos and Peru holiday: snorkelling with Sea Iguanas, snorkelling into a cave where white tipped sharks were sleeping, a Llama selfie along the classic Inca Trail, sleeping in pods on the side of Sacred Valley, condors at Colca Valley

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get walking ahead of the trail. Walking sticks are a must. Bring some music for the trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - The thing I like about responsible travel is that I always meet the guides and find they are all locals. Also, the hotels we stay in notably are trying to make a reduced impact on the environment with reduced plastic, encouraging avoidance of a daily clean set of towels/bedding etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Bucket list holiday, bucket list memories.

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying with local families, going to the local farm in peru!


2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take your probiotics so you can eat all the amazing street food!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely! As highlighted by the farm tour with the local tour provider.


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

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