Backroads & Highlands of Peru

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Gaze at Andean vistas, experience the culture and mingle with the locals, conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, savour the diverse cuisine in Peru.

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Get off the beaten path in the highlands of Peru and discover stunning mountain scenery and remote cities few tourists visit. Getting to Cusco is half the adventure – travel by public bus keeps costs down and allows you to connect with the locals in the rarefied mountain air of the Andes. Climb the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." We operate our own treks in Peru and can ensure the fair treatment of our porters – and an exceptional experience for you.


Day 1 Lima
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Additional Notes: Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Lima/Huancayo (1B)
Travel the route of the locals and start the Andean adventure on the road from Lima to Huancayo in the central Andes. Transport: Local bus (6.50 hour(s))
Day 3 Huancayo
The villages of Cochas Grande and Cochas Chico are two interesting day trips in the Mantaro Valley, some 12km (7mi) south of the city.
Day 4 Huancayo/Huancavelica
Travel to the picturesque colonial city of Huancavelica aboard el Tren Macho. Take in the Peruvian countryside passing by the window and enjoy the ride amongst the locals. Transport: All aboard el Tren Macho! Enjoy the ride on this historical train that has been running since 1926 between Huancayo and Huancavelica. Local train (7.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Huancavelica/Ayacucho (1B)
The altitude of Ayacucho, its colonial feel, and the local pre-Inca history make it one of the most fascinating cities in the Andes. Transport: Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)
Days 6-7 Ayacucho
The city is known for a handicrafts district famous for silver, carvings and woven items. There are many beautiful colonial churches and mansions to visit as well. The surrounding area also offers a number of attractions, including the Huari Capital and Quinua and Vilcashuaman, considered the geographical centre of the Inca Empire.
Day 8 Ayacucho/Andahuaylas
The focus of the day is the journey itself. You can't beat the scenery like this and there's no better way to get to know the country than to travel straight through some of the most remote regions. Arrive at Andahuaylas, set amidst a beautiful glacial valley. Agriculture is key to the lives of the locals here and the town has a good market. Transport: Local bus (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 9 Andahuaylas/Cusco (1B)
Continue overland through dramatic scenery and rural villages to Cusco, the centre of the Inca heartland. Transport: Local bus (6.00-7.00 hours)
Days 10-11 Cusco
The nearby Sacred Valley, museums, churches and cobblestoned streets steeped in history, all combine to create a terrific atmosphere.
Day 12 Cusco/Ollantaytambo (1B, 1L)
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about the traditional weaving and dyeing practiced here. 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 on 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. Included Activities: Ccaccaccollo Community and Planeterra-Sponsored Women's Weaving Co-op visit Pisac Ruins Guided Tour Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour Transport: Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley, descending in elevation the whole way. Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours)
Day 13 Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. Additional Notes: 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. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 14 Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
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. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail
Day 15 Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna (1B, 1L, 1D)
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). Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail
Day 16 Wiñaywayna/Cusco (1B)
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. 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. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows. Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet the CEO and any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon. Included Activities: Hike Inca Trail Machu Picchu Guided Tour Transport: Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 17 Cusco (1B)
Depart at any time.