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GLOBAL EXPEDITIONS CLUB - Peru: Trek to Machu Picchu - 8 Days

This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club Trip:


Three Group Departure Dates in 2015:
- June 20 - 27, 2015*
- August 15 - 22, 2015*
- September 12 - 19, 2015*

*With optional 3 day Amazon Rainforest trip extension immediately following both trips (see below for more details)!

NOTE: if you don't want to trek, then why not join the Global Expeditions Club NON-trekking group trip to Machu Picchu July 12-18, 2015 (with optional 3 day Amazon extension July 18-20). CLICK HERE for details.

This is a classic 'must do' for any adventure traveler. Join the Global Expeditions Club on a group trek through the Andes Mountains to Machu Picchu. On this trek, we'll have a full support staff, including a cook, local guide, and porters (with horses) to carry all our gear and setup our camps.

We'll trek 4 days on ancient Inca trails (on the less crowded and less touristy Salcantay Trail - named as one of the 25 best treks in the world by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine), camp 3 nights and spend 1 night at a 4* hotel in the quaint town of Aguas Calientes at the valley below Machu Picchu. And we'll start and end in a 4* hotel in the beautiful and famous Inca capital city of Cusco.

Our trek will take us through the impressive Andes mountains with distant views of snow-capped mountains, we'll pass over the 14,845 foot (4,525m) Salcantay Mountain pass, have a chance to soak in some natural hot springs along the trek, and we'll end our 4 day trek with a guided exploration of Machu Picchu, one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

After visiting Machu Picchu, we'll journey back to Cusco aboard a scenic train ride that follows the river through the dramatic mountain valley. It's an adventure that just can't be missed.

Want to continue your trip? Why not join others from the trek on an optional 3 day Amazon Rainforest trip extension!

CLICK HERE for details and to book.

*** NOTE: when booking your Amazon extension, please choose the appropriate departure date that corresponds with your trek:
-- June 27 - 29, 2015 OR
-- August 22 - 24, 2015 OR
-- September 19 - 21, 2015


GET THE SCOOP! Want to see what previous travelers are saying about the Global Expeditions Club? Check out the club's Testimonial Page.


Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 35,000+ members across the US and Canada, The Global Expeditions Club is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free. Please see The Global Expeditions Club website for more details about the club.

Places Visited:

Group Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru, Cusco, Aguas Calientes

Trip Itinerary:
B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco. Group Orientation.
Day 2: Free Day. Optional Sacred Valley Tour. (B)
Day 3: Start Trek. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Trek over high pass. Hot Springs. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Trek. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Trek to Aguas Calientes. (B, L)
Day 7: Machu Picchu & Train to Cusco. (B, L)
Day 8: Trip ends. (B)

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1:
Arrive in Cusco (11,203 feet - 3,395 meters). Group Orientation.

Arrive at the designated hotel OR if you purchased airport transfers through us, then you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

In the late afternoon, meet your GEC Trip Leader and your fellow group members at the trip orientation meeting. Later, why not join your Trip Leader and group members for an optional dinner and a night out on the town.

Overnight in an excellent 4* hotel in Cusco

NOTE: to better acclimate to the high altitude, it is Highly Recommended to arrive 1 or 2 days early. Extra nights are available to purchase during checkout).

Day 2:
Free Day (11,203 feet - 3,395 meters). Optional Sacred Valley Tour.

Today is a free day to spend exploring Cusco, hiking up to the ruins above the city, OR why not join the optional day trip to the incredibly beautiful Sacred Valley.

Scared Valley Tour: After breakfast, a local guide will meet the group and we will drive towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas stopping along the way to feed Llamas and Alpaca and for fantastic views of the Urubamba valley, where the crops lay across the mountains like a colorful carpet. We will also visit the vibrant market of Pisac where you will have free time to interact with the local craftsmen and, if you wish, purchase their hand-made items and tourist souvenirs. Finally, after an included lunch, we will visit Ollantaytambo, an attractive town of Inca origin with remarkable channels and stone streets. Here we will visit some amazing Inca ruins at the end of the valley. We return to Cusco around 5 or 6pm.

Overnight in an excellent 4* hotel in Cusco

Day 3:
Start Trek (11,203 to 9,196 to 13,779 feet) (B, L, D)

We leave Cusco (11,203f - 3,395m) early (6:00 am) and drive to the village of Mollepata, an Indian Village situated in a citrus growing area at a subtropical region (9,196f - 2,803m). A bit further down we will arrive in Challacancha, where we will meet the horse handlers and horses, who will be our support during the trek.

From Challacancha we start our trek on the Salcantay Trail with a climb toward Salcantaypampa, where we will have lunch. After a short rest we will continue to climb toward Soroycocha (13,779f - 4,200m), our first campsite. From here we will have a magnificent view of Abu Salcantay (a snow capped mountain 20,474f - 6,271m high) also called the Guardian Lord of Cusco.

Overnight Camping

Day 4:
Trek over high pass. Hot Springs (13,779 to 14,845 to 9,481 feet) (B, L, D)

Following a hardy breakfast, we will head out around 6:30 am. Heading toward Collpapampa, we will start with a 2.5-3 hour ascent until we arrive at the highest point on our trek: Salcantay Mountain pass (14,845f - 4,525m). Here we will enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers and the snow-capped mountain of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range, with the south face of Salkantay towering above us. We may even be able to spot some chinchillas and Andean Condors in their natural habitat.

We'll then head to Huayracmachay, where we will enjoy our well-earned lunch. After lunch, we'll descend down towards a more tropical climate and into the so-called cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of the original ancient Inca trail. After following the Salkantay River, we'll arrive at our second camp at Qollpapampa (9,481f - 2,890m). This is a much anticipated stop, as here you can relax in some of the beautiful natural hot springs... a well needed break after a day of trekking (subject to being open... the winter river flooding sometimes wash them out and need to be rebuilt).

NOTE: This day we will be a long but beautiful day of hiking - about 10-12 hours including hiking, lunch, views, etc. Be sure to bring your headlamp/flashlight as we may hike into dusk. Overnight Camping

Day 5:
Trek (9,481 to 8,858 feet) (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will descend through a narrow path toward the banks of the Cachora River (6 hours walking). Today we will enjoy a nice warm climate. As we descend, there is a marked change in the flora and fauna as it becomes more lush and subtropical. On the route we will pass through wild fruits plantations such as passion fruit, coffee, etc.

After passing the waterfalls of Coripacchi and the settlement at Winaypoko, we will stop for a delicious Lunch. In the afternoon we will continue close to the banks of the river and we will pass Sahuayaco, a small village of less than 20 families. Later we'll arrive at our campsite in Lucmabamba... about 8,858f (2,700m).

Overnight Camping

Day 6:
Trek to Aguas Calientes (8,858 to 6,561 feet) (B, L)

After breakfast, we'll start with a 2 1/2 hour climb to the village of El Mirador (9,383f - 2,860m), where we will enjoy an exceptional and uniquely angled view of Machu Picchu that only trekkers on this trail can get.

We'll then enjoy a last lunch in nature at the lookout point of Llaqtapata (8,694f - 2,650m) where we can view both Machu Picchu and the iconic Salkantay Mountain. We'll also have the opportunity to view the ancient Incan ruins of Llactapata, which have recently been restored.

A 2-hour descent brings us to the Aobamba River. Along the way, we'll pass through lush bamboo forests and see wild orchards and coffee trees. We'll then arrive at the hydroelectric plant of Machu Picchu, where we board a train that takes us on a short, scenic 30-minutes train ride to the quaint town of Aguas Calientes. Here we transfer to our hotel. Tonight, after long and well-earned hot showers, why not join your fellow group members on a fun night out at a local restaurant?

Overnight in excellent guest lodge hotel in Aguas Calientes

Day 7:
Machu Picchu & Train to Cusco. (B, L)

Early in the morning we'll be one of the first to arrive at the gates of Machu Picchu, where the guide will offer a fully guided tour of these spectacular and mysterious ruins. We will then have free time to explore the ruins on our own after the tour.

After a delicious buffet lunch, we take the afternoon train back to Cusco where we are transferred to our hotel. Tonight, join the group on a last night celebration in the beautiful city of Cusco.

Overnight in an excellent 4* hotel in Cusco

Day 8:
Trip ends. (B)

Trip ends after breakfast. If you purchased airport transfers through us, then you are picked up at the hotel and transferred to the airport to catch your flight home.

Want to continue your trip? Why not join others from the trek on an optional 3 day Amazon Rainforest trip extension!

CLICK HERE for details and to book.

*** NOTE: when booking your Amazon extension, please choose the appropriate departure date that corresponds with your trek:
-- June 27 - 29, 2015 OR
-- August 22 - 24, 2015 OR
-- September 19 - 21, 2015

Important Information

We will provide a complete example packing list before departure, however please see the "Download Trip Dossier" link in the right hand column of this page for a starter packing list and very important information about the trek! ---->

This tour requires a total minimum group size to run. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and Cusco, Peru airport (code: CUZ) as per the itinerary (if booking the Amazon extension after, you will likely fly into Cusco (CUZ) and out of Lima (LIM) as we book the group's internal domestic flights (mandatory add-on when booking the Amazon). Full details will be emailed to you after booking, however contact us if you have any questions). However, flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee that the Land Only portion of your trip has been fully booked. Please contact us or the Global Expeditions Club if you would like help or advice booking your flights.

This is a Global Expeditions Club small group trip that is open to anyone.

This trek is on the Salcantay trail. It is a 4 day trek along trails that run through the Andes mountains and reaches altitudes of over 14,845+ feet (4,525m). Please confer with your doctor prior to purchasing this trip to ensure that you are physically capable of completing this adventure safely and so that you fully understand the effects and required actions when trekking at altitude.

Due to limited capacities of the trail, we may be joined by other trekkers outside of our group.

Depending on the conditions of the trail, weather, schedules, group fitness/acclimation levels, etc., the local trekking guide may, for the safety of the group, choose to alter the itinerary.

Prices are based on double occupancy. If you would like your own hotel room and tent (where available), please choose the optional single supplement at check out. If you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then the single supplement does not apply.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 month following the last day of the tour.

At the time of printing, no Visas are required for citizens of the US and Canada. Please be sure to check with the Peruvian embassy in the US (or your country of citizenship) before the trip to ensure that this is still the case.

We will be camping for 3 nights during the trek. We will have a support staff, including cooks and porters to carry our gear and set up our camp. However it is a camp and facilities are limited to what we carry in.

Trip ID: SA1162
Departure Dates:

Local Fee
Optional Add-Ons
OPTIONAL: Airport Greet & Hotel Transfers
OPTIONAL: Single Room (choose only if you want your own hotel room-where available)
OPTIONAL: Extra Night Before in 4* hotel - Highly Recommended
OPTIONAL: Guided Sacred Valley Tour
OPTIONAL: Sleeping Bag Rental

Price Includes
  • Expert English speaking local guide
  • 8 days: 3n camping & 4n excellent 4* hotels
  • Visit the famous Banjar Hot Springs (if open)
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu
  • Fully supported 4 day trek to Machu Picchu, including:
  • -- Porters and cooks
    -- All meals on trek & breakfast in hotels
    -- Filtered or boiled water during trek
    -- Horses/mules during trek to carry gear
    -- Personal duffle bag to use that holds 7 kg / 15.43 lbs of your clothing, gear, etc.
    -- All camping gear, including tents & inflatable mattress (except sleeping bag)
    -- Dining tent, cooking tent, bathroom tents
    -- First aid kit, oxygen
    -- Communication equipment for guide
Price Does Not Include
  • International airfare
  • Airport Transfers
  • Meals and beverages other than specified
  • Sleeping bag
  • Travel medical insurance (details)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Airport departure taxes and fees paid at airport (International Flights about US$31)
Accomodation Included
  • 3 nights 4* hotel in Cusco
  • 1 night 4* lodge in Aguas Calientes
  • 3 nights camping
Transportation Included
  • Modern private A/C vehicles
  • Train
  • Trekking
Meals Included
  • All meals while trekking
  • Breakfast at hotels
Seasonal Info
  • The best months to visit Machu Picchu (and to trek) are in the dry season from May to September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. However the months of June, July and August can also be very cold at night so bring a good quality 4 season sleeping bag and ample layers of warm clothes. Of course you may see some rain during the dry season so you will need to prepare accordingly, but generally it is quite nice. The dry cool nights also provide for some amazing star gazing of the southern stars!
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