Inca Trail Lodge to Lodge Hiking Tour

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates/Pricing
  • Accommodations
  • Maps
  • Photos & Video
  • Extensions
  • Testimonials
  • Physical Rating

If you've longed to hike the Inca Trail and experience Machu Picchu history firsthand but roughing it isn't your idea of a vacation, you'll appreciate our Inca Trail Mountain Lodges trip. This twelve-day Machu Picchu Peru excursion combines hiking the world's most famous path with relaxing interludes at small mountain lodges set in picturesque surroundings with panoramic views. Travelers in moderate condition will be comfortable on this Inca Trail tour. The itinerary includes time to explore Inca sights in Cusco Peru and the Sacred Valley, many opportunities to acclimatize to the high elevation and four days of Inca Trail hiking plus a day and a half of touring the secret city itself. Of all the Machu Picchu tours to choose from, this one can't be beat, on or off the trail.


 

Peru

Traveling to this Location
Passport and visa requirements
A valid passport is required to enter and leave Peru. A visa is not required for citizens of the USA, Mexico and most Central American, Asian and European countries if visiting Peru for less than 90 days. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Peruvian consulate prior to departure for current entrance requirements. For more information see www.americanpassport.com or www.peruvianembassy.us
Immunizations
The following vaccinations are recommended when visiting any area of Peru:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus-diphtheria and measles (as needed booster doses)
  • Typhoid
  • For travelers to the Amazon, a vaccination for Yellow Fever is required.
  • For travelers to certain lower elevations of Peru including the Amazon and rural areas on the coast, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends taking an anti-malarial medication.
  • The Centers for Disease Control provides immunization information for travel in Latin America. www.cdc.gov
Customs
Entry During the flight to Lima, a flight attendant distributes a Peru entrance form to all passengers. At Customs, travelers are asked to show the completed form along with their passport and asked how many days they plan to be in Peru. Normally, the passport will be stamped indicating a permissible stay of 60 or 90 days and a copy of the Customs form will be returned to the traveler.
Exit The Customs document must be presented when exiting the country. Passengers leaving on an international flight pay a departure tax of $25US and a $5 airport departure tax on domestic flights. These taxes must be paid in cash in $US.
Exchanging currency
Peru's unit of currency is the Nuevo Sol. Current exchange rate information is available on our website under "Traveler Information." Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are widely available 24 hours a day in all major cities and large towns, providing a convenient and economical way to obtain soles. ATMs are the only reliable method to get money on Sundays. There are no ATMs and no place to cash Traveler's Checks in Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo. Travelers going to Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley should obtain cash before leaving Cusco. On trips of two weeks or less, we recommend carrying only US cash in $20 denominations to exchange as needed. Hotels exchange money, and most offer safe-keeping for valuables. Before departure, we send booked passengers a packet of trip information that contains operating hours for money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and more money tips.
Using electricity
In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles, standard to Great Britain. To use 110-volt American-made electrical appliances in Peru (for a hairdryer or to recharge digital camera batteries, etc.), bring 2-pin plug adapters and a voltage transformer. For video cameras, we suggest packing an extra set of charged batteries. Some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, but most do not.
Weather
When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Peru is a diverse country. With beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert, there is no off-season. But it does pay to know a bit about where you're going, and what you'll need on your Peru tour:

The Andes - Though officially part of the dry season, April and May are considered the Andean spring, while June through October marks the Andean summer. Mid-day temperatures range from 70 to 80 F in the sun. Nighttime temperatures in Cusco range in the 40s F and can dip into the 30s F. Weather is usually clear in the morning with clouds accumulating in the afternoon. Rain can happen in any season, so quality rain gear is essential.

The Amazon - A rainforest environment, the Peruvian Amazon has varied weather conditions and frequent unpredictable rain showers. It is generally hot and humid during the day with more comfortable temperatures through the night. Daytime high temperatures average between 82° and 93° F, and the average nighttime low is between 62° and 73°. Nevertheless, in some areas cold fronts can sweep into the Amazon and push daytime high temperatures down to 50° F and nighttime lows to 43° F. Any time of year, one should always be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain showers. Around 80% of the annual average 79 inches of rainfall occurs during the rainy season (December through March) when heavy rain may continue for hours or days.

Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

LIMA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 68-79 0.0
FEB 69-80 0.0
MAR 69-80 0.0
APR 67-76 0.0
MAY 63-72 0.0
JUN 61-69 0.1
JUL 60-67 0.2
AUG 60-66 0.1
SEP 60-67 0.1
OCT 60-69 0.1
NOV 62-72 0.0
DEC 64-76 0.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

CUSCO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 44-65 6.3
FEB 44-65 5.2
MAR 43-66 4.3
APR 41-67 1.8
MAY 39-67 0.3
JUN 33-66 0.1
JUL 32-66 0.2
AUG 35-67 0.3
SEP 39-68 0.9
OCT 42-69 1.9
NOV 43-69 3.1
DEC 44-69 4.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

PUNO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 38-62 5.2
FEB 38-62 4.3
MAR 38-62 3.8
APR 33-62 1.5
MAY 25-62 0.4
JUN 19-61 0.1
JUL 18-61 0.1
AUG 22-63 0.2
SEP 29-64 0.8
OCT 33-65 1.5
NOV 35-66 2.0
DEC 37-64 3.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

PUERTO MALDONADO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 71-88 13.6
FEB 70-87 12.8
MAR 70-88 11.9
APR 69-87 6.1
MAY 66-86 4.2
JUN 63-84 2.3
JUL 62-85 2.2
AUG 64-88 2.5
SEP 66-90 3.9
OCT 69-90 6.5
NOV 70-89 9.3
DEC 70-88 12.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

FAQ
Q: When is the best time to go on a Peru tour?
A: Peru is a diverse country with beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert. For this reason, there is no off-season in Peru. One can travel to Peru any time of year and find good weather in certain areas
Q: How safe is Peru?
A: Petty theft in Peru's cities is no more prevalent than in any large American city. Travelers should take the same precautions that they would while traveling elsewhere. Listen to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception staff and take common sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. Use the safety deposit box at your hotel for your passport and extra money (carry only as much as you might spend) and leave jewelry and expensive watches at home. Peru has a stable government and tourism has boomed in recent years. With the added tourist dollars, the government has made a concerted effort to keep travelers and their valuables safe. Current safety information can be obtained from www.travel.state.gov
Q: How concerned should I be about the altitude?
A: Travelers to the Cusco (elevation 11,400 ft) and Andean areas need to take common sense measures to acclimatize to high altitude. Visitors are encouraged to limit exertion for the first few days and stay adequately hydrated. Coca tea assists in the acclimatization process and is available at all hotels. Individuals with coronary or other health problems should consult their physician before deciding to travel to Cusco and other high altitude locations. Ask your doctor about preventative high altitude medications and herbal remedies such as Ginkgo biloba.
Q: What if I have a medical emergency on the trip?
A: Our guides are trained in mountain/wilderness first-aid. To ensure the safety of our travelers, our guides are linked with outside services 24 hours a day in all locations to provide assistance when necessary. Depending on the circumstances, a vehicle, horse or helicopter may take an injured or ill person to the nearest medical facility. English-speaking doctors and clinics are available in all major cities (Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, Lima, etc.). While hiking in wilderness areas our guides also carry satellite phones in case of emergency. Passengers are advised to obtain medical or travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
Q: What is the best way to get money on the trip?
A: The Sol(es) is the official currency of Peru. Current exchange rate information is available on our website. Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. Please note that when using credit cards, merchants will often charge a transaction fee in order to cover their costs. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are a popular choice for exchanging currency at the official rate of exchange (user fees may apply). They debit your account, distribute the money in Soles and are widely available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in all major cities and large towns. Money can also be exchanged at your hotel. For operating hours of money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and other money tips, see pre-departure information.
Q: If I need to bring extra luggage with me to South America, where can it be stored?
A: On all of our trips, excess luggage may be stored in the hotel where your trip begins or at our operator’s offices. Luggage may not be stored at the airport.
Q: How will I do laundry during the trip?
A: Peruvian hotels charge very affordable rates for doing a guest’s laundry. You will also have access to laundry facilities on most days in major cities. You can hand wash it yourself; however, please use biodegradable soap.
Q: Do I need a converter/ adaptor for the electricity?
A: In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles standard to Great Britain. If you need to use electricity in Peru (recharge batteries for digital camera, hairdryer etc.), bring plug adapters and a voltage transformer that will allow you to use the equipment on the 2-pin 220 volt outlets. Please note that while some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, most do not.
Q: Will I be able to use my cell phone?
A: Each company is different. Check with your cell phone provider for the most up-to-date information.
Q: What’s the average group size on the scheduled trips?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips with a maximum of 12 guests. This policy minimizes our environmental impact, allows us to travel to areas less visited and makes the sightseeing experience more personal. It allows our guides sufficient time to attend to the individual needs of each visitor. Traveling in small groups also increases the likelihood of encountering wildlife in some areas, such as the Amazon.
Q: Who travels on your group trips?
A: While travelers of varying ages from all over the world take our trips, most are Americans between 20 and 60. The more rigorous itineraries tend to attract slightly younger travelers than our other trips.
Q: When will I receive the airline tickets for the flights included in the trip?
A: Tickets will be given to you at the airport or the hotel the morning of your departure for that day’s destination. Some airlines use E Tickets. For these, you’ll just need to present your passport at check-in.
Q: What are the guides’ qualifications?
A: Our exceptional guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We hire only guides who are native to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak the indigenous Quechua language. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, Andean culture or another related field. Our team of congenial guides offers priceless insights into the true nature of their homelands, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the trip.
Q: What are the meals like?
A: Staple foods in the highlands include several varieties of potatoes and corn, rice, quinoa and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Meals served during all of our Peru adventures are nutritious and plentiful. Hotel breakfasts usually include fresh fruit, breads and eggs, as well as coffee, tea and juices. On the hiking portion of our trekking tours, you will awake to a fresh cup of tea brought to your tent and be served breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by expert trail cooks with years of experience. Dinners usually consist of fresh vegetables, beef and chicken. During our Amazon adventures, the lodge menus generally include a selection of seafood, beef, fresh salads and soups as well as dessert and hot drinks.
Q: Are you able to accommodate special dietary requests?
A: Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, Peruvian vegetarian dishes typically just leave out the meat rather than substituting a vegetarian protein source such as tofu, beans, or nuts. If you are concerned about the meals, please bring supplement supplies. If you require a special diet (vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc.) or are allergic to any foods and did not indicate your needs on the trip application at the time of booking, please contact us so we can make special arrangements before your departure.
Q: What type of aircraft is used on domestic flights?
A: Most domestic carriers use Boeing 727s or similar jets with a capacity of 80-120 passengers.
Q: How do we get from one tour destination to another?
A: In Peru, we use a mix of private and public transportation to get travelers to their destinations safely and efficiently. This includes local air carriers, trains, private vans/cars, comfortable tourist buses and canoes, etc. For short distances, we may get around in unusual ways such as human-powered rickshaw or bicycle taxi or the wildly fun “chicken bus” to give our guests the local flavor.
Q: Can I extend my stay?
A: We try to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meals. Meals are included on tour days spent off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited (e.g. Lake Titicaca and the Amazon.) In major cities with a wide variety of restaurants, meals are generally not included to allow our travelers to make their own dining choices. On these days, your hotel will provide a light continental breakfast. Southern Explorations will provide you a list of recommended restaurants for these cities. Your local guide will be a wealth of information about great restaurant options and is usually available to accompany groups that wish to eat together.
Q: How much should I budget for tips?
A: Tipping is a personal matter, and guests are encouraged to tip what they feel is appropriate. Please refer to the pre-departure information for our tipping suggestions.
Q: Are these Peru tours suitable for children?
A: It depends on the trip. Our Peru tours have received rave reviews from families visiting the Amazon, Machu Picchu and even hiking the Inca trail. If children enjoy wildlife, learning about other cultures and meeting new people, Peru may be a great choice. To make family tours more flexible, we often recommend putting together a private group instead of booking one of our pre-set group trips. This works especially well with younger children. We are happy to answer all of your questions to give you the most accurate impression we can of what to expect.
Q: What airport do your passengers fly to?
A: Passengers fly into Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport. Our Peru tours all begin in Cusco.
Q: What are the accommodations like in Peru?
A: All of our Peru accommodations have private baths and hot water. They are located within walking distance of the town center, and most of the reception staff speaks English. Our standard adventures feature 3-star accommodations. If desired, 4 and 5-star accommodations are available upon request. We personally inspect the rooms and amenities of all potential hotels and lodges in each tour location and select only those that meet our rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort, convenient location, safety, customer service and ambiance. We support lodges and hotels that employ sustainability practices and are owned and operated locally.
Inca Trail Lodge to Lodge Hiking Tour
Day 1 ARRIVE LIMA

After arriving in Lima Peru, you'll be transported from the airport to your hotel. If you have extra time to spend in the capital, optional Peru tours of the city, museums and other sights of interest may be arranged.

Day 2 LIMA - CUSCO

In the morning, you'll be taken to the airport for your flight to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. Between the Cusco airport and your hotel, our guide will take you on a quick tour of the colonial Plaza de Armas. You'll be free the rest of the day to explore this fascinating city on your own and begin acclimatizing to the altitude of 10,856 feet. (B)

Day 3 CUSCO

This morning you'll see more of Cusco on a guided walking tour of the city's top sights, visiting the colorful markets, the colonial cathedral and Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun, before lunch. After a tasty meal of regional cuisine, you'll spend the afternoon touring prominent Inca sites in and around the city. You'll see the fortress of Sacsayhuman, famous for its mammoth proportions and stone terraces, Kenko's carved stone surfaces and subterranean alters, the Puka Pukara, a small fortress strategically placed to protect the royal capital from attack, and finally the water temple of Tambo Machay. In the late afternoon, you'll be returned to your hotel to relax or take in more of the sights of Cusco. (B)

Day 4 CUSCO - SACRED VALLEY - CUSCO

Today you'll take a day-long guided excursion through the legendary Sacred Valley of the Incas. You'll glimpse Inca architectural practices, passing by terracing on the steep valley walls, visit the ruins of the temples at Pisac, affording panoramic views, and explore a famed Andean textile market, offering an opportunity to learn about the local culture and find unique souvenirs. After lunch, you'll stop in Ollantaytambo, a charming town at 9,185 feet with an imposing Inca fortress, before returning to Cusco. In the evening, you'll receive a briefing about your upcoming Machu Picchu trek. Spend another relaxing night at your hotel. (B)

Day 5 CUSCO - SORAYPAMPA - SALKANTAY LODGE & ADVENTURE RESORT

After an early breakfast, you'll check out of the hotel and join your bilingual guide who will accompany you to Soraypampa where your next lodgings are located. The first part of the trip is by vehicle. You'll stop at the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatombo, have coffee in the mountain village of Mollepata and ascend a winding mountain road to Marcoccasa. At this juncture, you'll have the choice of continuing on by vehicle or hiking the rest of the way. The easy hike takes three to four hours and travels along the old scenic Camino Real (Royal Path), a good way to begin acclimatizing to the increasing elevation. Upon reaching the Salkantay Lodge and Adventure Resort, you'll be welcomed warmly. At 12,690 feet, this twelve-room mountain-view lodge is named for the highest mountain in the region, a sacred 20,600-ft Andean peak in Inca mythology. You'll spend the rest of the day relaxing to get accustomed to the elevation. Around the fireplace, you'll have a briefing about the upcoming trek followed by an aperitif and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6 SORAYPAMPA

Your second day in Soraypampa provides additional time to adjust to the elevation while enjoying the great outdoors. Popular activities here include a half-day hike to a glacial lake, giving your lungs an introduction to high-mountain trekking and a soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi. (B, L, D)

Day 7 SORAYPAMPA - HUAYRACCMACHAY - WAYRA LODGE

Your four-day trek to Machu Picchu at last begins. Today's four to six hour hike starts early after a hearty breakfast, along the Rio Blanco Valley circling the Humantay peak. When you reach the highest point of today's trek, a 15,213 feet pass, you'll stop for breathtaking views of the snowcapped Vilcabamba Range and the south face of Mt. Salkantay where the Andean condor is a common sight. A hot lunch is provided en route. From the pass, you'll descend to your welcoming destination, the Wayra Lodge at Huayraccmachay, elevation 12,812 feet. In the Quechua language, "wayra" means the place where the wind lives. You'll enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 8 HUAYRACCMACHAY - COLLPAPAMPA - COLPA LODGE

Today's schedule is a leisurely one. You'll have breakfast at Huayraccmachay before descending into forested terrain with the Salkantay River below to reach Collpa Lodge at Collpapampa. The six-room lodge is set on a 9,414 feet promontory that offers views of three rivers at their confluence. After getting settled, you'll enjoy a delicious lunch, either prepared in the lodge's kitchen or a traditional "Pachamanca," the indigenous underground stone cooking method. One of the lodge's much-appreciated-amenities for visitors on Peru tours is its outdoor Jacuzzi with mountain vistas. You'll have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 9 COLLPAPAMPA - LUCMABAMBA - LUCMA LODGE

Today's four to six hour hike starts after breakfast. You will continue your descent into the Santa Teresa River Valley, known worldwide for its organic coffee, said by some to be the best in the world. You'll stop for a delicious hot picnic lunch on the shore before being taken by vehicle to the start of the "Llactapata Inca Trail." The afternoon trek consists of a thirty-minute climb to the night's lodgings. The Lacuma Lodge is located in an avocado orchard near the trail at an elevation of 7,003 feet in a picturesque farming area where passion fruit, coffee and avocados grow. Before dinner, there will be time to explore the nearby village of Lucmabamba where it may be possible to meet members of the community. (B, L, D)

Day 10 LUCMABAMBA - AGUAS CALIENTES

You'll get an early start after breakfast on this last day of your Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. The first two hours are an ascent to Llactapata pass, elevation 8,900 feet, where you'll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the southwest, a perspective seen by few tourists. Along the way, you'll stop at the recently restored Llactapata ruins. With lunch at the observatory you'll get your next tantalizing view of Machu Picchu. The final two to three hour descent takes you through lush bamboo forests, orchards and plantations to the Aobamba River. Arrive at the hydroelectric train station where you’ll board the train for the short ride to Aguas Calientes. You'll spend the night at a local hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes, gateway to the Inca city of Machu Picchu. (B, L, D)

Day 11 MACHU PICCHU

This magical day of Peru travel begins with an early breakfast at the hotel before the thirty-minute bus trip to begin your Machu Picchu tours. With an expert bilingual guide, you'll spend around four hours among the ruins, for an unforgettable day of fascinating sights and vistas. Afterwards, you have various opportunities for your own exploration, including a climb to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or a walk through the lush cloud forest to the Temple of the Moon. For those looking for the picture perfect view of the ruins, getting up early is essential as sunrise is not to be missed! returning to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon for a relaxing soak in the hot springs followed by dinner at one of the town's many dining establishments. Another relaxing night at your Aguas Calientes hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 12 MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO

After breakfast, you will again enjoy one last morning to explore Machu Picchu with an expert bilingual guide. You will have the option to hike to the sacred peak of Machu Picchu Mountain or relax in your hotel before returning to Cusco. You'll travel by train back to Ollantaytambo in the early afternoon then travel by van to Cusco where you will spend the rest of the afternoon and a final night on your own in the Inca Empire. Overnight at a Cusco hotel. (B)

Day 13 CUSCO - LIMA - HOME

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport for your return flight to Lima and your connecting international flight which ends Southern Explorations' services. If you have more time to spend in Peru, trip extensions to other regions or extra days in Lima or Cusco may be arranged. (B)

Inca Trail Lodge to Lodge Hiking Tour

Pricing
Per Person
$4,940
Per Person
$5,350


$5350    2+ Travelers (High Season: Apr 01 – Oct 31 | Dec 15-31)
$4940    2+ Travelers (Low Season: Mar 01-31 | Nov 01- Dec 14)

Domestic Airfare:
$375 (Lima/Cusco/Lima) – Subject to change

Single Supplement:
Low Season: $1,800
High Season: $2,010
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.

Trip Dates
Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Available
Included in tour cost
  • First aid and oxygen bottle
  • Porters
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

One Day

Multi-Day

I can't recommend Southern Explorations highly enough, from the great hotels to a totally awesome guide, Jose, who took care of us from the minute we stepped off the plane in Cusco to the time we flew back to Lima. Jose's knowledge of Cusco, the Incas, the sites we visited, history, plants and wildlife was boundless. Also, if you prefer to get off the beaten path and don't like big groups, Southern Explorations is without any shadow of a doubt the way to go ... we were easily the smallest group on the Inca Trail and thankful for it! The timing on the trail was also excellent, we avoided other groups to such an extent that we felt like we had the trail to ourselves 90% of the time. We were taken care of from start to finish and I'd certainly recommend and use Southern Explorations again for future adventures of this kind.   -Julia Relf, California (Inca Trail)


I thought this was a great trip! It exceeded my expectations. Machu Picchu was just as amazing in person as I thought it would be. I am so happy we decided to hike the short Inca trail. Although it was a difficult and tiring hike at times it was an amazing experience. The whole trip went very smoothly from the time of booking to the time we got on the plane home. It was nice not having to worry about anything and letting Southern Explorations and their guides handle everything and take care of us. I am definitely planning on looking into taking another trip with Southern Explorations in the future.   -Kara Trias, New York (Inca Trail)


THANK YOU for a phenomenal trip! Krissy and I had an amazing time, both in the Amazon, as well as Cusco, Inca Trail. We could not have asked for a better experience. Everything went smoothly, and was extremely organized. We had a fantastic guide for Cusco and Inca Trail - Fernando Silva. THE BEST. We'd recommend you use him as much as you can!
So THANK YOU, THANK YOU for making it all happen for us! We will definitely recommend you guys to our friends/family and anyone who asks. We're now thinking about Ecuador and Galapagos possibly for next year! Cannot wait.
Cheers!   - Nicole Cassani, California (Inca Trail & Amazon)


The alternative Inca trail was mystical. No roads, no carts, no tourists, no planes overflying, no electric lines.....just remarkably capable, friendly, solicitous and knowledgeable people helping us to enjoy ourselves. This is the first vacation I took where I was not eager to return home. We were enthralled.   -Daniel Ehrgood, Pennsyvania (Inca Trail)


I wanted to let you know how much Joe and I enjoyed our Machu Picchu adventure. From the minute we arrived in Lima to the minute we left, the capable crew at Southern Explorations took great care of us.
In particular, our guide, Washington, was truly amazing. He was knowledgeable, helpful, and just plain fun to spend time with. But more than that, Washington seemed to generally care about the porters and people we came across on the trail. He was just wonderful!
And another person in need of some kudos was our cook, Walter. Each meal was worthy of a nice restaurant--and this while camping in the middle of the Andes. Every meal was a delight.
All in all, the trip was really fantastic. Thank you for providing us with a trip that we will always treasure!   - Joe and Katherine Houlehan, Kansas (Inca Trail)


It was a real treat to have a guide and driver devoted solely to us. We went at our pace and were able to have much interaction with the guide. Peru is a terrific destination.   -Dave Stevenson (Inca Trail)


This was an amazing experience and our guide, Jose, made a significant impact on the quality of our trip. Jose was an exceptional guide who was attentive to all people in the group. He was extremely detail-oriented, knowledgeable, caring, thoughtful and went out of his way to ensure all needs were met. Jose went beyond what we expected.   -Shelly Zavala, California (Inca Trail)


I would like to tell you that we had absolutely a wonderful and flawless trip in Peru from the beginning to the very end.

Our guide, in particular, did a superb job in guiding us. He has a professional pride as a guide and his enthusiasm in
Informing us of the Incan culture came through very strongly. He was very pleasant. - Kazumi Hatasa, Japan (Inca Trail)


Overall this was a great trip, something I have come to expect from Southern Explorations. Everything from the initial planning to the final execution was arranged with care, professionalism, and much sensitivity to our needs. SE is composed by hard-working idealistic people who put much effort in creating itineraries that combine visits to natural wonders, colonial cities, and archaeological sites. I should add something that cannot be expressed by one’s satisfaction with hotels and transportation and that is the possibility of growth young people can gain in such a trip. I saw how much confidence my youngest son, Alexander, had gained through this trip. And Adrian’s charango (along with the coca leaves we purchased on Chema’s advice) provided much opportunity for us to get to know the other workers better and some of the local residents.

Thanks for all for their hard work.   -Gregory Jusdanis (Inca Trail)


Southern Explorations really knows what they are doing. They provide a top notch guest experience overall and I would highly recommend them and also consider taking another trip with them.   -Wanda Vermeer (Inca Trail)


We LOVED this trip. We went to Panama last year and SE exceeded all of our expectations. You did it again this year with our trip to Peru. We loved every minute of it. Every single detail was thought out and executed in a professional manner. We would plan another trip with SE in a second. Thank you for all your hard work. We feel grateful to have found such a wonderful and reliable travel company!   -Elissa Bowes, New Jersey (Inca Trail & Amazon)


I cannot say enough about our guide Washington. He was personable and attentive as well as professional and knowledgeable. As a tour manager and tour guide myself for the past 28 years, I can fully appreciate the outstanding job Washington did in sharing his knowledge and passion for his culture and his country with the group. He truly made the trip.   -Niki Sepsas, Alabama (Inca Trail)

This Trip is Rated: Most Difficult

Our most difficult expeditions are for the adventurer who is in good physical condition. Itineraries may involve multi-day hiking and trekking excursions over steep, rugged terrain and/or where altitude may exceed 14,000 feet. Many trips include camping in remote areas and/or high altitude sites in varying temperature and weather conditions. Trips may also involve many days of demanding Class IV-V rapids, longer sea kayaking trips, horseback riding, and/or mountain bicycling. Training for the physical demands of these tours is highly encouraged. 

How We Rate Our Trips

Easy: Our easy tours generally require fairly little exertion. Each day will involve walking, sightseeing and general travel-related activities such as getting in/out of vans, planes, boats, and zodiacs.

Moderate: Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

Difficult: Our difficult trips may involve hiking over uneven terrain, with some hikes including significant elevation gain or loss and at higher elevations (up to 12,000 ft). Itineraries may include three to six hour hikes and other activities such as horseback riding, mountain bicycling, rafting and kayaking, which require no previous experience. On many trips, passengers may elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics.

Most Difficult: Our most difficult expeditions are for the adventurer who is in good physical condition. Itineraries may involve multi-day hiking and trekking excursions over steep, rugged terrain and/or where altitude may exceed 14,000 feet. Many trips include camping in remote areas and/or high altitude sites in varying temperature and weather conditions. Trips may also involve many days of demanding Class IV-V rapids, longer sea kayaking trips, horseback riding, and/or mountain bicycling. Training for the physical demands of these tours is highly encouraged. 

Contact Us