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Enjoy the ultimate Peru adventure trip! This Peru tour is a trekker's dream, encompassing all of the country's top attractions in one trip. Your ecotour will take you on an exploration of the world's largest rainforest, where you will stay the night in a rustic Amazon lodge. You'll visit the beautiful "White City" of Arequipa, famous for its many colonial buildings of ashen volcanic rock on the way to trek in Colca Canyon where the endangered Andean Condor soars overhead. You'll visit the Peruvian side of vast Lake Titicaca and travel to the center of the ancient Inca Empire, a highlight on any tour of Peru. Visit Cusco and the Sacred Valley before embarking on the celebrated Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. This exciting and comprehensive trip is the Peruvian ecotour of a lifetime.

South America's largest fresh water lake, Lake Titicaca, spans the border between Peru and Bolivia and is of great cultural significance to both countries, as it is considered the cradle of Incan civilization. Its waves are testament to its monumental proportions. Though not attractive to swimmers, the cold Andean-fed lake is popular with photographers. A memorable sight in your Peru travel, the vivid blue waters of this ancient inland sea remnant contrast starkly with the parched altiplano.

 

Itinerary
Day 1 LIMA

Your Peru tour begins when you arrive in Lima, where you'll be met by a Southern Explorations' representative to take you to your hotel. If you arrive with time to spare, we can arrange optional tours to explore the city, including museum visits and other sites of interest.

Day 2 LIMA - AREQUIPA

In the morning, your Peru travel continues when you return to the airport for a flight to Arequipa, known as the "White City," because of its many colonial buildings built of the area's white volcanic rock. Upon arrival, there will be time to relax or explore a bit on your own before an afternoon city tour, visiting Yanahuara, La Compania and the Convent of Santa Catalina, famous for its labyrinth of secluded rooms. (B)

Day 3 AREQUIPA - COLCA CANYON

Leaving the city behind by private van, your Peru tour ascends to the highland savannah, or puna, for an amazing view of Mt. El Misti and more distant snowcapped volcanoes. On this high-altitude desert, you'll see herds of llamas, alpacas and the endangered vicuña. From this high point you descend into the Colca Valley where you will pass the settlements of Chivay and Coporaque before arriving at the Colca Lodge near Yanque. This afternoon you will have a chance to relax in the thermal bathes at the lodge or walk into the nearby town. Several self-guided hikes are also possible. (B)

Day 4 COLCA CANYON - CRUZ DEL CONDOR

Today dawns with an early departure to Cruz del Condor. You’ll journey to a viewpoint over the canyon to watch condors as they leave their rocky sanctuary on the morning's warm air currents, slowly ascending over the horizon. If you like, enjoy a short hike along the rim of the Colca Canyon, for spectacular views! In the afternoon return to the Colca Lodge and enjoy the natural hot springs set in an impressive setting. (B)

Day 5 COLCA - LAKE TITICACA

In the morning transfer by private van over the Andean plains to the next destination on our Peru tour: Puno, an altiplano town near Lake Titicaca. Stopping on the way to you will visit the mysterious pre-Inca ruins called chullpas (funerary towers), the finest of which sit on a windswept peninsula in Lake Umayo at Sillustani. The Colla people, a warrior tribe that spoke Aymara, buried their elite in these giant cylindrical tombs, some up to 40-ft tall. Many archeologists consider this complex stonemasonry superior to Inca engineering, so this unique sight may well be a highlight of your trip. You’ll spend the night at a hotel in Puno and if time remains, visit the historical Yavari, a historical boat museum. This historic ship was built in England in 1862. Then, the ship was delivered in pieces, by mule, over a period of six years through miles of countryside, to Lake Titicaca, then re-assembled. (B,L)

Day 6 LAKE TITICACA - UROS & TAQUILE ISLANDS

In the morning, take a short drive to the harbor to boat to the next two major sites on our Peru tour. First you'll visit the famous floating Uros Islands where the local population is sustained by reeds that not only serve as the island's land mass but also provide the raw materials for the products they sell. Your travels continue to placid Taquile Island, housing a weaving collective in a Mediterranean-like setting. In the late afternoon, you'll return to Puno, a superb place for purchasing alpaca items and other souvenirs to bring home from your Peru tour. Overnight at your Puno hotel. (B, L)

Day 7 LAKE TITICACA - CUSCO

You'll fly to Cusco in the morning where Southern Explorations' guides pick you up at the airport and take you on the next highlight of your Peru travels, an introductory tour of the beautiful Plaza de Armas. Enjoy the tour, then go on to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and adjusting to the 10,856-ft elevation of Cusco. (B)

Day 8 CUSCO

Start this exciting day of our Peru travel with a guided walking tour of Cusco, seeing the city's unique blending of colonial and indigenous cultures. Your stops will include the markets, the cathedral, and the Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun. In the afternoon, you'll tour prominent Inca sites in and around Cusco including temples, the megalithic Sacsayhuaman fortress; the carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars of Kenko; the small Puka Pukara fortress that protected the capital and the Tambo Machay water temple. An evening briefing session will orient you to the upcoming trek of the Sacred Valley, the next leg of our Peru tour. (B)

Day 9 CUSCO - SACRED VALLEY

Today's portion of our Peru ecotour is a guided excursion in the Inca heartland. You'll travel through snowcapped mountains to the legendary Sacred Valley where you'll see Inca terracing on steep valley walls and the spires of ruined Pisac temples. You'll stop in the village of Pisac, where one of the best textile markets in the Andes is found, so pick up some souvenirs of your Peru travels here! After lunch, you'll travel on to Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft), a small traditional town with a well-preserved Inca fortress. Hotel-stay in Ollantaytambo. (B)

Day 10 SACRED VALLEY - HUAYLLABAMBA Camp

You wake up early this morning for the bus ride to (Km 82), where your Inca Trail trek begins. After meeting our porters you cross the Urubamba River by bridge. Continuing along the winding path between the sloping banks of the river, you have a stunning view of the Vilcanota mountain range and Mt. Veronica (18,745 feet). The route travels through the narrow Cusichaca valley, with slopes that show the clear imprint of an ancient culture and its agriculture practices. Later, you’ll arrive at the small indigenous community of Huayllabamba (9,843 ft.), to camp for the night. (B,L,D)
 
Hiking Details: 7.46 miles; approximately 5-6 hours hiking
Altitude min/max: from 8,438 ft. to 9,843 ft. (camping at 9,843 ft.)

Day 11 HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO Camp

Along the trail, through the narrow hanging valley, you begin to see a cloud forest where the Quenua tree grows, a rarity of the Andes. From here, your Inca Trail trek ascends steeply to large pampas and continues to Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest pass on the Inca Trail at 13,796 ft. After a short break, you’ll begin the descent to where you will camp overnight at Pacaymayo (11,788 ft.). (B,L,D)
 
Hiking Details: 6.84 miles; approximately 6-7 hours hiking
Altitude min/max: from 9,843 ft. to 13,796 ft. (camping at 11,788 ft.)

Day 12 PACAYMAYO – PHUYUPATAMARCA Camp

Today’s Peru tours take you through most of the archaeological ruins seen along the Inca Trail. The first is Runkuracay. At this small resting place, you’ll visit the ruins before reaching a second pass and then gradually climbing towards the second highest pass on the trek (12,960 ft.). Here you’ll have a spectacular view of the Cordillera of Vilcanota. After a break, you’ll descend towards the Inca village of Sayacmarca (11,850 ft.). Along the way, you observe a marvel of Inca engineering, and then come upon the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca (11,975 ft.) where you’ll camp for the night. (B,L,D)
 
Hiking Details: 6.21 miles; approximately 6 hours hiking
Altitude min/max: from 11,788 ft. to 12,960 ft. (camping at 11,975 ft.)

Day 13 PHUYUPATAMARCA - MACHU PICCHU

Today’s Peru trekking begins by passing the Phuyupatamarca ruins and then follows the flagstone trail that winds sharply down into the cloud forest leading to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (8,855 feet). Wiñay Wayna is located along the same watercourse as Phuyupatamarca and contains well-restored Inca ruins. After two more hours of trekking the Inca Trail, you pass through a cloud forest and then arrive at your long-awaited destination, Machu Picchu (7,970 feet), entering through Intipunku, the Sun Gate. After a brief tour, you travel to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes (6,690 ft.) to spend the night at a relaxing hotel. (B,L)
 
Hiking Details: 6.20 miles; approximately 6 hours hiking
Altitude max/min: from 11,975 ft. to 7,970 ft. Machu Picchu

Day 14 MACHU PICCHU - CHINCHERO MARKET - CUSCO

This peak day of your Peru travel is spent experiencing extraordinary Machu Picchu where your explorations may take you to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or through the lush cloud forest to the Temple of the Moon. After lunch in Aguas Calientes, take the early afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo and travel to the Chinchero Market, home to some of the best quality textiles in Peru. Here the local artisans will explain their ancient craft and methods for shearing, dyeing, spinning, and weaving alpaca wool into impressive works of art. Take advantage of this last minute shopping opportunity before returning to Cusco to your hotel for one last free evening here. (B)

Huayna Picchu
Hiking Details: 1.25 miles; approximately 2-3 hours hiking, the trail is narrow and very steep
Altitude min/max: from 7,970 ft to 8,835 ft.

Day 15 CUSCO - PTO MALDONADO - AMAZON JUNGLE LODGE

Accommodations at Posada Amazonas OR Hacienda Concepcion depending on availability. Our Peru travel continues as we transfer you to the airport for a morning flight to Puerto Maldonado. Today’s tour begins with a one-hour motorized canoe ride up the Tambopata River to the lodge. After taking some time to unwind, you'll receive a short welcome orientation and learn all about the lodge and its Ecotourism Project. The afternoon will be spent in the treetops, climbing the Canopy Tower. The 115-ft scaffolding of the Canopy Tower offers spectacular views of the river and the surrounding forest. (B,L,D)

Day 16 AMAZON JUNGLE LODGE

Accommodations at Posada Amazonas OR Hacienda Concepcion depending on availability. Rise at dawn for the next natural wonder on your Peru tour: a visit to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. After an early breakfast, you'll go from Posada Amazonas part way by boat and part way on foot to reach the lake shore. From here, our travel continues with a long, easy canoe ride, exploring the lake and looking for giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin and wading birds. Later in the day, you'll return to the lodge's trails for a colorful photo opportunity, a visit to a small parakeet clay lick where you're likely to see dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of parakeets that come here on clear days to ingest clay. Next, your Peru tour continues with a visit to the community's ethno-botanical center, where you'll have the opportunity to hike with a resident who will explain the everyday uses of the area's forest resources, then return to the lodge for the evening. (B,L,D)

Day 17 AMAZON JUNGLE LODGE - PTO MALDONADO - LIMA - HOME

Early in the morning, head back by boat to Pto. Maldonado where you'll be transferred to the airport for a quick return flight to Lima. Spend the afternoon exploring the capital on your own, before your return flight home or if you wish, we can arrange tours of Lima and vicinity. (B)

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

JAN68-790.0
FEB69-800.0
MAR69-800.0
APR67-760.0
MAY63-720.0
JUN61-690.1
JUL60-670.2
AUG60-660.1
SEP60-670.1
OCT60-690.1
NOV62-720.0
DEC64-760.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

CUSCO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN44-656.3
FEB44-655.2
MAR43-664.3
APR41-671.8
MAY39-670.3
JUN33-660.1
JUL32-660.2
AUG35-670.3
SEP39-680.9
OCT42-691.9
NOV43-693.1
DEC44-694.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

PUNO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN38-625.2
FEB38-624.3
MAR38-623.8
APR33-621.5
MAY25-620.4
JUN19-610.1
JUL18-610.1
AUG22-630.2
SEP29-640.8
OCT33-651.5
NOV35-662.0
DEC37-643.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

PUERTO MALDONADO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN71-8813.6
FEB70-8712.8
MAR70-8811.9
APR69-876.1
MAY66-864.2
JUN63-842.3
JUL62-852.2
AUG64-882.5
SEP66-903.9
OCT69-906.5
NOV70-899.3
DEC70-8812.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

Maps

Adventure Peru Tour

Pricing
2-3 Travelers
$5,595
4 or more
$4,795


Domestic Airfare:
$750 (Lima/Arequipa/Juliaca/Cusco/Pto. Maldonado/Lima) – Subject to change

Single Supplement: $1,255
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.
 

Included in tour cost
  • Air mattresses
  • Camping accommodations
  • First aid and oxygen bottle
  • Kitchen and dining tent
  • Porters
  • Private transportation
  • Satellite phone communication
  • 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
  • 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
  • Sleeping bags

Adventure Peru Tour

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 to Thursday, November 22, 2018
Available
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 to Thursday, December 20, 2018
Available
Saturday, January 12, 2019 to Monday, January 28, 2019
Available
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 to Thursday, March 28, 2019
Available
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 to Thursday, April 25, 2019
Available
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 to Thursday, May 23, 2019
Available
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 to Thursday, June 20, 2019
Available
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 to Thursday, July 18, 2019
Available
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 to Thursday, August 15, 2019
Available
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 to Thursday, September 26, 2019
Available
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 to Thursday, October 24, 2019
Available
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 to Thursday, November 21, 2019
Available
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 to Thursday, December 19, 2019
Available
Aguas Calientes
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Lake Titicaca
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Amazon
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Arequipa
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Colca Canyon
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • 4 Star
     Included Hotel (subject to availability) 
Cusco
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Lima
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Sacred Valley
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

machu picchu toursI 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)


machu picchu tourTHANK 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)

machu picchu toursThis 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)


hiking inca trailI 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)


machu picchu hikingWe 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)


 

machu picchu hiking tourWe can't say enough wonderful things about our guide. He is absolutely amazing and so incredibly knowledgeable. We truly appreciated his ability to explain cultural and historic facts and the pride he has in being Peruvian. I would highly recommend him to my friends. Hacienda Concepcion and Casa Andina (the private collection) far exceeded our expectations. They were lovely! Every meal, whether it be in the jungle or on the trail or in Cusco was OUTSTANDING!!! The jungle excursions were okay, we were hoping to have a bit more exploration activities but the canopy tour was awesome! The trek and the festival were great!!! This was the trip of a lifetime! Both my husband and I were blown away with your organization and quality of everything. Jonathan Borgida put together an outstanding itinerary for us. We are so grateful! - Anne Darga (Inca Trail & Amazon)


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)


Our guide was excellent - his knowledge and sharing of ancient traditions was wonderful. Excellent company- very good value for money- highly recommended. - Philip Jensen (Custom Short 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)
The best part of traveling with Southern Explorations was that I always had confidence that if something went wrong, we would be taken care of, and that was an enormous weight off my shoulders. Excellent and helpful service with beautiful hotels and better food than I could ever have dreamed of. - Arbrenne Kelly (Inca Trail & Amazon)

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)


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)

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)


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)

Inca Trail - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: Peru offers several beautiful regions in addition to the Inca Trail. If you have time to explore areas like the Amazon or Lake Titicaca before or after your trek, contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss which areas best meet your interests. 
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion but we can add extensions before and after. 
Q: When is the best time to hike the Inca Trail?
A: Many travelers like to hike the Inca Trail between the months of April and October, when the chances of rain are much lower. The trail is closed each year for the month of February to prevent erosion during high rains and also perform maintenance. Avoid the height of summer (June through August) and the Christmas holiday season for smaller crowds and the best selection of accommodations. 
Q: What is the weather like on the Inca Trail?
A: You can expect variable mountain weather on the Inca Trail during the dry season (April-October) with daytime temperatures in the 60s and nighttime lows in the 30s and possibly below freezing. The wet season (November – March) is slightly warmer and you can expect some rain most days. 
Q: What is a typical day like on the Inca Trail?
A: Each morning begins with hot tea and warm water to freshen up before breakfast. We hit the trail early so we can take in the scenic vistas and explore the numerous Incan ruins along the way. We will enjoy a picnic lunch on the trail and at the end of the day we arrive at camp, which will already be set-up for us by the porters. We can kick our feet up and relax before a delicious camp meal.
Q: Will I need to carry my own camping gear on the Inca Trail?
A: You will only need to carry a small day pack for extra clothing layers, water, a snack, a camera, and any personal items you need on the trail. Everything else will be stored in dry bags provided to you and carried to the next camp location by your porters. 
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip on the Inca Trail?
A: We rate the Inca Trail as most difficult due to the long hiking days, high elevation and travel over steep, rocky terrain. Experience with backcountry travel is not necessary, but a moderate level of fitness is expected to complete the trek.
Q: How much time do I need to visit the Inca Trail?
A: The Inca Trail takes four-days to complete, but the whole trip, beginning with arrival in Lima, is a 10-day adventure. We budget several days in Cusco to properly acclimatize to the altitude before hiking, and also to explore Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. For those with limited time, we can offer an Inca Trail trip in just eight-days.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: The Inca Trail is heavily regulated by Peru’s Ministry of Culture and only 500 people are allowed to begin the trail each day, including the guides, porters and support staff. This means that Inca Trail permits sell out very quickly each year and you should plan on booking an Inca Trail trip at least six months before your expected travel dates, although nine months is better. 
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our 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 indigenous languages. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: In the cities and towns we work with three and four-star hotels that have been personally vetted by Southern Explorations’ staff. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms. We also offer several five-star hotel upgrades. On the trail, you’ll have three-person North Face tents for two travelers, along with air mattresses and a separate dining tent. We have sleeping bags available to rent if you choose not to bring your own.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price will be listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Peru. 
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: We operate our scheduled group Inca Trail trips with a minimum of two and 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.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.