Trek to Machu Picchu, Explore the Amazon, and More on this 9 Day/8 Night Peru Experience
On this in-depth Peru experience, explore spectacular and diverse landscapes — from the snow-capped Andes Mountains, to the jungles of the Amazon. Trek to Machu Picchu.Begin by from across Peru’s Salkantay Mountain, where you’ll experience snow-capped peaks and high mountain passes. As you descend on days 2 and 3, you’ll enter misty cloud forests and pass through avocado, coffee, and citrus plantations.
Continue your trek to Machu Picchu Valley — home to the Inca fortress and outstanding testament to the power of the Inca Empire. Enjoy a tour of the archaeological site, and enjoy time to explore the Lost City on your own.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado, where you’ll follow the Madre de Dios River into the lush Amazon Rainforest and spend several days exploring old-growth forests, zip lining through lush jungle canopies, and experiencing abundant wildlife up-close!
Experience spectacular landscapes, abundant wildlife, and outstanding world history on this 9 day/8 night adventure across Peru.
- Experience Peru from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforest
- Trek to Machu Picchu: a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Spend 4 days hiking the Salkantay trek
- Canoe along the Amazon’s Madre de Dios River
- Enjoy hassle-free travel between locations (mid-trip flights included)
Day 1: Trek from Mollepata to your Camp at Soraypampa
- Total distance: 9 miles (15 kilometers)
- Estimated walking time: 7-8 hours
- Maximum altitude: 12,500 feet (3,800 meters)
- Campsite altitude: 12,500 feet (3,800 meters)
- Accommodation: Camping
Begin your adventure with 4:30 am pick up and a 3-hour transfer from your hotel to the trailhead at Mollepata. Enjoy breakfast, then set out on a scenic, dirt road for 3.5 hours. Stop for lunch under the breathtaking backdrop of the snow-capped Salkantay and Humantay Mountains.
After lunch, continue hiking through the Salkantay Valley until you reach your campsite at Soraypampa (11,800 feet/3600 meters above sea level). Upon your arrival, you’ll have time to explore a nearby lake before returning to camp at 19:30 pm for dinner.
Day 2: Trek from Soraypampa to your Camp at Colpapampa
- Total distance: 12 miles (19 kilometers)
- Estimated walking time: 8 – 9 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 15,300 feet (4,650 meters)
- Campsite altitude: 9,850 feet (3000 meters)
- Accommodation: Camping
Today is the longest and hardest day of your trek. You’ll begin at 4:00 am with a hearty breakfast then set out on the trail. For the first 4 hours, you’ll be hiking uphill to the highest point of the Salkantay trek (15,200 feet/4650 meters). The Salkantay Pass cuts between two massive mountain peaks. Enjoy the magic energy in the Andes mountains, and capture stunning photos.
At approximately midday, you’ll begin your descent toward the Huayracpunku Valley where you’ll stop for lunch. You’ll notice massive changes in the landscape as you descend into the periphery of the Amazon Rainforest in the high cloud forests. You’ll hike until you reach campsite at Colcapampa.
Day 3: Trek from Colpapampa to La Playa
- Total distance: 10 miles (16 kilometers)
- Estimated walking time: 6 – 7 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 9,000 feet (2,750 meters)
- Campsite altitude: 5,250 feet (1,600 meters)
- Accommodation: Camping
After breakfast at 6:00 am, you’ll begin hiking through the upper Amazon across the Lluskamayo River and its smaller tributaries to reach La Playa. Throughout the day, you’ll hike through misty cloud forests, pass outstanding waterfalls, then and walk along shady dirt roads lined with tropical fruit trees.
In the afternoon, you’ll arrive at a local village and coffee plantation. Here, you’ll get a chance to taste coffee grown by local farmers and learn about the coffee-growing process. Later in the day, you’ll have free time — if you’re feeling bold, join in a local pick-up soccer game!
Day 4: From La Playa, Trek to Machu Picchu Valley
- Total distance: 7.5 miles (12 kilometers)
- Estimated walking time: 5 – 6 hour
- Maximum altitude point: 5,250 feet (1,600 meters)
- Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Hotel
Begin your day at 4:30 am. After breakfast, you’ll have the outstanding opportunity to walk the original Inca road to Llactapata archaeological site. From there, you’ll be able to view Machu Picchu and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. This experience is one that will send you back in time 1000 years, and will shed light on the outstanding sophistication of the ancient Inca Empire.
After resting and relaxing at the overlook, you’ll hike downhill 2 hours past waterfalls, hanging suspension bridges, and old railroad lines. Pause for lunch on the trail, then arrive at the small town of Aguas Calientes, known for its natural hot springs and dedication to ecological tourism.
Day 5: Explore Machu Picchu and Travel to Cusco
- Total distance: 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) – Optional
- Estimated walking time: 1- 2 hours
- Maximum altitude point: 8,900 feet (2,700 meters)
- Accommodation: Cusco Hotel
Today, you’ll wake up at 4:30 am, enjoy breakfast, and take a 30 minute drive to Machu Picchu. Upon your arrival, you’ll head to a scenic overlook, where you’ll be able to see the entire fortress from above. Then, you’ll enjoy an in-depth tour with a trained guide, who will fill you in on the outstanding history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the early afternoon, you’ll have time to explore the Lost City on your own. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the opportunity to climb the nearby Huaynapicchu Mountain — it takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit.
After you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this world-famous site, you’ll return to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Cusco.
Day 6: Travel from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. Take a Boat to Monkey Island
- Accommodation: Eco lodge and bungalow
Leave Aguas Calientes early to transfer to the Cusco Airport. Fly to Puerto Maldonado, where a guide will be waiting for you at the airport. After arrival, explore the town center and experience the exotic local market and bustling downtown. Depending on your arrival time, you may lunch in town or travel directly to your riverside lodge for the night.
To arrive at the lodge, you’ll need to take a motorboat approximately 40 minutes up the Madre de Dios River. Experience the vastness of the river and enjoy a welcome drink aboard! After settling in to your bungalow, head back out to the water and enjoy a 30 minute journey to Monkey Island. Here, you’ll encounter spider, squirrel, and capuchin monkeys, as well as capybaras and an abundance of native birds!
You’ll return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 7: Trek from the Eco Lodge to Sandoval Lake
- Total distance: 2.5 miles (4 kilometers)
- Estimated walking time: 2 hours
- Accommodation: Eco lodge
After enjoying breakfast at the lodge, you’ll take a 2 hour hike to Sandoval Lake. You’ll pass through a nearly untouched old-growth forest with abundant flora and fauna. Throughout the day, you’re likely to see giant otters, alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds and fish.
Upon arrival to the lake, you’ll spend a few hours out on the water in wooden canoes. Relax, explore, and take in the breathtaking view.
In the afternoon, you’ll hike back to the river and take a motorboat to the lodge for dinner.
Day 8: Go Zip Lining and Explore Taricaya
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge, then set out for a day of action-packed fun! Travel downriver to the Taricaya specialized trails. Here, your guide will introduce you to the amazing Amazon ecosystem. Experience the lush canopy up-close as you adventure through the zip line course. In the afternoon, your guide will lead you on a gentle hike, where you’ll learn to recognize bird calls, footprints, plants, and other flora and fauna identifiers in the vibrant jungle.
Day 9: Travel from the Eco Lodge to Cusco, and See a Parrot Clay Lick
Leave the eco lodge early in the morning to encounter one of the jungle’s most exciting spectacles — the parrot clay lick at sunrise. You’ll travel 1.5 hours to the high clay river walls, where hundreds of parrots congregate at first light each morning to “lick” the clay for its minerals — and very noisily let the jungle know it’s time to wake up!
After about 1.5 hours of observing the birds, you’ll return back to the lodge via motor boat for breakfast! After your meal, you’ll travel onward to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
- Cusco – Puerto Maldonado – Cusco airfare
- Salkantay Trek bilingual (English/Spanish) trail guide
- Cook in charge of all meals while trekking
- Horses: To carry camping equipment and portable table and chairs, food, and kitchen/cooking equipment
- Horses: To carry duffel bags (up to 1.5 pounds/.7 kilograms/person) and Self-inflating Therm-a-rest mattresses
- Camping Equipment: 4 Season tent & Self-inflating Therm-a-rest mattresses
- All transportation and transfers mentioned in above itinerary
- 4-day Puerto Maldonado jungle tour
- Nightly accommodation
What’s Not Included
- International Airfares (Please provide us with flight details so that you may be picked you up from the airport with no wait/no hassle)
- All airport departure tax – Lima International Departure tax is approximately US$35 and Lima Domestic Departure tax is approximately US$8
- Additional nights due to flight cancellations
- Sleeping bags and hiking poles (available for rent)
- Gratuities for guides, porters, and other staff (optional)
- Lunch and dinner while you stay in the hotels
- Meal budget: Allow approx. US$10 US$15 for every meal not included.
What to Bring
- Airline tickets, passport, and copies
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificated that may be required
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Long-sleeved shirts and t-shirts
- 2 hats (winter cap and sun hat)
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 2 pairs of long pants
- Hiking boots / sturdy walking shoes
- Knee-length socks (to be used with rubber boots, provided at jungle lodge)
- Sun block
- Flashlight (head-light recommended)
- Rain poncho
- Sleeping bag (available for rent)
- Hiking poles (available for rent)
- Day pack
- Plastic bags (to keep personal belongings dry)
- We recommend you put your personal belongings in plastic bags inside your duffel or backpack — this will help to ensure your belongings remain dry.
- As you trek, your sleeping accommodations will include a 4-person tent for only 2 people.
- Travel and health insurance.(bring copies with you please): We highly recommend trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment.
- We suggest you make and bring copies of all relevant insurance plans
MONEY AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit cards or debit cards will actually work in Peru. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of $USD cash, Peruvian Soles cash, travelers checks, and cards is best, although you will usually be charged a commission for travelers checks.
Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100 US$ (or equivalent)
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest. Weather is likely to be as follows:
Cusco: Warm days if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold.
Lima: Warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Often overcast.
Inca Trail: Varies widely with altitude from very cold to very hot. Frequent rain.
Machu Picchu: Lower altitude and warmer than Cusco. Possible rain year-round.