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Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

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Road Scholar
Program #19937RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Nanette from Russellville, AR Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/17/13 - 09/28/13
Our group had 14 participants. The Inca Trail was challenging but doable. There was a guide at the beginning of the group, one with the middle of the pack, and a third with the last hiker(s). No one felt pressured to keep up a pace that was not comfortable for them. The guides kept in contact by radio and the front guide would stop the group periodically until the majority caught up. On the whole, the food and accommodations were top-notch and our guides were excellent. If you need to get into Lima a day early due to your flight schedule, consider taking a Shantytown Tour through Haku Tours. We met up with one of our fellow group members and did this. My husband said for him it was one of the highlights of the trip. I was able to book it online and we paid at the end of the tour. Omar, our guide, even arranged for us to be dropped off at a good restaurant for dinner and told us to have the waiter flag down a taxi to take us back to our hotel. Everything went off without a hitch. The days preceding the Inca Trail are wonderful for acclimating to the altitude and getting used to the type of hiking you'll be doing. There are lots and lots of stairs, both up and down, so be prepared. You might think walking down stairs for a few hours will be easy, but it puts a different kind of stress on your hips and knees. It doesn't help that the stone steps are all different heights and are made of rounded stones. A couple of caveats: If you don't pack your own hiking poles in your checked luggage, you will be without them until the Inca Trail. This was an issue for some in our group on the pre-Inca hikes. Also, DO NOT BUY THE DVD THAT WILL BE OFFERED TO YOU ON THE BUS AS YOU LEAVE THE Sacsayhuaman Ruins on Day 10. The DVD was $10 and is of such poor quality that it barely plays and is completely useless. I don't know why the woman selling it was allowed on our bus but she apparently knew our guide. Beware!

Maurica from Bridgeport, CA Number of programs attended: 14
Date attended: 10/01/13 - 10/12/13
This trip was so wonderful that I would consider doing it again if there weren't so many other places I haven't been. The trial and Inca structures are unbelievable, the organization of the program well planned and executed, the hotels lovely, the food excellent, and the guides enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A 10 on a scale of 10. But be sure and train on stairs.

Sharon from Brookline, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/17/13 - 09/28/13
I thought the Inca Trail might be too challenging. It is difficult but the group and leaders made us all feel we could do it. And we did. Machu Picchu is so amazing and walking up and down the Andes to reach it an adventure like no other

Jeff from Lewisburg, PA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 07/23/13 - 08/03/13
Just finished hiking the Inca Trail It was everything I'd hoped for and a great trip. I would be happy to share experiences -especially about clothing and preparation. I strongly recommend this journey of a lifetime-and the more you physically prepare for it, the more enjoyable it will be.Also, the more educational reading you do in advance, the better your understanding of the country and history will be.

Jan from Arena, WI Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/04/12 - 09/15/12
I've taken many trips with Elder Hostel/Road Scholar and this was the best one yet. The hiking on day 2 was challenging to be sure, but the 3 day acclimatization program prior to the actual hike helped enormously in dealing with the high altitudes. Our guides were knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, EXTREMELY organized, and funny. Our porters and especially our chefs (not just cooks!) were simply amazing. I never dreamed food on a hiking trip could be considered "gourmet" but it was! The scenery was breathtaking and learning about the Inca culture through our guides and resource people was most interesting. This was a most memorable trip and I would highly recommend it to any serious hiker. If you go, I hope you are lucky enough to find a group as close-knit and friendly as ours was.

Shiomi from Carmichael, CA Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 09/04/12 - 09/15/12
In addition to those 3 comments which I agree all of them from my heart, I knwo it will be hard to find any better program for us avid hikers. I have just few things I noticed. We did not need an electric adapter for charging our camera any place we visited, it was pleasantly warm on the trail except at night and early morning, ( warm inside the tent). I left my big jacket in the hotel, and it was not needed. Bug spray is highly recommended (only in the evening). This program has an excellent schedule to acclimatize for the elevation for our old bodies.

Catherine from Milton, MA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 09/04/12 - 09/15/12
This adventure was the trip of a lifetime! It was defintiely physically challenging and an activity level 7 is accurate. The second day of hiking the Inca trail up 4000 feet to almost 14,000 feet elevation was very challenging and rewarding at the same time. I can't say enough good things about this trip from the obvious planning to execution of all details large and small, to excellent accomodations and food (including the meals prepared by our chef who accompanied us on the Inca trail!) The people are wonderful and welcoming and the scenery is unsurpassed. Learning about many and varied facets of the history and culture only added to our understanding and enjoyment of our surroundings. Our guide was a wonderful, warm man with a great sense of humor and clear ability to lead and teach. I highly recommend this trip.

Barbara from Norwalk, CT Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 06/05/12 - 06/16/12
Thank you Road Scholar for the adventure of a lifetime. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet fabulous people, we had the honor to hike the Inca Trail. I will admit it is a physically and emotionally challenging hike, but so well worth it.

Our guides, Omar and Eliasin were amazing, and what does one say about our hardworking porters and cooks! Who could imaging the quality (and quantity) of food prepared for us and the great equipment given to us while on the trail.

James from Burke, VA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 04/17/12 - 04/28/12
STOP. Do not enroll in this program if you think there is a better backpack/hiking program out there-there isn't. This is a 5 star backpacking experience of your life. You will see stunning, powerful mountains-some are snow capped, deep valleys, walk through cloud forest, see flowers you have never seen before. And then there is Machu Picchu, one of the seven NEW wonders of the world and the amazing villages and talents of the Inca tribe. The hiking is mostly at your pace, challenging (practice with lots of stairs/stairmaster)but doable. The meals while backpacking are unbelievable-plentiful, healthy, (the homemade soups are better than any resturants) and nutritious and served with white gloves and apparel by unbelievable and talented chefs.You will think you have passed on and woke up in paridise.The rich culture and history of Peru and its various cities ( along with this hike)will stay with you forever. You won't regret this trip.

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" An untouched photo of Salcantay 20,694 ft from third night camp taken at dawn." Uploaded By: Mike
" An untouched photo of Salcantay 20,694 ft from third night camp taken at dawn." Uploaded By: Mike

"Machu Picchu. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Machu Picchu. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Machu Picchu. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"We made it!! By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Llamas have the right of way. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Intipunku ruins. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Heading to Intipunku. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Inca fountains. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Reaching the end of our journey. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Inca terraces along the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Photo stop on the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Watch your step... By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Unforgettable sunsets. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Signs of the Inca are everywhere. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Camping among the clouds. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Along the Inca Trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"The hiking is not all uphill. By Laura Hare " Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Marvels of Inca engineering. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Among the clouds... By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Inca steps along the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"The Inca Trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Our intrepid porters led the way. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Scenery along the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"On the Inca Trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Fine dining on the trail. " Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Dining on the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Pad & insulated sleeping bag. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Comfortable tent for 2. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"White glove treatment! By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Eco-friendly facilities. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"The dining tent. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Inca ruins along the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Inca steps along the trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Checking documents at entrance. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Start of the Inca Trail. By Laura Hare" Uploaded By: Holbrook
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"Peru's Inca Trail: A Visual Journey through the Andes" Uploaded By: Holbrook
"A hiking and camping adventure on Peru's Inca Trail..." Uploaded By: Holbrook

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
31 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program


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