Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Incas created the largest pre-Columbian empire in the Americas. Hike and learn about their grand achievements as you explore sacred ruins, the Inca Trail and iconic Machu Picchu.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19937RJ
13 days
Starts at
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10 Reviews
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5 Average

This was an incredible experience. Road Scholar did absolutely every thing right. The climb was more challenging than I expected... training an hour a day isn't enough, especially if you are coming from sea level. In addition to your usual workouts, I suggest stair master or something similar. The steps are uneven, steep, and slippery. Both up and down. And they last forever! The guides were awesome. Eliacin, our primary guide, is amazing. He attended to each of us with our own particular needs. I felt supported the entire way. The dining experience was also incredible. Healthy, cooked-from scratch meals, including a birthday cake for one of the participants... ready for us as we stumbled into camp for lunch and dinner. And breakfast always was hearty and warm. There were portable tented toilets set up by the porters at the campsites, one for men and one for women. We were given warm water and cloths every evening and morning while on the trail to wash up. The views were phenomenal. The weather changed frequently, so be sure to pack and be prepared to dress in layers. Very cold at night, but the sleeping bags are warm. And as soon as you start hiking, the layers start coming off. Be prepared for rain! If you forget something, you can buy what you need in Peru. Lots of opportunity to shop for Peruvian items and for camping/hiking supplies. The best advice I can offer is to do more conditioning than you think you need!


What an AMAZING trip. VERY VERY strenuous, but the trip of a lifetime. Our guide Eliacin was beyond Fabulous - so personable, organized, and informative. One of the best RS guides ever, and I have loved all my past guides. I would do another trip with him in a heartbeat. His two partner guides Yarik and Edison were also amazing. This trip couldn't happen without the incredible porters RS hires to support hikers on the Inca Trail. Hats off to them. If you really want to push yourself and test your limits (they will be tested!!!); this is the trip for you.


This was a fantastic trip, the trip of a lifetime. It is physically demanding and should be attempted only if physically fit, but very rewarding. Eliacín, our guide, was wonderful. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Great trip!


This was a fantastic experience! I chose this trip to hike and camp on the Inca Trail and to see Machu Picchu but it was so much more culturally enriching than those 5 days. I found the trail itself to be grueling, exhilarating, humbling, and profoundly memorable. The program description is very accurate and attention to the physical preparation vital.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Amazing adventure! This was my first Road Scholar trip and certainly not the last. Perfect in every way. From the expert travel agents who helped with every detail of getting me there and back. They were quick to respond to all of my questions and requests. The lodges, hotels and tent camps were wonderful. The authentic food was some of the best Peru had to offer. Our guide presented an outstanding narrative of each location on and outside of our itinerary. He made each participant feel well taken care of. I genuinely felt like a member of his family . The program itinerary was perfect. Thank you Road Scholar, fellow participants, guides, speakers, porters, hotel staff and everyone who helped with this trip. ..."it is the journey, not the destination that matters"....

Linda S

The hiking was not easy, but the whole trip was magical and more than worth the effort.


Hiking and camping on the Inca Trail were the highlights, but this program was so much more. We saw and learned about many smaller Inca sites prior to arriving at Machu Picchu, so that we could truly appreciate how magnificant it was. Seeing the Palm Sunday festival in the Cusco cathedral and main square was another unforgettable experience. Through lectures and hands on experiences we learned about the cuisine, music, agriculture, art and culture of this region of Peru as well. Our group leader, Holger "Paco" Mayorca, was excellent and made the trip with his knowledge, sense of humor, and natural and confident leadership. The Andes mountains are gorgeous and if you like a physical challenge and being out in nature, you will enjoy this trip. Be sure to do the cardio exercise recommended to condition your body beforehand.


The Inca trail trip was very challenging and VERY worth it.


The Incan Trail trip was terrific. I have no complaints and the program exceeded my expectations in every way. Great logistics and high quality camping gear. I didn't regret not bringing my own very nice Marmot sleeping bag nor my own hiking poles. Acclimatization hikes were perfectly timed. Hotels and restaurants were very nice and educational programs were all interesting.


The INCA trail trip should not be taken by inexperienced hikers. It is not only strenuous, high altitude but is also 5 days completely outdoors. You need to be fit, mentally and physically. That said, Road Scholar did a fantastic job of caring for us during the entire tour. The porters and food were outstanding on the trail. The equipment provided (tents, pads, bags) were first class and made the trip much easier.

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