Guided Hikes to Machu Picchu
Peru is home to the most famous archeological site in South America, and one of the most famous in the world: Machu Picchu. A deeply fascinating, mysterious, ancient city that mesmerizes nearly all its visitors, "The Lost City of the Incas" is a place every avid traveler must visit.
What makes the area around Machu Picchu and the the Peruvian mountain town of Cusco truly fantastic for the adventurous traveler though is the maze of hiking trails and routes that wind around the surrounding mountains, allowing stunning combinations of hiking, camping, adventure and tourism. Part of the Andes Mountain Range, the peaks around Machu Picchu tower over 20,000 feet in elevation! Our Peru hiking trips, all of which are porter-supported camping treks, explore this stunning part of Peru and will leave you truly astonished at the history, beauty and wonder of Peru!
Check out our list of Machu Picchu hiking and trekking tour options and give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) to request more information or reserve a spot!
More About Machu Picchu Hiking Tours
Why Hike an Ancient Trail to Machu Picchu?
As you probably know, Machu Picchu is accessible by train and bus, so why hike to it? There are many reasons! First is that it offers an unforgettable adventure through some of the world's most beautiful and fascinating mountains. Second, many of the trails in the Cusco Area near Machu Picchu were originally used by the Inca. So when you hike these trails you're literally following in the footsteps of one of the world's most interesting and famous ancient cultures. When you finally arrive at the Sun Gate and peer down onto the glistening ruins of Machu Picchu, the experience will be infinitely more powerful after having hiked for days in their footsteps, gazing at the views they gazed at, eating similar types of food to what they ate, and walking on stairs they built. It's amazing!
The Most Famous Trail in the World
The Inca Trail is not only the most famous trail to Machu Picchu, but it's also arguably the most famous trail in the world! It is believed to be the primary route the Inca used to get from the capital of their empire, Cusco, to the Ancient City. Today, thousands of people hike it every year, and all Inca Trail hikers are required to go with a Peru hiking company. Permits are very competitive, but are included on most guided tours.
Why Are Inca Ruins Significant?
The Empire of the Inca was one of history's most successful and fascinating civilizations. They created a massive empire that thrived from the early 1400s A.D. until the mid 16th century. The Inca people expanded their amazing society without almost any of the tools and resources one would expect - they had no horses or oxen, no wheels, no iron or steel, no central currency and no written language. Cusco (where our Machu Picchu Treks begin) was the capital of their empire, which stretched from Argentina to Columbia! And Machu Picchu was very special to them, yet its exact significance is still largely a mystery. The Inca were defeated relatively quickly when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, and archeologists have concluded that European diseases were the primary "weapon" that aided the Spanish in their conquest. It resulted in a rapid evacuation of their cities, leaving the ruins marvelously preserved.
Off the Beaten Path Treks to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail is not the only route to Machu Picchu, or ancient trail in the Cusco Region. The Inca had a complex and extensive system of roads and trails, many of which are now routes through the mountains for modern people. We offer many of these routes as alternative treks to Machu Picchu, and it should be noted that most of them end some distance from the Ancient City itself, so we shuttle or bus to the ruins on the final day. They are however all ancient trails with immense cultural significance and they offer a much wilder and more unique experience than the Inca Trail. We offer the Salkantay Trek, Ancascocha Trek and Rainbow Mountain Llama Trek.
Which Treks Require a Guide?
The Inca Trail is the only hike that requires a guide. So Salkantay, Ausanage, and Ancascocha are all available to guided and unguided parties. Permits are also only required on the Inca Trail, but entering Machu Picchu requires a permits regardless of which trail you hike. Our treks are all-inclusive, so all permits are included as are hotels, local transportation, meals, gear and expert local Wildland guides. So, while going with a guide company like Wildland Trekking is optional on many of these routes, we offer a premier, worry-free experience that thousands of guests have appreciated tremendously (read online reviews.)
When to Hike to Machu Picchu?
We recommend hiking Inca Trail, or any of the routes to Machu Picchu, in the dry season. The dry season runs from mid April through November. The peak months are May through August. All of these trails reach very high elevations (14,000+ feet), and this time period is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, but it's also near the equatory, making the temperatures quite moderate.
The monthly temperatures and precipitation in Cusco, Peru (near where all of our hikes to Machu Picchu begin) are as follows:
|January||65.3° F (18.5° C)||42.4° F (5.8° C)||154 mm|
|February||64.4° F (18.5° C)||42.6° F (5.9° C)||119 mm|
|March||65.1° F (18.4° C)||42.3° F (5.7° C)||101 mm|
|April||66° F (18.9° C)||39.6° F (4.2° C)||40 mm|
|May||65.7° F (18.7° C)||35.6° F (2° C)||6 mm|
|June||65.3° F (18.5° C)||31.6° F (-.2° C)||3 mm|
|July||64.6° F (18.1° C)||31.5° F (-.3° C)||3 mm|
|August||66.7° F (19.3° C)||33.1° F (.6° C)||8 mm|
|September||66.6° F (19.2° C)||38.1° F (3.4° C)||25 mm|
|October||68.5° F (20.3° C)||40.5° F (4.7° C)||47 mm|
|November||68° F (20° C)||41.4° F (5.2° C)||75 mm|
|December||65.8° F (18.8° C)||42.1° F (5.6° C)||112 mm|