Sacred Valley, Cusco, Machu Picchu

May 12-20, 2018  Sold Out

There is no waitlist on this trip due to Peruvian trail permits assigned to specific passports.  If someone cancels, we must go without.  Trail permits cannot be transferred.  

Join us on our Active Adventure as we ascend deep into the Andes and discover magical natural wonders.  Our past 4 groups loved hiking over ancient stones into the misty Sacred Valley.  Words can’t describe the surreal early morning drama of entering the majesty of the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu and terraced ruins of the Lost City of the Incas!  The 500-year-old trail provides countless photos ops of stunning landscapes and colorful Andean villages. 

 Inca trail is the most famous trek in South America and rated in the top 5 treks of the world.  This is an adrenaline filled trek for a small group of privileged travel lovers who are fit and seek a challenge.  Our Peruvian guides will beckon you forward and up to peaks 4200 meters high.  The trail will call you to be determined and fully present.  It’s tough, but the reward so great!

 If you’ve had this on your dreamy Bucket List, do it right with AFS!  We’ll get your hiking permits now.  Our certified supplier is the best!  (We include: Tours, pre and post hotels, meals, entrance to all sites, Vistadome Train, 24/7 professional guides, assistants, porters, chefs for balanced meals, water, oxygen and ALL camping gear!)

 Our journey begins at a beautiful hotel and spa in the Sacred Valley were pet resident llamas roam!   Enjoy Ollantaytambo, Cusco City Tour, Pisac Market, white water rafting and more.  Also, an option to add the exclusive new SkyLodge Adventure Suites.  Ever imagine sleeping in a condor’s nest?  You can zipline into Via Ferrata and sleep in a luxury glass capsule that hangs cliffside on a mountaintop.  Talk about photos for bragging rights!

 Trekkers book well ahead year after year to boast they hiked Camino Inca and May is the BEST time to do it.  Each night after a delicious dinner under the stars, you slip into your tent and smile, feeling so blessed for the day’s accomplishment.  Our expert guide says, “It’s the things we really work for that mean the most.”  Amen.   Go NOW, before the Peruvian government drastically cuts visitors to Machu Picchu in 2018!  Come conquer the mountain passes of Inca gods.  Come be awed by the mystery, the history and dramatic nature in her finest glory. 

A couple letters from our past groups…

Hi Suzy!  The trip to Peru was wonderful.  Our guide team were a true delight with a great sense of humor and lots of patience.  What an adventure!  We saw all the sites listed on your itinerary and wish we spent more time to explore Peru.-  Jill & Julio

Hi Suzy.  Just wanted to let you know that this trip was perfect!!!  Art and I were major “doodlers”, but had the time of our lives with over 900 photos to prove it.  We still can’t believe that we completed it – the hardest thing I’ve ever done but has paid me back 10 fold.  Something I’ll never forget.  So fantastic, it was sad to say goodbye to them.  Thank you for all the amazing memories.-  Joyce Pierce.

“What an intro to AFS!  The trails was exhilarating and then to reach MP was indescribable.” – John Wagner

(Note:  “Sustainable Tourism” –  You may find cheaper treks online, but consider the cost of this once in a lifetime experience.  We booked the most passionate and knowledgeable, licensed, English-speaking guides to lead you and we deeply consider the welfare of all the local porters who carry your bags.  Your participation empowers these Andean villagers with a good income.  Unlike other companies, this is Responsible Tourism with no footprints left behind.  You’ll have excellent equipment for camping 4 days, endless bottled water and renowned chefs with restaurant backgrounds to prepare delicious, healthy meals for you.)

 Sold out – no trail permits are left for these dates and they are non-transferable.

#adventuresforsingles #singlestours


Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

Note you all must be in Cusco morning of May 12.  You may want to stopover in Lima or go a day early to acclimatize.   We can help you with air but you can find great rates on own roundtrip to Cusco.   Trip Tips available.

Download PDF Itinerary

  May 12 – Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

Land tour begins!  It’s perfect to begin here to slowly acclimatize to elevation. Our past groups loved 2 nights at Casa Andina Resort.  Enjoy gourmet food, free wifi, and massage treatments in the fabulous spa.

Upon arrival in Cusco, you are driven to the “Sacred Valley of the Incas”, a succession of picturesque Andean towns, agricultural terraces, and many archaeological sites, as well as the world’s most famous white corn cultivated for export.  The mild climate, the varied and dramatic scenery of snow-capped mountains, flowering meadows, lush green hills and spectacular flora and fauna, make the Valley a prime adventure destination in South America.  At a lower elevation than Cusco, the Valley is a warmer and less physically taxing environment for visiting the many attractions of the region, including Machu Picchu.

On your way to the Sacred Valley you will visit Sacsayhuaman which is the largest and most impressive of four archaeological ruins on the outskirts of Cusco.  Built by the Incas, it served an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish in 1536.  The complex was constructed out of massive stones, some weighing as much as 300 tons, cut to fit together without the use of mortar.

Then, visit the town of Pisac and its market, originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products.  Pisac has evolved to one of South America’s most famous souvenir markets.  Make sure to sample some ‘empanadas’ baked in traditional clay ovens.  Try your bargaining skills here always keeping in mind handmade artwork is worth it!  Alpaca scarves make perfect gifts for all.

Finally, you will arrive in your selected hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Overnight: Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas

 May 13 – Sacred Valley, River Rafting Urubamba, Ollantaytambo

Eat a hearty breakfast. You may opt to go river rafting! ($159) A mid-morning drive takes you to a put-in point on the upper Urubamba River. This dramatic river flows from the high Andes down through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, past Machu Picchu and into the jungle. You’ll be on the finest, clearest and most scenic section of the river. It’s exciting and unforgettable. Each raft carries 5 to 8 people and the rapids have a degree of difficulty ranging from 2-4. As always, you’re in the hands of expert guides so you can focus on just having fun. At the end, you’ll relive your new memories over an A la Carte lunch at El Albergue hotel.

Finally, visit the incredible Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo through Calca and Urubamba. Ollantaytambo was built to protect the entrance of this part of the Valley and prevent the possible invasions of tribes from the jungle. The Citadel consists of a series of superimposed terraces. We will have the opportunity to walk among the town´s little streets and get a clear idea of what this military, religious and cultural center was like during the Inca Empire.

Overnight: Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas   (B)

 May 14 – Your trek begins! Sacred Valley – Wayllabamba

About 4.30am, our private transport and staff will pick you up from your hotel. We drive to Piskacuchu (2700m/8856ft), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco –Machupicchu railroad, which is the starting point of the Inca Trail. We begin our hike by crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River and walking along its left shore as it flows northwest along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (2800m/9184ft), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the impressive Inca city of Llactapata (2650m/8692ft). We continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until we reach the community of Wayllabamba (3000m/9840ft), where we set our first camp. All along the way we enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5832 meters (19,133 ft) above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley.

Total distance:                        12 km (7.46 miles)

Estimated time:                     5-6 hours

Maximum altitude point:    3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Campsite altitude:                 3,000 m (9,840 ft)

Overnight: Campsite  (B, L, D)

May 15 – Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo

We wake up about 6:00 am and after breakfast, we begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km (5.6 miles). Along this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman´s Pass – 4200m/13,776ft), we may see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at high altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows, and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). We advise that on this day especially, your daypack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo Valley (3600m/11808ft), where we camp after approximately 7 hours of hiking.

Total distance:                        11 km (6.84 miles)

Estimated time:                     6-7 hours

Maximum altitude point:    4,200 m (13,776 ft)

Campsite altitude:                 3,500 m (11,480 ft)

Overnight: Campsite  (B, L, D)

May 16 – Pacaymayo – Wiñayhuana

This day is the longest but also the most impressive and interesting, due to the number of archaeological sites and the lush cloud forest area that’s so rich in Andean flora and fauna. From Pacaymayo we climb to the second pass, the Abra Runkurakay (3970m/13,022ft). Halfway up, we stop to visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 3800m/12,464ft, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. We then descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624m/11,887ft). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals.

Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra Phuyupatamarca (3700m/12,136ft). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multi-leveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machupicchu, located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From above, you can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley. We continue our trek down the long descending stone steps that lead us to Wiñaywayna (2,650m/8,692ft), an Incan agricultural center with many terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector, close to which our camp is located. Here we enjoy our farewell dinner at our camp.

Total distance:                        16 km (9.94 miles)

Estimated time:                     8 hours

Maximum altitude point:    3,900 m (12,792 ft)

Campsite altitude:                 2,650 m (8,692 ft)

Overnight: Campsite  (B, L, D)

 May 17 – Wiñayhuana – Machupicchu – Cusco

THIS IS IT! On the last day of our hike we get up at 4 am to leave Wiñaywayna an hour later and climb to the Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This hike takes you along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machupicchu, and 40 minutes later we enter the citadel from the highest point through the ¨House of the Guardians¨. Continue to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks.

We begin a guided tour of the Inca citadel.  Then free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain to experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it (please note that there are only 400 visitors allowed per day), or visit the Temple of the Moon or the impressive Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where, if you like, you can visit and relax in its hot springs. From here we take the train back to the city of Cusco, where we arrive after nightfall.

Total distance:                        4 km (2.49 miles)

Estimated time:                     2 hours

Maximum altitude point: 2,700 m (8,829 ft)

* Departure and arrival times are approximated.

** Campsites are subject to change according to the designation of the governmental institution regulating the use of the Inca Trail, as well as to our guide’s criteria and the group progress.

Time to luxuriate in our hotel rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor and great location in Cusco.

Overnight: Novotel   (B)

May 18 – City Tour Cusco

Welcome to fabulous Cusco at 3,400 meters (12,467).  Old ways are not forgotten in this magical city which was once called, “The Bellybutton of the World” and capital of the Inca empire until the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century.  Today this UNESCO Site is filled with ancient wonders.   Uncover layers of Cusco’s vivid history.  It’s such fun to explore this town crowned with the main square of Plaza de Armas, a great place for coffee shops and people watching.  Evenings come alive with music.  Massages are now omnipresent and dirt cheap or indulge your sweet tooth at the Chocolate Museum of Cocoa.

Morning city tour of Cusco. Your guided walk starts with the visit to Santo Domingo Monastery, the legendary Korikancha (Temple of Gold), the most important Inca temple devoted to worshipping the Sun, whose walls used to be plated with sheets of gold. Continue to the Plaza de Armas or Main Square to visit the Cathedral.

You follow along to the San Blas quarter with a walk by this quaint district and one of the finest views of the city. This quarter is home to the workshops and stores of the most renowned craftsmen in Cusco, including Mendivil, Merida, Rojas and Palomino.

Afternoon at leisure.  You may want to add an extra day here or explore Lima.

In the evening, bid your AFS fellow trekker friends goodbye with a farewell buffet dinner at Picanteria Cusqueñita.

Overnight: Novotel   (B)

May 19 – Cusco – Lima Depart to Airport

After breakfast transfer to the airport to take your flight to Lima airport for flight home.  All flights depart in ebvening so you may be landing in USA May 20.

Optional Skylodge Adventure Suites for 6 on first come basis can be arranged for 2 days with an overnight.  More details later.  $550  You’ll picked up at 2pm, transferred back 3pm next day so you’ll need late flight out of Cusco.

Skylodge Adventure Suites

Located in the Sacred Valley of Cuzco, Peru, the exclusive Skylodge Adventure Suites offers you the chance to sleep within a completely transparent, hanging bedroom, that allows you to appreciate the impressive view of this magic and mystic valley.  To sleep at Skylodge, people must climb 400 mt. (1312 ft) of Via Ferrata or hike an intrepid trail through ziplines. One night at this place will make your dreams come true.

This afternoon, you will be taken to Pachar. Perched high above the Sacred Valley of Cusco in Peru, you will find Skylodge: three totally transparent capsule suites and a dining room/kitchen suspended 400m above the valley floor. Capsules sleep four.  Total capacity 8, subject to availability. Each suite has a private bedroom separated by wall and private toilet.  It’s total comfort with lights, solar power and down bedding at 1200 ft up the mountain slope.

Getting to your bed has never been such an adventure. After a 1.5 hour climb straight up the mountain, you will enjoy a gourmet dinner in a circular, glass dining room pod and then enjoy a good night’s sleep under the stars in your sleeping capsule (complete with its own private bathroom). The next morning, climb back to the dining room and enjoy a delicious breakfast with a view before zip-lining back down the mountain. Transfer back to Cusco hotel or airport is included.

sky lodge-option  

Fitness Level 1 – strenuous + high altitude. You will be required to sign a medical waiver. Full detailed trip information to follow.

$400 deposit secures your reservation.  Limited to 26 participants. More details in AFS Trip Tips for registrants.

Note- $250 is non-refundable as of Nov 20 – must purchase trekking permits (in your name precisely) by Nov 20 before they sell out for 2018!

Land Cost: $1998 (per person/twin share)

Includes all stated above in itinerary (please see details below), first class accommodation, meals as stated, daily guided tours with entrance fees stated, licensed English-speaking guides, private coach, AFS GTL, $136 trail fee.

Not Included: $85 gratuities

AIR:  You can book your own air or we will present Group Air later if requests demand.


  • At end of trip, we only have 6 spaces available at SkyLodge Adventure Suite capsules. For staying one night at Skylodge: US$ 550 per person.
    • Includes: transportation from/to Cusco or Sacred Valley hotel, guide, Via Ferrata & Zipline equipment, dinner and bottle of wine, breakfast
  • Half day rafting in Ollantaytambo with lunch at El Albergue. $159


  • Assistance on arrival and departure with English speaking representative in Cusco
  • Private transportation to the Sacred Valley with visit to Sacsayhuaman Fortress and Pisac market on route. Ollanthytambo tour included.
  • 4D/3N Inca Trail to Machupicchu on private basis
  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to km .82 (starting point of the trail)
  • Inca Trail and Machupicchu entrance fee
  • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. Our tents are 3-season, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field. Eureka Timberline 4 Outfitter tents are employed when double accommodation is requested and Eureka Timberline 2XT for single travelers.
  • One inflatable sleeping pad per person
  • One sleeping bag per person: our sleeping bags are -18ºC-comfort (0ºF), mummy form and include a sleeping liner. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips.
  • One pillow per person
  • Dining tent with tables and chairs
  • Kitchen tent
  • Toilet tent with bio-degradable toilet facilities
  • English speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
  • Chef and cooking equipment
  • Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
  • Porters to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg  (20 pounds) per person (including sleeping bag and sleeping pad)
  • Accommodation for all our staff
  • Meals (4B, 3L, 3D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost.
  • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment.
  • Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onward.
  • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
  • Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
  • Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead.
  • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
  • Bus ticket from Machupicchu ruins down to the village of Aguas Calientes
  • Vistadome Train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco
  • Transfer train station-hotel in Cusco
  • 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit
  • Half day walking tour of Cusco city tour
  • Farewell buffet dinner at Picanteria Cusqueñita with folk show
  • All guided excursions described in the itinerary
  • All entrances fees for the activities proposed.
  • All specified meals – Vegetarian option is available with no extra charge

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!


Group Air- TBAsingles peru hike

singles hike peru

Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.
Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate. We write our Itineraries a year in advance. Though unlikely, we reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”
Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

singles hike peru