Deep in the Andes- Sacred Valley to Cusco. Peru

May 23-31, 2022     small group


Join us on an unforgettable journey to the center of the ancient Incan Empire. It’s our 8th group into Peru – so near, so exotic, this mysterious country always intoxicates visitors with its enchanting scenery, ancient ruins and cultural wonders. This is our active AFS adventure along the classic Inca Trail, the most famous trek in South America and rated in the Top 5 treks of the world!

Imagine the drama of walking atop the Andes Mountains to arrive at sunrise to the majestic Sun Gate, back entrance to the Lost City of Machu Picchu that few get to see. It’s simply surreal. The 500-year-old trail provides countless photo ops along the way with stunning landscapes and colorful Andean villages. Our expert Peruvian guides will beckon you forward up to peaks 4200 meters high. Unplug from the world to rejuvenate your soul. This trail will call you to be determined and fully present. It’s tough, but the reward is great.

We fly into colorful Cusco for a tour of Sacsayhuaman Fortress and the lively Pisac market. Then we ascend into our lovely hotel and spa in the Sacred Valley where pet llamas roam. Our groups loved this place. Options here for mountain biking, kayaking, and rafting the Ollantaytambo River. Your four-day trek is fully equipped and guided. We end with time to tour and explore delightful Cusco. (There’s even an adrenaline option for 12 of you to add an extension to the exclusive Sky Lodge Adventure Suites! You’ll zip line in to overnight in a luxury glass capsule that hangs cliffside on a mountain top. It’s like sleeping in a condor’s nest.)

If this is on your dreamy bucket list, we’ve got you covered with such ease.  AFS includes; hacienda tour, Cusco tour, $150 entrance fee for MP,  all balanced meals, Vistadome Train, 24/7 certified guides and porters, oxygen, great tents and gear.  And our price can’t be beat for all you get. It will fill up fast. May is the best time to go. Trekkers often book a year ahead, but we secured your space and will book your permits soon. 2022 is the time to go before the Peruvian government drastically cuts visitor permits into Machu Picchu.

If you are fit, book this epic experience for your bragging rights! Each night, after a delicious meal under the stars, you slip into your tent with a smile feeling so blessed for the day’s accomplishment. Our guide Enrico says, “It’s the things we really work for that mean the most to our souls.” Come join us and be awed by dramatic nature at her finest.


Just 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!! I  still can’t believe that I 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.  Thank you for all the amazing memories.- Joyce Pierce.

“What an intro to AFS! The trails were 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, license, 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 Indian villagers with a good income. Unlike other companies, this is Responsible Tourism with no footprints left behind. You’ll have excellent equipment for camping for days, endless bottled water and renowned chefs with restaurant backgrounds are preparing delicious, healthy meals for you.)


Our Glorious AFS Itinerary


May 23            Depart USA – via Lima to Cusco.  Details in Trip Tips.  ** Recommended flight that arrives before 11am to Cusco or fly in a day early to relax.

May 24           CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY ARRIVAL                                                                  L, D    ** Recommended flight that arrives before 11am to Cusco

Upon arrival you will be assisted and transferred to your Sacred Valley hotel, on the way you will visit the Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas it is strategically located at the  top of a hill overlooking the city of Cuzco. Continue to the town of Pisac to visit its lively market, where local artisans sell their wares, from alpaca clothing and accessories to silver jewelry, pottery pieces, and the like. Finally, you will be transferred to your hotel in Sacred Valley.

Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley Hotel, Superior room (2 Nights)

May 25           SACRED VALLEY                           B

Breakfast at Hotel. Enjoy your day at leisure or opt for mountain bike or kayaking.

OPTIONAL: Full Day River Rafting Ollantaytambo with Lunch  

Level: Class 2-3 rapids, Duration: 1 ½ hours approx. in the river,  Sacred Valley – Cusco  Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive you until we reach our private river put-in located in Pachar. Here you will receive your rafting equipment and a safety briefing. (Toilet facilities are available).

After a brief period, practicing on the flat parts of the river, we will start our journey on easy waters, while we admire the spectacular view of the mountains and archaeological remains. We will continue towards Ollantaytambo and its amazing Inca terraces, at time we will experience class 2-3 rapids, to finish with “El Resbaladero” (The Slide), a strong class 3 rapids that includes waves and small whirlpools. We will then have lunch in a traditional restaurant located on the riverside owned by the local community. This is a great chance to enjoy the Andean cuisine while supporting community projects. Finally, you will return to your hotel.  Expensive, but all loved it.

USD $160.00 per person (based on min. 10)  INCLUDES: Private transportation from hotel to the starting point and from the end of the adventure back to hotel, Lunch in a local restaurant, Top of the Line rafting equipment (V river rafting gear) and self-bailing rafts, Safety and professional river procedures, Best class V river guides (international training, swift-water rescue, and wilderness first responder courses), Safety kayak, Professional First Aid Kit, Environmental care


Note: Your luggage will be taken to your hotel in Cusco, please indicate if there is something valuable, fragile, medicines and review that the luggage is in good condition.

Breakfast at the hotel and then this morning group will start their 3 night/ 4 Day Inca Trail Hike


You will be picked up from your hotel in Sacred Valley and transferred to Ollantaytambo, where you will have time to do some last-minute shopping before starting your trek. You will then head to Piscacucho community, at Km. 82, where you will find the starting point of your excursion. You will take the course and walk about 3 hours along the Urubamba River, enjoying unparalleled landscapes and beautiful wildlife along the route. You will arrive to Willca Racay at the archaeological complex of Llaqtapata, where you will have some time to enjoy and appreciate the ruins have lunch and rest before continuing with your walk. You will resume the journey to ascend to the community of Huayllabamba, where the camp will be established.

Hike: 5.5 hours approx.  Walking distance: 12 km,  Min height: 2700 masl / Max height: 3000 masl  Difficulty ranking: 2 of 5.

Included in the Inca Hike:  Camping gear: Brand The North Face tent Four Season Mountain 25, Inflatable mattress Therm-a-rest, Personal duffle bag 7kls / 15.43 lbs., Dinning, tent, cook tent, bathroom tent, Kitchen dishes

  • Bilingual speaking guide (Spanish – English)
  • Entrance fee to the Inca trail,
  • Private transportation to Piscacucho (where the trek begins)
  • Transportation from Ollantaytambo to Sacred Valley hotel or Cusco hotel. (Fourth day), Bus one way (fourth day), Vistadome train until Ollantaytambo (Fourth day),
  • Full meals during the trek (3 Breakfast, 3 wake up tea, 3 snacks, 3 Lunch, 3 Teatime ,3 Dinners)
  • Filtered and boiled water
  • Chef and supporting staff
  • Porters for passenger’s luggage and camping equipment
  • First aid kit, walkie-talkies, oxygen and sleeping bags

May 27          INCA TRAIL HIKE – HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO                                       B, L, D

After a healthy breakfast, you will begin to ascend towards the first and highest pass of the Warmiwañusca route (4215 m.a.s.l.), from where you will have a spectacular view of the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota Mountain ranges. This ascent will take you almost all morning, arriving at Lllulluchapata at lunchtime. After having time to rest and eat, you will continue your walk to Pacaymayo, where the camp will be set up at 3600 masl, basically the most challenging day of the walk.

Hike: 8 hours approx.  Total walking distance: 11 km  Min height: 3000 masl / Max height: 4215 masl  Difficulty ranking: 2 of 5.

May 28          INCA TRAIL – PACAYMAYO – WIÑAYWAYNA                                                      B, L, D

Your third day of trekking will begin with an ascent to the second step, Runcuracay, which is a little lower than the first one (4000 m.a.s.l.). Then, you will descend for a couple of hours to Phuyupatamarca, where you can rest and have lunch surrounded by the beauty of the place. At the end of your lunch, you will continue your journey to Wiñaywayna, enjoying the view of the snowy mountains and the valley as you go. Finally, you will arrive at the area where you will camp, This day is the longest of the entire walk, passing through cloud forests and visiting few archeological sites built by The Incas.

Hike: 9 hours approx.  Total walking distance: 16 km  Min height: 2650 masl / Max height: 4000 masl  Difficulty ranking: 4 of 5.

May 29          INCA TRAIL – WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO                                B, L

Your last day will also start very early and with an energetic breakfast. The journey will start towards Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, from where you will have an impressive view of Machu Picchu. You will walk a little more and you will find yourself inside Machu Picchu, where after a short break your guide will explain the history, organization, and mysteries of the place. At the end of the almost 2-hour tour, you will board the bus that will take you to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will have lunch and some free time. Then, you will board the Vistadome train that will take you back to Ollantaytambo station, from where you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco to check-in.

Hike: 3 hours approx.  Total walking distance: 6 km  Min height: 2400 masl / Max height: 2700 masl  Difficulty ranking: 2 of 5 Distance.

Overnight at Novotel Cusco, Standard room (3 Nights)

May 30       CUSCO – HALF DAY WALKING TOUR                                                                   B, D

Everyone always loves Cusco.  Breakfast at hotel and today enjoy a half-day private walking tour through the streets of Cusco.

Take a tour of Cusco, the imposing Imperial City, example of the harmonious coexistence between the Andean and Spanish cultures. You will start with a visit to the Main Plaza, where you will visit the Cathedral, the most important temple in the city. Then, you will continue by foot until you reach the Koricancha Temple, an ancient Inca palace and cult center of the Sun God, on which the order of the Dominicans built a church, which remains standing to this day. Your tour will finish with a visit to the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, also known as “the artists’ district”, cradle of well-known folk artisans, with its narrow and winding streets and its popular art and knick-knacks shops.  Incredible retail therapy here.

Later at night, you will be transferred to Tunupa Restaurant to enjoy a farewell dinner.  Tunupa is in the heart of the majestic Inca city of Cusco, offers you an impressive view of the main square and its surroundings.  We toast each other goodby with a journey well done until next year.

May 31-  Depart for home.  Transfer to airport for flights home.  


Land Price $ 1895 pp twin share (based 0n 26 participants) $90 added for pre-paid gratuities for guides, drivers, porters, hotel staff.

  • 4 Night hotel accommodation as per itinerary based on twin share
  • 3 Night camp on Inca Trail during hike
  • All transfers and transportation is by private, air-conditioned coach (Any individuals travelling outside the group arrangement must organize own transportation)
  • Arrival Meet & Greet guide assistance, Departure guide assistance
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Local English speaking guides and AFS GTL
  • Local taxes on accommodation and sightseeing tours, based on current rates
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary (B-full breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Tips & Gratuities  $90 added to base price
  • Exclusions in above prices:
    • All airfares, departure taxes & fuel surcharges, seat selection
    • Personal items
    • Optional Tours & Extensions
    • Meals unless listed in itinerary
    • Early check-in & late check out of rooms (standard check-in time is 2pm and check out 10am)
    • Travel Insurance
    • Changes in Government/local taxes
    • Visa/passport handling fees
    • Covid Tests

Deposit $400  to get your $360 non-refundable permit in your name – details later in Tips.

Group Air: It is too early to price out-group air. This will be offered as we get closerWe will present a group air option 10 months prior in the tab labeled Trip Tips.

May 31 – SkyLodge Option limited to just 12 people – on a  first-come basis.   $895  (gratuities not included.)  You’ll find this as an option to choose upon booking provided space is available.

Skylodge has three totally transparent capsules suites and a dining room/kitchen 400 m above the valley floor. Getting to your bed has never been such a fun adventure. Our past groups loved it. After a 2-hour climb up the mountain, you’ll enjoy gourmet meals 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.)

 INCLUDES: Private transportation from / to hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley, Guides, Team Via Ferrata (harness, helmet, set via ferrata and gloves), Zip-line equipment (harness, helmet, zip-line set and gloves), Dinner and a bottle of wine, Breakfast

MAY 31  You will leave your hotel in Cusco to head to Pachar, the starting point of your activity. There, you will receive a brief safety talk, as well as the designated equipment for the day’s activities. You will ascend by zip-line or Via Ferrata 2-hours as you choose- until you reach the Skylodge Adventure Suites. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee or tea. You will learn a little more about the lodge’s operation before heading to dinner.

JUNE 01  You will wake up early to enjoy a replenishing breakfast, which you can enjoy in your suite if you wish. Then, you will descend by zip-line or Via Ferrata to Pachar, from where you will go to Cusco.

Important:  People book these a year ahead.  Maximum capacity: 12 people.  Departure time from Cusco 2:00 pm. The pick-up time may vary according to the passenger’s itinerary.

      • Land prices per person twin share. Trip price based on a minimum number of participants.
      • Single rooms limited with $ supplement.  Cost varies.  Email us for availability.  AFS will find you a roommate.
      • The earliest we present group air is 10 months prior. We’ll send email to ask who wants it.  A minimum number of 12 is needed.
      • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions, Heading Abroad with AFS, Covid Policy.  Travel insurance is important nowadays.  It’s rare, but we reserve the right to modify schedules, tour and hotels.
      • Read Trip Tips on its own tab next itinerary for latest details.