We are the only company in the world who have an expedition leader and doctor on all Machu Picchu expeditions while keeping group sizes sustainably small. Established in 2007, we offer high-altitude trekking and mountaineering in some of the most breathtaking locations around the world.
Trekking Machu Picchu
Our 16-day itinerary includes 9 days of trekking through the Peruvian Andes. We want to give you the ultimate Inca experience, trekking to Machu Picchu and taking in its lesser-known sister city Choquequirao.
Our adventure begins with a stunning trek around Cusco. From Cusco we drive deep into the Andes and begin our trek – our first port of call is Choquequirao. Choquequirao is twice the size of Machu Picchu, however because of its remote location it is much less visited than Machu Picchu by trekkers.
From Choquequirao, we trek along a stunning trail for several days to reach Machu Picchu. We trek over two high passes (4,150m & 4,668m) and follow the meandering trails through lush jungle. At several natural viewing points along the trek, we are treated to inspiring views of the snow-capped peaks of Humantay (5,700 m) and Salkantay (6,271 m).
We frequently come across traditional villages, where we get to interact with the wonderful locals. We take time to visit a coffee farm, where we pick coffee cherries and learn about traditional coffee growing traditions. The coffee is roasted over an open fire as we sit back to enjoy the natural hot spring under the stars.
We rise early to get the first bus to Machu Picchu to begin our guided tour of the ancient site. After the two-hour hike around the site we take the steep trail up Machu Picchu Mountain. After this, we trek for a further two hours to reach the summit. The beautiful views makes the added effort more than worthwhile.
This itinerary is perfect for anyone looking for a challenging trek. You will be immersed in ancient Inca and modern Peruvian culture. At the end of the trek we have a free day which you can spend relaxing in Cusco. Alternatively, you can opt for an incredible day trip to Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) which is a very special experience.
Our itinerary goes a lot further off the beaten track than most standard Inca trail tours. See the trip itinerary below, or read our blog post about the new route.
Machu Picchu Expedition Costs & What’s Included
The total cost of trekking Machu Picchu is highlighted above. You are required to pay a €399 deposit to secure your spot. You can pay the remaining balance in instalments or in full. All fees must be paid three months prior to departure.
Your fees include the following:
- International return flights from Dublin to Lima (Economy Class)
- Internal flights in Peru
- Experienced expedition leader
- Experienced expedition doctor
- Training weekend
- Earth’s Edge team of guides, cooks and support team
- All accommodation is based on twin sharing in hotels in Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes and camping elsewhere
- All meals and water, except in Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes where accommodation is based on B&B
- A celebratory dinner at the end of the expedition
- Transport throughout the expedition
- All group gear consisting of first aid kits, mountaineering and cooking equipment
- Entry fee into Machu Picchu and guided tour
- Use of state-of-the-art tents and Thermarests
Flying from the UK?
You are more than welcome to join us from the UK. If so, you can select the ‘exclude flights’ option on the checkout. You can then book your own flights to Cusco.
Read our Machu Picchu blogs
Are you looking for even more information on this expedition? We have lots of extra insight into our Machu Picchu trips on the blog here.
Day 1 Dublin to Lima.↓
Depart Dublin on an overnight flight to Peru.
Day 2 Arrive in Cusco (3,400m)↓
Arrive in Cusco. Acclimatisation and sightseeing day.
Day 3 Acclimatisation hike in Cusco (3,700m), 5 hrs trekking. Transfer to Wajaqui Ecolodge (3,330m).↓
Guided hike around Cusco to take in the sights. Transfer to Wajaqui Ecolodge (3,330m) for a traditional lunch and relax for the afternoon.
Day 4 Wajaqui Ecolodge to Cachora to Playa Rosalina (1,640m), 6 hrs trekking.↓
We depart Wajaqui Ecolodge in the early morning and drive to reach our trailhead at Cachora (2850m). We trek to our campsite at Playa Rosalina, sitting on the banks of the roaring Apurimac River.
Day 5 Playa Rosalina to Choquequirao (3,000m), 10 hrs trekking.↓
In the morning we have a tough climb from the Apurimac River to reach Marampata, which offers stunning views of Choquequirao. From there we follow an undulating trail cut into the mountain side to reach our campsite below Choquequirao.
Day 6 Choquequirao to Pinchiunuyocc (2,400m), 4 hrs trekking.↓
We climb for less than an hour to reach Choquequirao, taking in Hauqaypata (main plaza), Urin (upper square), the priest's house, Ushno (ceremonial platform) and the vast network of irrigation channels. In the afternoon we continue our trek to Pinchiunuyocc.
Day 7 Pinchiunuyocc to Maizal (3,000m), 7 hrs trekking.↓
We first descend to the Rio Blanco and then have another tough climb through cloud forest to reach Maizal.
Day 8 Maizal to Yanama (3,850m), 9 hrs trekking.↓
Today’s trail takes us over Victoria Pass (4,150m) which offers stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of Humantay (5,700m) and Salkantay (6,271m).
Day 9 Yanama to Totora (3,500m), 10 hrs trekking.↓
Another stunning day as we reach the highest point on our journey, the Yanama Pass (4,668m) where we might be lucky enough to spot some condor.
Day 10 Totora to Santa Teresa (1,550m), 7 hrs trekking.↓
Today is a special day on our adventure as we visit a coffee farm and bathe in hot springs in the evening!
Day 11 Santa Teresa to Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes (2,040m), 4 hrs trekking.↓
After driving to Hydroelectric station we enjoy a beautiful walk alongside the train tracks through the thick forest.
Day 12 Machu Picchu Day, 5-7 hrs trekking.↓
Visit Machu Picchu very early in the morning and enjoy a guided tour of the ruins followed by a hike up the steep steps of Machu Picchu Mountain. Take some time to explore by yourself before we head back to Aguas Calientes.
Day 13 Aguas Calientes to Cusco.↓
Take the train back to Cusco in the morning. Time to do some last minute shopping in the Cusco markets before a celebratory dinner in the evening.
Day 14 Free day in Cusco or Rainbow Mountain day tour.↓
Enjoy a free day in Cusco to explore at your leisure or take a day trip to Rainbow Mountain.
Day 15 Depart Cusco↓
Free morning before departing Cusco.
Day 16 Lima to Dublin.↓
Arrive back in Dublin in the evening. Expedition ends.
Hailed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1983 and one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, Machu Picchu is truly spectacular. This pre-Colombian city was once inhabited by the Ancient Incas in Peru and is now known as one of the most unique archaeological gems of South America.
Wildlife is thriving within the Machu Picchu estate. However, some species are on the brink of extinction including; The Long-tailed weasel, Pampas cat, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Peruvian Dwarf Brocket, Neotropical Otter, Spectacled Bear and the Andean Condor.
The first Westerner credited with unveiling Machu Picchu to the outside world was Hiram Bingham, a notable historian of Yale University in 1911.
Unlike Inca cities and fortresses that were located in lower grounds, only the city of Machu Picchu was left uncovered during the Spanish invasion in the 16th century.
At the ruins themselves, there are rules of admittance. One of the lesser-known is that you may not enter dressed in the traditional costume of another country!
Best time to trek Machu Picchu
Despite the high altitude, it doesn't snow in Machu Picchu. It does, however, experience two seasons; dry and rainy! We visit Machu Picchu during the dry season, which is usually between May and October. Our tours generally operate between July and October. It is warmer during the rainy season, but the best chance of seeing the city unobstructed by clouds is during the dry season. Read our blog for more on the best time to visit Machu Picchu.
What you need to trek Machu Picchu
We have an extensive packing list on what you should bring with you when trekking Machu Picchu. You can view this packing list here.
How to prepare for your Machu Picchu trek
We have classified Machu Picchu as a level 5 expedition. For more information about our levels system click here. We expect participants to have a very good level of fitness. The group moves at a comfortable pace and nobody is ever left behind. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to contact us if you have any concerns regarding your level of fitness, health or ability to complete the trek. We strongly recommend that you read our information pack, which gives you advice on how to prepare for trekking Machu Picchu. You can read this document here.
Earth's Edge is a certified B-Corp. In fact, we are the highest scoring B-Corp in Ireland. We are passionate about sustainable travel, bettering the lives of the people connected with the company and minimising our environmental impact.
We plant 30 native trees in Nepal for each person that travels with us in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. If you would like to plant more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Each extra tree costs €0.15 cents. Learn more about our tree planting here.
12 July 2024 - 27 July 2024
6 Spaces Available Book Now
9 August 2024 - 24 August 2024
9 Spaces Available Book Now
7 September 2024 - 22 September 2024
Fully Booked Book Now
12 October 2024 - 27 October 2024
5 Spaces Available Book Now
11 July 2025 - 26 July 2025
8 Spaces Available Book Now
22 August 2025 - 6 September 2025
10 Spaces Available Book Now