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Inca Trail for Families

Trek the Inca Trail and explore Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The Inca Trail is a moderately challenging trek at high altitudes and is suitable only for families with teenagers with a strong sense of determination.

Acclimatise to the altitude and explore ancient archaeological sites by bike in the stunning Sacred Valley before heading out on the iconic 4-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, the awe-inspiring Inca citadel. With stays in comfy, good-value hotels and lodges, and camping during the Inca Trail.

Tailor-made Classic 12 days

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Itinerary

Overview


  • Good value 12-day Peru holiday for active, outdoorsy families with energetic teenagers (12+) who have a keen sense of adventure and determination

  • Tread in the footsteps of the Incas on the privately guided 4-day Inca Trail trek with porters and camping along the way

  • Independent exploration of vibrant Lima and cosmopolitan Cusco where ancient history meets modern-day life

  • Acclimatise to the altitude in the charming, traditional Sacred Valley

  • Adventurous yet manageable trekking, with some periods of intense hiking and high passes, plus amazing scenery and fascinating archaeological ruins

  • Spend time exploring magical Machu Picchu both with a guide and independently

  • Overnight in comfy yet unpretentious hotels and lodges that won’t break the bank

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA
Upon arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will have time to freshen up and rest.
Accommodation: Girasoles

DAY 2: DISCOVER LIMA
Explore Lima at your own pace. We recommend making your way to the Historic Centre to see World Heritage Site Santo Domingo Convent, the Main Square and the Larco Museum, an incomparable private collection of treasures from ancient Peru which offers up a superb overview of more than five thousand years of Peruvian history. Alternatively, enjoy an easy day exploring the thriving neighbourhoods of Miraflores and Barranco, making time to sample Lima's world class food scene and don’t miss the chance to try a traditional ‘Pisco Sour’ tipple. Upgrades to a half-day guided city tour are available - do get in touch if you’d like more info.
Accommodation: Girasoles

DAY 3: FLIGHT FROM LIMA TO CUSCO AND TRANSFER TO SACRED VALLEY HOTEL
Fly to Cusco and make the onward transfer to the breathtakingly beautiful Sacred Valley which sits at very high altitude in the Andes. Take plenty of time today to relax and acclimatise in preparation for the impending Inca Trail trek.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 4: DAY AT LEISURE IN SACRED VALLEY
Enjoy another restful day exploring the Sacred Valley at your own pace. We recommend taking a slow morning to allow the hordes of tourists to pass through on their way to Machu Picchu. Once the crowds have dispersed, Ollantaytambo has a real charm and it’s very easy to explore on foot. Traditional Andean ways of life continue to this day and there’s plenty to see from the Inca-era grid of cobblestoned streets, to the traditional adobe buildings and babbling irrigation channels. Ollantaytambo is well known for the ruins of the massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on the hillside above the village which is well worth a visit.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 5: MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE SACRED VALLEY
Head out today on a wonderful mountain bike adventure to explore the stunning landscapes of the Sacred Valley, passing through local villages and discovering fascinating archaeological ruins along the way. Routes may vary, but one good example of a half-day excursion begins with a descent to the Moray archaeological complex comprising several concentric terraces that were once farmed by the Incas. Then on to Maras, enjoying the open road and impressive views of the surrounding mountains along the way, followed by a climb to the Maras salt mines, where salt has been extracted for thousands of years. At the end of the cycling route, you’ll be met and transported back to the hotel for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 6: COMMENCE THE INCA TRAIL (OLLANTAYTAMBO – HUAYLLABAMBA)
There’s an early-morning car transfer today to ‘kilometre 82’ where the day starts with a light, easy trek to the first archaeological complex, Llactapata, which will ease you all gently into acclimatising to the altitude. The hike then continues up to Hatunchaca where camp will be set up for the night.
Throughout the four-day trek, there’ll be a combination of wonderful mountain views, lush sub-tropical vegetation and architectural ruins to explore, and porters will carry all equipment and up to 7kg of luggage per person. The porters are local Quetcha people who know the area very well and usually set off slightly earlier to ensure that overnight camps are set up before you arrive.
Approximate walking time: 4 ½ to 5 hours (distance 12 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 2,750 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 3,000 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 7: HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYO (SECOND DAY OF INCA TRAIL)
A carbohydrate-based breakfast on this second day of the Inca trail is the most important meal of the trek in preparation for today’s demanding hike. The hike commences through the Huayllabamba Valley to Yunca Chimpa in Llulluchapampa (3750 m.a.s.l.) and from here you’ll witness the Huayanay Valley before arriving at the highest section of the path known as the ‘Warmiwañusca’ or ‘Dead Woman's Pass’, which sits at 4,200 metres (approx. 14,000 feet) and which can be quite intense and challenging for some given the high altitude. The climb will take most of the morning and then after lunch, there’s a short, two-hour descent to Pacaymayo where camp will be set up for the night. With any luck, the porters and chef will have gone on ahead to set up camp and have your well-deserved, three-course dinner cooking on the fire. Don't be surprised if everyone heads to bed early after a tough but rewarding day.
Approximate walking time: 7 hours (distance 13 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 3,000 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 3,800 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 8: PACAYMAYO – WIÑAYWAYNA (THIRD DAY OF INCA TRAIL)
Today is the most diverse day in terms of sites and views. In the morning, there’s an ascent to the second pass, Runcuracay, which sits at 3,680 metres (around 12,800 feet) followed by a short two-hour descent to the stunning archaeological site of Sayacmarca with its far-reaching views of the surrounding valleys and snow-peaked mountains. There will be some time to explore this fascinating spot before continuing along the original Inca stone path to the Phyyupatamarca complex where you’ll have a short tour before descending the 3 kilometres to Wiñaywayna. Here, camp will be set up for the night amongst the mystical ruins.
Approximate walking time: 10 hours (distance 15 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 3,800 m.a.s.l / ends at: 2,650 m.a.s.l
Accommodation: Camping (in-camp upgrades possible)

DAY 9: TREK WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHU PICCHU VIA SUN GATE, THEN ON TO CUSCO
After breakfast, you will head to the Inti Punku area, known also as the Sun Gate, where you will enjoy an impressive view of the majestic citadel of Machu Picchu. From here, it’s a short hike to the citadel itself. You will visit these impressive and remarkably well-preserved ruins accompanied by a guide who will explain the history and structure of this wonderful place. Finally, you will board a bus and head to the train station and make the onward journey to Cusco on the Vistadome train. Your hotel for the next couple of nights, El Retablo, is a simple, well-presented property nestled amidst Cusco’s ancient cobbled streets.
Approximate walking time: 2 ¼ hours (distance 6 km)
Altitude: beginning of trek: 2,650 m.a.s.l. / ends at: 2,400 m.a.s.l.
Accommodation: El Retablo

DAY 10: EXPLORE CUSCO
Spend today independently exploring bustling Cusco, the breathtakingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site. You might want to book a massage for your weary legs or spend some time in one of the many cafes at the Plaza de Armas taking in the fabulous views. The chocolate museum, ‘El Museo Cacao’, is well worth a visit and provides excellent insight into cocoa production in Peru, not to mention cooking classes and marshmallows with chocolate fondue in the café! There’s also a whole host of ancient Inca palaces, temples and Spanish Colonial buildings to discover.
Accommodation: El Retablo

DAY 11: EXPLORE CUSCO
There’s so much to see in Cusco that you’ll be glad of another day to wander around and soak up all the sights and sounds. If you’d like to upgrade to a guided city tour then please get in touch for more information.
Accommodation: El Retablo

DAY 12: DEPART
You will be transferred to Cusco airport in good time for your flight home.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Centrally located in Miraflores District
- Modern, good value hotel with 42 rooms
- Convenient base for exploring the city
- Near parks, markets, beaches, restaurants

Pakaritampu

Sacred Valley

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Superb Inca Fortress and hillside terraces
- Pretty, landscaped gardens
- Modest, comfortable accommodation
- Perfect base before or after Inca Trail

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Historic, characterful boutique hotel
- Close to 'Plaza de Armas' main square
- Beautifully-presented rooms
- Good value for money

Details

Getting there

Flight prices, details and operators will vary depending on date of travel, however the below gives an overview of key operators, routes and flight duration from the UK and the US at the time of writing. Note that it’s always possible to fly direct into Lima and overnight there before catching the morning flight to Cusco the following day. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and obtain a current, detailed quote.

From the UK to Cusco
The fastest flight from London to Cusco is with Avianca airlines who make just one stop en route (Bogota) with a total flight time of around 17 ½ hours. Latin American Airlines (LAN) partner with British Airways to operate flights from London into Cusco via Lima, with flight times varying from around 15 to 24 hours. There are also several other indirect flight options (generally via Lima) with a couple of stops en route which take around 30 hours overall; examples include KLM, Iberia and Air France who all operate in partnership with LAN to operate flights from London to Cusco stopping both in Lima and in Amsterdam/Madrid/Paris respectively. Flights cost in the region of £800 to £1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US East Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from New York into Cusco with either one stop (Bogota), or two stops (Bogota and Lima), and flight times of around 11 to 14 hours. LAN also operate New York to Cusco, with just one stop in Lima and a similar flight time of around 11 hours. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,800 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US West Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from Los Angeles into Cuzco, usually with just one stop in Bogota (and sometimes two stops; Bogota and Lima), with flight times of around 12 hours. LAN also operates on this route, as do Air Canada, Aeromexico and Finn Air depending on the time of year. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

Price includes

Price includes domestic flights, all accommodation (bed and breakfast basis in Cusco, Sacred Valley and Lima, all meals on trek), transfers and tours as mentioned in the itinerary. Inca Trail includes camping equipment (excluding sleeping bag).

When is best?

Peru’s peak tourist season is June - August when the main tourist sites will be at their busiest. The weather at this time of year is lovely, with little rain and clear, sunny days. Nights, however, are cold. The rainy season generally lasts from November - March/April, with the wettest months being January & February. It is naturally much quieter in the sites at this time of year. If you want to avoid the crowds, then you might want to aim for April / May when the rains have slowed but the sites are not as busy.

INCA TRAIL:
The high season on the Inca trail is from April to September when the conditions are fairly dry and the weather generally sunny. June, July and August (peak season) can see slightly colder night-time temperatures so be sure to bring some layers.

The rainy season lasts from November to March/April and whilst the treks during this period are much quieter, the rain - especially in January and February - can make the trekking harder. Note that the Inca Trail is closed in the month of February every year for vital cleaning and maintenance, alternative routes are available, but they tend to be longer and more strenuous and therefore less suitable for younger family members.

Is it for me?

This 12-day holiday has been designed specifically for active, outdoorsy families with a keen sense of adventure and fun who are looking to experience some of Peru’s best destinations whilst simultaneously keeping the costs manageable. Explore the cities of Lima and Cusco and the delights of the Sacred Valley independently (contact us for upgrades to guided tours), and trek the classic, guided 4-day Inca Trail. If you want to spend longer in Peru, we would suggest extending your holiday with a lodge in the Amazon rainforest. Please see alternative Peru itineraries for families on our website or contact us for more details. Note that the minimum recommended age for this holiday is 12 years and it's ideal for youngsters with a good level of fitness and an eager sense of adventure and determination.

The hotels we’ve proposed here are modest yet comfortable and the Inca Trail camping equipment is good and modern but basic, with the option to upgrade to a little more in-camp comfort if preferred. If you want to participate in a trek where you and your family will push yourselves physically, but at the same time gain an insight into an ancient people and culture, then this will be right up your street.

You do need to be in good shape to participate and it is recommended that you all do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be exercise mad; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so this itinerary allows time to acclimatise for a couple of days in the Sacred Valley before embarking on the trip.

Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about younger members of the family taking too long.

Due to the huge demand to travel this iconic route, the government only issues a certain number or permits per day to ensure that the trail does not become overcrowded and damaged. This includes all porters, guides and cooks, so it fills up quickly. The high season on the trail is from April to September so we recommend planning ahead; try to book at least 5 to 6 months in advance. If you want to trek in quieter times, you may wish to consider dates outside of the high season (see ‘when is best’).

This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for many years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid. To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek, read our guide to the Inca Trail.

If you have any other questions, please refer to our frequently asked questions page or contact us.

To read more about trekking to Machu Picchu, the alternatives and best times to trek read our guide to the Inca Trail.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 507 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Service rating : As I hoped the trip to be. As planned.
    Product : Quite expensive, but we had a good time,

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Inca Trail for Families on 21 December 2018

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)

    The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.

    Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!

    Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good

    Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.

    Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.

    Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.

    MissingPippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

15-day Peru holiday for energetic, outdoorsy families (12yo+) with a keen sense of adventure who want to trek the Inca Trail and experience Peru's highlights. Includes the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and Amazon.

Tailor-made Classic 15 days

Families from €3,151 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional €1,277 per person economy class from London

Luxury 13 day family adventure in Peru offering perfect mix of culture, history and activity. Visit Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & stay in a remote Amazon jungle lodge.

Tailor-made Luxury 13 days

Families from €4,882 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional €1,277 per person economy class from London

16 day family adventure in Peru combining the highlights of Peru's Inca & Amazon areas with relaxing time on the beach.

Tailor-made Luxury 16 days

Families from €4,579 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional €1,277 per person economy class from London

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