Peak Andes hiking tour: Cusco adventure holiday in Peru

Cusco adventure holiday in Peru to 3 South American highlights. This Peak Andes hiking tour visits Rainbow Mountain, Huchuy Qosqo and Machu Picchu & many more places


This Peak Andes hiking tour has it all – from the big Instagram moments at Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain, to down-home cooking at Irene’s place high in the mountains that tower over the Sacred Valley. On this Cusco adventure holiday in Peru you’ll experience the very best the country has to offer.

Rainbow Mountain and Huchuy Qosqo are two of Peru’s best short hikes, for very different reasons. Rainbow Mountain (known locally as Vinicunca), only recently opened to visitors, has quickly become well-recognized due to its incredible, unique striped flanks.

Huchuy Qosqo on the other hand is barely visited by tourists, and richly rewards those who do make it there to find they have one of the most spectacular, extensive and best-preserved Inca ruins all to themselves! All this plus Machu Picchu, local food and folk culture, cosmopolitan Cusco, and the opportunity to hang out with locals in their homes – there is no better way to spend a week in Peru!

Price Includes

  • All accommodation (based on twin-share. Single Supplement available for US$200)
  • All ground transport during Cusco adventure holiday in Peru (private vehicle and train)
  • All activities specified in the Peak Andes hiking tour itinerary
  • Dedicated Aspiring Adventures guide
  • Entrance to all attractions specified in itinerary
  • All meals as specified (two breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners)
  • Drinking water

Price Excludes

  1. Tips for guides and horse wranglers

What to expect

Peak Andes hiking tour: Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to Peru!
Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire, is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth! The Cusco adventure holiday in Peru starts at 1pm when your guide will pick you up and take you for a traditional Peruvian meal at one of our favourite local restaurants. Then spend the afternoon on a relaxed walking tour around Cusco’s stunning historic centre – it’s important to take it easy if you’ve arrived from sea level today, as you need to adjust to Cusco’s 3,400m (11,200ft) altitude.

Accommodation: Cusco hotel
Meals: Lunch included

Day 2 Hike to Huchuy Qosqo
We’ll pick you up at 8am and take a short drive to where our hike begins at Tambo Machay. From here we climb gently through alpine pasture to the first of four mountain passes we’ll cross today, affording incredible views of the Cordillera Urubamba. We’ll pass serene Lake Quellacocha before descending, partly on Inca roads, through the rapidly changing ecological layers that characterise the Andean sierra to the isolated traditional community of Huchuy Qosqo, where we’ll stay the night in a memorable homestay.

Accommodation: Irene’s place, Huchuy Qosqo
Meals: All meals included
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Walking distance: 14km (8.7 miles)
Min. Altitude: 3,300m (10,000ft)
Max. Altitude: 4,250m (13,940ft)
Altitude of accommodation: 3,460m (11,350ft)

Day 3 From Huchuy Qosqo to Aguas Calientes
This morning we’ll explore Huchuy Qosqo. Thought to have been one of the palaces of the eighth Inca, Viracocha, it’s an impressive Inca site with a variety of architecture featuring both stone and mud-brick buildings. Because there’s no road access to Huchuy Qosqo, there are few visitors and we’ll probably have the site to ourselves.

After this, it’s a steep descent to the road and the village of Lamay, where we’ll have lunch before heading to Ollantaytambo in our vehicle. From here we’ll take the train to Aguas Calientes, where we’ll spend the night.

Accommodation: Family-run hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: Breakfast included
Walking time: 2 hours, all steep downhill
Walking distance: 2km (less than 1 mile)
Min. Altitude: 2,700m (8,860ft)
Max. Altitude: 3,460m (11,350ft)

Day 4 Machu Picchu!
A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

We’ll be up at sunrise so there’s time for your guide to show you around Machu Picchu’s main citadel, as well as our favourite hidden nooks and crannies, before the crowds arrive. Then there’s time for your own exploration of the massive, still-mysterious site, before we catch the train back to Cusco.

Accommodation: Cusco hotel
Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 5 The South Valley
The Valle Sur just outside Cusco is one of our favourite places to take our guests, because it offers a one-day snapshot of the incredible variety of this whole region. We’ll see lakes, wetlands and mountains, and visit the eye-wateringly ornate church of Andahuaylillas and a crazy museum of shrunken skulls! Along the way we’ll sample local specialty foods like toqto (pigskin), cuy (guinea pig), or for the less adventurous palate, chicharrónes (pork chunks), and the area’s famous chuta bread – within Peru, the South Valley is a noted gastronomic destination.

We’ll spend the night in the village of Raqchi, home to a group of gracious, funny people we’re proud to call our friends. They’ll open their homes and lives to you, giving you a unique insight into traditional Andean life.

Accommodation: Raqchi homestay
Meals: All meals included

Day 6 Rainbow Mountain!
Today we'll hike Rainbow Mountain. Known locally as Vinicunca, this mountain offers a challenging day hike to view an amazing mountainside where a combination of sedimentary layers and erosion has created a colourful spectacle. It's a challenging 15km hike, to an altitude of 5,200m (17,060ft), over a rough trail... but the incredible views make it all worthwhile!

This evening we’ll enjoy our final dinner of the Peak Andes hiking tour in Cusco.

Accommodation: Cusco hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 7 Departure Day
End of the Cusco adventure holiday in Peru. You can book your flight out of Cusco for any time today. If you’re staying on in Peru, we’d be delighted to help out with suggestions and assistance for the rest of your time here.

Meals: Breakfast included


Peak Andes hiking tour: Cusco adventure holiday in Peru: From $1,475 to $1,975 for 7 days

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$1,475 to 1,975 7 days
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