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As on all Southern Crossings tours, you´re taken care of from beginning to end – airport transfers and domestic flights are included!

Depart any day and customize your tour at no extra charge! We are family tour specialists.

Back Door to Machu Picchu

8 days: US$2450 per person
4 passenger minimum
Domestic flights included

Discover Machu Picchu from a more adventurous route than the rest of the crowds, with the option of bikingzip lining and relaxing in the hot springs at Santa Teresa. This tour also travels to  Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lima.

Day 1: Arrive Lima. City tour today or upon your return

Day 2: Flight to Cuzco. City and ruins tour

Day 3: Abra Malaga Mountain Pass (optional biking, not included)

Day 4: Zipline and Hot Springs

Day 5-6: Machu Picchu tour, then free time at the site

Day 7: Flight to Lima

Day 8: Departure Day


Trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artesan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllanas” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2

A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cusco. After checking into our hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Qoricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsaywaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cusco in the late afternoon.

Day 3

You will be collected from your hotel in Cusco in private transport, and transported to the Abra de Malaga (or below, depending on the group). (approx 3 hrs drive) Here we will start the optional an interesting and sometimes slightly hair-raising downhill ride.  This is suitable for people of moderate fitness, who like a bit of a challenge. approx cycling time is about 4-5 hours but you will be accompanied by a support car at all times, so if you want to retire, you can get into the car. For the hardy, we will cycle all the way to Santa Maria. Other groups prefer to end earlier. We will have lunch en route, visit some Inca ruins, and in the afternoon drive to Santa Teresa. You will spend the night in a basic hostal in Santa Teresa or nearby.

Day 4

This morning we head out for a zipline adventure. For those who do not want to take on the challenge of the zip line you have the option of staying at Colcamayu hot springs or taking a forest walk. After lunch in Santa Theresa, we will drive to the Hydroelectric Station. Here you have the chance to see a small but interesting Inca ruin while waiting for the train. The train departs at 7.30pm and takes about one hour to arrive at Aguas Calientes. En route you can look up and see Machu Picchu above you. We spend the night at basic a Hostel in Aguas Calientes.

Day 5

A beautiful early morning train to majestic Machu Picchu. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. After a guided tour, take time for independent exploration of this magnificent site. We will spend a night at the village below Machu Picchu and also come back the next day for more exploration. This allows you plenty of time at the ruins as well as time for some beautiful day hikes in the surrounding mountains on day 6.

Day 6

Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Today is a great day for independant exploration. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Return by train and car to Cusco in the afternoon.

If one day at Machu Picchu is enough for you, we would be happy to add an extra day elsewhere or shorten the trip if you have less time. Just let us know.

Day 7

After a morning flight to Lima, we’ll have the day free to enjoy the capital city’s many sights, including the Presidential Palace, the catacombs beneath the San Francisco church, and the National Archaeological Museum.

Day 8

Departure day. A private transfer to the international airport is included.

Is this trip for me?

Backdoor to Machu Picchu is an eight-day tour which includes some high-altitude walks of up to 1 hour. The trip also includes walking around ruins and during city tours. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being ripped off by airport taxis!

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pickup at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guides
  • All other internal transport – (excluding transport to optional restaurants, bars, sights and excursions)
  • Domestic flights – Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Lima
  • Six nights of 3 star hotel accommodation, One night of 2 star accommodation
  • Breakfast – included with all hotel stays
  • Private Machu Picchu excursion – including bilingual guide, round trip Vistadome or Executive train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and two-day entrance to the Machu Picchu sanctuary including Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Zipline excursion – including helmets and all gear
  • Private Cusco city tour
  • Private Lima city tour
  • Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket which gives entrance to the major ruins, churches and museums in and around Cusco
  • 24 hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings though we do require that you have a policy, cancellation insurance is advisable. Any medical insurance is acceptable.

Extra accommodation

We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip:
In Lima/Cusco/Machu Picchu: $150 double/$130 single.

Extra activities

Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes 2 and 3 star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four or five star or quote you on 2 stars hotels to help lower the price. If you would like to select a specific hotel let us know your preference. We can then work it into your custom itinerary.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malarial or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.

Things to bring

One should come prepared for outdoor activity at temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. A recommended list of things to bring:

  • Passport and, if necessary, visa
  • ATM card (notify your bank you will be travelling to Peru)
  • Airline ticket
  • Photocopies of airline ticket and documents
  • Wearable pouch for documents and money
  • Sturdy backpack or suitcase
  • Smaller, comfortable day pack
  • Hiking boots, comfortable and worn-in
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Rain poncho or jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Sun hat
  • Hat for cold weather
  • Warm clothing for possible cold weather in Cusco (think layers!)
  • T-shirts
  • Socks (thin wool or biking socks are best), undergarments
  • Swimsuit for hot springs
  • Camelback or Nalgene bottle (optional)
  • Flashlight (head lamps are very handy)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent (15% DEET recommended)
  • Lip balm
  • Earplugs
  • Alarm clock or watch
  • Sanitizing hand wipes or gel
  • Camera and film/digital memory cards
  • Camera batteries
  • Reading material
  • Toiletries

It is best to bring from home such items as prescription meds, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please make sure to bring used batteries home to recycle!

Baggage

For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru, you are allowed 20 kilos (44 lbs) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.

Climate

Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:
Cusco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cusco.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Often overcast.
Lake Titicaca: similar to Cusco with stronger sun and colder nights.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks (American Express is best but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older-looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it un-changeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country.

Expect to spend about US$3-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru.

Shopping prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30.  Currency Converter