Backpacking in Peru & Bolivia

By | September 15, 2021

On this trip, you will experience two of South America’s absolute highlights: the legendary four-day hike to Machu Picchu in Peru and the spectacular salt desert in Bolivia.

Follow in the footsteps of the Inca Indians during the legendary, four-day trek to Machu Picchu in Peru, and experience the stunning salt desert of Bolivia on a jeep ride.

You fly to the ancient Indian capital, Cuzco, in Peru. Here you will be picked up at the airport and will spend the first three nights in a centrally located hostel.

Cuzco is a major highlight of your trip through Peru and Bolivia. The city takes the must out of most people, not only because of its location at an altitude of 3,400 meters, but also because of its historic buildings and exciting history. The city is buzzing with life, and you will find countless restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. See discount hotels in Peru on ehotelat.

Around Cuzco, a lot of adventurous activities are offered such as. canoeing, mountain biking, zip-line and hiking.

From Cuzco you go on the legendary, four-day hike to the Inca ruin Machu Picchu, beautifully situated in the Andes mountains.

Then you are free to travel around and experience Peru and Bolivia on your own. When you arrive in the city of Uyuni in Bolivia, an absolutely unique experience awaits you there. You will go on a trip through the salt desert Salar de Uyuni. Here you see salt as far as the eye can see, huge cacti, beautiful volcanoes, colorful lagoons and bubbling geysers.

The return journey takes place from Bolivia’s capital La Paz.

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia

Departure from Scandinavia to Peru, where you (depending on the selected airline) arrive the next morning.

Day 2: Arrival in Cuzco

From Lima you fly directly on to Cuzco, beautifully situated in the Andes at an altitude of about 3,400 meters. On a clear day, the approach to Cuzco is absolutely fantastic. In Cuzco you will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hostel, where you will spend the next three days. Your hostel is centrally located in Cuzco, where you can meet other tourists from around the world.

Day 3: City tour of Cuzco

Today you can sleep out and relax in the morning. In the afternoon, go on a half-day city tour of Cuzco. Your guide will take you to the ancient Inca fortress Saqsayhuaman, which will impress you with its huge stones. The old fortress is located a little north of Cuzco, with a nice view of the city. You will also visit the ruins of the Qengo Amphitheater, Pucapucara Fort, Tambomachay Baths and Coricancha Sun Temple. Your guide tells you about the history of the city and the country, and you get an exciting insight into the heyday of the Inca people.

Day 4: Cuzco on its own and information meeting

This day you spend on your own in Cuzco. For example, you can visit the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco’s beautiful historic center, or San Blas, which is teeming with life and activity. You will find nice markets where you can buy fresh fruit, as well as countless shops selling tours and souvenirs. There are many good restaurants serving both local and international dishes. Kl. At 18:00 an information meeting will take place at your hostel concerning the hike to Machu Picchu, where you can get answers to any further questions you may have before departure the next morning.

Day 5: Cuzco (3,350 m) – KM82 (Start of hike to Machu Picchu) – Wayllabamba camp – (2,950 m)

During your trip in Peru, you will not come across one of the most famous Inca ruins, Machu Picchu. During this four-day hike, you will hike in beautiful surroundings in the Andes, along the ancient paths built by the Inca Indians. During the fourth day of the hike, you will be rewarded for the effort when you walk through the Sun Gate and experience the sunrise with a view of the impressive ruin. Enjoy. You will be picked up at your hotel in Cuzco early in the morning and driven to Ollantaytambo (about two hours drive). Here you have the opportunity to have breakfast and possibly. buy hiking poles and some snacks before the hike. From Ollantaytambo you drive on to KM 82, which is the Inkaleden’s official starting point to Machu Picchu. Before you can enter the Inca Trail, you must present a passport and possibly. ISIC card. It is important that you bring the same passport that your trip is booked with. Today you will hike about 11 km. The first stretch is relatively easy and a good warm-up for the next few days of hiking. You walk along the river in the Vilcanota Valley and pass exciting archeological sites along the way. Lunch is enjoyed in the beautiful surroundings, and there is time for some relaxation before you and the group hike the last bit to Wayllabamba, which is the camp site for the night. Hiking time: approx. six hours Difficulty: Mild to moderate which is the camp site for the night. Hiking time: approx. six hours Difficulty: Mild to moderate which is the camp site for the night. Hiking time: approx. six hours Difficulty: Mild to moderate

Day 6: Wayllabamba Camp – (2,950 m) – Warmi Wañusca Pass (4,200 m) – Pacaymayo Camp (3,600 m)

Today’s hike is the toughest on the trip and it is important that you go at your own pace. You will walk about 10 km and, among other things, cross the famous and infamous Warmi Wañusca Pass at an altitude of 4,200 meters, also known as the “Dead Woman’s Pass”. The Inca Trail first takes us through the forest area of ​​the Llulluchapampa Valley before the steep climb up to the Warmi Wañusca Pass begins. You walk at your own pace up to the top where you meet up with the group and get a much needed break while enjoying the outstanding views. A clear day can see several snow-capped mountain peaks. It is a good idea to bring snacks and chocolates that can provide a little extra energy along the way. From here it carries down steep steps for about two hours to the Pacaymayo camp. Here we have dinner and camp for the night after a beautiful but tough day in the Andes. Hiking time:

Day 7: Pacaymayo Camp (3,600 m) – Runquracay Pass (3,950 m) – Wiñay Wayna Camp (2,650 m)

You can look forward to another beautiful day in the Andes. Today you will hike 15 km. You cross the Runquracay Pass and walk through a beautiful landscape with cloud forest, orchids, ferns and a rich bird life. This part of the Inca Trail is absolutely wonderful, with partially carved tunnels and perfectly placed stones. You pass several exciting archeological sites, Pacaymayo, Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca, all of which are very well-preserved Inca ruins. After lunch, the long descent to the impressive Inca ruin Wiñay Wayna begins. This ruin was built in the middle of the steep cliff and overlooks the Urubamba River. From there it is a short distance to go to our last camp, where you arrive late in the afternoon. This evening, all groups camp in the same place, and it’s not quite as cozy as the first two campsites. On the other hand, there are more facilities, and you can buy a hot bath as well as drinks and snacks from the small kiosk. After dinner, we say goodbye to our chef and our porters, and here a small ceremony is held where you have the opportunity to tip. Hiking time: Nine hours. Difficulty: Mild to moderate

Day 8: Wiñay Wayna Camp (2,650 m) – Inti Punku (Sun Gate) – Machu Picchu (2,430 m) – Aguas Calientes (2,050 m) – Cusco (3,350 m)

This morning you get up already at 04:00 to reach Inti Punku (sun gate) before sunrise. From here you get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu. It is a unique experience to see the impressive ruin that majestically sits between two mountain peaks. Sometimes the sky can put sticks in the wheel for the perfect picture, but we keep our fingers crossed for a clear day. From Solporten it is a short walk down to the ruin area itself. Here your group gets an exciting tour where your guide tells about the place’s great historical and religious significance. You can also visit the beautiful Moon Temple or climb Wayna Picchu. Next to Machu Picchu is Mount Wayna Picchu. Wayna Picchu is 2,720 meters high and is 360 meters higher than Machu Picchu. From here you get a magnificent panoramic view of the entire ruin and Machu Picchu. It takes about an hour to get up, but it is a tough hike with small steep steps, and you have to be in good shape to reach the top. Only a limited number of visitors may be at the top per day, so if this is something you want to experience, you should book and pay for it from home at the same time as you book the tour. The tour may be canceled during the rainy season if the trail is too slippery. From Machu Picchu, take the bus down to the village of Aguas Calientes, located at the foot of the mountain (there is a bus that runs from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes). Here you can have lunch and possibly. Visit the thermal baths to rest your sore muscles. In the afternoon or early evening (the guide announces the time) you take the train back to Ollantaytambo and from there by bus the last bit to Cuzco. You get off at Plaza San Francisco in downtown Cuzco, from where you can go to your accommodation. We recommend that you book an overnight stay by the time you return from the hike, this when you arrive late to Cuzco (approx. 22:30). Hiking time: Two to three hours, seven km. Difficulty: Mild to moderate

Day 9- ?: Experience Peru and Bolivia on your own

From here you travel on your own in Peru. The country offers many exciting experiences. You can choose to spend a little more time in Cuzco and take a course in Spanish or work as a volunteer. You can also travel on to the Amazon rainforest and experience its impressive wildlife. You must not miss a visit to Lake Titicaca with its floating islands and the nearby islands of Amantani and Taquile, where the locals still live according to ancient traditions. From Lake Titicaca, it is obvious to travel further into Bolivia and the capital La Paz. Bolivia is also a fantastic country to travel in. The country is not as developed as Peru, but that is just part of the charm of traveling around the country. You decide when your trip to the salt desert, Salar de Uyuni, will begin. The date can either be determined from home or booked during the trip. You travel to Uyuni, the starting point of the tour. Uyuni is a small dot in southern Bolivia. The city was originally known for its salt production, but today is frequently visited by tourists who want to experience the beautiful salt desert and the highlands of Bolivia (altiplano).

Program for the three-day trip to the salt desert:Day 1: Uyuni – Salt Desert – Quisa

The trip to the salt desert Salar de Uyuni and Bolivia’s golden highlands takes place at an altitude of approximately 3,600-5,000 meters. It is therefore important that you have acclimatized before you embark on this tour. When you arrive from Pero and have already hiked in the Andes, you have received the best “warm-up” you can get. However, always pay attention to symptoms of altitude sickness. Departure from Uyuni, where you ride in a four-wheeled vehicle towards the salt desert with your group. Bolivia’s salt desert is the largest in the world with its 10,000 km2. The huge flat and white landscape and the blue sky provide a fantastic contrast, and you can take absolutely wonderful pictures out here. On the way there you visit the small town of Colchani, where you can learn about salt extraction from the desert. You also pass a salt hotel which – just as the name suggests – is built entirely of salt! Lunch is enjoyed on the “fish island” (isla del pescado). There are no fish near this small island in the middle of the salt desert, but in the distance the island has the shape of a fish. Here you can see giant cacti up to 12 meters high. Overnight stay in primitive dormitories in the small town of Quisa. Bring a warm sleeping bag and warm clothes, as the nights are icy cold.

Day 2: Quisa – Chiguana Desert – Red Lagoon

From Quisa, the tour continues to the Chiguana Desert, which is surrounded by high volcanoes. On the way you will experience the most beautiful lagoons in different colors. Here you can also be lucky enough to meet up to three different flamingo species. You also visit the world’s highest and driest desert, Siloli, at an altitude of 4,550 meters. Here you get to see the elegant lava formation that represents a tree that stands completely alone on the golden plain. Before reaching the day’s overnight stop, stop at a lookout point where you can look out over Red Lagoon, where there are also flamingos.

Day 3: Red Lagoon – Dali Desert – Green Lagoon – Uyuni

Early the next morning, the tour continues towards the Sol de Mañana geyser at an altitude of 5,000 meters. There is a lot of thermal activity in the area, and you can see boiling water, bubbling mud and gas seeping out of the ground. You can take a dip in the 35 degree hot spring. The next stop is the Dali Desert. This lunar landscape inspired Salvador Dalí to paint his pictures, and it is an incredibly surreal experience to drive here. From here you drive to Green Lagoon, located at the foot of the Licancabur volcano (6,000 m) on the border with Chile. A fantastic end to the tour before returning to Uyuni, where you will arrive in the evening. From here you travel on your own. Your flight ticket home is from La Paz.

Overnight stays

Three nights in a six-bed room at Milhouse hostel in Cuzco
Three nights in a tent on the Inca hike to Machu Picchu
Two nights in primitive dormitories in the salt desert with shared toilet

Backpacking in Peru & Bolivia