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- Learn from your Gurus – Your guides and leaders during your trip, your Gurus are bilingual, native English speakers with years of experience leading programs in Peru, one of whom is even a world class runner
- Experience the magic of Peru’s Sacred Valley by foot, bike, or private car by travelling between tranquil towns along the Urubamba River*
- Explore the ancient stone-lined streets of Cusco and immerse yourself in the beautiful hybrid of Spanish and Inca cultures
- Visit the Pisaq Market – the most famous and beautiful artisan market in all of Peru
- Finish your journey at Machu Picchu – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – and take in the beauty of the architecture, engineering, and location
*Note: All routes have been run and investigated by STRIVE staff to be sure of safety and ease of following
Nuts and Bolts
Dates: June 5 – 14 or August 6 – 15, 2017
Price: $2900 per person* (double occupancy)
Group size: 6-12
Staff: Two bilingual native English speakers with many years local experience, plus our private local driver
Open to: All travelers, ages 13-65. All active activities are optional and always feature different levels of intensity.**
*Price includes: All lodging, meals as noted, non-alcoholic beverage with meals, domestic airfare and other ground transportation, excursion entry fees, professional guides to lead group activities and help organize free time, 24-hour-a-day support both on the ground and from the US based staff. Price is based on double occupancy; fees apply for single occupancy.
Price does not include: International airfare, visa charges, overweight luggage fees, snacks and beverages outside of meals, personal spending, massages and sports therapy services, internet or cell phone access fees, tips for additional assistance.
**NOTE: Are you the non-runner in a family of runners? You do NOT have to be a runner to enjoy the Running to Machu Picchu program. During each run, there will be an option to bike alongside runners, ride in our private vehicle between sites, or simply use the time as free exploration time. The choice of athletic intensity is entirely up to you.
Explore Peru’s Sacred Valley as the Incas did – on foot! The Running to Machu Picchu program is catered specifically to the active traveler who wants to be more than just a tourist. Experience the natural and cultural beauty of Peru in comfort, while still getting a chance to see the real country, meet locals, and learn from your STRIVE Gurus who have worked in these communities for years.
Begin your trip in Lima – the nation’s coastal capital – before flying into the Andean city of Cusco. Take a couple days to acclimatize to the high altitude and explore this beautiful, historic city with guided tours of local sights, a chocolate-making class, and even a late-night trip to the famous planetarium.
Then head down into the Sacred Valley – arguably Peru’s most beautiful area. Start in Pisaq with a trip to the world-famous artisan market before your running adventure begins. Each day, you’ll marvel at the spectacular views of snow-capped mountains as you run along the dirt roads through the Sacred Valley, stopping and taking the afternoons to admire what each unique hamlet has to offer –
from local cuisine to Inca ruins to adventure sports.
At the (literal) end of the road, hop on the luxurious Peru-Rail train to Aguas Calientes, the small, bustling town at the foot of famed Machu Picchu where you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural hot springs.
Finally, explore Machu Picchu – with time with a professional, local guide and free time on your own. Fly back to Lima – the culinary capital of South America – with an optional last stop at one of Lima’s famous seafood restaurants before your flight home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a runner?
No! We encourage family members who are non-runners to be a part of our trip. We do suggest you like physical activity as you will definitely get more out of the trip if you participate in the biking portion in lieu of running each day but there are enough activities, sights and good food to keep everyone happy and engaged.
Tell me more about the biking option
Bikers will be provided with a well-maintained mountain bike with a helmet. We believe in safety first and helmets will be a requirement if you do decide to go the biking route. Choosing to ride a bike will not cost extra BUT we do need to know if advance if you will be biking so we can be sure to procure the bikes. You do not need to bike every leg; if you feel like biking some of the legs and running some, that’s an option.
As a biker, you’ll have the option to either accompany the runners (a very low intensity on the bike) or bike on your own.
If you decide halfway through the trip to start biking, there may be a small extra cost due to the resources and time required to retrieve the bike from our home base. The roads are mostly flat (there are definitely some hills!) hard packed dirt. It will be a beautiful scenic route and we promise you won’t miss out on spectacular scenery.
What’s the weather like?
The weather in the Sacred Valley is extremely varied. Due to the high elevation it does get very cool at night and in the early mornings. On a cold morning/evening, it wouldn’t be unusual for the temperatures to be in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s. Please make sure that you pack accordingly if you are a person who typically gets cold easily. The good news is that it’s sunny almost every single day and temperatures rise rapidly and approach the mid-70’s most days. The key to a trip in Peru is layers. You’ll inevitably be chilly in the morning, sweating around lunch and then cooling off again around dinner time. Just come prepared with the right clothing and you’ll do just fine. If you have questions about packing, be sure to email us!
Do I need any Vaccinations?
We at STRIVE cannot give advice about what vaccinations you should or shouldn’t have but we can certainly point you in the right direction about the best course of action. We recommend scheduling a visit with your physician who will be able to advise you on the vaccinations they would recommend for a trip to Peru. We also encourage our participants to visit the CDC Website on Health Information for Traveler’s to Peru.
Will I be able to do laundry?
Yes! There will be at least 2 opportunities to do laundry during your trip. Laundry in Peru is very cheap and comes back dry and folded in no time. Expect to pay somewhere between $3-5 per kilo (2.2 lbs) of clothes. Your guides will be sure to point out when opportunities for laundry are available and will help facilitate the process of washing clothes.
How intense is the athletic component of the trip?
It’s as intense as you want it to be. We cater to all levels of runners or athletes and we will never ask you to do more than you feel comfortable doing. We might have some people who run 10 miles a day and we may have others who go for a 2 mile jog in early AM and spend the rest of the morning exploring the new town and immersing themselves in Peruvian culture!
What happens to my luggage during the athletic activities of the day?
STRIVE staff will personally escort your luggage ahead of you to your hotel for the night. You’ll find your luggage waiting for you each day as your arrive at your new destination.
Do I need to speak Spanish? What about for the optional home-stay?
Spanish is not required, though being able to communicate with people in a foreign country will always enhance your experience. We will take care of any communication issues you may have and we’ll be happy to give you a crash course in Spanish if you are feeling particularly adventurous.
As for the optional home-stay, it would certainly be helpful but not necessary to still have a great experience. The major benefit of participating in a homestay is seeing a very small slice of what life is like in a small Peruvian town. The slight awkwardness of communicating with smiles, gestures, and laughs is an experience you’ll never forget. STRIVE will also make sure to place you with families who speak a little bit of English if you aren’t comfortable in a complete Spanish Immersion Homestay.
Is Peru friendly for people with dietary restrictions (gluten intolerance, vegetarian/vegan, etc.)?
The places we visit will all have plenty of options for people with dietary restrictions. Delicious vegetarian options abound in almost every town we will call home for a night. In those smaller towns, there will always be a few options and we’ll make sure that your dietary restrictions don’t affect your experience. Keep in mind, that just like in the United States the more restrictive your diet is the more difficult it will be to find places to eat. Simply let us know what your dietary restrictions and we’ll plan accordingly.
Is the water in Peru safe to drink?
The tap water is not potable in Peru. Purified water (via SteriPen – a device which uses UV light to kill the nasty stuff in tap-water that makes you sick – or ceramic filter) is readily available and is included with all meals. If you want extra water, it might be worth investing in a SteriPen of your own. Your gurus have used these on tap water in Peru and had no problems getting sick.
Day 0 – Arrival in Lima
You’ll arrive in Lima, Peru this evening (after 6pm)* and your STRIVE gurus will meet you in the airport and escort you to your hotel in the beautiful Miraflores neighborhood. Enjoy a restful night before your adventure begins in the morning.
Lodging: Hotel Runcu Miraflores (or similar)
Meals: Late night snack
*Note: you can choose to arrive on the morning of Day 1 if the flight is more convenient. Please contact us with any questions about arrival logistics. We’re happy to accommodate as many special requests as we can.
Day 1 – Lima/Cusco
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru! Spend the morning enjoying a relaxing breakfast and (if you’re up for it) go for a run along Lima’s beautiful cliff-top bike path. Then head to the airport for a flight from Lima to Cusco, Peru. Cusco is located at more than 11,000 ft above sea level, so be sure to take it EASY today. Enjoy a relaxing morning with a followed by lunch with the group. In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore the local markets or relax in the beautiful hotel. Save room for dinner, though, as Cusco is famous for it’s many wonderful restaurants! Try to get to sleep early to help adjust to the altitude and prepare for the adventure to come.
Lodging: Tierra Viva Cusco Centro (or similar)
Running/Biking: Morning run in Lima (sea level)
Day 2 – Cusco
Continue acclimating to the high altitude of the Andes today with continued in-depth exploration of this beautiful, historic city. Start the day with a guided walking tour of the historic center. Marvel at the hybrid architecture, with Spanish cathedrals built over 16th century Inca stonework. In the afternoon, head to an authentic local market for lunch with your Gurus – a great opportunity to try Ceviche, a famous local fish delicacy, among other things. If you’re feeling up to it, take a short afternoon jog to “test the waters.” After dinner, take private transport to a hill-top overlooking the city for a visit to the Cusco Planetarium. Your professional English-speaking guide will teach you all about Inca astronomy and constellations and you’ll even have a chance to use their telescopes to see the rings of Saturn, among other things, in the night sky.
Lodging: Tierra Viva Cusco Centro (or similar)
Running: Continued acclimation – walking with a possible very short run
Say “hasta luego!” (see you later!) to Cusco and descend from Cusco into the Sacred Valley with our private driver. Arrive in the small town of Pisaq for lunch. In the afternoon, your Gurus will give you a tour of the area – the home base for STRIVE’s summer service programs – including a tour of the STRIVE Community Center, local food markets, and finally a visit to the main attraction – Pisaq’s famous artisan market. Get your souvenir shopping done at the world renowned market before meeting for an (optional) group run/bike along the beautiful dirt roads that flank the river. Enjoy dinner in town before an early night and the start of your running journey in the morning.
Lodging: Chaska Wasi Hotel
Running/Biking: 20-30 minutes very easy
Day 4 – Pisaq to Calca
Good morning, Sacred Valley! Begin your real running adventure today. Pack up your things for transport on our private vehicle and begin the first of your point-to-point runs along the dirt roads that follow the river. Take in the expansive views of mountains, pasture-land, and tiny mountain towns as you make your way down-stream from Pisaq accompanied by your Gurus and trip-mates. Run/bike distances will vary, with many different distances available. Our private vehicle will pick you up and reunite the group in the town of Calca. After a stretch, shower, and snack, the group will board our private van and head uphill into the mountains outside of Calca where we’ll visit a beautiful and seldom-visited pre-Inca ruin site and then proceed to the natural hot springs in the town of Lares. Have a nice long soak in the hot (and cold) pools set in a spectacular mountain-side setting to revitalize the legs and body for the remainder of the trip. After the drive back to Calca, enjoy dinner at the hotel before resting up for tomorrow.
Lodging: Qasana Hotel
Running/Biking: 3-12 Miles
Day 5 – Calca to Urubamba
Get ready for another spectacularly scenic morning run or ride, as you continue downstream towards the town of Urubamba. Once again, distances will vary greatly depending on desire and ability. Our private vehicle will pick up everyone at their stopping point and reunite the group in our Urubamba hotel for lunch. After lunch, the group can decide on an adventure activity, such as hiking, via ferrata, or zip-lining (or elect to have a free afternoon to explore and rest). Dinner in town and another early night’s rest.
Lodging: Hotel Hacienda del Valle (or similar)
Running/Biking: 3-12 Miles
Day 6 – Urubamba to Ollantaytambo
Wake up to another sunny morning in the Sacred Valley. Leave Urubamba behind as you follow the river downstream once again. As always, your run/ride distance is up to you, with multiple distances available. Finish with our private transport reuniting the group in Ollantaytambo – literally the end of the road in the Sacred Valley. Explore the cobbled streets of this tiny town, an ancient Inca stone fortress which retains much of its original architecture. In the afternoon, head to the nearby and stunning salt mines or explore the famous Ollantaytambo ruins out your back door. Stay at a local hotel or choose to spend the night with a local family as part of a homestay program arranged by friends of STRIVE at the Awamaki NGO.
Lodging: Picaflor Tambo Hotel (or similar) or homestay
Running/Biking: 3-12 Miles
Day 7 – Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
Regroup in the morning for an easy run in the beautiful hills surrounding Ollantaytambo. Return to your hotel/homestay for a quick shower and lunch before leaving town. Take the famous Inca Rail Train to the town of Aguas Calientes – and enjoy the incredible scenery on the way down, as the environment changes from the dry highlands to the lush cloud-forest around Machu Picchu. If you’re feeling adventurous, skip the train and take the van to the high pass at Abra Malaga and then bike down the 50km road into the cloud forest – some 12,000 feet of descent – and then rejoin the van for the remainder of the journey. Arrive in Aguas Calientes in the mid-afternoon, just in time for a nap to rest up for tomorrow. After dinner, return to the hotel for a good night’s sleep before your visit to Machu Picchu!
Lodging: Casa Andina Machu Picchu (or similar)
Running/Biking: 3-10 Miles
Day 8 – Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Cusco
Rise and shine! An early wake-up this morning to maximize your time at Machu Picchu – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Make the short hike (1 hour) or take the bus (15 minutes) from Aguas calientes to Machu Picchu where your group will begin its guided tour of this incredible place. Have a bag lunch in the middle of the day and then enjoy free time to explore the site in the afternoon. Return with your group and Gurus in the late afternoon for dinner in town. After dinner, catch the train back for a late arrival in Cusco.
Lodging: Tierra Viva Cusco Centro (or similar)
Running/Biking: No run/bike – hiking/walking around Machu Picchu site
Celebrate your last morning in the Andes and all your hard work with… chocolate! Peru is famous for producing some of the worlds best cacao beans, so take advantage of the Cusco Chocolate Museum where you’ll learn about the process and get your hands dirty. Leave the Andes with your own personal, custom chocolates! Finally, say adios to the mountains as the group will head to the airport for a flight back to Lima. Depending on your international flight’s departure time, you may have some free time in the afternoon or evening to visit one of Lima’s signature seafood establishments (did you know Lima is considered the gastronomical capital of South America?) and/or a short run around Lima’s beautiful Malecon – a cliff-side bike path with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and downtown. Finally, bid a final farewell to Peru and your trip-mates. Arrive home later in the day or next morning and tell all your friends about your trip of a lifetime!
Running/Biking: Optional run/bike in Lima depending on flight departure times