Machu Picchu is one of the rare spots on the map every dedicated tourist simply must see in person at least once during their lifetime. This majestic and mysterious empire of Incan ruins is hidden away in the shadow of the Andes Mountains. Expedia.com can transport you to this land of mystery, spiritually, and adventure by helping you plan your trip. Discover how you can experience all the Machu Picchu excursions and activities that will place you at the foot of spectacular ancient ruins. Get ready to pack your bags for Peru because your vacation to Machu Picchu is one that has been centuries in the making.…
Top 21 Things to do in Cusco Machu Picchu, Peru
After pickup from your hotel, climb to the archaeological park of Saksaywaman in the heights of Cusco. This tour takes you to Tambomachay, a monument of noticeable architectural excellence and a source of spring water believed to have once been used for worship.
Next, visit the remains of Q'inqu, a stone labyrinth with a sacrificial altar in its center. At Saksaywaman, enjoy a wonderful view of Cusco while admiring the massive stones that make up the citadel. Your last stop lets you see the ancient fortress of Puka Pukara before transferring back to the city and your hotel. Read More close
After being picked up from your hotel, your guide provides a brief introduction to Cusco’s fascinating history. Visit the pink Iglesia de Santo Domingo and its expansive monastery, and learn about the history of the site—this Catholic edifice was built on top of the Qurikancha, an Incan temple to the Sun God, as an assertion of colonial dominance by the Spaniards.
In Cusco’s central Plaza de Armas, walk by outdoor tables and lively gatherings of locals to the steps of the Cathedral. Admire its ornate façade—this UNESCO World Heritage Site was built over the course of a century and completed in 1654.
Leaving the colonial heart of Cusco behind, journey back in time to the impressive Sacsayhuaman Fortress. From this imposing hilltop complex, take in panoramic views over the mystical city of Cusco, the one-time capital of the Incan Empire. Visit the underground cave and temple of Qenko before you head to Tambomachay to admire the Baths of the Inca.
Before you head back into the heart of town, visit the present-day workshops of the Inca’s descendants to see them crafting traditional silver pieces, paintings, and wood carvings. Read More close
Next, head to Q'enqo and the ancient temple of the Puma, where you observe an altar in the inner part of a huge rock that was once used for sacrifices, and then Tambomachay, once believed to be sacred fountains of life and health. On the way, take in a panoramic view from Puca Pucara, a watchtower that controlled the entrance to the city.
Continue to the Qurikancha, or the Temple of the Sun, on top of which the Saint Dominique Convent was built. According to legend, this temple was entirely lined in gold sheets that marveled the Conquistadors upon their arrival. Finally, make your way to the Main Square and visit the cathedral that houses invaluable colonial paintings and other works of art like the cross that arrived with the first conquistadors. Read More close
Day 1: Cusco
After arriving at your Cusco hotel, begin your journey with a half-day tour of the historic city’s cobbled streets and colonial buildings topping ancient ruins. Visit nearby archaeological sites as you are introduced to the region's history and culture.
Day 2: Pisac - Ollantaytambo - Sacred Valley of the Incas
Make your way into Urabamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop at the Pisac market, and test your bargaining skills at the local craft market, bartering for traditional wares and art. Enjoy a lunch of Peruvian specialties before heading on to Ollantaytambo to admire the Temple of the Sun, built of massive, 12-foot (3. 5 m) stones, and the mysterious, terraced circles.
Day 3: Machu Picchu
Experience mystical, mountaintop Machu Picchu. The glass-top wagons of the Vistadome train make their way through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, offering you breathtaking views. Follow your guide around the archeological site and learn the legends and theories behind one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A delicious buffet lunch is served for you at the Sanctuary Lodge before your return to Cusco.
Day 4: Cusco
Your tour winds to a close and, if departing, you are transferred to the Cusco International Airport. Read More close
Day 1: Lima
You are picked up at your hotel, receive a detailed orientation, and tour the Historic Centre of Lima, the Cathedral, San Isidro district, and Huaca Huallamarca ruins.
Day 2: Cusco
Fly to Cusco on your own and check in at your hotel. In the afternoon tour the Main Square, the Cathedral, the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, and the sites of Qenko, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.
Day 3: Pisac - Urubamba - Ollantaytambo - Sacred Valley
Stop at Pisac market for a display of colorful native craftmanship. Enjoy lunch in Urubamba and head for Ollantaytambo to admire the mysterious stones of the Temple of the Sun. Lodge for the night in a Sacred Valley hotel.
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Board a train and travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas on your way to Aguas Calientes. Then hop on the bus headed to the citadel. Explore Machu Picchu on the guided tour and admire one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Stay overnight in Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes.
Day 5: On your own - Cusco
Plan your day at your pace, returning to Machu Picchu or discovering another site of interest. In the afternoon, board a train and head back to Cusco, where your overnight accommodations await.
Day 6: Lima
Fly on your own to Lima or another destination.
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Set off for a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the centuries-old imperial estate of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits on a mist-shrouded mountain ridge high above the Sacred Valley. After an early-morning pickup from your hotel, ride to Cusco’s Poroy Station to board the Expedition train to Aguas Calientes. Gaze out of viewing windows at lush mountain forests and listen to typical Andean music during the 3-hour ride to Aguas Calientes, where you disembark to continue the trip by bus.
As you enter the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, take in a breathtaking panorama that includes majestic mountain peaks, verdant forests, and the stone foundations of ancient Inca structures. Begin a guided tour to find out more about the history and significance of this long-abandoned settlement before exploring the legendary grounds on your own.
Prior to returning, enjoy a relaxing lunch and some free time in idyllic Aguas Calientes before boarding the Expedition train to return to Cusco. Read More close
Seeking to promote responsible tourism, Inca Rail offers safe, comfortable travel to the mystical Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, providing safety, comfort and attention to detail. With the Executive Service, you can enjoy comfort and space on board, while showcasing the spectacular Andean scenery. Well-padded seats, expansive panoramic windows, and a warm service staff combine for a gladdening experience.
Arrive at the Aguas Calientes station, where you board the bus for a drive up the winding road to Machu Picchu, amid a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and its canyon. Let the lost city of the Incas astonish you with its terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps, and urban areas. At the arranged time, take the train back to Cusco to be transferred to your hotel. Read More close
Begin your discovery as soon as you are picked up at your hotel and taken to the train station to board the Vistadome train—each car is fitted with large windows that let the scenery open up before you. Enjoy your ride and the stunning views as the train makes its way from Cusco though the mountains and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes, continue your journey by bus to reach the citadel.
Explore the legendary ruins as you follow your local guide and learn the history along with some captivating stories about the Inca civilization. Marvel at the elaborate steps, the complex of temples and residences, and the breathtaking views from this one-time estate of an Incan Emperor. Take a break for lunch, and then enjoy some free time to discover the magic of Machu Picchu on your own.
The memorable journey concludes with a scenic ride back to Aguas Calientes and Cusco, and a last chance to take in the spectacular beauty that has breathed life and magic into this region for centuries. Read More close
After being picked up from your hotel, embark on an unforgettable journey to the revered city of Machu Picchu. Take a quick 15-minute drive to the Expedition train, where you climb aboard for a 2-hour scenic railway tour to the town of Aguas Calientes. Travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Urubamba and take in the natural beauty of Andean landscape. Upon arrival, hop on a small bus and make your way up to the ruins of the so-called “Lost City of the Incas. ”
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most visited attraction. Explore this mysterious marvel, and admire its more than 600 terraces, 160 buildings, thousands of steps, several temples, and 16 fountains. Built as the hilltop estate of the Incan Emperor Pachacuti, this dramatic site is home to the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows—gaze up the restored buildings and take in the sweeping scenery from on high before you descend. Read More close
Cusco was considered to be the center of the Incan Empire, and its cobblestone streets spread to all the regions from the Main Square. Visit Qurikancha, the Inca Empire's most important temple. Also known as the Sun Temple, this sanctuary was dedicated to the highest of the Gods—Inti, the Sun God.
Continue to Cusco's Cathedral, located next to the Main Square. Besides being an important religious center, the Cathedral is also an architectural treasure. After exploring the church's interior, your local guide takes you to San Blas, known as Cusco's district for artists and craftsmen. Admire the artistic expressions of the Inca and Spanish cultures before you board your transportation and head back to your hotel. Read More close
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Begin your excursion in Moray, where large concentric terraces simulating an amphitheater offer a look at Incan-era irrigation techniques. The terraces were constructed to recreate 20 different types of microclimates, measures that facilitated agricultural production throughout the Incan empire.
Next, make your way to Maras and its historical, colonial-era salt mines. The striking contrast of the white wells and the green valley makes for a spectacular snapshot of the Sacred Valley. Explore the area and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before a relaxing ride back to Cusco.
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After pickup from your hotel, board the tour bus for your ride out of town. Along the way, stop to visit some of the attractions this beautiful route has to offer. Visit the beautiful chapel at Andahuaylillas and Raqch'i, an ancient temple to the Inca god Viracocha.
After lunch, get the opportunity to see the view at La Raya, the natural border that separates Cusco and Puno. Before your final destination, visit the Pucara Lithic Museum and admire the classic bull-shaped ceramics before you arrive at the end of the afternoon and transfer to your Hotel in Puno.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Day 1: Andahuaylillas - Raqchi - Abra La Raya
Driving though the Abra La Raya mountain pass on the way to Puno, soak up the pastoral atmosphere of the high-altitude Peruvian countryside. Pass by bustling market towns and the Aguas Calientes thermal pools. Stop in the pretty Andean village of Andahuaylillas to admire its magnificently decorated Baroque Iglesia de San Pedro and enjoy a savory Peruvian lunch. Move on to the Raqchi archeological site—here you can admire the Temple of Wiracocha and other Inca structures as you learn about this ancient civilization.
Day 2: Sillustani - Taquile - Uros Islands
The trip continues to the ruins of Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo dotted with tombs. From there, continue on to the mountain-framed expanse of Lake Titicaca and the island of Taquile, where the locals are renowned for their handmade textiles. Visit the Uro people to see their unique floating islands, buildings, and boats, all fashioned from tortora reeds.
Day 3: Cusco
Your tour winds to a close and you return to your Cusco hotel or the Cusco International Airport. Read More close
After being picked up from your hotel, make your way to the small town of Pisac to visit its celebrated market. Barter over handcrafted goods and locally made art, and, on Sundays, opt to sit in on a Catholic mass celebrated in the native language of Quechua.
Stop in the village of Awanacancha, where you can see indigenous people weaving baskets and other goods by hand. Get up close and personal with some of the Andes' furrier inhabitants as you meet the town's herds of llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicunas.
At lunchtime, sit down for an authentic Peruvian lunch in a local restaurant before making your way to the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo. Admire the towering Temple of the Sun and its hefty, 12-foot (3. 5 m) stones, and ponder the mysterious circular terraces.
Check out the hills surrounding Ollantaytambo to see if you can spot the typical Inca storehouses, built on the high and steep areas of the mountain to take advantage of the temperature. Listen in as your guide discusses the intimate connection between this ancient civilization and their natural surroundings before you head back to your Cusco Hotel.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Get started with a visit to the historic market of San Pedro for a look at the products used in local cuisine. Learn about ingredients like moraya, potatoes dehydrated with ancient Inca techniques. Next, learn to make chicha de jora, a traditional beverage that was considered sacred by the Inca. You can also learn about Peruvian symbols such as pucara bulls and try the delicious chicha morada, made from purple corn.
Now it's time to put your cooking and cocktail mixing skills to the test. Visit a cooking studio where a trained Peruvian chef shows you how to prepare some of the country's tastiest and most popular dishes. While you're at it, try your hand at mixing up that iconic Peruvian drink, Pisco Sour.
While you're in the kitchen, learn about the different kinds of pisco, the drink's history and defining characteristics, and discover the secrets of cooking with the produce from this corner of the world. Finish with an authentic 2-course meal that you get to enjoy at a sit-down meal with a glass of wine. Read More close
Meet your expert guide in the main square of the Plaza de Armas, and head to the bustling stalls of the San Pedro market. Situated at a dizzying altitude of 10,560 feet (3,400 m), this covered market contains a vibrant selection of local wares, produce, spices, and beautiful textiles held in labyrinthine lanes.
Then hop into private transportation and ride out of the city. Travel up into the mountains to the ruins of Q’enqo —a site of sacred Incan rituals—where you can walk through secretive passageways carved straight through solid rock.
From Q'enqo, walk down to Christo Blanco—a massive white statue of Christ—and break for a picnic of Peruvian snacks while enjoying the sweeping views of Cusco below. Then head to Sacsayhuaman, the famed Incan fortress. With walls reaching more than 1,312 feet long (400 m) and made out of boulders tipping the scales at 220 tons (200 tonnes), take time to ponder how this architectural marvel was constructed by the ancient Peruvians.
Descend back into the city, through the streets of bohemian San Blas, and say goodbye to your guide in Cusco's main square. Read More close
After an early morning pickup from your hotel, travel to the city’s station and board your train for Aguas Calientes. Combing through striking mountainous landscapes, this 4-hour train ride allots you plenty of time to sit back, relax, and soak it all up. A brief bus transfer drops you directly at the famed archaeological site of Machu Picchu—refreshed and rejuvenated.
Here, celebrate the awesome complex, built within the height of the Inca Empire, and once believed to serve as the estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Gaze over epic stone structures—guide by your side—as you hear of the area’s fascinating history, and still undiscovered mysteries.
Take some time to explore the site at your leisure. Witness the wide expanse of the valley—stretching from the Sun Gate, or follow in the footsteps of the city’s former residents, as you trace the stone Inca Bridge. When the day winds down, re-board the train back to modern Cusco. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Meet your local guide at Plaza de Armas, Cusco's main square and the heart of the city dating back to the time of the Incas. As you explore the square, take in the sites of the Cathedral and the Church of La Compañía. Wander along ancient streets to admire the imposing Inca walls, built with an intricate pattern of large granite blocks, alongside the colonial buildings.
Stroll through a beautiful small plaza, San Blas, located in a bohemian neighborhood where you can find several artisanal shops, a handicrafts market, and some of the best views in the city. Along the way, your local guide tells you about the traditional Pisco Sour and its place in Peruvian history, and you stop off at a local bar to taste a few different flavors and hear about the distillation process by which the drink is made.
Finally, it's time to try your hand at mixology and make your very own Pisco Sour. Put all your newfound knowledge to use and finish off the tour with a taste of your freshly made drink. Read More close