This list of the best Machu Picchu tours from Cusco includes a whole medley of options. You can do short, sharp outings to the wonder. Or, you can go hard and heavy, with five-day treks to mountain-shrouded valleys, staying with local Peruvian people and camping under the stars as you go.
Some come on fly-in visits from Cusco, making use of the windy railways to Aguas Calientes. Others will prefer something more intrepid, made possible by the challenging steps of the Inca Trail, which were laid through the Sacred Valley centuries ago.
What way will you choose to get to the Lost City in the Clouds?
1. Machu Picchu: Full Day Tour by Train from Cusco
Explore the hidden city in the clouds without having to hit the arduous Inca Trail on this ultimate in-and-out trip. It takes a full day, which starts with you weaving through the verdant valleys of the Andes to the colorful railway town of Aguas Calientes. From there, you head straight up to Machu Picchu.
All of the most iconic landmarks are included – from the cascading agriculture terraces to the Temple of the Sun, where Incan priests once recorded the solstices. Returning means another ride back to Ollantaytambo on the train and a transfer to Cusco in time for those evening pisco sours on the plaza.
2. Cusco: Full-Day Tour of Machu Picchu
The bare basics of a great day out in an Incan wonderland are on offer here. Keeping things simple, the package includes everything you’ll need for a fly-in visit to the Temple of the Sun and the gravity-defying agriculture terraces.
You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Cusco, transported to the pueblo just below the UNESCO site, have a bus transfer to the top, and a guide included.
3. Machu Picchu Private Full-Day Tour from Cusco
Choosing a private tour to the amazing citadel of the Sacred Valley is a sure way to get your fix of Incan history and culture. You’ll have your very own in-the-know guide from start to finish. That means tales of sun priests and pre-Columbian gods will flow. It means you’ll learn all about the unique farming techniques used by the ancients. And it means you can ask however many questions spring to mind about the astronomical clocks or Incan funerary stones.
Of course, private pick-up and drop-off, including a jaunt on the famous railway to Aguas Calientes, are also on the menu.
4. Self guided Machu Picchu tour: Lost Citadel Official Ticket
New changes to the Machu Picchu ticketing system mean that every visitor with their eye on the UNESCO wonder will need to pre-book a specific time. So, if you know you want to see the sun rise mystically through the cloud forests of the Peruvian Andes – it’s got to be the morning.
For dodging the crowds or for those coming in from Cusco by train, an afternoon spot could be better. This ticket-only tour keeps things simple and easy to organize. It covers just your admission with all the flexible timing options you could think of.
5. Self guided Machu Picchu tour: Lost Citadel and Mountain Official Ticket
Soaring 3,082 meters above sea level, the Machu Picchu Mountain summit looms high over the snaking Urubamba River and the half-crumbled ruins of the Lost Citadel. That’s where this ticket-entry tour will take you. It provides access to the centuries-old Incan stone paths that lead into the clouds, eventually topping out at lookouts where you’ll be able to see the great wonders of the high-perched city below.
The package also includes access to the Machu Picchu site itself, so you can check off Andean trekking and Incan history in one fell swoop!
2-day Machu Picchu tours
6. Cusco: Short Inca Trail 2-Day to Machu Picchu with Tickets
This two-day jaunt is all about supplementing that pilgrimage to the Sun Gate with a trek through some seriously jaw-dropping sections of the Peruvian Andes. You’ll begin by laying hiking boots on dirt, following in the footsteps of the Incan peoples themselves.
As you weave and wiggle through cloud forests, you’ll get sightings of archaeological sites like Wiñay Huayna – hidden to most day trippers. Your second day means optional jaunts to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain (if the hamstrings allow!), and a full tour of the UNESCO site itself.
7. From Cusco: 2-Day 1-Night Humantay Lake Trek & Machu Picchu
This adventure-brimming expedition into the Vilcabamba Range of the Andes is sure to leave you breathless and amazed. It first wows with visions of the great Laguna Humantay. That’s a shimmering turquoise lake set between the 5,000-meter-plus, snow-capped ridges of the region.
Once the trekking is done, you’ll descend and ride the railway to Aguas Calientes to rest in a three-star lodging. It’s an early wake-up call, however – sunrise up on Machu Picchu awaits. As light bathes the Lost City, you can start your history tour, or choose to push yourself further with optional attempts at the challenging top of Huayna Picchu.
8. Cusco: 2-Day Maras, Moray Salt Mines and Machu Picchu Tour
Local heritage and history are the focus of this two-day excursion out of Cusco. After leaving behind your hotel, you’ll soon be lost in the lush fields and snow-capped massifs of the Urubamba Valley. It’s there that you’ll discover the amazing terraced bowls of Moray, an ingenious agricultural invention of the Inca.
The salt mines at Maras open windows onto the Spanish colonial era of the region, before the group pushes on to Aguas Calientes right at the base of Machu Picchu. After waking, it’s an early-morning jaunt to the top of the mountain for the Lost City, complete with a dedicated guide and plenty of photo-taking opportunities.
3-day Machu Picchu tours
9. Cusco & Machu Picchu 3-Day Tour
Three days is all it takes to encounter the mystical and amazing civilization of the Incas. That’s thanks to this action-packed tour, which begins with walking routes of the coffee-colored colonial ruins in Cusco, the onetime capital of the Incan Empire. From there, you head north towards the wild Andes, glimpsing the megalithic fortress-temple of Saqsaywaman and the beginnings of the Incan Trail.
Day two is time to hit the railway, meandering with the Urubamba River straight to Macchu Picchu itself. You’ll see the mighty temples, the terraced fields, the half-ruined houses, and more, all before whizzing back to Cusco for a rest and a return to the airport.
10. 3-Day Huchuy Qosqo Trek to Machu Picchu Private Service
Wax down the walking boots – this three-day trekking trip could be the Andean adventure you’ve been searching for. It offers a totally different way to experience Machu Picchu, throwing in hikes up grass-green plateau where alpacas meet other Incan ruins as it unfolds. When the clouds clear, it’s likely you’ll get stunning vistas of snow-dashed Mount Veronica on the first day.
Day two crosses through the haunting adobe village of Huchuy Qosqo, another pre-Columbian town of the Sacred Valley. Then, it’s all about transferring up to Aguas Calientes – the gateway to the Lost City and its UNESCO-tagged wonders.
4-day Machu Picchu tours
11. 4-Day Jungle Adventure to Machu Picchu: Biking, Ziplining, Rafting and Hiking
Adrenaline glands will be working overtime as you bike, zip, raft, whiz, ramble, and rumble through this gorgeous corner of the Peruvian Andes. Yep, there’s not a moment to rest, what with Class III and IV whitewater rapids to conquer, closely followed by high-speed ziplines that whirr through the jungle canopies, and downhill biking tracks.
The jaunt is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but you do get to reward yourself with a well-earned trip to the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on the final day.
12. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in 4 Days
If you’re the sort that likes to do things a little differently, why not swap the conventional Inca Trail for the less-trodden Salkantay Trek? It’s considered a challenging yet stunning alternative, unfolding over around 55 kilometers as it wiggles through the Andes. Things begin dramatically, rising up to over 4,590 meters to visions of ice-carved summits.
Then, it’s down to moss-caked forests and roaring riverways, all rimmed by scented coffee plantations and rustic mountain villages. Trekking horses, trek briefings, campsites, and – of course – access to Machu Picchu on the last day are all included in the price.
13. Cusco: 4-Day Lares Trek to Machu Picchu with Tickets
Remote valleys steeped in stone. High summits that soar to snowy tops. Cobalt lakes shrouded in mist and jungle. These, and more, are the ingredients of the chart-topping Lares Trek. Don’t go thinking that this is second fiddle to the famous Inca Trail. Many an adventurer will prefer Lares for its isolation and off-track features.
Tours begin with dips in highland thermal baths. Then you’ll be asked to conquer the Condor Pass at 4,700 meters. The rambling ends as the Sacred Valley reveals itself on your descent to Ollantaytambo – an amphitheater of grassy meadows, regimented maize fields, and Incan ruins. Talking of Incan ruins…The best waits for the finale, when you ascend up to Machu Picchu.
14. Machu Picchu: 4-Day Multi-Activity Inca Trail
A perfect cocktail of adventure and history is offered by this full four-day package. It follows the courses of the legendary Inca Trail deep into the mountains. There’s a pitstop at Santa Maria for high-speed downhill biking. Then you make for Santa Teresa to join the famous route through cocoa fields and jungles.
Final walking sections provide glimpses of the stunning peak of Salkantay. And afterwards you will climb to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise caress the ruined temples, the Sun Gate, and the cloud-shrouded buildings of the Inca.
15. Lares Trek To Machu Picchu 4-Day Trip Including Hot Springs
Bathe in the glorious surroundings of the Peruvian Andes, but also get a chance to bathe in the famous hot springs of Lares. That’s what’s on offer from this multi-day trek through the mountains. Things begin as a challenge, as you hike to remote Cancha Cancha and get a feel for the rustic life that’s lived in this region.
Then it’s over the pass of Pachacutec at a whopping 4,758 meters above sea level. Hike finished? Excellent. Your next step is the amazing city of Machu Picchu itself, which unfolds on the peaks above Aguas Calientes, a short bus and train transfer away.
16. From Cusco: 4-Day Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu
You’ll dip in and out of the Inca Trail, catch glimpses of butterfly-filled meadows and snow-capped mountains, soothe the muscles in Cocalmayo’s hot springs, and even zip line through the Andes, all courtesy of this intrepid jungle trek.
It takes four days in all, starting off with some high-speed bike descents down the peaks of Abra Malaga. Later, you can delve into bamboo woods and cloud forests for eco excursions. And the finale? That’s taken care of by Machu Picchu, where you can even opt to summit Huayna Picchu for stunning views of the wonder sprawled on its ledge below.
17. Choquequirao Trek 4 Days
Conquer a 58-kilometer cross section of the high Peruvian Andes on this wild and out-there package. For four days, you’ll hike from mist-swirled summit to rustic town, and even camp on the side of roaring riverways like the Apurimac.
After zigzagging over forested hillsides and spotting gushing waterfalls between the remote communities for two days, you’ll eventually come to the Choquequirao Ruins, which standout for their amazing agricultural terraces cut steep into the hills. Machu Picchu caps the lot off before a return to Cusco and the comforts of the city.
5-day Machu Picchu tours
18. Salkantay Trek 5 Days
Stand and see the clouds swirl through the wild Andes, the snowdrifts plume on the summits, and the ancient stone paths of the Inca weave and wiggle across the hills, all thanks to this five-day trek into historic territory. It all begins in the Mollepata Valley, where 4,900-meter mountains keep watch. Moving on, you get subtropical forests, taste regional meals cooked by local chefs, and even sleep under the glittering stars at the altitudinous camping grounds of Collpa Bamba.
Your journey to Machu Picchu only begins in the last two days, when you make the pueblo trek to Aguas Calientes via waterfalls and gushing rivers. Then you get a whole afternoon to stroll the wonder and discover the temples and terraces.
19. Cusco and Machu Picchu 5 days
Unraveling all the secrets of the Sacred Valley and the great citadel of Machu Picchu is the aim of the game on this whopping five-day adventure into the areas north of Cusco. After gawping at the carved Spanish cathedral and Baroque chapels that now gild the onetime capital of the Inca, you’ll head out to the unbelievable terraces of Moray – thought by some to be a laboratory of pre-Columbian farming.
Then, cue Pisac, a colonial-Inca mashup that’s crowned with an intriguing astronomical observatory. Hot springs follow, and a night in the bustling hub of Aguas Calientes. Above that lurks Machu Picchu itself. So, on the last full day, you get a two-hour tour of the main site, including both the agricultural and sanctuary areas, and the famous lookouts onto the Urubamba River below.
Looking for more Machu Picchu tours? Check her our full list of Machu Picchu tours. Wishing you an excellent time in Peru!