Cusco
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Cusco Culture & History

Machu Picchu: Full-Day Tour from Cusco with Optional Lunch

1. Machu Picchu: Full-Day Tour from Cusco with Optional Lunch

Start with pickup from your hotel in Cusco and travel to Ollantaytambo Station to board the train to Aguas Calientes. This is the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a scenic train journey through dramatic Andean landscapes. The train has ample seats with large windows allowing for grand views of the surrounding jungle and mountains.  Board a coach for a 25-minute ride to Machu Picchu. The city of Machu Pichu is believed to have been built in the 1450s by the Inca emperor Pachacuti as a holiday retreat. Within a century the city would be abandoned following the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards never found it, so it was spared the destruction they brought on other Inca sites. Instead, it was slowly swallowed up by the jungle and hidden from harm. Take a guided tour of the site which explains the origins behind this awe-inspiring citadel and its most prominent landmarks such as the monumental Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial, and the Burial Grounds. After the tour, be returned to Aguas Calientes where you can take some free time to explore the city, or enjoy an optional lunch.  After some time in the town, return to Aguas Calientes station to take the train back to the Ollantaytambo Station, from there you will be taken back to your hotel.

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Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket

2. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket

Discover the landmarks of Machu Picchu Lost Citadel and be one of the 400 people allowed to climb the Huayna Picchu per day. Explore the attraction at your own pace, such as the Temple of the Sun, the terraced fields of the agricultural sector, the Intihuatana stone, and take the famous picture from the observatory with the lost citadel behind. The climb of Huayna Picchu is available in 2 groups: 7:00 am or 10:00 am. Be sure to get there on time for your given time slot for your hike up the mountain. Take in the stunning views at Huayna Picchu, be amazed as you see this infamous, historical city in real life.

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Machu Picchu Ruins + Machu Picchu Mountain Official Tickets

3. Machu Picchu Ruins + Machu Picchu Mountain Official Tickets

Explore the magical Lost City of the Incas high up in the Andes. This official ticket will allow you to walk among the ruins of Machu Picchu and hike through Machu Picchu Mountain at your own pace.  Be one of the 800 people allowed to enter the Machu Picchu Mountain per day, divided into 2 groups. The first group can access the Mountain from 07:00 am to 08:00 am and the second group from 09:00 am to 10:00 am.  The ascent time depends on the physical condition of the individual and can range from 2-3 hours. From the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be able to enjoy impressive views of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and winding Urubamba River.

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Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket

4. Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket

Explore the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu at your own pace with a standard entrance ticket to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover landmark attractions at your own pace, such as the Temple of the Sun, the terraced fields of the agricultural sector, the Intihuatana stone, and take the famous picture from the observatory with the lost citadel behind. This is the best option for those who would like to organize your own transportation and tour guide for the visit.  Very important: for entering the Lost Citadel of Machu Picchu, it is mandatory that you are accompanied by an accredited guide. You are able to hire the tour guide directly at the entrance of the ruins. Please make sure to carefully read all provided details sent by the local partner and those written in the Know Before You Go section of the tour.

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From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

5. From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

Get back to nature in the dramatic landscapes of the Andes Mountains and experience the amazing scenery of the Sacred Valley by Quad Bike. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Cusco, and then journey through typical villages to reach the colonial town of Maras. Admire the pretty church and rustic buildings of the pretty town center and watch the locals going about their everyday lives farming the surroundings. Visit the archaeological site of Moray to see the incredible terraced holes that form an amphitheater-like depression on the surface of the land. Learn how the holes were used by the Incas in ancient times to acclimatize seeds from the Andes Mountains. Next, visit the salt ponds that the locals continue to work to obtain salt at the mines, just as their ancestors did in the days of the Inca Empire.

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Cusco: Machu Picchu Small Group Tour with Tickets

6. Cusco: Machu Picchu Small Group Tour with Tickets

On this 1-day excursion, visit Peru’s most important archaeological and cultural treasure. The day begins with pick-up at your hotel, and transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo. An early 5:05 AM departure means you’ll have ample time to explore Machu Picchu. Take in the beauty of the valleys on the train journey to Aguas Calientes. From this point, there’s just a 30-minute bus trip to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Explore the Inca complex with a knowledgeable guide. See the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the mausoleum, and more. Have free time to take photos and walk around on your own. Visit the Plaza de Armas in town and see what handicrafts are on offer.  Return to Ollantaytambo by train, and then you’ll be taken back to Cusco.

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Cusco: Full-Day Trip to Machu Picchu with Optional Hiking

7. Cusco: Full-Day Trip to Machu Picchu with Optional Hiking

Experience a tour ideal for those who have little time, but do not want to miss Machu Picchu, one of the most magical places in the world. Get a guided tour of the archeological site and you choose optional hikes to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Start your journey with a pick up at 4:00 AM from hotels and hostels in the center of Cusco and head to Ollantaytambo to board the train to the city of Machu Picchu. The 2-hour train ride is without a guide. Upon arrival, the guide with the names of each traveler will be waiting. Follow your guide to the bus station to board the bus to the citadel. The trip will last approximately 25 minutes.  Begin a 2-hour guided tour of the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. After your tour, you will have free time to explore the site yourself. There are areas available that are not included in the tour, such as the Inca bridge, and you can always ask your guide for suggestions to explore more in your free time.  If you choose one of the hiking options, get the chance to climb the famous mountains that surround Machu Picchu to see stunning views of the Inca citadel.  Later in the afternoon,l take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where you will catch the train back to Ollantaytambo to finally take your last bus trip to Cusco, lasting about 4 hours in total. The estimated arrival in Cusco is around 10:30 PM.

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From Cusco: Full-Day Sacred Valley Tour with Lunch

8. From Cusco: Full-Day Sacred Valley Tour with Lunch

The first stop on this full-day tour from Cusco is the Mirador of Taray for spectacular views of the Andes and the Sacred Valley. Continue to the town of Pisac, the site of a popular market.. Visit the archaeological site and see the agricultural terraces, Inca cemeteries and royal buildings. Continue to Urubamba and enjoy a buffet lunch at a restaurant. Head to Ollantaytambo, built to guard the entrance to Machu Picchu, and to protect the Incas from possible invasions. Visit the picturesque village of Chinchero on the way back to Cusco, and see the remains of the royal estate of Tupac Inca Yupanqui. See also how locals dye alpaca wool with natural plants of the region.

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From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-day Budget Tour by Car

9. From Cusco: Machu Picchu 2-day Budget Tour by Car

Journey to the iconic Machu Picchu on a 2-day tour specially designed to be an affordable alternative that takes you over scenic mountains, past indigenous villages, and through lush jungles hikes. Make your trip more comfortable by upgrading to options that include hotels in Aguas Calientes and additional bus and train add-ons. DAY 1: Cusco - Santa Teresa - Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes Pickup at 7:00 AM from hotels and hostels in central Cusco. Head through the Sacred Valley and appreciate different villages and climatic changes in the Andes. Arrive at Santa Teresa around 1:30 PM where a typical lunch will be served. Then, continue the tour until arriving at Hydroelectric around 3:00 PM. From here, start a walk on the train tracks through a native jungle to Aguas Calientes, about a 3 hours trek. You can choose add-on a train to Aguas Calientes at the checkout if you don't want to do the walk. At Aguas Calientes, your guide will show you to your accommodation (if option is selected). You also have the opportunity to go relax optionally at the hot springs (this activity can only be paid on spot) or take a stroll around town before dinner. DAY 2: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Hydroelectric - Cusco Get up early in the morning and 4:30 AM to start the walk towards Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The steep walk up will last approximately 1:30 hour, and the objective is to appreciate the sunrise from the Inca citadel and be the first to arrive. The walk up to Machu Picchu requires a fair physical condition — you can also choose add-on a bus to Machu Picchu at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Get a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu and the surrounding sites. Enjoy free time to take photos and look around the citadel. If you chose one of the extra hikes to one of the mountains you will split ways with the group to go by yourself to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain — you can choose add-on these hikes at the checkout. Leave Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes at around 11:30 AM (walking or by bus, depending on if you choose add-on at checkout). Once in Aguas Calientes, start the walk back to Hydroelectric where your guide will be waiting to gather the group to return to the city of Cusco — again, you can choose add-on a train to Hydroelectric at the checkout, if you don't want to do the walk. Be back in Cusco around 9:30 - 10:00 PM. The drop-off will be in San Francisco square in the historic center, near Plaza de Armas. Distances for the whole itinerary: • Distance traveled by car/van Cusco to Hydroelectric: approximately 4 to 5 hours • Trekking Distance from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes: approximately 2:30 hours (1-way) • Trekking Distance from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: 1:30 hours (1-way) • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: 25-minutes (1-way) • Distance traveled by car/van from Hydroelectric to Cusco: approximately 5 to 6 hours

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Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

10. Cusco: 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Small Group Trek

Day 1: Cusco to Wayllabamba After pick-up Cusco, drive for 1.5 hours by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the trek begins. The walking on the first day is relatively easy. Along the way you will visit the ruined city of Patallacta, and Willkarakay, a military post located above Patallacta. Then enter the lush valley of Wayllabamba, walking along the banks of the Cusichaca River. The trail continues gradually upward through dense Andean forest, to the first campsite in Wayllabamba. Day 2: Wayllabamba to Pacaymayu You will start early, as the walking is physically intense for those who are not accustomed to high altitudes. Trek through the densely vegetated Andean forest until you arrive at a campsite, where you will take a short rest. Continuing your ascent in the afternoon, the habitat will begin to change. After another rest, with snacks and hot drinks, begin the final ascent to a 4,215 meter pass, the highest point of the trek. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys below, then descend to the campsite in Pacaymayu for the night. Day 3: Pacaymayu to Wiñay Wayna  Visit the archaeological site of Runkurakay, a former resting lodge for ancient pilgrims. Then after a 45-minute ascent, you will reach the second highest pass of the Inca trail. Descend to the archaeological site of Sayacmarca. After visiting the site, continue down the beautifully paved road to the lunch stop. From here you will enter the high Andean cloud forest. The trail continues along a narrow ridge, arriving at a natural viewing area, where it is possible to see the Sacred Valley and numerous mountain peaks, as well as Machu Picchu. From here, descend to the campsite at Wiñay Wayna, passing an important archaeological site and a temple where offerings are made to the sacred mountain spirits. Day 4: Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu Rise early to complete the final stretch of the Inca Trail. After about an hour you will reach the Sun Gate, and see the sunrise over the Andes (weather permitting). A 45-minute walk will take you into the higher area of Machu Picchu. Take a 2-hour tour to learn more about this magical place, and then you will have time to explore the citadel by yourself. The climb to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain is optional (at additional cost and must be booked in advance). In the afternoon you will descend by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will receive your train tickets for the return journey to Cusco. The train will arrive to Ollantaytambo, where you will be picked up and driven by bus back to your hotel in Cusco.

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What people are saying about Cusco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 894 reviews

The Alternative Rainbow Mountain Tour is an excellent way to view three rainbow mountains with only about an hour of hiking. Our guide Darwin was wonderful and very knowledgeable. Our tour also included a delicious breakfast and lunch and stops at the small but very interesting village museum and the market. We live at 6,000 feet altitude in New Mexico, so the 17,000 feet didn’t bother us at all. The panoramic views are absolutely stunning! We highly recommend this tour!

Of several amazing tours (including Machu Picchu), the Full Day Sacred Valley Tour with Lunch was our favorite. Our guide Milo was incredibly knowledgeable and fun, and our van driver Willie was also most skillful. Three fascinating archaeological sites, stops at a silver shop and a weaving shop, and a delicious buffet lunch. Lots of stair climbing at the sites, so it’s important to have a basic level of fitness. A full day indeed and absolutely wonderful!

Overall really great experience! I think it should be clarified that there are some extra costs involved with going to each location. Also you will not be ATVing to the salt mines, you will actually take a bus. Other than these small issues, the experience was actually awesome! Truly breathtaking views and everything was handled very professionally. Pick up was on time, drop off was a bit late but not bad!

Fantastic experience! Get your Guide was a great service to use. Would highly recommend for any planning to visit Machu Picchu. Would also recommend getting a private tour guide, they are a must to learn all of the history.

Terrific experience. Very knowledgeable Guide and a safe driver!