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Machu Picchu Train Itinerary

About Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is located atop a steep, rugged mountain in the Andes of Peru. This lost city with massive ruins, perfect masonry, and strange architecture has baffled researchers for years. Exploring this mysterious city, built in the 15th century by extraordinary craftsmen, is a remarkable journey.

Day 1: Lima (10,225 ft) to Cusco (10,988 ft)

You’ll land in Lima and transfer to Cusco. (Try to choose a flight departing Lima by mid-morning to arrive in Cusco by midday). You’ll be met at the Cusco airport and transported to the hotel. For acclimatization, it’s important to relax this afternoon. We’ll meet at 6 pm for a briefing. Overnight hotel. Photo: P Szekely. Note: If you’re interested in seeing Lima, you could arrive a day early and take a tour. We won’t be coordinating Lima tours but are happy to offer suggestions.

Day 2: Cusco & The Sacred Valley Tour to Ollantaytambo (9,158 ft)

Today will be an interesting day of sightseeing. We’ll travel by vehicle with short walking excursions. We’ll visit the local ruins of Sacsayhuaman then travel to the Sacred Valley to tour the famous Pisac market and shop for local crafts and goods. Our last stop will be of the archeological site of Ollantaytambo that sits above the beautiful town of the same name. Overnight hotel. (B,L)

Day 3: Ollantaytambo to Soraypampa Camp (12,795 ft)

The trekkers take off today. Our group will leave early in the morning and drive for about 4.5 hours, passing several interesting villages along the way. If the group is up for it, we’ll trek a bit, beginning at 11,500 ft for a 1-1.5 hour trek in a magnificent valley. The valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains including the Humantay [17,116 ft] and Salkantay [20,551 ft]. Or we’ll enjoy the scenery by vehicle as we’re driven to our campsite at Soraypampa (12,795 ft). Overnight luxury domes. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Soraypampa Camp to Humantay Lake (13,845 ft) then back to Cusco

We’ll eat breakfast and prepare our gear for a short hike to one of the most impressive lakes of the Salcantay area. The hike will take approximately 2-2.5 hours round trip. The views are impressive with a panorama of the turquoise Lake Humantay, the glorious glacier and the gorgeous glacial mountains. We’ll drive to Cusco in the afternoon. Overnight hotel (B,L)

Day 5: Cusco to Vinicunca (7-Color Rainbow Mountain, 16,892 ft) then back to Cusco

Our day will start in Cusco where we’ll be picked up from the hotel before breakfast for a 3-hour drive to the start of the trailhead. We’ll stop on the way for breakfast then continue by car for another 1.5 hours. The trek to Rainbow Mountain takes approximately 1.5 hours. We’ll pass through a vibrant green valley with the snow-capped peak of Ausangate (20,926 ft) towering in the distance. We’ll see hundreds of roaming alpacas and get a sense for how the Quechua people live. We’ll begin seeing the colored mineral the form the painted hills on our approach. With a last push, we’ll ascend to a vantage point providing 360-degree views of the sacred mountain. The hike back should take about an hour. We’ll drive to Cusco for lunch in a local restaurant and arrive at the hotel in Cusco by late afternoon. Overnight hotel (B,L)

Day 6: Cusco to Machu Picchu (8,038 ft) to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town, 6890 ft)

We’ll be picked up early and taken to the train station in Ollantaytambo. We’ll board the train and take in the beauty of the valleys and the indigenous people on the ascent to Machu Picchu Town (AKA Aguas Calientes). There we’ll board a tour bus for a 30-minute drive to the Machu Picchu complex. The check-in process is rigorous but we should be able to see the greatest hits of Machu Picchu today: the elegant Sun Temple, the surreal Royal Mausoleum, the monolithic shrines of the Sacred Plaza, and the mysteriously carved Intihuatana stones. We’ll meet up with the trekking group and drive together to the hotel in Aguas Calientes. Overnight hotel (B,L)

Day 7: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

Both groups (trekkers and trainers) will leave the hotel after breakfast and drive to Machu Picchu. We’ll aim to enter the complex around 6 am to beat the crowds and enjoy the sunrise. After a guided tour you may choose to climb Huayna Picchu (the large mountain that sits directly behind Machu Picchu) and/or explore lesser known wonders of Machu Picchu. We’ll drive to Aguas Calientes for lunch. We also could choose to return to Aguas Calientes in time to enjoy the hot springs before departing to Cusco by train. Overnight in hotel (B)

Day 8: After breakfast transfer from hotel in Cusco to the airport (B)


  • Airport pick-up and drop-off to and from hotels
  • Shared accommodations in double room
  • Service of a professional bilingual tour guide and assistant guide
  • Sacred Valley Tour
  • Service of porters (to carry group gear and equipment)
  • All transportation and transfers during tours
  • Train and bus back to Cusco after Inca Trail tour
  • Purified water during the treks
  • All permits and entry fees for local hikes & tours including Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, and Huayna Picchu
  • Government Tax, office service charge and booking fee
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All group equipment such as tents, dining tent, tables, and chairs
  • Safety equipment such as oxygen bottles, first aid kit, pulse oximeter, AED, radio and satellite phones for emergencies
  • Wilderness-First-Responder-Certified Guide
  • Awesome trip preparation consultation re: gear, packing, training, and time-tested tips for acclimatization
  • Worldwide Adventure Guides ‘WAG SWAG’

Not Included:

  • International airfare to and from Lima and Cusco
  • Travel and medical insurance & emergency evacuation insurance
  • Meals in the cities (Some hotels’ breakfasts will be included)
  • Alcohol, bottled drinks or soft drinks (although we are known to buy a few rounds of drinks to celebrate nearly anything)
  • Tips for Guides and Staff
  • Service of a private porter (can be shared by 2 people): $320
  • Single Tent & Room supplement: $200
  • Excess baggage charges and airport taxes
  • NOTE: We require that everyone purchases evacuation coverage from Global Rescue