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Visiting Machu Picchu

When planning a trip to Peru's most archeological site of Machu Picchu you must consider several items: From your international flights to Lima and then from Lima to Cusco to the passes to enter the Machu Picchu sanctuary or hike the Inca Trail.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and September. This is the Peruvian winter, but temperatures in the Andes remain around the low 60s during the day. The benefit of this time period is that it does not rain. Most of your activities during your visit to the sanctuary will be outside, so dry weather is of help.

Below is a list that outlines the steps if you plan to visit Peru. Click here for a list of top guided Machu Picchu tours or Inca Trail tours to review different itineraries. Our recommendation is to budget at least 7 days for your time in Peru. Click here to see one of our most popular itinerary - 7 Days Fascinating Machu Picchu tour.

Key Steps in Visiting Machu Picchu

  • Most flights into Peru from the U.S. or Canada, arrive during the evening (If arriving on a red-eye plan on continuing to Cusco right away).
  • Spend the night in Lima and maybe tour Lima the next day.
  • The next day, fly to Cusco from Lima – about 1:20 hour flight.
  • Plan on touring Cusco at least for an afternoon.
  • Plan on Sacred Valley tour (full day)
  • You can take a train or hike the Inca Trail to visit Machu Picchu.
  • If doing the Inca Trail, reservations should be secured at least 7 months in advance. Call 1-800-667-6134 to check on passes availability.
  • Your Machu Picchu tour should allow for one hotel night in Aguas Calientes (if you have the time).
  • If you stay the night in the town of Aguas Calientes, you might get a chance to climb Huayna mountain the next day.
  • Return to Cusco in the early evening.
  • Fly back to Lima the next day or continue on one of our extensions (like: Amazon Basin, Lake Titicaca, or Colca Canyon).
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