When planning a trip to Peru’s most archeological site of Machu Picchu you must consider several items: International flights to Lima, domestic flights within Peru, passes to enter the Machu Picchu sanctuary, or hike the Inca Trail.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and September. Temperatures in the Andes remain around the low 60s during the day and limited rain. Most of the activities during your visit to the sanctuary will be outside, so dry weather is important.

Below is a list outlining key steps in planning your visit to Machu Picchu and Peru. Click here for a list of top guided Machu Picchu tours or Inca Trail tours to review our most popular itineraries. Our recommendation is to plan for at least 7 days visit to Peru. Click here to see a 7 days itinerary – Fascinating Machu Picchu tour.

Key Steps in Visiting Machu Picchu

  • Most flights to Peru from the U.S., 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.
  • Fly to Cusco from Lima – about a 1:20 hour flight.  Plan on flying out before 10 am.  This will give you time to adjust to the altitude in Cusco (elevation of over 11,000 ft.)
  • Plan on touring Cusco at least for an afternoon.
  • Plan on visiting the Sacred Valley (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.  Please use the form below or call us directly to make your reservation.
  • Your Machu Picchu tour should allow for one hotel night in Machu Picchu town also known 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 Picchu mountain the next day (reservation needed).
  • Return to Cusco in the early evening.
  • Fly back to Lima the next day or continue on one of our extensions (like a visit the Amazon Basin, Lake Titicaca, or Colca Canyon).