May 26, 2024

The 10 Best Machu Picchu Tours for Every Taste!

Best Machu Picchu Tours

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Sacred Valley in the Cusco region of Peru, is one of the most magical archaeological sites in the whole world!

To visit it, you have countless options available, from full-day guided tours to fancy train rides, heavy treks, and much more… But which of these suits you best?

To save you some precious time researching, I gathered all the best Machu Picchu tours: whether you’re looking for a guided tour from Cusco, multi-day treks combining Machu Picchu with other archaeological sites/natural wonders, or how to make your DIY Machu Picchu tour, I have the right option for you here!

For each tour mentioned in this blog, I also included links to book them through the best tour operators, info about entrance fees, as well as the tour starting point, so you have literally everything you need.

Ready to explore the Lost City with the best Machu Picchu tours? Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

0 best Machu Picchu tours for big groups

If you don’t have time to read the whole blog and you just want to quickly book your Machu Picchu tour, check out the list below:

Here are the top Machu Picchu tours to book in advance:

1. Machu Picchu day tours

The most common way to visit the Machu Picchu archaeological site is with a day tour starting usually from Cusco, during which your tour guide will explain everything about the Incas Ruins and the natural wonders you’ll see.

I also included a half-day tour in case you’re staying in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Village). Let’s check out the best ones:

1.1 Machu Picchu full-day group tour

1.2 Machu Picchu full day private tour

This guided full-day trip starts with a hotel pickup in Cusco which will take you to the Ollantaytambo train station from where you’ll take a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. You can choose between a standard train or a Vistadome train that will offer you some panoramic views of the Andes Mountains (the final price will change based on that).

Once you get to Aguas Calientes, you’ll take a bus to the entrance of the Machu Picchu ancient citadel, where your tour guide will tell you everything about the history of the Inca Civilization, either in English or Spanish.

Get ready to gaze at the Sun Gate, the Inca ruins, Inca bridge, water sources, the archaeological reserve, and stunning views of Machu Picchu Mountain… just to name a few things!

After your guided visit, you’ll take the bus back to Aguas Calientes (ask your guide for lunch!) and then go back to Cusco… This is what I call a day full of emotions!

  • Price: $305
  • Length: 15 hours
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your Machu Picchu Tour

1.2 Machu Picchu full-day private tour with lunch

1.1 Machu Picchu full day group tour

As the last tour, this amazing day trip includes pick up and drop off from any hotel in Cusco City, Urubamba Town (on the beautiful Urubamba river), or the Ollantaytambo Area, round trip train ride from Ollantaytambo station to Machu Picchu, and a guided tour.

The tour will be with a local guide, either in English or Spanish, and right after that, you will have some free time to explore the ruins at your own pace. Make sure you don’t miss the Sun Gate viewpoint, from where you can enjoy stunning panoramas!

The main advantages of this day tour are that it includes a delicious lunch in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes and that it is private, so you’ll have a more intimate experience.

  • Price: $369
  • Length: 15 hours
  • Departing from: Cusco City, Urubamba Town, or Ollantaytambo

Book Your Private Tour

1.3 Half-day Machu Picchu tour

1.3 beautiful Machu Picchu village

If you are visiting Machu Picchu but don’t want such a long day trip, chances are you are planning on staying in Aguas Calientes, the beautiful Machu Picchu village located only a 30-minute drive from the reserve.

If that’s the case, this is the perfect tour for you, including a skip-the-line ticket, round trip transfer from Aguas Calientes (during which you will enjoy panoramic views of the ruins and Machu Picchu mountain), and a guided tour in English or Spanish.

During the two-hour tour, your guide will bring you to discover the legendary site and give you historical and interesting facts about Machu Picchu and the ancient Inca empire.This half-day tour lasts about 4 hours and is limited to small groups of maximum 10 participants.

  • Price: $155
  • Length: 4 hours
  • Departing from: Aguas Calientes

Book Your Half Day Tour

2. Machu Picchu 2-day tours

Check out these 2-day tours combining a visit to the Machu Picchu Ruins with other incredible sites like the Inca trail and some natural wonders in the Peruvian Andes!

2.1 Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu 2-day tour by train

2.1 Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Discover Machu Picchu and lesser-known (but still amazing) archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley like Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo on this amazing 2-day tour.

After following your English/Spanish speaking guide through the sites and learning everything about the Incas, you will spend the night at a 3-star hotel in Aguas Calientes and wake up the day after to catch the sunrise over Machu Picchu mountain!

After seeing this natural spectacle, you will end your experience in the best way with a delicious breakfast: all this (and round trip transportation by bus and train from Cusco) is included in the price for $480.

  • Price: $480
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your 2-Day Tour

2.2 Inca Trail + Machu Picchu private 2-day tour

2.2 Inca Trail Machu Picchu private 2 day tour

Explore the legendary Inca Trail and a breathtaking sunset and sunrise in Machu Picchu on this 2-day tour, limited for small groups of 8 people and including round trip transportation.

NOTE: Inca Trail tours get booked out months in advance, so if this is on your bucket list, make sure to book as far in advance as possible!

On the first day, you will start your trek at the archaeological sites of Chachabamba and Wiñay Huayna, enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, and arrive at the ancient citadel late in the afternoon to see the sun going down.

After that, they will bring you to your hotel where you can enjoy a delicious dinner and rest to prepare for the day after!

On your final day, you will go see the sunrise from Machu Picchu and then have a tour of it with your Spanish/English guide, who will tell you everything about the Incan history. Before enjoying some free time to explore it on your own (you also have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain!).

You will arrive at your accommodation in Cusco pretty tired, but it will definitely be worth it!

P.S.: If you love hiking and you have some extra time in the country, check out these other 2 amazing hikes in Peru!

  • Price: $593
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your Inca Trail & Machu Picchu Tour

2.3 Maras, Moray Salt Mines, and Machu Picchu 2-day tour

2.3 Moray Salt Mines day tour

Travel back in time on this historic tour combining Machu Picchu with the fascinating Moray and Maras salt mines, including hotel pickup and round trip transportation.

The first day, you’ll drive through the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the historic Moray, which you will explore with your Spanish/English speaking guide, and then head to the salt mines of Maras, hosting over 3,000 salt pools, from where you can enjoy the beauty of the Andes!

After that, you will have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant at Urubamba, where you will head to Aguas Calientes so you can finally rest at your hotel.

You will start your second day with a delicious breakfast included in the price and then fully dedicate the rest of your time to Machu Picchu: you’ll have a guided tour of the ruins and then some free time to explore on your own.

  • Price: $490
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your 2 Days Combo Tour

3. Multi-day Machu Picchu tours

If you are up for a longer adventure, check out these multi-day tours combining Machu Picchu with challenging treks for adrenaline seekers, beautiful nature, and other Incan ruins in the Sacred Valley:

3.1 Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca

3.1 Lake Titicaca tour with transportation

If you are going to Peru for the first time, this 6-day tour might be the perfect option for you, taking you through the best highlights of this beautiful country, like Cusco, Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the Sacred Valley.

During this adventure, you will discover the Indigenous and colonial history of Cusco, tour the Inca markets in the city of Pisac (in the Sacred Valley), enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu, explore Lake Titicaca by boat, and much more.

This amazing tour covers all transportation during the itinerary, 5 nights of accommodation with daily breakfast, and a bilingual guide in Spanish and English.

  • Price: $800
  • Length: 6 days
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your 6-Day Tour

3.2 Classic Salkantay trek + Machu Picchu

the classic salkantay trek 5 days machu picchu day by day map large
Courtesy of salkantaytrekking.com

Join a 5-day trek through scenic mountain and jungle scenery to reach Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, and enjoy a comfortable return to Cusco by luxury train.

During this multi-day trip, you will enjoy stunning views of glacier-covered mountains (like the Humantay Mountain) and picturesque lakes, hike along the famous Salkantay Trek, watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu, and even enjoy an optional visit to the Cocalmayo Hot Springs!

This is a great alternative if you missed out on a spot on an Inca Trail and you get to experience so many different types of scenery!

The tour is limited to a small group of 15 participants and includes a bilingual guide, campsite accommodation and equipment (tents and mats), 1-night accommodation in a hostel in Aguas Calientes, and transfers during the whole experience!

  • Price: $325
  • Length: 5 days
  • Departing from: Cusco

Book Your Tour Now!

3.3 Lares trek to Machu Picchu with panoramic train

3.3 Lares trek to Machu Picchu

If you want to visit Machu Picchu and spend some time nestled in nature, the Lares trek is for you, during which you will explore the Andean Mountains and its isolated villages to learn more about the Andean culture and traditions!

During this 4-day magical experience, you will enjoy jaw-dropping views of the Andean mountains and their cloud forests, spectacular glaciers, glacial lakes, stunning waterfalls, and countless llamas and alpacas.

You will finish your experience by spending an unforgettable day exploring Machu Picchu’s archaeological site… What else could you ask for?

The tour is limited to small groups of 8 participants and includes transportation, accommodation, and a live tour guide in 2 languages (Spanish and English).

  • Price: $690
  • Length: 4 days
  • Departing from: Cusco

Join a 4-Day Lares Trek

4. DIY Machu Picchu tour

4 organize your own tour of Machu Picchu

If you want to have full freedom and organize your own tour of Machu Picchu, you will have to buy the Machu Picchu entrance tickets by yourself, and I suggest you do that online in advance if you want to make sure to reserve yourself a spot!

You can book a Machu Picchu entrance ticket either on the official website (it offers different entrance fees depending on the circuit you choose to follow) or via GetYourGuide if you want a better cancellation policy.

P.S.: If you also want to climb Huayna Picchu, check out this Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu entrance ticket!

The most tricky part is the transportation to Machu Picchu: even if Lima is more touristic, the most popular starting point to visit Machu Picchu is the city of Cusco.

What’s more, the distance from Lima to Machu Picchu makes it impossible to visit Machu Picchu in just one day so you will have to spend a night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

From Cusco, you’ll have to combine bus and train travel; let’s check out each step to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco:

4 how to get Machu Picchu from Cusco
  1. Go from Cusco to Ollantaytambo train station: you can get to the station by collectivo ($1.50), train from Cusco, or by private transfer. Prices for the last 2 options start from $40 but will change depending on the transportation chosen, and the journey will take you about 2 hours.
    P.S.: Ollantaytambo is the most popular station, but you can take the train also from Poroy or Valle Sagrado).
  1. Take the train from Ollantaytambo station to Aguas Calientes: to take the train, you will need to have previously reserved tickets (book them either on Peru Rail or Inca Rail). The price will depend on the type of train service you choose – it starts from $50 to $500 for the luxury service, and the journey takes around 2 hours.
  1. Take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu: The trip will take 30 minutes and cost you around $12 (one way). Alternatively, you can book this round-trip bus ticket to Machu Picchu in advance.

PRO TIP: If you want to beat the crowds, instead of taking the final bus you can hike from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The inca steps are steep and uneven, but if you are prepared to start the hike at around 4am, it’s possible to make it to the gate before the first buses arrive full of tourists.

If you want to discover more useful information about this UNESCO World Heritage site, check out everything you should know before visiting Machu Picchu!

FAQs about Machu Picchu tours, Peru

5 Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Peru

⛰️ Which are the best Machu Picchu tours?

🥾 Which are the best treks in Machu Picchu, Peru?

🤔 Is it better to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu, Peru?

Both Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains offer great views, but Machu Picchu is better for a more leisurely hike, ideal for families, while Huayna Picchu is better if you’re looking for a more challenging hike and you want to see some more ruins.

🗓️ How many days do you need to visit Machu Picchu, Peru?

Even if you can visit Machu Picchu (Peru, South America) in just one day, 2 days (check out this great 2-day tour!) are ideal if you want to explore the archeological site and its surroundings more deeply and at a more relaxed pace. 

🕐 When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu, Peru?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between April and May, when the rainy season has passed and is not as crowded as July-Aug.

Conclusion

6 Machu Picchu travel guide best tours

Here we are at the end of this useful Machu Picchu travel guide about all the best tours in Machu Picchu, including information about entrance fees and departing cities for each tour!

Whether you’re looking for a guided tour from Cusco, multi-day tours combining a visit to Machu Picchu’s Incas Ruins with other archaeological sites, challenging treks like the Lares trek, or how to make your own DIY Machu Picchu tour from Cusco, I have the right option for you here!

I hope you found my guide useful and that you picked the perfect Machu Picchu tour for your holiday, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below!

Have an amazing tour!

Elena


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