Tours to Machu Picchu from Cusco, Peru (and the Inca Trail)
Machu Picchu, Peru
Beyond Cusco lies the Sacred Valley, Andean countryside dotted with villages, high altitude hamlets and ruins linked by trail and railway tracks to the continent's biggest draw: Machu Picchu.
A stunning landscape careens from Andean peaks to orchid-rich cloud forests and Amazon lowlands. Explore it on foot or by fat tire, rafting wild rivers or simply taking the local buses to the remote and dust-worn corners of this far-reaching, culturally rich region.
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Depart from Cusco in the morning, with pickup from your hotel and a transfer from the city center to your chosen train station. Your departure location and travel experience will depend on the seating option you've selected. Then enjoy a scenic, 4-hour train ride, offering stunning views of the mountainous terrain that makes up the area near Machu Picchu. Arrive in Aguas Calientes, the small village located at the base of this famous Inca site, and board a bus for the short ride to this sacred citadel. Completed around 1450, when the Inca Empire was at the peak of its power and influence, the site was left vacant within 100 years of its creation, thanks to the conquest of the Inca people by the Spanish. Though the site today remains abandoned, many believe Machu Picchu to be a key center of spiritual energy. Follow your guide through the main streets of this marvel of ancient engineering. Learn about the site's history and design as you meander through its town square, key religious sites, elaborate network of agricultural terraces and intricately-designed stone staircases. After completing your guided tour, you'll have time to explore on your own, taking some time for photos and to absorb the mystic energy of this one-of-a-kind site. After spending a few hours at the site, you'll return by bus to the train station in Aguas Calientes and then to your chosen train for the trip back to Cusco.
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Take the train to the station of Machu Picchu town. The Expedition train is a service designed for the traveler's comfort, with four passenger seats facing each other. This train has panoramic windows, air-conditioning, and heating, and Andean music that creates a cheerful atmosphere. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu station, board a mini bus for transport to the sacred city, Machu Picchu. Learn from expert guides as you walk the main streets of these amazing ruins. Stroll through town squares and climb delicately carved stone stairways. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will astonish you with its terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps, and urban areas. There will be time to explore on your own and fully embrace this magnificent wonder of the world, letting this once in a lifetime experience set in. In the afternoon, return to the train station for the trip back to Cusco and drop off at your hotel.
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This unforgettable Machu Picchu trek offers a cultural and physical journey through Peru's Urubamba Valley along the renowned Inca Trail, traversing the very same paths once walked by the citizens of this ancient empire. Over the course of your challenging 26-mile, 4-day hike, you'll experience fascinating ruins, incredible Andean scenery, and the unique flora and fauna of Peru, culminating with your arrival at the incredible mountain stronghold of Machu Picchu. Leading you on your journey is a knowledgeable guide, who will share stories about Inca culture and provide historical context. You'll also be accompanied by porters to help carry tents and sleeping gear, cook meals, and set up camp each night. The ratio of trekkers to guides and porters is kept low, with one guide for every four trekkers and one porter for every two people on the trek. It is recommended that you book well in advance, as the required permits to visit Machu Picchu are limited to just 500 people per day by the Peruvian government.
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This 16-hour program begins with pick-up at your hotel in Cusco and a drive to Ollantaytambo, where you'll board the train for Aguas Calientes. A guide will meet you at the train station in Aguas Calientes and escort you to the bus for Machu Picchu. On a tour of this magnificent site, your bilingual guide will tell you about the role of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu and you'll visit all the major sites within the lost city. The duration of the guided tour will be around 2.5-3 hours. You also have the option of climbing the mountain of Huayna Picchu, which takes 1.5-2 hours round-trip. Tickets for this option need to be purchased at the time of your Machu Picchu ticket purchase. After the guided tour, you can spend the rest of your time exploring Machu Picchu on your own. If you like, you can exit the park to enjoy a snack at the cafe and re-enter the park afterwards. Your ticket is valid for the entire day. At the end of the afternoon, you'll return to Aguas Calientes for the train back to Ollantaytambo where a car will be waiting to take you back to Cusco.
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Start this VIP trip with pickup at your hotel, transferring you to Cusco's Poroy Station where you'll board your first-class train for a trip you won't soon forget. Grab a complimentary welcome drink as you step aboard the train, bedecked in blue and gold trim, entering a world of luxury, top-notch food and exquisite service. During your ride, check out the train's observation platform for stellar views of the Andes, and then proceed to the bar car and dining room, where you'll enjoy the gastronomic delights of a 3-course lunch. Once you've had your fill of lunch, sit back and relax as the train's on-board musicians perform traditional Peruvian songs using guitars and Cajon box drums. Upon your arrival at Aguas Calientes, board the luxury transfer bus specially reserved for Hiram Bingham passengers for the quick ride up to Machu Picchu. Then snake your way up the winding switchback roads to the 7,000-foot mountaintop that is home to this most famous of Andean archaeological sites. Following your guided tour, continue your exploration of the grounds at your leisure before heading to the mountaintop Belmond Sanctuary Lodge for afternoon tea. Have a scone or a sandwich with your tea and coffee, or try and appetizer your choice of wine. Finish your Machu Picchu journey with a shuttle ride back down to Aguas Calientes, where you'll climb back on board your luxury train for the return trip to Cusco. En-route, enjoy a 4-course gourmet dinner and celebrate your day with the onboard musicians, singing and dancing as you make your way back to Cusco for drop-off at your hotel.
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