Escape to Machu Picchu

During its lifetime, Machu Picchu saw the rise and the fall of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century, just before the Spanish arrived and took control of the surrounding region. Touring the vast complex of agricultural, residential, and religious buildings, it becomes clear Machu Picchu was a world unto itself, the busy last chapter of an accomplished civilization.

To get to Machu Picchu from Cusco, you will take a 3 hour and 40 minute train ride through the Urubamba Valley. Enjoy unparalleled views of the Andes as your train hugs the side of the mountains. Making your way through the valley, you’ll pass by small, rural villages that are still inhabited by largely Quechua-speaking descendants of indigenous Andeans.

Just outside of the ruins, you’ll take a bus the final 30 minutes to Machu Picchu. Once you arrive, a guide will take you through some of the most striking features of the site, sharing some of the theories that historians have developed about what purpose various structures served. Some of the site has been restored, so you can get a clearer picture of how Machu Picchu may have looked in its heyday.

Fountains at Machu Picchu still flow with water irrigated from nearby springs. Some fountains feature neat channels carved in stone, while others slosh over multiple terraces into a shallow bath. These provided drinking and bathing water to residents of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu has several temples for visitors to explore, each with its own style. The site known as the Royal Palace has its own flowering garden. Outside the main temple, you’ll see statues carved in the shape of surrounding mountains.

Besides temples, tombs, and palaces, you’ll also see a more practical side of Machu Picchu. Granaries and agricultural terraces form steps on the sides of the surrounding mountain. Small buildings near the granaries are believed to have served as homes for the workers that made of the backbone of Machu Picchu society.

It might be hard to tear yourself away from Machu Picchu’s beautiful views. But hiking through the ruins will work up an appetite. After exploring Machu Picchu, the tour stops at the Sanctuary Lodge restaurant, just outside the gate to Machu Picchu. Sanctuary Lodge has a huge buffet with lots of options, making for a satisfying meal before you board the train and head back to Cusco.

What to Bring:

Train reservations, camera, comfortable walking shoes, and sunglasses.

What's Included:

Entrance to Machu Picchu, guided tour, and lunch.

Transportation

Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.

What to Bring:

Train reservations, camera, comfortable walking shoes, and sunglasses.

What's Included:

Entrance to Machu Picchu, guided tour, and lunch.

Transportation

Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.

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Nearby Activities

Nearby Lodging