15 Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco in 2024

Mary Adelana

Mary Adelana - Travel Writer

Published: June 30, 2023

Hey there! I'm Mary, an avid traveler and adventure enthusiast. Through my personal experiences and love for exploring, I've curated a list of the 15 best Machu Picchu tours from Cusco, showcasing stunning photos to inspire your next incredible journey.

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

Peru's Lost City, Machu Picchu is one of the most breathtaking and significant archaeological sites in the world, located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It is a must-visit destination for archaeology buffs, hikers, and adventurers alike.

Many people who visit Machu Picchu begin their tour from Cusco, the historic city which is located about 50 miles away.

This article will present the 15 best tours to experience Machu Picchu from Cusco, providing a comprehensive tour guide to help travelers make the most of their visit.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Machu Picchu.

Top Choice Hotel

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Chicha por Gastón Acurio

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Mama Africa.

Best Time to Visit

Dry season, June to August, ideal for exploring.

Average Temperature

The Average Temperature in Cusco, Peru: Moderate and Pleasant.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, walking, cycling: options for transportation.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Cusco, Peru is a vibrant and enchanting city nestled in the heart of the Andes, offering a range of experiences for every traveler. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage by exploring the historic cobblestone streets and indulging in the mouthwatering local cuisine, including traditional dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado.

For an unforgettable adventure, venture into the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu, where ancient Incan architecture meets breathtaking natural beauty; hike up the challenging yet rewarding trails and witness the mesmerizing sunrise over the majestic citadel. Don't miss the opportunity to connect with the warm and welcoming locals, who are always eager to share their traditions and stories, making your visit to Cusco feel like a truly personalized and exceptional experience.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Money/Currency
  3. Comfortable walking shoes
  4. Sunscreen
  5. Insect repellent
  6. Water bottle
  7. Umbrella or raincoat (depending on the season)
  8. Travel adapter/charger
  9. Lightweight clothing (for warm weather)
  10. Warm clothing (for cooler evenings)
  11. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  12. Travel guidebook or maps for navigation.

What Not to Miss

  1. Machu Picchu
  2. Plaza de Armas
  3. Sacsayhuaman
  4. Qorikancha
  5. San Blas neighborhood
  6. Cusco Cathedral
  7. Sacred Valley
  8. Rainbow Mountain
  9. Museo Inka
  10. Pisac Market

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking
  2. Altitude sickness
  3. Street food without a good reputation
  4. Walking alone at night
  5. Displaying valuable items
  6. Getting caught up in tourist traps
  7. Drinking tap water
  8. Ignoring local customs
  9. Leaving belongings unattended
  10. Overpaying for goods and services

1. Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

The classic Machu Picchu day tour is the most popular option among visitors. It's a day tour that takes you from your hotel in Cusco to Aguas Calientes (which translates to Hot Water or Hot Springs), the gateway to Machu Picchu.

In Cusco, your day tour begins. Here you can book private tours or take public transport. From there, you'll take a bus to the Inca citadel and spend several hours getting to explore Machu Picchu.

With a private tour guide, you will experience a guided tour of Cusco's most famous landmarks, such as the Cathedral, the Koricancha Temple, and the Sacsayhuaman Fortress.

Note: It is recommended to purchase your entrance ticket at least one week in advance either in Cusco or online. Entrance fees cost 154.00 PEN (45.00 USD).

2. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Full-Day Tour

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Full-Day Tour is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Peru. Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is an ancient Inca citadel surrounded by the stunning Machu Picchu mountain region.

Huayna Picchu, a steep mountain peak overlooking Machu Picchu, offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The Huayna Picchu hike can be strenuous for some travelers but offers the best views of the Sacred Valley.

This full-day tour allows you to explore both sites with a knowledgeable guide, providing insights into the history and culture of the Incas.

3. Machu Picchu Small-Group Tour

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

A small group tour is one of the best Machu Picchu tours from Cusco. Led by an expert guide, you'll learn about the intriguing history and culture of the Incas while exploring the stunning ancient citadel.

The intimate group size allows you to engage with the guide, making for an immersive and enriching adventure. Joining a small-group guided tour can help you to organize pick-up, drop-off, train schedules, and permanent assistance if needed, giving you free time to enjoy the Inca citadel.

If you have free time after your tour, you can hike 40 minutes to the hot springs and enjoy a cup of coca tea in the natural thermal pools.

4. 2-Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

If you want to experience the citadel of Machu Picchu in the best way possible, then you simply must try the 2-Day Machu Picchu Tour. You'll start by exploring the vibrant city of Cusco and the beautiful Sacred Valley, with its ancient Incan ruins and bustling markets.

Then, you'll get to witness one of the world's most remarkable sites, Machu Picchu, with a knowledgeable guide. You'll stay overnight in Aguas Calientes, surrounded by breathtaking views and immersed in the local culture.

5. Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley Tour

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

The Sacred Valley of Peru is a destination that should be on every traveler's list. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, it offers a truly unique experience.

From the impressive Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo (home of Ollantaytambo train station) and Pisac to the traditional marketplaces filled with colorful textiles and handicrafts, there's something for everyone.

The peaceful surroundings and beautiful scenery make it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This is a lovely way to get to the Lost City of the Incas.

6. Machu Picchu and Puno Tour

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

Puno is a must-visit destination in Peru, offering a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Home to the mesmerizing Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, Puno is a perfect place to explore the fascinating local culture and traditions of the Aymara and Quechua people.

The city is filled with historical landmarks, charming colonial architecture, and traditional markets. Visitors can experience the colorful festivals, music, and dance performances, as well as indulge in the local cuisine.

7. Machu Picchu Full-Day Tour with Vistadome Train

Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

The Vistadome Train in Peru offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the beautiful scenery of the Peruvian Andes.

With panoramic windows, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the mountains, valleys, and lush forests as they travel to some of the most iconic destinations in the region, such as Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley.

The train's comfortable seating, delicious refreshments, and live entertainment make it an excellent option during the rainy season, which goes from November to March. To purchase day tours or train tickets you can visit the numerous tour companies in Cusco.

8. Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Best Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco

Hiking the Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that every traveler should embark upon. This ancient trail, stretching through the mountains, is the same path that the Incas used centuries ago to reach the citadel of Machu Picchu.

The 4-day trek offers stunning views of the Andean landscape, with snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and traditional villages.

The private tour also includes visits to several Inca sites, which reveal the incredible history and culture of this ancient civilization. Avoid the rainy season by going between the months of April and October.

9. Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

For travelers looking for a taste of the Inca Trail, the Short Inca Trail is a perfect choice. This trek is a shorter version of the famous Inca Trail, covering a distance of 10km and taking two days to complete.

The tour offers stunning views of the historical sanctuary, including the iconic Sun Gate at Macchu Picchu. The trail is less strenuous than the full Inca Trail, making it a great option for those with less time or who prefer a less challenging hike.

10. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

The Salkantay Trek is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that offers stunning views of the Peruvian Andes and an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu, the Lost City.

This 5-day trek takes hikers through diverse landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to tropical rainforests, and offers a chance to explore remote villages and witness traditional Andean life.

The trek culminates with a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu, where hikers can bask in the majesty of this ancient wonder.

11. Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is an incredible adventure that offers a unique combination of breathtaking scenery and rich cultural experiences.

This 5-day trek takes hikers through remote Andean villages, where they can witness traditional weaving, farming, and cooking practices, and interact with the friendly local people.

The trek culminates with a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu, where hikers can explore the ancient ruins and bask in the majesty of this wonder of the world. You will be accompanied by an expert tour guide on this adventurous tour to Machu Picchu.

12. Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu Tour

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

This day tour is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that allows travelers to experience two of Peru's most breathtaking destinations.

The tour takes hikers first to this colorful mountain, where they can marvel at the spectrum of stripes and striations and explore the rugged landscape.

The tour offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. This day trip is best realized with a guide who can organize transportation, entry tickets, and meals.

13. Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

If you're looking for a magical and unforgettable morning, you should definitely consider the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour. This tour allows you to witness the ancient Inca ruins in the soft light of dawn, creating a serene and otherworldly atmosphere that is truly breathtaking.

By ascending to the Sun Gate in the early morning, you can watch the sunrise over the majestic Machu Picchu ruins, casting a golden glow over the ruins. This might be the most photogenic tour to Machu Picchu.

14. Machu Picchu by Car Tour

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

Visiting Machu Picchu by car may not be the most popular option, but it can be a unique and adventurous way to get your own private tour of Machu Picchu. The trip involves driving through the town of Santa Teresa until you reach Hidroelectrica.

From here it is an additional 2.5-hour walk on a flat trail to reach the town of Aguas Calientes town at the base of the ruins. While most tourists opt for the traditional train or trekking options, visiting Machu Picchu by car can provide an unforgettable adventure for those seeking something different

15. Machu Picchu by Train and Bus

Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

Visiting Machu Picchu by train and bus is a convenient and comfortable way to experience the ancient ruins. The trip begins with a scenic train ride from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, where travelers can enjoy stunning views of the Andean mountains and the Urubamba River.

The train station can be found just a few blocks away from the central plaza in Cusco. From there, a bus takes visitors up to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

This option is perfect for those who want to avoid the physical demands of trekking or hiking, while still enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

FAQs About the Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco

Let's take a look at the most frequently asked questions relating to Machu Picchu tours from Cusco.

Can you do a day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco?

Yes, you can do a day trip from Cusco. The Cusco Machu Picchu round trip via train takes about 3.5 hours there and 3.5 hours back.

Leaving at 5 AM, you'll arrive in Aguas Calientes at 9 am. This trip from Cusco includes food, music, performances, and a great view of the Andes. Your entrance ticket for this tour from Cusco will include an entrance and exit time.

How many days do you need in Cusco before Machu Picchu?

It is recommended you stay two nights in Cusco before starting your tour. The first night allows you time to settle into your hotel.

The next day, the leader of the small groups can deliver all the equipment needed for onboarding and acclimatizing to a high level of altitude. This will prepare you for your one or two-day Machu Picchu tour.

How long is the trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu?

The trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes roughly 3.5 hours by train to arrive in Aguas Calientes. The return trip from Aguas Calientes to Cusco takes roughly the same time. It is recommended to start early in the morning.

You can relax in the train car and enjoy the trip. Your train ticket will specify a window of time during which you will have a few hours to enjoy a guided tour of

Is it possible to receive a full refund when I visit Machu Picchu?

No, all tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, so it is not possible to refund train or tour tickets or alter the reservation. Make sure you have all train times and days correct before purchasing your tickets. Then you will have an unforgettable experience.

Summing Up: 15 Best Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco - 2024

Machu Picchu is a unique and awe-inspiring destination that every traveler should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Whether you want to hike the Inca Trail, explore the Sacred Valley, or simply visit the ancient ruins, there are numerous tours available from Cusco to suit every budget and preference.

In this article, we've listed the 15 best tours of Machu Picchu from Cusco, with tours ranging from day trips to multi-day adventures.

We encourage you to book your tour of Machu Picchu today and start planning your unforgettable journey to this incredible Wonder of the World.