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Day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco

It is an option for quick travelers interested to visit the most Important tourist destination in Peru. Day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco is designed from everyone.

This situation occurs with many travelers. You do not have much time but want to visit Machu Picchu as quickly as possible?

It is a very easy task with the correct plan. Next, we will go over the steps to take a day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco, also known as the Machu Picchu Day Tour.

Most travelers arriving in Peru generally want to spend as much time as possible in Cusco and Machu Picchu. The normal route takes you 3-4 days in Cusco and 1-2 days in Aguas Calientes Town / Machu Picchu.

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The itineraries for these multi-day tours generally include a tour of the city of Cusco, a visit to the Sacred Valley, train trip to Aguas Calientes tonw, and finally a guided hike to Machu Picchu. This route ends with a return by train to Cusco.

Of course, there are several alternatives to this normal 4-7 day Machu Picchu itinerary.

The Machu Picchu Day Tour can also offer some alternatives. Let’s review the basic plan for this trip:

Overview for a Day trip to Machu Picchu From Cusco

  • Pick up from your hotel in Cusco and transfer to Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley (1:30h).
  • Train to Aguas Calientes (1:30h).
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu (3 -4h).
  • Train ticket back to Cusco.

As you can see, the day will be quite full of travel and activities. Now let’s move on to a more detailed itinerary for each section.

Detailed itinerary

4:30 am – Pick up from your hotel in Cusco or Sacred Valley

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We start the day with an early pick up from your hotel in the city of Cusco.

The driver will be ready to pick you up around 4.30 am to take you to Ollantaytambo train station located approximately 1:30 hours from Cusco. Make sure you have a backpack with:

Machu Picchu day trip packing list

  • A rain poncho in case you travel during the rainy season.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Insecticide.
  • A jacket or sweater in case it is cold at night.
  • A bottle of water.
  • A camera to take pictures.

Arrived at the Ollantaytambo train station at 6:00 am and got ready to wait for the train. Depending on the chosen package, you will board the Expeditions, Vistadome or Hiram Bingham train to the small town of Aguas Calientes.

6.30am – Train to Aguas Calientes

Train to Aguas Calientes

Once on board the train, the PeruRail or IncaRail staff will immediately seat you.

The train ride lasts 1:30 hours and takes you through the picturesque Urubamba Valley. Your ticket will include a snack and something to drink while you participate in this wonderful tour.

Take this opportunity to see the sudden change in foliage as we approach the small town of Aguas Calientes town.

The train ride to Aguas Calientes through the Andean nature is one of the most beautiful tours in the world.

8:00 am – Arrival in Aguas Calientes and travel by Consettur bus up to Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Once you arrive to Aguas Calientes station, you will exit the train and walk to the bus station 5 minutes. You will notice that the surroundings are very different from those of Cusco.

The reason for the sudden change is that Cusco is located in the highlands region of Peru, while the tonw of Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are located in the cloud forest region, at a much lower elevation.

The cloud forest is a point where the rainforest meets the highlands, the result is a much wetter climate and a greener environment.

If you feel a little sick from the altitude and the dry air in Cusco, being in Aguas Calientes will give you almost immediate relief.

The walk to the transport station takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Along the way, we will pass a street market, as well as several restaurants offering everything from local cuisine, various breakfast items, fruit, and even pizza.

So if you skip breakfast, now is a great time to grab a bite to eat before boarding in the bus.

8:35 am – We board the transport and arrive at Machu Picchu

Bus to Machu Picchu

Once we arrive at the bus station, we will wait to get into the vehicle. The bus trip to Machu Picchu takes about 25 minutes.

The trip takes place directly through the winding roads that surround the mountain of Machu Picchu, the bus trip only offers spectacular views of the valleys and the mountains.

Once you arrive at the entrance of Machu Picchu, you will exit the transport and join the bilingual Tour guide. Then walk through the ticket control and enter the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu.

9h00 – Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Finally reached the most anticipated destination, one of the new wonders of the world: Machu Picchu. Travelers agree, this place is full of energy, breathes history and exudes culture, truly a fantastic place to admire.

At this point the guided tour of Machu Picchu begins. In total, the tour will last around 2 hours and when it ends at 11am, you can explore the Inca ruins on your own.

Some of the important attractions of the Day Trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco that we will cover during the tour will be:

Summary of the guided visit to Machu Picchu

  • Intihuatana.
  • The temple of the Sun.
  • Temple of the Condor.
  • Temple of the 3 windows.
  • The Temple of the Moon (reserved with the permission of Huayna Picchu).

1:00 pm. Machu Picchu departure

At one in the afternoon, the group will meet again at the entrance to Machu Picchu. At this point of the day you will descend from the mountain back to the town of Aguas Calientes.

There is the option to hike up to Machu Picchu from the town of Aguas Calientes which will take around 1.5 hours but it is very difficult.

Some travelers prefer to walk from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes town due to the incredible mountain scenery offered.

The surroundings, the rays of the sun shining on the mountains make it quite an experience. This option is generally left to the more adventurous travelers.

1:30 p.m. Lunch in Aguas Calientes

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Aguas Calientes Town

After the long trek to Machu Picchu, you will definitely need some food and something to drink to refill your energy.

Take advantage of this time to visit one of the restaurants in the town of Aguas Calientes for a good lunch. You’ll find local food, vegan restaurants, pizzerias, and sandwich shops everywhere.

Your restaurant is also a good place to wait while the train is ready and take you back to Ollantaytambo train station, so take your time with your meal and enjoy the last glimpses of this small town.

3.30 p.m. Return train to Ollantaytambo station

Train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo

The return train will take about an hour and a half and will take the same route than the train to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy the surrounding cloud forest one moret time, as well as the beautiful Sacred Valley.

The train ticket will be accompanied by a snack as well as something to drink on the way to Ollantaytambo.

5:00 pm. Arrival at Ollantaytambo station and transportation service to Cusco.

Ollantaytambo and Sacred Valley

At 5:00 pm. the train will arrive in Ollantaytambo train station. We carefully leave the train and meet the driver at the entrance. Make sure you have all your personal belongings close at hand.

Once you leave the station, board the bus back to the city of Cusco. The total travel time will be 1.5 hours.

6:45 p.m. Arrival in Cusco

Cusco, last day

The transport will arrive in the city of Cusco around 7:00 p.m. and your tour will end near the main square.

We hope you enjoyed the day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco and that you participate in some of our other tours in Peru.

To book this tour, make reservations at any Time with SPT; a local authorized Machu Picchu Tour Operator or if you have any questions for our expert travel advisors, please contact us through the form below.

Are you traveling soon? Contact us today to book this trip!

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