How to Plan a Trip to Machu Picchu

There’s a reason Machu Picchu is one of the top travel destinations in the world. A Machu Picchu tour is a rich cultural experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the 16th century during the time of the Inca civilization to see how they may have lived long ago. The archeological site is so true to how it was hundreds of years ago because it was hidden in the Andes mountains for so many years. If you’re the hiking type, there’s also the option of adding a trek to your Machu Picchu tour.

Choosing the Time of Year to Visit Machu Picchu

The best month to visit Machu Picchu varies depending on who you ask. Whether you want to try and catch one of the yearly events in Cusco, travel during the drier season, or visit when there are less tourists, there’s a reason you can find for visiting Machu Picchu at any time of the year.

It just so happens that the dry season in the Andes mountains where Machu Picchu is located (around May to October) coincides with North America’s summer months when most people go on vacation. But you can actually visit Machu Picchu at any time of the year. Even during the rainy season, there are nearly always pockets of sunshine in the Andes.

Learn more about the advantages of traveling to Cusco and Machu Picchu based on the different months of the year in our blog post below.

Choosing the Type of Machu Picchu Tour for You

There are generally 2 types of tours of Machu Picchu from Cusco:

  1. Hiking to Machu Picchu – These tours involve either a 2-Day trip (with an overnight hotel stay in Machupicchu Town at the base of the mountain) or a 4-Day camping trip.
  2. Machu Picchu for Travelers Who Don’t Want to Hike – These tours are ideal for those who don’t have much time or those who aren’t interested in hiking, whether or not this is due to fitness level or age.

See our blog post below for more details on the specific options within each of these types of trips.

Planning the Rest of Your Trip to Peru

Normally, travelers to Peru plan the Machu Picchu portion of their Peru trip first. Not only is Machu Picchu generally the highlight of a Peru trip, but it’s also important to book your Machu Picchu tour early (as in months in advance) because entrance tickets are restricted and can sell out fast.

Once the Machu Picchu tour is confirmed, here are other considerations to keep in mind when planning your travels to Peru:

  1. Altitude and Acclimatization – Machu Picchu is at very high altitude, and most travelers underestimate the effects of altitude sickness (see Altitude Acclimation Tips). We always recommend planning at least a day (ideally, a few days) to acclimatize to the high altitude before your Machu Picchu tour date.
  2. Other Places to Visit in Cusco – If you have the time, you could potentially fit in other popular tours in and around the Cusco area, such as the half-day Cusco City Tour or the Rainbow Mountain Day-Hike. Alternatively, you can choose the Machu Picchu-Sacred Valley Tour to reach various sites all in one go.
  3. What to Do in Lima – In order to get to Cusco (the closest city to Machu Picchu), you’ll need to pass through the International Airport of Lima and could plan to spend a day or two in Miraflores (where tourists normally stay when they visit Lima). See What to Do in Miraflores for ideas.
  4. Brush Up on Your Spanish – Ever heard “lonche” and thought it was “lunch”? It happens! English to Spanish words can be tricky. Don’t miss a meal! Check out our guide for smooth communication on your Peru trip.
  5. Insuring your trip – When you’re off on adventures to high-altitude spots or trying out exciting activities, having travel health insurance is a must. It ensures you’re covered for any unexpected health issues, giving you peace of mind to fully enjoy your trip. Check out our recommended insurance options to find your perfect fit!
  6. Backpacking Tips – Planning to visit Machu Picchu with a backpack? Make sure to follow Machu Picchu’s guidelines!

How to Book Your Machu Picchu Tour with Us

When you’re ready to book a tour or if you have any questions, click here to send us a message. We normally get back to you within a day, and we’ll email back and forth with you to help you plan your Machu Picchu tour based on your needs, interests, and budget. Once you feel satisfied and comfortable with the proposed plan, we’ll send you a PayPal link for a deposit. With the deposit, we can start reserving everything in Cusco and Machupicchu Town so that all is ready for you and your family or friends when you arrive.

Ready to reach out? Click here to contact us about a Machu Picchu tour.


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