A trip to South America would not be complete without visiting Machu Picchu which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. There are lots of different group tours to Machu Picchu available including the legendary Inca Trail trek, jungle trek, Salkantay trek and also shorter trips from Aguas Calientes. This will be one of the most incredible experiences of your life!
Machu Picchu is known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ and is easily one of the most recognisable tourist attractions in the world. Machu Picchu which is included in the New Severn Wonders of the World, it is located high in the Andes a whopping 7,970 feet above sea level so altitude sickness can be a problem when visiting. Once you have climbed the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu you will be in a spectacular setting high in the Andes surrounded by mountains.
The Inca Trail is one of the most famous trekking routes in the world and a true travellers favourite, not many trips in the world compare to this! Expect one of the most amazing experiences of your life seeing the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu which is still surrounded in mystery. There are lots of buildings and houses which are still in a good state considering how old they are. A lot of trips here end with you waking up early to see sunrise, you will get photos and memories to last a lifetime. These really are special journeys which will provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Our tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most of our tours specifically cater for all age groups and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
On guided tours to Machu Picchu you will get a safe and structured trip taking you to the heart of the Inca civilization. We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. Our website features lots of cheap tours allowing you to discover the highlights of the Inca Trail and not break the bank. If you would like to see Macu Picchu and are short of time / money you can also take a day trip on the train.
You're visiting Peru, and obviously Machu Picchu is a definite must. Don't panic, there is no need to pre-book your trip to this historical wonder, almost every tour company offers trips there on a daily basis at more competitive prices, and soon you'll want a top that says "I've been to Machu Picchu, please leave me alone!". But it's still good to have an idea of how you want to get to Machu Picchu, whether it's a one day trip by train, a 3 or 4 day Jungle Trek, a 5 day Salkantay Trek, or of course the famous Inca Trail.
The train is the quickest but can also be the most expensive mode of transport for getting to Machu Picchu, however it is also very easy, comfortable and quick, as well as sporting panoramic views. If you are pressured for time then the train is the best option for you and there are tickets ranging from about $77 - $475 each way from Poroy to Aguas Calientes. Poroy is just a cheap public bus journey from the buzzing town of Cusco. However, bear in mind that the cheaper options do not include entry to Machu Picchu, a guide (not a necessity but certainly recommended), or any food/drinks, so you will have to organise that separately.
Claimed by some to be the easiest route to Machu Picchu, the Jungle Trek will lead you to stunning views, and will still test your physical capabilities both cycling and walking, whilst packing your brain full of fascinating facts about the Inca's, the jungles through which you walk, and Peru's history. For a young crowd, booking the tour through Loki Hostel is a definite yes. Sure to be with a group of fellow adventurous travellers, this will only add to the entertainment factor of the trip, and we found the guides to be especially knowledgable and attentive.
Looking at a price of around $230 for 4 days and 3 nights, which includes everything except money for water, approximately a $2 charge to cross the river, and another $3 for the Hot Springs, it is also one of the cheapest ways (ignoring going alone with a local for a guide) of exploring Machu Picchu and the terrain on the way to the foot of this architecturally fascinating village. For those who like a little added adventure, sign yourself up for white water rafting (weather permitting) and then the zip wire course on the 3rd morning, and to go further still, ask to do the Superman style for one of the runs - a definite recommendation!
Said to be a more physically testing route, the Salkantay Trek is a 5 day expedition, all on foot, through the beautiful mountainside leading to Machu Picchu. Although you don't have the niceties of a hostel at night like on the Jungle Trek and so a slightly warmer set of clothing is advisable, the longer hours of hard trekking lead you to camp at greater heights with amazing views of the surrounding area. It has a similar price to the Jungle Trek despite the extra day, and includes everything. Once again this can be booked through Loki Hostel, which again I would highly recommend, although there are of course dozens of companies that offer similar packages.
If you are interested in your history, and truly following in the footsteps of the Inca's then of course the original, famous, world-class trek is unavoidable. For preservation reasons the number of people allowed to take the route is limited, and therefore if you travel during peak holiday dates and have your mind set on doing this tour, then definitely book it in advance. However, around Cusco in particular there are places that will still allow you to book onto this trip last minute. The price is about double that of the Jungle and Salkantay, but if that's what you're going to Peru for then of course it's worth the investment!
This is the town located about a 20 minute walk along the river, from the base of Machu Picchu with loads of restaurants and places to stay. The bridge to begin the climb up Machu Picchu opens every day at 5am, and most tours will have you leave your accommodation about 4:30am to make sure you are there the moment it opens. The climb itself is mostly a series of uneven steps (approximately 1800 - not that we counted!) and it will take between 45 - 60 minutes, beginning in the dark. Otherwise, there is a bus service that runs regularly up to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes for a small additional fee.
To join you must be in good physical shape and apply early as permits and places are limited throughout the year. There are different trips for all abilities and interests, you might also like to combine experiences and apply to volunteer in Peru too.
Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location. Some tours also include homestays which allow for a facsinating cultural exchange.
Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator.
If you have a specific time in mind we recommend booking well in advance with a tour operator which uses local local guides so you can learn more about the history and past of this famous route. Prices can vary depending on the tour operator and trip you select. There are also charity challenges available to book where you can trek as part of a group raising money for charity.
Have you ever been to see Machu Picchu? Would you like to review a trip or tour company? Contact us with your feedback.
Our Machu Picchu guide was contributed by Claudia Macdonald.