Planning a trip to see Machu Picchu? My travel guide will show you how to spend four days in Machu Picchu. Learn where to stay, what to see, and how to deal with the altitude.
Packed with historical places and radiate beauty, while visiting Peru you will experience adventures, excitement, and friendliness.
Of course, as you are venturing, you will need to stay well-nourished. And that is quite easy with delicacies like ceviche, stews, and dishes prepared with the local tropical fruits.
Day One: Travel from Lima to Cusco
On your first day in Peru, you will need to travel from Lima to Cusco. The quickest way to get to Cusco is by flying, but you may choose to take the train for the breathtaking views that you can see along the way.
As soon as you arrive, you will want to check into the timeless Monasterio del Cusco, which is one of the unique hotels in the city. The suites and rooms all surround the tranquil courtyard, so you will have plenty of places to unwind after your flight. After a delicious dinner at the on-site restaurant of El Tupay, you can take a leisurely walk in the courtyard before getting ready for a good night sleep.
Day Two: From Cusco to Urubamba Valley
The next day, take a train or bus ride from Cusco to Urubamba Valley, which is also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You should stay there before heading to Machu Picchu so that you do not experience altitude sickness during your trip.
It is always vital to slowly adjust to the different altitudes, so you do not experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. All those can ruin your fascinating trip!
While the Urubamba Valley is a beautiful place to adjust to the altitude, it is also a fabulous place to experience some of the histories of the country. You’ll want to see the archeological sites of Chinchero, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo.
Chinchero is the highest point in the valley, and the views of the surrounding area mesmerizing. The Plaza de Armas was constructed on top of old Inca foundations. But the Inca Wall, with ten different trapezoidal corners, will captivate you the most.
The Pisac Ruins consist mainly of rows of agricultural terraces. You can walk along above the paths to see the temples and the ceremonial center. There are multiple Sunday Markets in Peru, and while the Pisac Market is not known as the best, but you will enjoy walking around to see the vendors and items for sale.
Ollantaytambo isn’t as fascinating as the other two areas, but the ruined fortress offers a picturesque setting amongst the valley and surrounding mountains.
After a full day in Urubamba Valley, you will want to check into the Soy Y Luna and stay in one of the casita houses that are made of local stone. There are only forty-three casitas, so you get your privacy as you look out towards the Gods of the Andes Mountains.
Before retiring for the night, you can grab something to eat at the elegant Killa Wasi. Their menu is impressive, but the classic ceviche is the perfect start to your meal. For the main course, you should consider the Local lamb loin or the grilled beef medallion. No one can leave without one of their tasty desserts, the chocolate truffles, and the butterscotch brownies. Both have received rave reviews from diners.
Day Three: From Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu
Upon waking in the morning, you will board a train or bus to Machu Picchu. Depending on when you are visiting, you may want to purchase your tickets in advance. During June through September, the tickets can sell out quickly for each day. It is when the tourists arrive by the hundreds to see this magnificent site.
You may also want to consider purchasing your entry pass in advance so that you will not be turned away upon your arrival.
While it will not take you all day to see all the ruins of Machu Picchu, it should take you the entire day to fully appreciate what you are experiencing.
After all, the ruins are stunning. The highlights include the Temple of the Three Windows, the Plaza Principal, the Sun Gate, and the Temple of the Condor.
The Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Lodge is a fantastic option for a hotel at the end of this long day. It is not too far from Machu Picchu, so it will not be long before you can sink your head into your pillow as you revel in the beauty you experienced earlier in the day.
Day Four: From Cusco back to Lima
Take a train ride back to Cusco and spend another night at the Monasterio del Cusco. If you want to stay at different hotels, stay at either the Palacio del Inka or the Quinua Villa Boutique. You will feel entirely fulfilled after your time in Machu Picchu and the other areas that you visited.
In the morning, you will leave for the airport early for your flight back to Lima, and from there you will take an overnight flight back to home.
Machu Picchu is one of the most magical places to visit in the world. It is an excellent trip for family, couples and solo travelers. As of July 2017, new rules and restrictions were implemented regarding the times that visitors can enter the park. Also, you cannot just buy your ticket like before; an officially registered tour operator must guide you. Also, when your time is up and must leave the park, you cannot reenter.
The reason for this law is to reduce the number of people visiting Machu Picchu and also to protect the longevity of the site. Many ruins around the world are slowly fading. They were not meant to handle the increasing number of visitors. These countries are putting ordinances to limit the footprints. Read more information about these new rules before heading to Machu Picchu.
After visiting Machu Picchu, there are so much more so to see in Peru. Take a train to Puno to see the historical site of the Los Uros island, and from there, you can get on a bus to see the beautiful white-washed buildings in Arequipa.
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