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Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley

Explore the Inca culture in small groups with private transfer

2 days
4.6 (23 reviews)

Tour details
What to bring

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley tour information

timer 2 days
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From your accommodation located in the center of Cusco between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.


To your accommodation in Cusco between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. (Depends on train schedule)


The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour is one of the travelers’ favourite. It is one of the best options to reach Machu Picchu because during the journey to the World Heritage Site, you’ll be able to visit the different areas of the Sacred Valley: the market, the archaeological site of Pisac and the fortress of Ollantaytambo. Once in Ollantaytambo you’ll take the train to Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes).

The second day is dedicated to visit Machu Picchu, there is a guided tour of two hours and free time to explore the citadel. After the visit, you can choose which bus you want to take to return to Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes) for lunch and take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Once there, a transfer will be waiting for you to take you to Cusco.

It is a guided tour where you’ll have free time during some parts to explore by yourself. It is undoubtedly the most complete tour to discover the Inca culture and its legacy which still endures today.

You can find out what these two days will look like in detail below:

Tour itinerary

todayPREVIOUS DAY Briefing - Cusco

Where: In your accommodation

The day before the tour departure, the guide will visit you at your hotel or the place you indicate for the tour briefing. A small meeting will be held where you will be explained all the details of the tour, tell you the exact time of pick up and give you your train tickets and to Machu Picchu tickets.

Plaza de Armas in the city of Cusco

todayDAY 1 Cusco - Pisac - Urubamba - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Cusco elevation: 3400 masl Machupicchu Elevation: 2430 masl Group size: 15 travelers during the Sacred Valley tour Difficulty: easy
access_time7 : 30 AM
First stop: Pisac handicraft shops

On the day the tour begins, you will be picked up at your hotel at approximately 7:30 a.m. in a 15-seat minibus.

After about an hour on the road, we will arrive at the first stop of the Sacred Valley, the Pisac handicraft shops. If you want to visit another part of the village, we recommend that you ask the guide for directions to the market square. It’s located just a few meters from the stop and is certainly worth a visit.

artisan shops in Pisac on the Machu Picchu excursion
access_time10 : 00 AM
Archaeological complex of Pisac

The tour continues to the archaeological complex of Pisac. The guide will give you some historical explanations and you will be able to explore it on your own. If you do not have the tourist ticket of Cuzco do not worry, the guide will help you to buy it, since it is necessary to be able to access the archaeological zone.

Machu Picchu tour guide in Ollantaytambo
access_time12 : 00 AM
The fortress of Ollantaytambo

You will continue on to Urubamba, where you will enjoy a traditional buffet lunch in a restaurant located in a typical construction of the area. At the end of the meal, you will return with your group in the minibus that will take you to the last stop of the Sacred Valley of the Incas: the incredible fortress of Ollantaytambo.

machu picchu and the sacred valley ollantaytambo tour
Free time in Ollantaytambo

You will have a guided tour and at the end, the minibus will bring you to the central square of Ollantaytambo, located 5 minutes by walk from the train station. At this point, the guide will return to Cusco and you will have free time to have a drink until the departure of your train, Expedition/Voyager category. This category offers the schedule that best suits the tour.

visit ollantaytambo on the machu picchu tour
access_time7 : 00 PM
Trip to Aguas Calientes

You will travel in this iconic train for an hour and a half, crossing the Vilcanota River valley, which offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains, the semi-tropical zone and the high jungle area. In addition, a small snack is served for you to enjoy the journey. When you arrive in Aguas Calientes they will be waiting for you to accompany you to your accommodation, they will indicate the exact time of pick up for the next day and you will have time to have dinner in town and rest.

Train to Machu Picchu aguas calientes

todayDÍA 2 Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Group size: 10 travelers during Machu Picchu tour Difficulty: easy
Machu Picchu tour

This day you will have to get up early to access Machu Picchu early. You will have breakfast at the accommodation and at the appointed time the guide will pick you up to walk with the rest of the group to the bus stop.

Normally, the wait for the bus that will take you to the Inca Citadel is 20 minutes. The exact time of the pick up from your hotel and the bus depends on the time of entry to the Machu Picchu, so we advise you to book early, to enter in the first shifts.

Machu Picchu tour
access_time2 : 30 PM
Arrival to Machu Picchu

When you reach Machu Picchu you will begin the two hours guided tour. In the beginning, you will have more time to enjoy the place and take photographs, as it is the best location because it is accessed from the top. The guided tour continues through the different areas of the citadel and the guide explains in detail everything that is known about Machu Picchu and the Inca culture.

Visit Machu Picchu
Free Time around the Citadel

At the end of the guided tour, the guide bids farewell to the group and you will have free time to walk around the citadel and explore it on your own, until you decide to take the bus down to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Once there, you can eat at one of the many restaurants on your own and then take the train to Ollantaytambo (train schedules are subject to availability). When you arrive at Ollantaytambo station, the driver will be waiting to take you to Cusco, where you will arrive at approximately 8:30 p.m.

If you have selected the extra night in Aguas Calientes, you can enjoy the afternoon in the village, taking the train the next day.

Cusco on the trip to machu picchu

Tour details


  • Pick up from your hotel in the centre of Cusco
  • Sacred Valley Tour (guided minibus) to Ollantaytambo
  • Lunch in Urubamba
  • Return train Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes (Voyage/Expedition category)
  • Bed and breakfast in Aguas Calientes
  • Round trip bus Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Return Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Not included

  • Tourist Ticket of Cusco (70 soles / $20 aprox.)
  • Dinner on the first day
  • Lunch on the second day

error_outlineImportant information

Train schedules and access to additional archaeological sites may vary depending on availability, so please book as far in advance as possible. The additional zones of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are not compatible, so you can only select one of the 2. The offered accommodations are subject to availability as well, in the scenario where they are not available, hotels of equal or superior category will be selected instead. The order of the visits could be altered, but it will not affect the content of the program. Ticket and transportation schedules may be subject to change.
The order of the visits could be altered, but it will not affect the content of the program. The schedules of the tickets and transports could be subject to modifications.
This activity includes the appropriate protection measures to ensure your safety. In addition, our excursions are outdoor and in small groups to reduce the risk of contagion. Remember to follow the instructions of the staff during the development of the excursion.

restoreCancellation policy

You will receive a 75% refund of your booking if you cancel at least 30 days before the tour start date. Between 30 and 20 days before the tour start date, 65% of the total amount will be refunded. After this time, or if you don’t show up, no refunds will be given.

What to bring to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley

It should be noted that the tour starts in Cuzco, located at 3,400 meters of altitude, and Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes) is 1,000 meters less than Cuzco. Therefore, you must be equipped with warm clothes but also with short sleeves, since the nights are cold and during the day it is hot. You should also take into account that the climate varies according to the time of year, especially in the rainy season (December - March). We recommend you leave most of your luggage at your accommodation in Cuzco and travel only with what is necessary for the tour:
  • Backpack for two days
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm clothing
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Water bottle
  • Raincoat/waterproof poncho
  • Passport
  • Bathing suit and towel (only if you want to visit the hot springs of Aguas Calientes)
  • Medication to avoid altitude sickness (in case you consider it necessary).

Where does the tour Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley start

The tour starts in Cusco and includes pick up from your accommodation, as long as it is located in the historic centre of Cusco. If the street is not accessible for the minibus, the coordinator will accompany you from your accommodation to the pick-up point. If your hotel is not centrally located, the minibus cannot deviate too much from its pick-up route and you will be offered a pick-up point as close as possible to your accommodation.

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley tour reviews with Howlanders

Overall rating
Quality-price ratio
The experience we had on the tour was impeccable. We had the two days, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu tour that began in Cusco and ended in Cusco. For every part of the trip whether it was at the hotel, the train station and at the bus stop, we were greeted by a guide. They were friendly, knowledgeable and have done their best to allow us to have the best experience possible. The hotel folks were very nice and accommodating too. We have had one of the best experiences of our lifetime and a few of us are world travelers by the way so we know and understand what it takes to provide world class services. These folks do not disappoint! Many thanks for all the people who put our trip together flawlessly. Keep up the great work! ;-)

Dianne Agbuya

The 2 days trip was perfectly organized. We got briefed the day before and received all tickets (Peru Rail, Machu Picchu, buses etc) upftont. On each interface (e.g. after arriving by train in Machu Picchu village) a personal guide picked us up, in order to create out journey as smooth as possible. The included Luch at day 1 was amazing (4star buffet at high qualety Restaurant). Some of our mixed group had to eat in a normal retaurant as they booked with an other agency. The only thing with room for improvement was the night in "ECO Hostel" at machu picchu Picchu village-> very noisy and slightly cold with a twin bed instead of a double bed. However all in all one of the best organized trips we had in Peru.

Kristina Rivera
Well organized tour. Everything ran smoothly and someone was in constant contact with us to make sure everything was okay. I highly recommend this tour and company! It was nice to have someone else plan and handle everything. And the value is great compared to other tour companies that offer the same exact experience.

Questions & Answers

What is the best time to travel to Machu Picchu?
Any time of the year is a good time to visit Machu Picchu. During the months of June to September it is the dry season and you will avoid possible rainy days but there are more tourists for being in high season.

Has this tour ever been cancelled during the rainy season?
No, the tour is never cancelled due to the weather. The stretch between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) is done by train and not by road, which sometimes can be closed, especially in the rainy season.

When to book the tour?
During Easter and the months from June to September, it is high season. In order to ensure good timetables on the trains it is advisable to book more than a month in advance. In the case of including Huayna Picchu we recommend booking more than 3 months in advance.

What is the difference between the trains?
There are two companies that operate the route between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town): Inca Rail and Peru Rail. Their trains are for tourist, with panoramic windows and circulate at low speed to be able to appreciate the landscape during the route. They offer mainly 2 categories, the standard category, called Expedition or Voyager and the superior category called 360 or Vistadome. In case you want a more luxurious category or customize your tour, write us an email to

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