Machu Picchu Itinerary 3 Days

by Meghdut

Are you ready for an extraordinary adventure in Machu Picchu? Look no further, because we have crafted the perfect 3-day itinerary just for you. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and breathtaking landscapes of this ancient Incan citadel. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be guided through the most iconic sites, including the Sun Gate and the Temple of the Sun. Get ready to be awe-struck by the stunning architecture and the lush surroundings as you navigate the winding paths. With our detailed itinerary, you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of your time in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Arrival and Acclimatization

Arrival in Cusco

Upon your arrival at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, you will be warmly greeted by your tour guide. They will be waiting to welcome you and provide assistance throughout your journey. You will then be transferred to your hotel in Cusco, where you can relax and acclimatize to the high altitude.

Transfer to Sacred Valley

After a restful night, you will embark on a scenic drive from Cusco to the Sacred Valley. This private transportation will allow you to admire the breathtaking Andean landscapes along the way. The journey offers opportunities to stop at strategic viewpoints, providing you with stunning panoramic views.

Visit Pisac Market and Ruins

Your first stop in the Sacred Valley will be the vibrant Pisac Market. Here, you can explore the stalls of local vendors, shop for souvenirs, and admire the colorful array of traditional crafts. Afterward, you will visit the Pisac Archaeological Site, where you can learn about the fascinating history and architecture of the Incas while enjoying breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley.

Explore Ollantaytambo

Continuing your journey through the Sacred Valley, you will arrive at the majestic Ollantaytambo Fortress. This impressive Inca ruin showcases their exceptional military strategies and engineering skills. As you explore the site, you will be in awe of the remarkable stone terraces and the Temple of the Sun. Afterward, take some time to wander through the charming town of Ollantaytambo and immerse yourself in its rich history and culture.

Train to Aguas Calientes

In the afternoon, you will head to the Ollantaytambo Train Station to board the Vistadome or Expedition Train, depending on your preference. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic train journey along the Urubamba River as you make your way to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. Upon arrival, you will check-in at your hotel and have the evening to relax and prepare for the exciting day ahead.

Day 2: Machu Picchu Exploration

Early Morning Machu Picchu Entrance

Rise and shine! Today begins with an early morning entrance to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. After enjoying a delicious breakfast at your hotel, you will make your way to the Machu Picchu Bus Station. From there, you will board a bus that will take you up the steep mountain to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

Guided Tour of Machu Picchu

Once inside the Lost City of the Incas, you will be greeted by a knowledgeable guide who will lead you on a fascinating tour of Machu Picchu. Marvel at the incredible architectural wonders and learn about the history and significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guide will share stories and insights about the purpose and cultural significance of the various structures within the complex.

Hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, you have the option to hike either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. These hikes offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, as well as a different perspective of Machu Picchu itself. Please note that there is a limited number of daily permits for these hikes, so it is recommended to book in advance.

Free Time to Explore

After the guided tour and optional hikes, you will have free time to explore Machu Picchu at your own pace. Take this opportunity to soak up the magical atmosphere, capture stunning photos, or simply find a quiet spot to contemplate the beauty and history that surrounds you.

Optional Activities: Intipunku (Sun Gate) Hike, Inca Bridge

If you still have energy and time, you can embark on additional optional activities within the Machu Picchu complex. The Intipunku, or Sun Gate, hike offers panoramic views and is the original entrance to the citadel for travelers arriving on the Inca Trail. Another option is to visit the Inca Bridge, an incredible engineering marvel that showcases the ingenuity of the Inca civilization.

Return to Aguas Calientes

Before the afternoon comes to a close, you will board the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax, indulge in a delicious meal, and reflect on the wonders you have experienced throughout the day.

Day 3: Sacred Valley and Departure

Morning Train from Aguas Calientes

On your last day in the region, you will bid farewell to Aguas Calientes and head back to the Sacred Valley. You will board a morning train that will take you on a scenic journey through the picturesque Urubamba River valley.

Visit Moray Agricultural Terraces

Your first stop of the day will be the intriguing Moray Agricultural Terraces. These circular terraces, believed to have served as an experimental agricultural laboratory, showcase the innovative farming techniques of the Incas. Explore the site and learn about the vital role these terraces played in ensuring food security for the empire.

Explore Maras Salt Pans

Continuing your exploration of the Sacred Valley, you will visit the mesmerizing Maras Salt Pans. These ancient salt evaporation ponds have been in use since Inca times and are still harvested by local families today. Take in the panoramic views and witness the beautiful contrast of the gleaming white salt against the surrounding earth tones.

Lunch in Urubamba

After a morning of exploration, it’s time to indulge in a delicious lunch in the charming town of Urubamba. Sample traditional Peruvian cuisine and savor the flavors that this gastronomic destination has to offer.

Visit Chinchero

Before returning to Cusco, you will make a stop in the picturesque village of Chinchero. Here, you can visit the local market and admire the colorful textiles created by talented artisans. Learn about the traditional weaving techniques passed down through generations and witness the vibrant cultural heritage of the Andean people.

Return to Cusco

As the day comes to an end, you will journey back to Cusco, where you can reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you have made throughout your journey. Take this opportunity to explore more of the city, visit local shops and cafes, or simply relax at your hotel.

Departure from Cusco

Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the beautiful city of Cusco and the remarkable wonders of Machu Picchu. After checking out from your hotel, you will be transferred to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport for your departure. With wonderful memories of the breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality of Peru, you bid farewell until your next travel adventure.

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