Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

by Meghdut

Planning a trip to Machu Picchu? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive 5-day itinerary for your adventure. From exploring the famous ancient ruins to immersing yourself in Peruvian culture, we have carefully curated a diverse range of activities and experiences to ensure that you make the most out of your visit. Join us as we guide you through the stunning landscapes, historical sites, and hidden gems that Machu Picchu has to offer. Get ready for an unforgettable journey!

Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

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Day 1: Arrival in Cusco

Arrival at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport

Welcome to Cusco! As you step off the airplane and into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, you’ll immediately feel the excitement and anticipation of your adventure to Machu Picchu. Cusco is a city rich in history and culture, known for its stunning architecture and vibrant streets.

Transfer to your hotel

After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, it’s time to transfer to your hotel. The drive through Cusco will give you a taste of the city’s picturesque landscapes and charming neighborhoods. Your transfer will be waiting for you just outside the airport, ensuring a seamless transition from the airport to your accommodation.

Acclimatization to the altitude

Cusco is located at a dizzying altitude of approximately 11,000 feet (3,400 meters) above sea level. To help your body adjust to this high elevation, it’s important to take it easy for the first day. Drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities, and give yourself time to acclimate to the thin mountain air. This will ensure you fully enjoy the rest of your trip without experiencing altitude sickness.

Exploring Cusco city center

Once you’re feeling settled in your hotel, it’s time to explore Cusco’s magnificent city center. This UNESCO World Heritage site is teeming with history and offers a glimpse into the ancient Inca civilization. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets, visit the impressive Cusco Cathedral, and soak in the lively atmosphere of Plaza de Armas, the main square of the city.

Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

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Day 2: Sacred Valley

Departure from Cusco

Today, you’ll embark on a journey through the Sacred Valley, a region of unparalleled beauty and historical significance. Departing from Cusco, you’ll travel along the winding roads that offer breathtaking views of the Andean landscapes.

Visit to Pisac Market

Your first stop will be the vibrant Pisac Market, where you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and pick up some unique souvenirs. This bustling market is known for its colorful textiles, intricate handicrafts, and fresh produce. Take your time to browse through the stalls and interact with the friendly vendors.

Exploration of Pisac Ruins

After exploring the market, it’s time to visit the ancient ruins of Pisac. Set high above the valley, these Inca ruins offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and terraced agricultural fields. As you wander through the well-preserved structures, your guide will share fascinating stories about the Inca civilization and their remarkable engineering skills.

Lunch in Urubamba

After experiencing the awe-inspiring ruins, you’ll continue your journey to the picturesque town of Urubamba, where a delicious traditional Peruvian lunch awaits. Indulge in the flavors of the region, savoring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, including quinoa, potatoes, and Andean corn.

Visit to Ollantaytambo Fortress

Next, you’ll visit Ollantaytambo, a town steeped in history and home to the impressive Ollantaytambo Fortress. This archaeological site showcases intricate stone terraces, temples, and ceremonial fountains. As you explore this formidable stronghold, you’ll gain insight into the strategic importance it held during the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

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Day 3: Machu Picchu

Transfer to Ollantaytambo Train Station

Today marks the highly anticipated trip to Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. From your hotel in the Sacred Valley, you’ll be transferred to Ollantaytambo Train Station, where you’ll embark on a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.

Scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking views as the train winds its way through the dramatic landscapes of the Sacred Valley. Feast your eyes on towering mountains, lush valleys, and rushing rivers. You may even catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes.

Bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Upon reaching Aguas Calientes, a small town nestled in the cloud forests, you’ll board a bus that will take you up the winding road to the entrance of Machu Picchu. As you ascend, the anticipation builds, knowing that the awe-inspiring ancient city is just moments away.

Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Once inside the gates of Machu Picchu, a knowledgeable guide will lead you on a mesmerizing journey through the ruins. Learn about the mysterious history of this archaeological masterpiece, discover the significance of its terraces and stone structures, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the Incas.

Free time to explore the site

After the guided tour, you’ll have some free time to explore Machu Picchu at your own pace. Find a tranquil spot to soak in the energy of the surroundings, capture panoramic photographs, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic trails. This is your opportunity to embrace the mystical ambiance of this ancient wonder.

Return to Aguas Calientes

As the day draws to a close, bid farewell to Machu Picchu and return to Aguas Calientes. Spend the evening relaxing in the comfort of your hotel, reflecting on the incredible sights and experiences of the day.

Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes

For a truly immersive Machu Picchu experience, we recommend spending the night in Aguas Calientes. This allows you to savor the tranquility of the early morning before the crowds arrive and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of the town.

Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

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Day 4: Optional Activities

Additional visit to Machu Picchu for sunrise

For the early risers and photography enthusiasts, we offer the option to return to Machu Picchu at dawn to witness the sunrise over the ancient citadel. This magical experience allows you to capture the golden hues painting the landscape and enjoy a quieter, more serene visit to the ruins before the day’s crowds arrive.

Hike to Huayna Picchu mountain

For those seeking an exhilarating adventure and breathtaking views, consider hiking to the summit of Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu. This challenging trek will reward you with panoramic vistas of the ruins and the surrounding landscapes. Please note that due to limited daily permits, it’s essential to book in advance.

Exploration of the Sun Gate

The Sun Gate, or Inti Punku, is another optional excursion that offers a unique perspective of Machu Picchu. This moderate hike takes you through scenic trails and ancient Inca staircases, culminating in a rewarding view of the citadel from above. Experience the thrill of seeing Machu Picchu from a different angle and imagining how it appeared to its original inhabitants.

Return to Cusco

After a fulfilling day of exploration and optional activities, it’s time to bid farewell to Aguas Calientes and make your way back to Cusco. The picturesque train ride will allow you to reminisce about the wonders you’ve witnessed and the memories you’ve made during your time in this captivating region.

Machu Picchu Itinerary 5 Days

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Day 5: Departure from Cusco

Transfer to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport

As your remarkable journey comes to an end, it’s time to bid farewell to Cusco. After checking out of your hotel, you’ll be transferred to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, where you’ll catch your flight back home. Take one last look at the breathtaking landscapes and architectural gems of Cusco, knowing that you’ve experienced an adventure of a lifetime.

Flight back home

Board your flight with a heart full of unforgettable memories and a sense of awe for the wonders of Machu Picchu. Reflect on the enriching experiences, incredible sights, and the warmth of the Peruvian hospitality that have made your trip truly special. Until next time, Cusco!

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