GETTING TO MACHU PICCHU
Traveling by air is the most common way to get to Lima, Peru the starting point of your Machu Picchu adventure. Lima is an international airport with frequent direct connections to Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York and other US gateways.
It will take a minimum of 3-nights to see Machu Picchu. One night in Lima and two nights in Cusco with a day trip to Machu Picchu.
However we do recommend a 4-5 night trip. One night in Lima, one night in the Sacred Valley, one night in Machu Picchu and two nights in Cusco. (You do not arrive back in Cusco from Machu Picchu until late in the evening so in order to see Cusco it is necessary to spend two nights).
Day One: Flight to Lima and spend one night in Lima on arrival.
Day Two: A morning flight to Cusco - a one hour flight on a regular jet airplane. Either stay in Cusco or in order to avoid altitude sickness leave for the one hour transfer to the Sacred Valley. Spend the night in the Sacred Valley at a lower altitude.
Day Three: Take the train from either Cusco or Ollyantambo (Sacred Valley) to Machu Picchu. The Hiram Bingham train departs at approximately 9:00 am from Cusco. The trip is a total of 3.5 hours to Machu Picchu. After two hours, the train stops in Ollyantambo to board additional passengers and it is an additional 1.5 hours to Machu Picchu. You can return the same day departing by train in afternoon (6:00 pm for the Hiram Bingham train) or you can stay overnight in the Machu Picchu area. Recommended hotels in Machu Picchu are the Sanctuary Lodge or the Pueblo Hotel. We recommend staying the night to give yourself more time at Machu Picchu and to have two different days of weather for the best experience possible.
Day Four: Spend the day at Machu Picchu and return in the late afternoon to Cusco - spend the night in Cusco.
Day Five: We suggest another full day and night in Cusco to enjoy the sights of Cusco. If you are short on time, you can leave Cusco today to return to Lima and your US bound flight this evening.
Day Six: Depart Cusco in the morning and spend time in Lima before departure for you flight to the US.