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Tours & lodging in Cusco

Nature, wilderness and ancient culture

by Nature Andes

There are many hikes to choose from and ruins to visit besides Machu Picchu, but it is detailed first in the next few paragraphs for being the main attraction in Cusco.

Choose a route to Machu Picchu according with your style:

1. The confort way. You get a transportation (train or combination bus plus train) all the way to AGUAS CALIENTES (also called 'Machu Picchu Pueblo'), and from there take a bus that goes up to the citadel and back.

2. The backpacker's way. Get a transportation (either train or bus, or combination) that will leave you at some distance from the citadel of Machu Picchu, with options varying from a 2 hour walk (closest), 1 day walk (short Inka Trail), 4 days (traditional Inka Trail), or 5 days (Salkantay trail).

3. The adrenaline way. This is the 'jungle trek', and includes cycling, river rafting, zip-lining, trek and thermal bath.

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Besides the tours to Machu Picchu by the means stated above, you may want to add other destinations (all detailed below) and make a combination of them. Examples of combined activies could be:

1. Take a luxury train to visit Lake Titicaca followed by a day trek to Machu Pichu, or ;

2. Take a confortable train to Machu Picchu and then join a 7-day expedition to search for wildlife in the jungles of Manu.

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CONFORT TRIPS (train or mostly by train):

1. Arequipa to Cusco or Cusco to Arequipa *

Super luxury train, three days, with the Belmond Andean Explorer, with stops to see Inca ruins (not Machu Picchu), the Colca Canyon and explore lake Titicaca's islands by boat. All included. From $2,300 to $ 2,900. More info.

2. Cusco to Machu Picchu (round trip) **

Luxury trip with the train Belmond Hiram Bingham, destination Aguas Calientes, and from there a bus to the ruins of Machu Picchu. All included. Few places available. $1,500. More info.

3. Budget Cusco to Machu Picchu (round trip)

Take a bus/train combination from Cusco to Aguas Calientes from Inca Rail, and from there a bus to the ruins. $500. More info.

* Unforgetable.
** Fully recommended and best deal.

Luxury train 3-day trip in Cusco, Peru, by Nature Andes
Luxury train 3-day trip in Cusco, Peru, by Nature Andes

Backpacking to Machu Picchu Backpacking to Machu Picchu Biking part of the jungle trek to Machu Picchu

BACKPACKER'S TRIPS TO MACHU PICCHU:

1. Inka trail: one or four day hike to Machu Picchu

The only option to walk straight into the ruins of Machu Pichu is to take the famous Inka Trail. With stone-made Inca ruins, paths and stairs often bordering cliffs. Mixed train and hike. Several options, from one to four days hike. $320 to $900. More info.

2. Two hour hike to Machu Picchu

Skip the train, take a van from Cusco all the way to Santa Tereza (6h), and from there a two hour hike to Machu Picchu (13.8 km), stay overnight in Aguas Calientes. Price $270 to $500. More info.

3. Jungle trek (adrenaline) to Machu Picchu

It includes 3 night lodging, three meals per day, lodging, hiking, cycling, entrance to Machu Picchu. $690. With optional rafting, line ziping, hotel overnights on arrival and train back to Cusco, $1,000. More info.

4. Salkantay 5-day trek to Machu Picchu

Alpine meadows and snow capped peaks descending to tropical climate. Includes lodging and meals during hike and entrance to M achu Picchu. $770. With optional hotel overnights on arrival and return by train $900. More info.

5. Humantay lake 1-day trek

It is an entry level / acclimatation hike to a breath-taking scenery from the Saraypampa camp (second camp of the Salkantay trek). Includes breakfast and lunch. $65. With overnight included at Soraypampa dome camp $192. More info.

WILDLIFE RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS:

Biological expedition with volunteers (citizen science) to survey animals. Duration of 7 days. Price $1,800 / student price $900. More info.

Andean bear research in Cusco, Peru, by Nature Andes
Jaguar research in Cusco, Peru, by Nature Andes

OBSERVATIONS

The most important things to know about the tour to Machu Picchu while you are still in the planning phase are:

1. Reserve your ticket and transportation with several months of antecipation as places to visit Machu Picchu are limited.

2. The driest and prefered season to travel is between May and November. During the rainy season it may be foggy and difficult to see the ruins immediately on arrival, and the roads are subjected to mudslides. In the other hand, it is when you get the best discounts.

3. Choose with atencipation between the several different routes to reach Machu Picchu. There are so many options that turns out to be very confusing for those not acquainted with the place, and each route matches different personal styles. For example, if you happen to have knee pain you'll be in trouble in the traditional Inka Trail, and if do not like adrenaline the jungle trek is not recommended for you.

Our packages include transfers, hotel/lodging, guide and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu (when it is your destination). We made a careful selection from the best services (for budget, intermediary and confort tours) that can be provided by companies in Cusco, so you can have the peace of mind to fully enjoy a tour of a lifetime.

We strongly encourage you to choose a package with antecipation instead of making independent choices as they come, as you'll never know what you'll get, and in the end the budget is nearly the same ! Note that the ticket plus bus to Machu Pichu alone costs $80,00, and the most economic train costs between $100 to $200 round trip.

Having said that, by the time you complete our tour package(s), you'll have learned a lot deal more about the region and tour options. You may then have planned to stay a day or two longer and explore other activities on your own.

Prices are aproximations in Dollar, a valid currency in Peru.

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