Machu Picchu Express Tour

If you’re really short of time but you absolutely positively have to visit Machu Picchu then this is the tour for you.

We cram as much into 3 nights and 4 days as possible and you’ll get the chance to spend more than half a day at Machu Picchu and explore this incredible place to your heart’s content.

Day 1 : Arrive Cusco, City & ruins tour, including Sacsayhuaman

Day 2 : Travel to Ollantaytambo, Ruins tour, Train to Machu Picchu

Day 3 : Explore Machu Picchu, Train back to Cusco in afternoon

Day 4 : Free morning in Cusco, Return to Lima

  • Start this tour any day you like
  • Customise it if you wish

The Places You’ll Visit

 Day 1 – Cusco – the Ancient Capital of the Incas

After arriving at your hotel, you’ll be able to explore Cusco, the historic Incan capital of Peru which is built on hills in a bowl surrounded by higher peaks. The tiny cobbled streets of the old city are filled with fascinating shops, restaurants and hotels catering for every taste and pocket. The Inca Empire held sway between 13th and 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors invaded. You can see the influence of both wherever you go. The women and children you meet in the street, resplendent in colourful clothes, ready for a photo opportunity with Llama’s and bonneted lambs, are likely to be Inca descendants. In the middle of the old city you’ll find an original Incan road called Hatun Ramiyoc Street.

Tempting shops face an outer wall of a 14th century palace which has since evolved in to the Museum of Religious Art. This logic-defying wall, using the original Inca construction, is a jigsaw of stones with a remarkable twelve angled one held in place by other stones which hug it perfectly. No mortar needed.  According to a young Che Guevara it is an ‘enigma in stone’. It looks random until you see the repetitive design imbued with their mythology. The condor, puma and serpent are the main Andean trinity and you’ll find their depictions in jewellery, fabric designs as well as their sacred architecture. This beautiful, evocative city will be hard to tear yourself away from.


You’ll also get to visit Sacsayhuaman, an extraordinary, complex above the city of Cusco. The largest stones, close to 300 tons, show a similar jigsaw perfection to the one in the middle of Cusco. You have to take a deep breath and really look at these feats in rock because they’ll boggle your mind when you absorb the implications. Apparently, it was an Inca royal retreat or fortress but if the Inca never used the wheel, is it possible they could have wielded these megaliths at all? According to one shaman we know water erosion at this site proves it was built prior to the last Ice Age, therefore the Inca could only have discovered it rather than built it. So the debate is still open about who, why, when and the biggest question of all, how?

Day 2 – The Sacred Valley of the Incas

After leaving Cusco we will head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a magnificent, fertile valley with stunning views everywhere you look. This is one of our very favourite parts of Peru and the energy in the valley is incredible and it’s not hard to understand why this valley was considered so sacred by the Incas.

You’ll be driven through part of this incredible valley, to a town called Ollantaytambo.


At the far end of the Sacred Valley lies the ancient town of Ollantaytambo. Andean peaks gaze down from on high making it feel like frontier-land. Sitting by the wide plaza at the top of the town, flanked with its multitude of shops with soft-as-down alpaca poncho’s you could easily expect Clint Eastwood to ride in with a cheroot clamped between his teeth. Cobbled streets and dusty roads lead you over the gushing Urubamba past a favourite watering hole called ‘Hearts Cafe’ (well worth a visit) towards the impressive ruins of the Inca temple fortress themselves which climb up a steep shoulder of mountain in front of another market-filled plaza where you’ll also find a chocolate museum. The views from the top of the ruins, about two hundred massive steps up, is breath-taking and you can understand how the Inca’s were able to defeat the Spaniards at the battle outside these walls. A fascinating place to explore and a gateway to Machu Picchu by train.

In the afternoon you’ll board the Machu Picchu train to Machu Picchu Village (aka Aguas Calientes)

Day 3 – Machu Picchu – The Lost City of the Incas

You’ll wake up very early in the morning in order to get on the first buses and enter Machu Picchu when the gates open at 6am. If it’s a clear day you’ll get to see an amazing sun-rise over this magnificent place. This is the best time to enter Machu Picchu because you will feel like you have the place to yourself until crowds start arriving.

Machu Picchu has been designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it’s really not hard to see why. It truly is a staggering achievement guaranteed to fill you with awe and wonder from the moment you arrive. Just standing in this place is enough to raise your consciousness to a whole new level! Machu Picchu is sometimes known as the “Lost city of the Incas”, “The City of Light for Initiates” and the “Crystal City”.

It is an ancient and very sacred power place that is fed by grids of powerful natural energies. The shamanic belief is that Machu Picchu served as an initiatory centre for higher learning.

Whatever the truth, it is a mystical and enigmatic place many of us have dreamed of experiencing and yet however you imagined it to be, the reality will be far more intense and extraordinary. The view over the ruins of the citadel is as iconic as the image of Earth from space but when you stand above it as the sun creeps over the nearby peaks to light these ancient walls and terraces foot by foot you will be stunned to silence. Nothing can prepare you for the impact of seeing this extraordinary ‘crystal city’ emerge from the shadows of the dawn and your dreams.

It is a wonder-filled journey walking through the temples and gardens perched on this mountain-top eyrie surrounded and protected by higher mountain peaks.

You’ll have about 6 or 7 hours to explore Machu Picchu before needing to return to the village to board a train back to Cusco.

Trip Details

How this tour works

You can start this tour on any date you wish, just let us know on the sign-up form below.

Unlike with our group tours, you will not have a full-time guide with you for the duration of the tour. However, parts of the tour are guided.

When you arrive in Cusco you will be picked up from the airport and taken to your hotel where you will be met by an Outer Travels Inner Journeys representative who will give you an orientation briefing and provide you with all the tickets and everything else you need.

All your transport, accommodation and everything is arranged by us. You will always be picked up at your hotel at a designated time and taken to your next hotel.

If at any time you have a problem or need some help, you can easily call us and a representative will be available to help.

Got a question about this trip?




    Included in the cost of this trip is:

    • Airport Pick-up in Cusco
    • 3 nights in 2 different hotels
    • Taxi Transfers between each hotel
    • Train to Machu Picchu
    • All Entrance Fees to Sacred Sites

    What’s not included:

    • Your international flights to Peru
    • Domestic flights to Cusco
    • Meals
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu*
    • Any fees needed for obtaining a Peruvian Visa (most people won’t need a visa)
    • Accommodations if you wish to arrive earlier or stay later than the dates indicated.
    • Any shopping or excursions outside the planned itinerary.

    * The majority of Machu Picchu guides are not worth the money they charge, and because we can’t guarantee the availability of the really good guides, we neither include or recommend it. However, if you wish to have a guided tour your hotel can arrange it for you. The cost is about $65 for a private guide, or you can join a group tour for about $5. Given that very little is truly known about Machu Picchu, and that most ‘knowledge’ about it is simply guess-work, we recommend exploring it on your own.



    $900per person


    $800per person


    We are using the Retreat.Guru service to manage bookings and payments. You can pay by credit or debit card.

    You can choose to either pay the full amount when you make your reservation, or you can pay a 50% deposit and the second payment will be billed to your credit/debit card 6 weeks before the tour begins.

    Register today

    The sign-up form is just below…

    Before registering there are a few things you should be aware of and agree with.

    First of all, you need to be reasonably fit and in pretty good overall health. You’ll be at high altitude for much of the tour and it can be pretty tough on people, although the majority of people get over altitude sickness within 24 hours.

    There will occasionally be walking involved at locations that are sometimes rocky and steep to climb, nothing particularly dangerous, but certainly not ideal for people with walking disabilities.

    You will not be doing long hikes like the Inca Trail; however, at several locations you need to be able to be on your feet for several hours at least and also be able to climb steps.


    If you would like to register for this tour, please fill in the form below. Filling in this form does not constitute a booking. We will get in touch with you and then once we have agreed dates and possible customisations with you, we’ll send you a link where you can pay.

      Your Full Name

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      How many people will be travelling?

      What date would you like to start?

      Would you like to customize this trip

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