Machu Picchu by Car 2D/1N
Machu Picchu by car is an alternate route to this incredible Wonder of the World, via a new road that is not as expensive or restrictive as the traditional train journey. This route passes through some of the most picturesque parts of the Andes at a relaxed, personalized pace which will allow you to truly enjoy all of the beauty of the trip to Machu Picchu, with none of the usual stress!
Day by Day
Day 1: Cusco – Santa Teresa – Hydroeléctrica – Aguas Calientes
We will pick up from your hotel or hostel in the morning and begin the drive to Ollantaytambo,where we will stop for about thirty minutes. We will then continue the journey along a winding ascent toward the Abra Malaga (3,256m/10,682 ft), one of the region’s highest mountain passes, where you will be amazed by the breathtaking views of the sweeping valley below. After a short stop, we will begin to descend through the different microclimates that characterize this particular area of the Andes. As we drive through the Ceja de Selva (“The Eyebrow of the Jungle,” the semi tropical cloud forest which marks the beginning of the Amazon), we will be traveling along a fully paved road in perfect conditions. Eventually, the road will change to dirt as we approach the town of Santa Maria, (1,575 meters/5,167 ft) above sea level. Around 2:00 pm, we will arrive in Santa Teresa for lunch, then return to the road for a short drive to the Hydroelectric train station. Here, you will either board Peru Rail´s Expedition Train to Aguas Calientes (not included) or trek alongside the train tracks for three hours to Aguas Calientes. We will arrive and check into our hostel around 5:30 pm, then enjoy free time to visit the town’s namesake hot springs. At 8:00 pm, we will enjoy a delicious dinner and a briefing from the guide about the next day’s tour of Machu Picchu.
Day 2: Machu Picchu – Hydroelectric – Cusco
After an energizing breakfast, you will ascend to Machu Picchu either by the tourist bus or by the Inca stairs. You will have a two-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu, then free time to explore the site or hike to Inti Punku or the Inca Bridge. Once you’ve thoroughly explored, you will return to Aguas Calientes and either board the Expedition train back to the Hydroelectric Station or walk, where we will transfer to the car for the drive back to Cusco. We will stop briefly in Santa Teresa for a meal, and should arrive in Cusco at approximately 9:30 pm.
Price: US$90 per person
After we have received your booking form and confirmation your deposit was made, we will send you an electronic receipt confirming your trek has been officially booked and the exact departure date of your trek.
Student Discount $20
Under 18 Discount $20 per person
Under 7 Discount $50 per person
Important Notice Regarding Student Discount Eligibility
We offer a student discount (USD $20.00). However, due to several incidents of users falsifying personal data, the ISIC card is no longer valid for purchasing a discounted tour. As of July 1, 2017, the rules for purchasing student tickets to Machu Picchu have changed: discounts are only available with presentation of a student visa granted by the Peruvian embassy or consulate in the student´s country of origen and/or by the National Superintendent of Migrations. These documents must be provided at the time of purchase; discounts cannot be applied retroactively and refunds or reimbursements in this case are not available. Please send us a scan or photocopy of your passport, student visa, and university ID card or transcript so that we are able to secure your discount.
Optional Activities in Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu Mountain $20 per person
Machu Picchu Mountain $20 per person
Extra in Aguas Calientes $20 per peson
Please note: This $20 rate to add Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain is valid only before we book your entrance fees. If you want to add this extra climb once we have booked the ticket, it will cost you $65 additional per person.
- Professional Tour Guide who is fluent in English
- Private car from Cusco to Hydroelectric and from Hydroelectric to Cusco
- One night hostel in Aguas Calientes (This can be upgraded to a hotel if you let us know at the time you book the tour)
- Machu Picchu entrance fee
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Meals: 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and 1 breakfast
- Breakfast on the first day
- Entrances to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
- Entrance to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes (optional: 10 soles)
- Tips for the guide
- Expedition Train between Hydroelectric and Aguas Calientes
What You Need to Bring
- Small daypack or suitcase
- Sneakers or hiking shoes
- Lightweight, comfortable clothes (layers recommended)
- Insect repellent
- Cash (in small denominations of Peruvian nuevo soles)
- Bathing suit for the hot springs (optional)
- Medication and toiletries
- Toilet paper
Why does Inka Trail Backpacker charge less than other tour operators?
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we offer you the basic and essential version of the popular treks in the region. We are a 100% local company that wants to provide everything you will need at the real cost of operations—never unfair upcharging! That is why our slogan is “Fun, Not Fancy Trip.”
Are you a certified company?
Inka Trail Backpacker has been a Licensed Inca Trail Tour Operator since 2014. All companies managing the Inca Trail must be certified and have an Inca Trail operators license. This license is issued annually each December; Inka Trail Backpacker is licensed through the year of 2018.
Our license as an Official Travel Agency is under the name Inka Trail Backpacker E.I.R.L. Our License as an Inca Trail Operator is under the name of INKA TRAIL BACKPACKER E.I.R.L We also work with partner company licenses, such as INTI SUN TREK E.I.R.L and GRUPO CAMINOS DEL PERU E.I.R.L. For tourists´protection, getting the permit for the Inca Trail from the government is a complicated and stringent process: in order to guarantee an Inca Trail Permit for all the tourists that have decided to book their adventure with us, we are registered to book using any of the above mentioned company licenses. We are all registered on the official government web site: www.machupicchu.gob.pe.
Tour with Like-Minded Travellers
As a traveller, you know that one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of going to new places is meeting people along the way. When you book a tour with us, you can be confident that your group will be filled with similar travellers looking for adventure in the Peruvian Andes. Our groups provide a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them in an exciting environment. You never know who you will meet!
We are really proud of the work we do for our community. This is a main focus for our company. We have worked with villages directly to help supply them with needs, buy all our food from local farmers and markets, and serve the freshest ingredients.
100% Guaranteed Departures
At Inka Trail Backpacker, we like to think we do trekking a little differently than our competitors. We stand by our customers and guarantee that we meet 100% of our departure dates on our treks even if you are a solo traveler.
Our office is located at 392 Calle Triunfo (the street is also called Sunturwasi), inside the Centro Artesenal Arte Inka Building, which is on the corner across the street from the Museo Arzobispal and the Twelve-Angled Stone, by a small fountain. We are on the second floor, in Suite 209.
At Inka Trail Backpacker, providing a personal experience and ensuring you are thoroughly prepared for your trek is very important to us. Before you depart on the tour, you will receive a briefing in our office. At the briefing, you will get to meet our staff, receive maps and a detailed description of each day of your tour, be given duffel bags if you have hired a porter, and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Do the tour guides speak English?
Our team of guides are all local to the Cusco area and speak both Spanish and English fluently. Many of them also speak Quechua (the native language of Peru). With degrees in tourism and with two years minimum of experience under their belts, they are full of energy, information about the native flora and fauna, and the Inca sites, with a vast knowledge of Andean stories and legends.
How many people are there per group?
The size of your group will be approximately two to eight people.
Renewal or change passport number?
If you plan to renew or change your name on your passport between making your trek booking and starting your tour, you can book your trek or tour with your current passport number or name, but you must send us a copy of your old passport and a copy of your new passport when you have them. We can then make the change with the government before you arrive. The extra cost to make the change is US$25 per person. (This will cover the change in number or name for your Inca Trail Permit, Machu Picchu Entrance, and train.)
If you do not advise us of the change or do not want to pay the fee, bring the original of both passports (the old and new one). You can enter Peru with your new passport but you must show the government authorities your old passport in order to enter the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu or train. If you cannot do so, you will not be allowed to start your trek by the government officials. All names and numbers must match!!
Tips for the Staff: Tips for guides are always welcome. The group will pool money for the tip, this is not an individual amount.
Refunds: If Inka Trail Backpacker fails to confirm the reservation, your payment will be refunded in full.
Health and Safety: A participant must declare if he/she has any sickness or medical disorder and must bring his/her own medication. We recommend that you meet with a doctor before you book the trek if you have questionable health.
Huayna Picchu Climb: Only 400 people can climb this mountain per day. If you are interested in climbing Huayna Picchu, tickets need to be booked in advance. The price for the ticket is US $25. It is recommended to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, you will miss out on the walking tour of Machu Picchu.
When do I need to pay the balance for my tour??
We require everyone to be in Cusco at least two nights prior to starting the tour, although three nights is even better. You must pay your tour balance at least two days before the trek departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Monday you must come to our office before 7:30 pm on Saturday to pay the tour balance. This ensures that everyone in the group is well acclimatized to the high altitude before starting the tour.
Where will I be dropped off at the end of the tour?
Upon your return from Aguas Calientes, you will be dropped off in the city center. Traffic regulations prohibit large buses/van from entering the main square but usually after 10:oopm we don’t have a problem and will be able to drop you off in the main square upon your return. You can then take a taxi back to your hotel (between US$2 to US$4 for a taxi).
If we have to drop you off in Plaza San Francisco, you may be a bit disoriented (some people may need to be woken up!!) but we recommend that you ask for directions to the Plaza de Armas and our guide or driver will be happy to help. It’s only two blocks away, but usually it’ll be quite late at night so it is best to walk together as a group back to the Plaza before taking a taxi or walking back to your hotel.
Is there a minimum group size and what happens if Inka Trail Backpacker does not meet the minimum size?
We require a minimum group size of just two people. During the last few years, Inka trail Backpacker has always managed to meet the minimum group size for ALL of our departure dates and have never had to cancel any group departures due to group size.
If in the unlikely event that we do not reach the minimum required number of persons we reserve the right to combine our clients with another trekking company of similar cost.
How far in advance should I book my tour?
We recommend that you book your tour approximately two months in advance. This allows you maximum choice in selecting the details of your day at Machu Picchu; morning entrances to the site are extremely popular and sell out quickly. Although it is possible to book your tour closer to your expected travel date, your options will be more limited.
Is transportation to and from the Cusco airport included?
No, transportation to and from the airport is not included in your tour. Please plan accordingly.
What is the difference between the three circuits at Machu Picchu?
As of July 1, 2017, visitors to Machu Picchu must follow one of three circuits through the site with their guide. Circuit 1 is the most physically demanding, and follows the classic route through the upper portion of the site before curving down to the lower portion. Circuits 2 and 3 will take you through the middle and lower portions of the site. You must choose which circuit you want when you buy your ticket.
What is the difference between Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu?
Huayna Picchu is the small mountain behind the Machu Picchu ruins, which can be seen in the background of nearly every photography of Machu Picchu. A limited amount of visitors are allowed to hike the mountain per day for an additional cost; entrances must be booked several months in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.
Machu Picchu Mountain is the other peak at the Machu Picchu site which is available for visitors to hike for an additional cost. It is usually not visible in any photographs of Machu Picchu. The steep ascent takes about an hour and a half to complete, and ends at the mountain´s 3,082 masl peak, where there are incredible views of the region. Four hundred visitors a day are permitted to do this trek; like Huayna Picchu, entrances must be booked in advance and cannot be booked separately from your entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu archeological site.
What vaccines do I need for my trip? Will I need malaria pills?
Before traveling to Peru, you should consult your doctor. Routine vaccines, Hepatitis A, and typhoid vaccines are recommended for most travelers by the CDC. Some travelers may also need vaccines for Hepatitis B, rabies, and yellow fever. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also be advised that the Zika virus is present in Peru.
Malaria pills are not necessary for these treks.
Do you recommend a rain poncho, or is a rain jacket okay?
The rainy season in Cusco is generally from November to April, when there are near-daily showers and the ground—especially in trekking areas—is wet and muddy. However, there are occasional showers throughout the rest of the year; you should always pack a rain jacket, regardless of when you plan to visit. A poncho is not necessary for the day trip to Machu Picchu, though they can easily be purchased for about $1.50/5 soles in Cusco.
What documents do I need to bring to Machu Picchu?
As of July 1, 2017, you must have your original passport to enter Machu Picchu. You also need to have your entrance ticket, which your guide will give to you at the appropriate time. The passport that you bring to Machu Picchu must be the same one that you used to book your tour and entrance; if you change or renew your passport between booking and your trip, please be sure to bring the originals of both.
Do we go to Machu Picchu for sunrise?
Your entrance time to Machu Picchu will depend on when you book your trek. As of July 1, 2017, there are two possible entry times to the site: 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, or 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Your ticket will grant you entry for either the morning or the afternoon—not both. The morning entry is significantly more popular and quickly sells out—unless you book your trek two to three months in advance, we cannot guarantee a morning entry.
If you book far enough in advance to secure a morning entry, you will start to hike up to Machu Picchu at 4:30am, arriving at the site by about 6:00 am—just in time for the sunrise!
Is Machu Picchu entrance ticket included in the price ?
Yes, the Machu Picchu entrance is included in the tour package. However, if you want to add any extra activities like climbing Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain, it will cost 20 dollars extra per person, but please note that the 20 dollars is valid only before we book your entrance fees. If for some reason you want to add this extra climb once we have booked the ticket, it will cost you 65 dollars per person.