Spending 1 week in Peru to visit Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley will give you a satisfying taste of the Land of the Incas.
Since there is so much to see, traveling for 1 week in Peru requires you to be selective, choosing the sites you genuinely wish to discover until you return to see the rest.
So, what do you do if you only have one week to spare? We’ve put together an itinerary so you don’t worry about the details and can do what you do best: explore.
This is what you need to know for 1 week (7 days) in Peru to see Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley:
First Half of the 1 Week in Peru: Sacred Valley
Because long bus rides can eat away at your tight schedule, we recommend local flights so that you can get to your destination faster and have more time to appreciate Peru. And so:
Day 1: Arrive in Lima and take a two-hour domestic flight to the ancient Inca capital, Cusco. After a quick taste of the city, and having had a bit of coca tea to help with the altitude change, you will travel an hour to Pisac to discover ancient Inca ruins and enjoy the market nearby. Spend the night in Pisac.
Day 2: Have breakfast in Pisac and continue your trip to Moray, the ancient circular agricultural terraces, and the Maras salt mines nearby. Afterwards, travel by car to the town of Urubamba where you will spend the night. How about staying at this art-collector’s villa?
Day 3: You’ll visit another town in the Sacred Valley: Ollantaytambo, which is home an impressive archaeological complex. The town has a nice historical center for you to explore. Stay here for the night to recharge as day four is for Machu Picchu, the highlight of this itinerary.
Second Half of the One Week in Peru: Machu Picchu and Cusco
Day 4: There are many routes to Machu Picchu (here’s our guide), but we recommend taking the train to Aguas Calientes to save time. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb up the mountain (1.5 hours) to the ancient Inca citadel, or take the 40 minute bus ride up. Upon arriving, take your time touring Machu Picchu before descending to Aguas Calientes for the night.
Day 6: Start your day early and take a city tour that includes Sacsayhuaman, the famous fortified Incan complex located 2 kilometers north of the city.
Day 7: you’ll fly back to Lima and then home, or wherever else in Peru your heart desires.
This article has been revised and updated from its original publication on July 11, 2019.