As the most visited archaeological site in Peru, there are various ways for tourists to travel to Machu Picchu. We break down the estimated cost for travelers on a budget and for those who want to splurge.
We know the visit to the ancient citadel is the main attraction for many people coming to Peru, but if you have one week to travel, we recommend this itinerary to fully enjoy the best of Peru.
Day 1: Arrive and spend your first night in Lima
Day 2: Explore Lima
Day 3: Cusco Arrival plus city tour and archaeological sites nearby
Day 4: Visit Sacred Valley (Chinchero, Ollantaytambo & Living Museum of Yucay)
Day 5: Machu Picchu and return to Cusco
Day 6: Fly back to Lima
The following are approximate prices for 2020.
There are hotels for every kind of traveler: from those seeking to experience the best luxury services to those who prioritize location and affordability over the rest. Here are a few options for every stop on this itinerary. Note: you can stay in Aguas Calientes right below Machu Picchu, where there are cheap hostels available, but we recommend staying in the Sacred Valley to get away from the tourist crowds.
On a budget:
1. Miraflores for $50 per night, per person: Britania in Miraflores; El Tambo 1 Hotel, Girasoles Hotel; Mariel Hotel
2. Cusco for $60 per night, per person: Hotel Agustos; Hotel Ferre; San Francisco Plaza Hotel; Munay Wasi Inn
3. Urubamba for $40 per night per person: Hatun Valley; Hotel Mabey; Hotel San Agustin Urubamba
1. Lima for $194 per night, per person: Hilton Lima; & AC Hotel by Marriot in Miraflores; Hyatt Central in San Isidro; Swissotel in San Isidro
2. Cusco for $156 per night, per person: Palacio del Inka; Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique
3. Urubamba $123 per night, per person: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Fore more luxury inspiration, read about this Forbes writer’s digital detox trip to Cusco.
Without a doubt, you can have a great meal in Lima for $5. Watch out for daily “menu” lunch specials at restaurants across the city that includes an appetizer, entree, dessert and “refresco” (usually homemade, natural fruit juice). You can have a similar local experience at Cusco’s famous San Pedro market for even less than that. Of course, we all know the risks of visiting a hole in the wall establishment, so take precaution. You can also have a fantastic meal for S/100 ($30) or less at well known restaurants in Lima and Cusco.
We recommend you alter your lunch and dinner experiences with low-end and high-end options to get the best foodie experience in Peru. Check out our Peru Eating Guide for restaurant reviews including prices. We also recommend trying out at least one of chef Virgilio Martinez’s favorite Cusco spots while in town.
If you need visual inspiration, we created this Lima foodie tour video just for you.
With Cusco being ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you can bet you will find great deals for flights to the ancient Inca capital throughout the year. Prices usually range around $70 for round trip tickets, but you can also find these for as low as $30. Check out the prices for other ways to make it to Cusco here.
There are also a few ways to make it to Machu Picchu (including the Inca Trail for those adventure seekers) from Cusco or the Sacred Valley. If you’re on a budget, take the Expedition train Machu Picchu, which will cost you around $126. If you want to experience an unforgettable train ride with 360 degree views of the Andean landscape, take the Vistadome train, which will cost around $172 roundtrip.
This is the cost for entrance fees to the most important places in each city. If you want to an alternative tour of Lima’s best destinations, take a look at this walking tour of Barranco. Here’s an out of the ordinary Cusco destination you should also consider.
Entrance fees in Cusco will cost around $29 for: Coricancha, Cusco’s Cathedral, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo,
Puca Pucara and Tambomachay
In the Sacred valley, budget $39 for: the Living Museum of Yucay, Chinchero, and the Ollantaytambo fortress.
Note that it’s required by law to visit Machu Picchu with a guide. The entrance fee, private tour and round trip bus ticket from/to Aguas Calientes will cost approximately $150.
Cover photo: Pixabay
This article has been updated from its original version published on Jul 2, 2018.