Travel to South America and explore Peru's ancient Machu Picchu

Discover South America’s ancient ruins, explore colonial sights and wander through vibrant markets to get a real taste of Andean village life in the Sacred Valley. Take a winding train journey through the steep Urumbamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Peru’s most famous site. The ancient ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu is truly extraordinary and has to be seen to be believed.

Cuzco, Peru
Cuzco, Peru
Short Breaks
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 5
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
31kg pp per trip


  • The town of Pisac offers a beautiful snapshot of the Andes. Explore the ruins of an Inca citadel, marvel at views over the valley and visit the local market where traditional craftspeople weave their magic
  • Venturing deeper into the Sacred Valley, discover the quaint old town of Ollantaytambo and take a guided tour of the staggering ruins
  • Be mesmerised by the mother of all Incan cities, the mysterious Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins, then plenty of free time to explore and make your own discoveries
  • Cuzco is the ideal city in which to finish your short adventure. Cosmopolitan, yet steeped in Incan heritage, this scenic South American hotspot offers something for everyone


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuzco. For this Short Break you will have a briefing at 6 pm on the evening before Day 1. On the morning of Day 1, a representative will pick you up in the foyer of the joining point hotel between 8.15 and 8.45 am for your bus trip to the Sacred Valley. Your first stop is the Pisac ruins, where you'll take in lovely views of the valley and town below. Explore the market and maybe barter for a few items yourself before heading out to cross the valley. Leaving Pisac behind, drive through amazingly fertile lands which were key to agriculture during Inca times. Stop for lunch at Urubamba town, then continue (approximately 20–25 minutes) to Ollantaytambo, one of the few living examples of a city plan that has remained the same for many centuries. Here you’ll visit the mysterious archaeological site of Ollantaytambo. Ponder how the terraces were built, and how those big boulders that are part of the Temple of the Sun got to the place they are now – the top of the mountain. Your guide will direct you to the train station for your departure to Aguas Calientes (depending on your departure time, you might have a chance to do some exploring before you leave). Your train to Aguas Calientes (approximately 1.5 hours) winds through the beautiful Urubamba Valley. Arrive, stretch your legs and take in the lovely surrounds. This town is nestled in the cloud forest some 2,040 metres above sea level, at the foot of Machu Picchu. Your Intrepid representative will meet you upon arrival, transfer you to your hotel and give you instructions for tomorrow's activities.

Notes: This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this. For the location of the joining point hotel, see the 'Joining Point' section of these trip notes. If you have any issues with your pick-up, you can phone your local Intrepid representative on +51 9 9605 5559.
After an early breakfast, check out of the hotel and catch a bus to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes along a winding road). You'll leave your luggage in storage at the hotel. The first bus departs at around 5.30 am. A local guide will take you on a tour through the ruins (approximately 2 hours). While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. Decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco, travelling first by train to Ollantaytambo (approximately 90 minutes), then a shared transfer to Cuzco (approximately 90 minutes). Your trip comes to an end on arrival in Cuzco. Upon your arrival in Cusco (around 6.30 pm) your tour comes to an end.

Notes: If you're leaving tonight, it's important to book your outgoing flight for no earlier than 10 pm, to give yourself enough time to make the connection. Or, if you're staying longer, you can contact Intrepid if you need assistance with extra accommodation. An additional night in Cuzco is recommended – contact your travel agent to arrange additional nights' accommodation. If you are departing tonight, be sure to book your flight for no earlier than 10 pm to ensure you have enough time to make the connection.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Bus, Minibus
Hotel (1 night)


There are currently no departures for this trip.

If you can’t find the dates you’re after here, click on the button below to find options for the next season. Please bear in mind that some of our itineraries can change from year to year, so this trip may differ slightly next season to the information shown on this page.

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If you can’t find the dates you’re after here, click on the button below to find options for the next season. Please bear in mind that some of our itineraries can change from year to year, so this trip may differ slightly next season to the information shown on this page.

Next Season Dates

For information about altitude sickness click here

Important notes

This tour starts with a pre-departure meeting at 6pm on the evening prior to your start date. This meeting will be held at the hotel listed on these trip notes.
Alternatively if you are staying elsewhere, please ensure you advise us of the hotel details no later than 15 days out from departure so your pick-up can be arranged.
At the pre-departure meeting you will be given important details for the next two days including your pick-up time for day one which is usually between 0815-0845am.
It’s imperative that you let us know if you can’t make this meeting by calling the emergency number listed on your trip notes.

This Short Break Adventure concludes at approximately 8pm on Day 2. Departing flights from Cusco on this day must not be booked prior to 10pm.

This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip.
This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

Name and passport number are required at time of booking. Delays to provide this information may result in third party booking fees.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes