Skip Navigation

Machu Picchu in 3 days

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Machu Picchu in 3 days

1. Posted by rspiteri (Budding Member 8 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I will be visiting Peru in October. I was thinking of going down from Lima to Paracas and Islas Ballestas then to Arequipa.

Will two days be enough in Paracas and the Islas? Are there night buses from Paracas to Arequipa?

I plan to stay another 2 days in Arequipa to visit the canyons. Will this be enough.

I was also wondering whether there are any 3 day tours (rather than for days) available from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Thanks in advance for any feedback given.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5087 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

2 days in Arequipa won't be enough if you also want to visit the Colca Canyon. Any trip to the Colca Canyon will take at least two days - and be extremely rushed at that. I'd strongly recommend doing a three day trip that actually goes into the canyon itself, and not engaging on that Colca Canyon trip until you've had at least two (but preferably three) days to acclimatize to the height in Arequipa, as the trip to the Colca Canyon goes over a 5000 meter high pass, while Cruz del Condor is located somewhere at 3300-3500 meters high (don't know exactly, but in that range). Which means that if you go straight there, you'll run a serious risk of altitude sickness. Arequipa itself is a wonderful city, too (my favorite in Peru), and totally deserves a couple of days on its own.

As for Machu Picchu: You could just take a bus+train (or train alone) to Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu for one or two days by yourself, no tour necessary; then on the other 1-2 days, explore Cuzco and some of the surrounding sites in the sacred valley.
Or, the very last hour of the Inca Trail (plus two of the most impressive inca sites, which are located right next to it) can be done on a rather misleadingly labeled "two day inca trail", where you hike for a couple of hours up from the train tracks to the final campground of the inca trail, visit those inca sites, hike the last hour of the inca trail to the sungate, cross straight through Machu Picchu to the exit, stay overnight in Aguas Calientes, and then actually visit Machu Picchu itself the next day. But for the full "classic" inca trail, you really need three nights on the trail, with Machu Picchu itself being done on the fourth day.

'course, I'm getting the distinct impression you're trying to save time, so I'm not really giving you good news here. What I'd personally do to make up for this is completely skip Lima (which is a relatively boring city, and far too smoggy far too often), and fly straight to Arequipa.

3. Posted by connellyHO (Budding Member 14 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I'm so jealous! have fun checking off one of the 7 wonders of the world ;)

4. Posted by ayahuasca (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!


I ve just back from Peru where i've made a 3 days tours from cusco to machu picchu, kind of alternative (much more easy and less crowdy) of the inca trail
The tours we booked was much oriented well being and went to santa teresa and thermal bath, also aguas calientes thermal bath, machu picchu visit, hiking, visit of unknown and mysterious inca sacred sites, known only by local population, an amazing nature, our guide taught us about inca legends, history and medicinal plants, made it very instructive in that amazing panoramas. A good way to visit machu picchu off the beaten tracks without high altitude problems, without long and hard trek and with warm weather and nice relaxing moment.

Have a nice travel


5. Posted by richardspiteri (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Thanks all for the feedback. Ayahuasca - Can you give me the name of the agency you booked with for the MP tours please. Note much did it cost? Thanks

6. Posted by ayahuasca (Budding Member 4 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!


the name of the agency is wiracocha tours peru, the cost is around 350$ all included
here is the link of this tour :

you will remark the tour is with san pedro ceremony but i know they do it also regular withot ceremony but don t know the price for this one