We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How much time at Machu Picchu?

Level Contributor
19 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
How much time at Machu Picchu?

Hi all,

I apologize if this question is too basic, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

How long should we stay at Machu Picchu if we're taking the train instead of hiking the trail?

Most tours I've seen do one overnight...but is that enough time? Is two nights TOO much time?

I can't quite get a sense for how much there is to do....or if once you've seen it, then you've seen it and are ready to move on.

We are able to stay a total of 7 nights in Peru and are planning to see the Sacred Valley and Cusco as well.

Thanks so much for your info and insight!

Alpaca Expeditions
Historical & Heritage Tours, City Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Cultural Tours
Valentin's Pachamama Journeys
Cultural Tours, Hiking & Camping Tours, Day Trips, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Nazca Trips
Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Archaeology Tours, Air Tours, Private Tours
Lorenzo Expeditions
City Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

I did it as a day trip from Ollantaytambo, taking the first train there and a late train back.

If you want to hike Huayna Picchu then stay the night before in Aguas Calientes so you can be on the first busses up.

Otherwise I don't think there is any reason to spend two nights there, or even one, really, especially with only a week's trip.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

I think with only 7 days in Peru, you will find a long day trip to be enough. There is so much to see in Peru!

Or, if you want to be there very early -- for sunrise of for tickets to climb Huayna Picchu, for instance -- you could take an evening train into Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo, get up early & go to Machu Picchu for the day, then take a late train back to Ollantaytambo.

Bangor, Northern...
Level Contributor
586 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

I suppose it depends on how much you are into archaeology too - and how active you want to be - We did the trail , and i loved the Sun gate and the tomb at the entrance to MP - maybe an hours hike back from the ruins .

We stayed one night in Sanctuary Lodge - sadly a disappointment hotel wise - but it was lovely to be able to go back onto the grounds later in the day when the tourists had gone home - and in our case - the rain had stopped ! Unfortunately it was a really wet day for our arrival .

Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
12,945 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

The best way to do it is to train in

from www.ollantaytambo.org the night before

Stay at Sumaq Hotel best or Presidente OK cheaper

get up early like 5:30 AM take the first bus up

for the sunrise and sign up for HP climb

only 400 allowed...that is the way I did it

1 full day was plenty...

Level Contributor
19 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your feedback. It definitely helps to put everything into perspective.

6. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines with regards to the participation of business representatives.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 27 June 2010, 11:18
Level Contributor
143 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

We actually spent one night in Aguas Calientes and although the town is quite cheesy (had a very touristy Florida feel), we appreciated the fact that we had the chance to go up to the site twice. We took the train in from Ollantaytambo in the morning and once we settled in our hotel, we went up to see sunset at MP. To be quite honest, I preferred sunset to sunrise. There were very few tourists and we got to spend a few hours up there in peace. It was unbelievable.

The next morning, we took the first bus up for sunrise. We did a bit of hiking, we walked up to Sun gate and really took our time. We took the train back to Ollan.that night. If MP is meant to be the highlight of your week in Peru and you enjoy the hiking, I would stay the night and take advantage.

Buffalo, New York
Destination Expert
for Buffalo
Level Contributor
1,031 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

If you are not hiking the trail I too would recommend that you take the train the night before to AC, get up early and enjoy your day there. This way you will be well rested.

One day should be plenty since you are not hiking.

Level Contributor
420 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

I heard that you can't stay at macchu picchu past 5pm anymore. we are taking the 1:20 (?) train from Ollanta and Pachamama explorers told us we'd get to AC too late to go to MP that afternoon/evening. Said can't do sunset, but we will be on the first bus from AC the next morning! And, since it will be late December, praying for only intermittent rain....

Level Contributor
11 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: How much time at Machu Picchu?

I did it like this:

I took the train from ollantaytambo at 3.00pm and luckly it was the vistadome with the seats 1 and 2. This means that I was seated next to the train driver..amazing views of the valley.

In Aguas Calientes the very first thing to do is to buy your bus ticket and your MP ticket...obviously in two different places!!!

Aguas calientes is the perfect tourist trap and has nothing to really offer to the travellers so, early dinner and early sleep.

I woke up at 3.30am and I was waiting the bus for MP at 3.45am. That way I managed to be in the first bus up. At 4.30 am the line was 500mt long...

At 5.30 the first bus arrives and when you jump off at the top, you will find out that during the night a lot of people walked up..so, from number 22 you will jump to number 120 in the line of MP gate!!

Remeber, only the first 400 will go up the Wynapicchiu, so be shure you manage to reach the gate on time...while you wait you will see the sun comming up from behind the mountains...it's an incredible experience!!...two hours of suffering and you will have the best view of MP you can immagine!!!

At 10.30 we managed to be back at the entrance of MP and we started a classic guided tour..at 4 pm we were back at Aguas Calientes to catch our train back.

Our community is here to help!
Ask questions, get advice and more from travellers like you.
Join TripAdvisor