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Hot Springs, Virginia

Machu Picchu, Lima (Peru), Cusco

Can we do Cusco/Machu Pichu in 3 days?

We're going to Peru for a friend's wedding in Lima. We'd like to visit Cusco & Machu Pichu, arrive to Cusco Tuesday AM, leave Thursday PM (back to Lima).  Is it possible / worth it in this little amount of time?

8 Answers

answered by

It's doable but as others have commented, will be rushed. Machu Picchu will be a full day. The Sacred Valley is fascinating and worth a couple of days by itself. Prebook your train and entrance tickets to Macchu Picchu. The altitude will slow you down, for sure, so don't plan on rushing round in Cusco. If you're on a tight schedule, bear in mind that the airport in Cusco is easily fogged in, and flights can be delayed for hours at times. If you're planning to fly from Cusco and out of Lima on the same day, it could be a problem.

However, even if your time is tight, MP is incredible and really worth seeing.

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answered by
Christine from Auckland

Hi Katia

I don't disagree with Katherine - and you don't know how the altitude is going to affect you until you try it!

One slightly easier option is that you might go straight through from the airport on arrival to Ollantaytambo and stay there. Benefits are that it is lower altitude, and that your train trip to and from Machu Picchu is much shorter: you are about half way there already.

Then you might go into Cusco and just spend the last day there before you leave. I love Ollantaytambo, it has its own spectacular ruins right near the town and is a little Incan village with lots of atmosphere and is much more relaxing than either staying in Aguas Calientes or Cusco (which is great....but full-on)

Book your train and MP tickets in advance so you are not disappointed. I recommend Apu Lodge in Ollantaytambo. I've stayed there two or three times, they will look after you well and you can walk down to the train station.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ollantaytambo (attraction)
  2. Machu Picchu (attraction)
  3. Cusco (attraction)
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answered by
Felipe from Maceio

Yes, it is posible but you should plan very well. Plan to go to Águas Calientes in the same day you arrives in Cusco. Visit Machu Pichu at 5 am next day and for the rest of the day. Get back early in the 3rd day. The problem is that you wont know anything in Cusco.

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answered by
Sandro from Chile

Yes, that is completely posible. Machu Pichu need only one day to visit all. I sugest take a guide service, it isnt expensive, But is very necesary to comprehend the history has each place. Is a wonderful place. Cusco in two days os posible you know the main places and other places around Cusco. Enjoy!!!!

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answered by
Rosa from Lima, Peru

Yes, I think you can do it just make sure you have your train tickets in advance and the  ticket to get into machu picchu there, you can leave cusco at 3m to go to ollantaytambo and then take the train to go to aguas calientes to catch the bus to get to machu picchu around 9 am. If you want to visit somewhere else in cusco you should go to pisac and maras moray.

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answered by
Katherine from Melbourne

While it is technically possible, as in you could stay in Cuzco on Tuesday, do a Full Day Trip to Machu Picchu trip by train on Wednesday and fly back to Lima on Thursday I would not recommend it for a number of reasons: 

A) The altitude. As a travel professional I am very wary and even hesitant to arrange any trips that don't allow 2 nights in either the Sacred Valley/Cuzco before heading to Machu Picchu as your body just won't have time to adjust. And no, it doesn't matter if you are physically fit or not, anyone can feel the effects of high altitude (headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath are only mild symptoms) and the best way to cope with high altitude is to give your body time to adjust.

You may not get to see much of Cuzco on your arrival day (seriously, you need some time here to relax and get used to the high altitude) and run the risk of being unwell as you reach Machu Picchu. 

B) The trip to get there is a 3 hour journey from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes each way. As the train departs early morning (approx 6am.) and won't return until about 7pm into Cuzco, this makes it a very long day for you. And as above, you won't have given yourself time to adjust to the altitude so it will be very tiring.

C) Machu Picchu is so magnificent it deserves your time. Believe me, every moment you spend there will amaze you and it is worth spending the night there and to possibly go back there the next morning, to either climb Wayna Picchu or just to see the ruins with less tourist around. And Cuzco is such a nice city too.

You definitely can visit Machu Picchu in this time, but will it be better if you have more days? Absolutely!

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answered first by
Joe from Houston

Doable but quite rushed. Recommend spending most of the few days devoted to MP.

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answered by
Liviu from San Francisco, California

Its a beautiful countru i have to visit !

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