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Itinerary Planning for Machu Picchu

A Sample Itinerary – 2 weeks in Peru

How are you at itinerary planning?  Is it something that comes easy to you, or are you so frustrated because there is so much in the internet that you find it all confusing? What if you had someone to assist you in your itinerary planning?

To Travel Too offers a Travel Planning Service where we can work with you on your itinerary planning.  All you need to do is:

  • give us your planned itinerary dates
  • where you would like to go
  • what you want to see
  • how long you would like to spend in each place
  • your budget
  • what type of accommodation
  • what type of transport you like
  • any special needs

Below you will find an itinerary that we put together for a client from Australia.

Itinerary Duration:

2 weeks

Itinerary Highlights:

  • Lima
  • Cusco
  • Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu
  • Visits to two Peruvian market towns

About Peru

Peru is the third largest country in South America and one of the 20 largest most spectacular countries in the world. It is divided into three very different regions: the coast, the Andes mountains and the Amazonian lowlands. It borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north; it borders the Pacific Ocean to the west, Chile to the south and to the east Brazil and Bolivia.

It has a population of about 25 million.   43% of the population are indigenous Indians who speak Quechan and mainly inhabit the highlands. Spanish is the language spoken predominantly.

The Amazon rainforest makes up 59% of the territory and 12% of the population. It experiences hot, tropical weather with plenty of rain.

The Highlands makes up 30% of the territory and 36% of the population. This area has a dry and temperate climate with huge variations in daytime temperatures. Cuzco, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu are located in this region. This area is where we recommend you spend your time to enjoy the Inca Trail Trek and the opportunity to visit two Peruvian market towns.


Itinerary Planning Cusco

Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes Mountain Range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and Province. It was the capital of the Inca Empire. Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Peru’s most visited cities as it is the largest and most comfortable city from which tourists begin their visits to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and other Inca sites in the region.

Ollantaytambo is a town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near Cusco in the Southern Sierra region of Peru. This is where the Incas retreated after the Spanish took control of Cuzco. Much of the town is laid out in the same way as it was in Inca times.

Machu Picchu is the site of an ancient Inca city high in the Andes of Peru. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is referred to as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. It is one of the most familiar symbols of the Incan Empire and also one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world.

The Coast makes up 11% of the territory and 52% of the population. The northern section of the coast is sunny all year round; the central and southern section has a temperate climate with little rain, very humid with plenty of cloud cover. Lima is located in the coastal region of Peru.

It is recommended to fly into Lima. 

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located on the central coastal area of the country overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Lima is a huge city with several districts including the trendy Miraflores area located close to the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535. Lima was the seat of the Spanish rule during 300 years and has numerous churches, cloisters and monasteries that are worth a visit. It is the best place to try the wonderful Peruvian cuisine, which has a huge variety of ingredients from the coast, mountain and Amazon regions.

The Miraflores area is well known for its shopping areas, gardens, flower-filled parks and beaches. It is one of the upscale districts that make up the city of Lima.

Weather in Peru December

December is classified as Low Season and it is summer. It is the rainy season in the Highlands.

Lima’s average temperatures during December are lows of 17 degrees Celsius and highs of 23 degrees.

Wet days – nil.

Cuzco’s average temperatures during December are lows of 6 degrees Celsius and highs of 20 degrees.

Wet days – 14.

The Inca Trail is much less crowded during this period and there’s more an abundant of fresh water supply but be equipped for the rain.

Sample Itinerary Peru – Lima, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Inca Trail Trekking:

Day One:

Arrival Lima

To Travel Too Tip: Ensure you have some Peruvian Sole with you as the ATMs at the airport can be temperamental.

Recommended Area to stay in Lima: Miraflores

Our hostel: The House Project (Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor 2014)

Can be booked here.

Calle Bellavista No 215, Miraflores, Lima

Double room with private ensuite: 2014 prices Sole130 per night includes breakfast (AUD54.00 as of December 2014)

Comments: can be noisy at around 3-4am due to local Night Club closing and taxi’s sounds their horns for business

Average Hotel Prices in Miraflores, Lima, Peru

3 Star hotels: AUD 120-180

4 Star hotels: AUD 180-280

5 Star hotels: AUD280+

Recommendations for two hotels in Miraflores, Lima:

Hotel Casa Cielo – 3 star hotel

Calle Berlin 370 Miraflores


Can be booked here

eg a double room in December 2015 $131.25 per night

a twin room with balcony $118 per night


Hotel Antigua Miraflores

Av Grav 350

Miraflores Lima

Can be booked here

e.g A standard double or twin $113.50 per night


Taxi from Lima Airport Soles 50 (AUD21).

To Travel Too Recommended Miraflores Restaurants:

Larcomar Shopping Centre – 10 minute walking distance from the Miraflores area has a variety of restaurants and shops


Arabica Espresso Bar, Avenida Grau 269, Lima

KulCafe – Calle Bellavista 370 Lima


Day Two – Lima

Lima City Tours: Open Top City Tour


3 hours duration

Departures: 0930 and 1430

60 soles per person (AUD25)

Meeting Point: Miraflores Square – 1 block from The House Project Hostel


Day Three – Flight from Lima to Cusco

To Travel Too Recommendation Flights from Lima to Cusco:

If you are booking your trek to Machu Picchu through Inca Trail Reservations check with your representative who is handling your bookings, we found their airfares much cheaper than what we could find in the internet.

To Travel Too Tip: Luggage allowance on Peruvian Airlines is 25kg per person. They are quite strict in this policy and any extra kg is 5 soles per kg. We were only 1kg overweight and still had to pay 5 soles (AUD2).

Accommodation in Cusco:

To Travel Too Recommendation:

Can be booked here

Calle Tandapata No # 491 esq. 7 angelitos 01-CUZ Cusco

Average cost AUD84 per room based on 2014 prices depending on room size


Option 2:

Casa San Blas

Tocuyeros 566

San Blas Cusco

Book here.

Approximate cost for double AUD136 per night

To Travel Too Cusco Restaurant Recommendations:

Vegetarian Restaurant:

Naturalandia – address Carmen Alton 146 San Blas Tel 242085


Pantastico Carem Bajo no 226


Jack’s Café: Corner of Cuesta de San Blas and Choquechaca

Sumaq Restaurant: Calle 7 Angelitos #622

Pachapapa: Plazoleta San Blas 120 Cusco


Day Four and Five – Cusco at Leisure

To Travel Too Recommended Cusco Tours


City Tour:

Sightseeing Cusco City

Duration: 1.15 minutes

Cost: 20 soles per person (AUD9)

Tip: Beware the tout on the street that sells it for 25 soles per person

Meeting Point: Plaza de Armas

Departures: 0930, 1100, 1245, 1430, 1600, and 1720

Cusco Markets:

Mercado Central de San Pedro market – enjoy wandering through the market to see the local handicrafts, fruit, vegetable, meat, fish and local food stalls.

Open: Daily

To Travel Too Recommends Visiting these Cusco Sites:

Sacsayhuaman: easily reached by walking from the San Blas area of Cusco 1 mile – remains and foundations of a colossal structure formed by three tiered defence walls made of stone

Q’enqo – 1 mile from Sacsayhuaman –   an archaeological site within the Sacred Valley thought to be a place of sacrifice

Puka Pukara – 4 miles from Cusco – military fortress ruins

Tambomchay – ½ mile from Puka Pukara – resort of the Incas

Day Six: Taxi to Ollantaytambo

Trip to Ollantaytambo (located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas) 72.5km from Cusco via Taxi.

A beautiful Inca town that preserves vividly Inca urban planning of houses, streets and waterways and was safeguarded by a breathtaking fortress with its temples, hillside farming terraces and walls.

The Patakancha River divides the town into two parts one where houses are found and the other where ceremonial buildings were erected around the Main Square.

Taxi Costs 90 Soles one way (AUD37) – a 2-hour journey from Cusco and the Tika Wasi Casa Boutique Hotel can organize this for you.

To Travel Too Hotel Recommendation for Ollantaytambo:

Tika Wasi Valley Hotel: La Convencion street w/n Ollantaytambo

Book here

Option 2:

Picaflor Tambo

Lari calle


Book here

Approximate cost AUD82 per double room

To Travel Too Recommendations for restaurants and cafes in Ollantaytambo

La Esquina, Plaza de Armas, Ollantaytambo

Hearts Café, Avendio Ventiderio, open from 7am to 2130

Profits go to supporting projects of their sister organisation www.livingheartperu.org. An organization that raises funds for the awareness of the plight of children and women in the high Andean communities and provides work and support for local women in need.

Day Seven – Ollantaytambo at Leisure

What to see in Ollantaytambo:

Inca Fortress

Located behind the Tika Wasi Valley Hotel a short 2 minute walk to the entrance lies the Inca Fortress. The huge, steep terraces that guard Ollantaytambo’s spectacular Inca ruins mark one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. The ruins also house The Temple of The Sun.


In a short walking distance from the centre you can climb Pinkillyuna, a distance of 2.5km elevation 3050m elevation gain 250m

Climb: Moderate

45 minutes to 1 hour round trip

View: Agricultural storehouses (colca)

Directions: Find the trail from Plaza de Armas, take Calle Principal toward Cusco, and take the last left in the plaza onto Calle Lares an unlabeled cobblestone alley, after a few blocks a wooden sign for Pinkillyuna will be on the right pointing up a stone staircase.

Tip: Climbing both these ruins assist with your fitness level for the Inca Trail Trek

Day Eight – Road Trip Ollantaytambo to Cusco

Recommended viewing  on your return to Cusco from Ollantaytambo:

Taxi cost return to Cusco via Moray and Chinchero 120 soles (AUD50)

Organise for the Taxi on the way back to Cusco to stop at Moray and Chinchero. The Hotel can help organise this for you or you can negotiate with a driver in the town centre.


Be sure to check out the tyres and get a feel as to the road worthiness of the car.


Moray is an archaeological site 50km northwest of Cusco on a high plateau at about 3,500m and just west from the village of Maras. Moray is the name of the Incan agricultural laboratory that was likely used to cultivate resistant and hearty varieties of plants high in the Andes. The site is not on the typical tourist agenda, however, it is included in the Boleto turistico offered in Cusco (see details below). The Moray Terraces are among the most beautiful Inca creations. Experts consider Moray an experimental facility for crops. They say, the Incas planted wheat, quinoa, panti, grain and kantu flowers and they experimented with different altitudes and light intensities.



Chinchero nestles between green hills, Inca ruins and a has a well-conserved medieval Spanish look and feel. The best time to visit Chinchero is on Sunday when the local market is held. You will also see the Incan walls and old colonial Roman-Catholic churches.

Separate Journey side trip from Cusco:


Pisac is a village located on the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley. It is a popular place to stop on the way to Ollantaytambo or as a side trip from Cusco and is famous for is markets, which are held every Sunday in the main plaza. Markets are also held on Tuesday and Thursday (less crowded but more commercial).

Around the town on the mountain is a superb Inca fortress. The track begins at the plaza; you have to ask around for the starting point. The path goes through farms and terraces.

Day Nine – Cusco at leisure

Great opportunity to just walk and walk and settle into the vibe of the town and enjoy the locals celebrating and going about their daily lives. You may well be lucky and fall upon an indigenous festival celebration in the town centre bringing lots of colour, joy and music.

Day Ten – Day Thirteen Inca Trail Trek

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail Trek 4 day.

Our Tour Company Recommendation: Inca Trail reservations

Contact details: www.incatrailreservations.com

Permits are required and we recommend that they are booked at least ideally 6 months in advance through Inca Trail Reservations. Please view their website under Inca Trail Permits to see what dates are available. As of 13th December, 2014 permits are available for all dates in December 2015. There are only 200 permits allocated per day for tourists on the Inca Trail and a further 300 for cooks, porters and guides.

Inca Trail 4-Day Trek Details:

As of 13th December, 2014 all dates are available in December, 2015.

Current costs for 2015: USD559 per person, excludes portering, equipment, tips etc.

To Travel Too Recommendations for the Inca Trail Trek:

Inca Trail Tour Options:

Additional portering service USD54 per load per person. This can cover the porters carrying your sleeping bag and foamy pad, extra clothes for the trek and any extras. It is worth noting that each porter is allowed only to carry 20kg, which is made up of an allocated 15kg of your equipment and 5kg for his personal belongings. (NB Please include this at the time of booking your trek). It is well worth the extra money as it leaves you to carry a small daypack with your water, snacks and cameras.

You can bring your own sleeping bags of hire them for USD25 for 3 nights

We recommend two walking poles per person – you can hire them for USD20 per stick or they can be purchased cheaply in Cusco at the many camping/trekking stores that are available. We purchased ours for 20 soles each which were two lightweight poles with lights

There is another peak to trek. Huayna Picchu entrance ticket USD89 per person – only 200 spots are available per day, you will need to request this at the time of booking. You can trek this on the day you finish Machu Picchu but To Travel Too recommends trekking this the next day.

Aguas Calientes overnight after the trek – Normally you return to Cusco on Day 4 of the trek in the evening but staying the extra night allows you to trek Huayna Picchu and even have a massage in town. Please check the Inca Trail reservations for recommended accommodation.

Gatorade Hydralyte powder can be purchased in Cusco, recommend taking between the two of you and using the water that is provided to Hydrate.

Proper walking with ankle support shoes.

Layering of clothes including a waterproof cape that can be purchased in Cusco.

Consider purchasing your Trek gear in Cusco and gifting to the locals as you leave.

Not included in the Inca Trail Trek cost:

Tips and gratuities (at the final dinner on the evening on the 3rd night, tips are given to the guides, porters and cooks).

Tip: it is worth organizing two people at the beginning of the trek to handle the collection of the tips prior to the last night’s dinner. The chief guide will assist in the amount and the protocol, note the chief guide should be separately acknowledged and tipped. We did this at the end of the trek once the porters had returned home.

Option No 2 

Salkantay Tour 5 days/4nights

www.salkantay.org (part of IncaTrail Reservations)

Currently available for December

Difficult level 4 same as Classic Inca Trail

From USD479

Please check the website for full details on the trek

Day Fourteen – Cusco at Leisure

Day Fifteen – Flight from Cusco to Lima 

General Information:

To Travel Too Recommendation:

Boleto Turistico del Cusco sightseeing ticket for 130 soles pp (USD48pp)

Admission to many of the most popular places of interest in and around Cusco can only be made by using the Tourist Ticket (Boleto Turistico). The ticket is valid for 10 days and can be bought at the COSITUC office at Avenida Sol 103 office 102 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm Sat 8am to 2pm) or at any sites included on the ticket below.

In the city of Cusco:

Museum of Regional History (Museo de Historia Regional)

Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo Palacio Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo)

Korichana Museum (Museo Arqueologico Koricancha)

Museum of Popular At (Museo de Arte Popular)

Native Music and Dance Centre (Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo)

Pachacutec Monument (Monumento Pachacutec)

Just outside of the city and usually visited as part of a half day city tour


Q’enko, Tambomachay

Puca Pucara

In the Sacred Valley and around Chinchero (usually visited as part of a full day Sacred Valley tour except Moray)



Puca Pucara

To the south of Cusco (and rarely visited)

Pikillacta (near Urcos and the only major pre-Inca ruin in the Cusco area)

– Tipon (mainly Inca terracing)

To Travel Too Health Travel Tips for your trip.

Altitude Sickness:

Altitude sickness does not affect everybody.

Cusco is situated at a height of 3300m whilst Ollantaytambo is at 2790 m and Machu Picchu is at 2450m.

Our recommendation is to spend two days in Lima, fly into Cusco spend two days here then travel to Ollantaytambo for few days to acclimatize. Travel back to Cusco and then trek Machu Picchu.

If you feel the effects of altitude sickness drink plenty of Coca tea. You can purchase Coca sweets to chew when needed in many places throughout Cusco. Avoid alcohol on arrival into Cusco and prior to trekking.


Please check with your local GP for up to date information on any vaccinations required. 


Current advice is nationals of Australia and Germany can visit Peru for up to 90 days without a visa. On arrival a landing card is issued and this must be produced on departure. Visa regulations can change, please check with the Peruvian consulate in your own country.

To Travel Too Information on Adventure/Outdoor Clothing and Accessories

Piramide Outdoor with 4 outlets in Cusco:

Sta Catalina Ancha 357

Av Sol 162

Calle Procuradores

Calle Plateros 372

Email piramideoutdoor@hotmail.com


Cusco has two streets full of outdoor clothing and equipment stores

They both run off Plaza de Armas – Medio and Garcilaso

Water Purification tablets can be purchased in Lima and Cusco but we did not use them.


We hope you found this itinerary helpful, can we assist you in planning your next itinerary?


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