Peru

Machu Picchu

Peru's archaeological rock star

Contributors
Mike Gasparovic

Historical Peru

Alternatives to Machu Picchu

Mysterious archaeological sites, Amazonian cloud forests, desert coastlines and the world’s tallest tropical mountains — Peru is a complex and diverse place full of surprises.

Get the guide

If you're coming to Peru you'll almost certainly visit the ruins that have come to define the entire country. Despite now drawing millions of visitors a year, the crowds can't dent the ruins' sheer scale and undeniable magnificence.

Planning a trip to Machu Picchu?

Get a custom itinerary with specialist advice from Machu Picchu experts

  1. Describe your ideal trip
  2. We connect you with a top Machu Picchu tour company
  3. Get a custom itinerary with no pressure to book
6 days

Classic Peru & Machu Picchu

The classic route to Peru's most popular highlights
Lima (1 days) Cusco (2) Sacred Valley (1) Machu Picchu (1) Lima (1)
View route
9 days

Machu Picchu & Amazon Cruise

Small-ship luxury cruise with Machu Picchu
Lima (1 days) Iquitos (3) Cusco (2) Sacred Valley (1) Machu Picchu (1) Lima (1)
View route
9 days

Machu Picchu & Amazon Lodge

See Peru from rainforest eco-lodge to mountain empires
Lima (1 days) Puerto Maldonado (3) Cusco (2) Sacred Valley (1) Machu Picchu (1) Lima (1)
View route
12 days

Highlights of Peru

A grand tour of Peru's mountain civilisation
Lima (1 days) Arequipa (2) Colca Canyon (1) Lake Titicaca (2) Cusco (2) Sacred Valley (1) Machu Picchu (1) Lima (1)
View route
12 days

Qhapaq Ñan Trek to Huanuco Pampa

Explore Peru's grand route of the Incas
Lima (1 days) Cusco (1) Sacred Valley (1) Machu Picchu (1) Cusco (1) Huaraz (5) Huaraz (1) Lima (1)
View route
8 days

Active Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Trek

Explore Peru's grand route of the Incas
Lima (1 days) Sacred Valley (1) Sacred Valley (1) Choquechaca (1) Machu Picchu (1) Machu Picchu (1) Cusco (1) Lima (1)
View route
15 days

Iguazu Falls & Andean Highlights

A grand tour of Peru and Brazil
Lima (1 days) Puerto Maldonado (3) Sacred Valley (2) Machu Picchu (1) Cusco (2) Iguazu Falls (2) Rio de Janeiro (3)
View route
  • Lima

    Lima

    Peru's unfairly overlooked capital
    Peru's sprawling capital city is often overlooked by time-poor visitors en route to more photogenic locations, but dwell a while and you'll find a complex city with onionskin layers of history and excellent museums, a proud contemporary culture, genuinely diverse neighbourhoods, and a world-leading food scene...
  • Cusco

    Cusco

    Capital of the Inca
    Seat of the Inca Empire, Cusco is the epicentre for Peru's tourism industry, drawing millions of visitors en route to Machu Picchu and adventures in the Sacred Valley...
  • Sacred Valley

    Sacred Valley

    Peru's spiritual heartland
    As the Urubamba River descends from Cusco, eventually connecting with tributaries of the mighty Amazon, it has carved out a sweep of valley whose beauty defies imagination...
  • Arequipa

    Arequipa

    Peru's elegant White City
    Peru's second city is an elegant, refined counterweight to Lima's unbridled freneticism...
  • Colca Canyon

    Colca Canyon

    Flight of the condor
    Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon but a fraction of the width, the Colca Canyon cuts a dramatic scar across Peru's southern Andes...
  • Lake Titicaca

    Lake Titicaca

    Shimmering heart of the Andean universe
    A tranquil expanse of turquoise water seemingly at the roof of the world, Lake Titicaca was revered as the birthplace of Peru's original civilisations and the centre of the indigenous cosmos...
  • Puerto Maldonado

    Puerto Maldonado

    Accessible Amazonian adventures
    Puerto Maldonado, in Peru's southern Amazon, is the most accessible entrance to the jungle...
  • Iquitos

    Iquitos

    The jungle city
    Famous for being accessible only by air or boat, Iquitos lies in Peru's distant north-eastern Amazon with a distinct frontier vibe to match...
  • Chavín de Huántar

    Chavín de Huántar

    "Birthplace of South American culture”
    If you have an interest in Andean civilisation, Chavín de Huántar is vastly more significant than the famed Machu Picchu, but with a fraction of the crowds...
  • Choquequirao

    Choquequirao

    Machu Picchu without the crowds (for now)
    Machu Picchu 2...
  • Trujillo

    Northern historical heartlands
    ...
  • Chiclayo

    ...
  • Chachapoyas & Kuelap

    ...
  • Huaraz

    ...
  • Arica

    ...
  • Manú National Park

    ...
  • Choquechaca

    ...

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Our recommended experiences and activities

Take a guided visit of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Take a guided visit of Machu Picchu

Yes it’s famous and busy, but for a perfectly valid reason: Machu Picchu remains one of the world’s preeminent archaeological sites. In spite of the crowds, an expert guide will bring the place to life and help you make sense of the Inca’s incredible ingenuity. You’ll have the option of climbing the adjacent Huayna Picchu for spectacular views, and can return for a second day exploring if you wish.

See another side to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

See another side to Machu Picchu

For a different perspective of the ruins and a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains and valleys, try the moderate hike up adjacent Huayna Picchu. Additional permit is required, our recommended tour operators will be happy to assist.

Where to go in Peru

Our recommended places

Why Horizon Guides?

Expert travel guide

Expert travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for reliable and impartial travel advice.

Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.