Have Two Vacation Days? That’s All You Need To Visit Machu Picchu

This also assumes that you have a traditional Monday through Friday nine to five and strive to live that travellife.

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. (Credit: Go Get Peru)

These days the trend of once a year two week vacations are out the window. Instead, they’ve been replaced, among millennials especially, with more frequent trips taking up shorter timespans. Why take one trip a year when you can take five? And this trend isn’t going to go away anytime soon thanks to the new type of travel culture that’s developing.

So it’s no surprise that tour agencies are embracing this trend and developing more and more trips like this one: a six day, three night (two nights are red-eye flights) adventure to Machu Picchu. This “express tour” offered by Go Get Peru, is catering to that fast-travel audience and the overwhelming popularity of the tour is proof that these trips are what travelers want right now. Since not everyone has the luxury of taking off on an adventure whenever they please, especially when they need to work to pay the bills or have a startup that isn’t quite ready to run on its own, trips like this one are perfect.

So what should you expect on a fast-travel trip like this one?

Well, you’ll take off from either New York or Miami late Thursday night on a redeye to Lima. From Lima you’ll connect to your flight to Cusco early Friday morning, putting you at your final destination late Friday morning (day one of your work vacation days).

From the airport, you’re picked up and taken to your hotel in Peru’s Sacred Valley. There’s a tour to explore the neighboring town of Pisac, a lively village about 40 minutes from where you’re staying, and its local market, where street vendors sell all of those famous alpaca sweaters and so much more that you shouldn’t leave Peru without (including a belly full of empanadas). Bargaining and interacting with the vendors here is half the fun.

The next morning (Saturday) starts bright and early when you head to the Ollanta Station to take the Vistadome Train up to Machu Picchu. This is the day that the trip is all about. You’ll spend about three hours exploring everything that the “Lost City of the Incas” has to offer before heading back on the train and eventually to your new hotel in Cusco.

Sunday is spent as leisure in Cusco where you can opt for a full day or half day tour of the city and a home hosted dinner, or just take your chances exploring Cusco the best way you see fit. I recommend opting in for the half-day morning tour – it includes a visit to a local market (where locals actually go), a stop at a traditional cemetery and a meeting with a local Andean shaman. The tour also includes a cooking class with a local chef who will show you how to make a traditional dish from Cusco.

Cusco Peru

The city of Cusco has also been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Credit: Go Get Peru)

Monday morning and early afternoon (day two of your work vacation days) are spent in Cusco before heading back to the airport for your early evening red-eye flight back home. From Cusco you head back to Lima and then you’re off to your final destination – either New York or Miami. Your flight home arrives early Tuesday morning (you’ll be scheduled to land at 9:30 am if you’re heading back to New York), where you’re just one taxi ride away from your office.

While short trips are becoming more popular, there are some risks with fast-travel trips like this one. Flight delays for example can mess up your entire itinerary. And with redeyes making up two “sleeps” of the itinerary, this tour isn’t for the luxury traveler looking for a slow vacation. This is an itinerary maximized to make the most of your time and vacation days.

 The Machu Picchu Express package from New York City starts at $1349 and includes airfare, accommodations and a day-trip to Machu Picchu. City tours and excursions are offered at an additional cost.

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