River Explorers
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Machu Picchu Tours

  • Overview

    Booking one of the many Machu Picchu tours is a great way to explore and learn more about the culture and diversity of the Cusco and the Machu Picchu area. RIVER EXPLORERS offers a wide variety of Machu Pichu vacation packages. There is one available for every taste and interest.

    RIVER EXPLORERS assists tourists to explore one of the world’s most amazing wonders – Machu Picchu. If you take a vacation you can also experience the local life and culture. With one of our tours there is so much do; among the activities are rafting, biking or a multi-active tour. We have more than 20 years of guiding experience, our visitors not only see the wonder of Machu Picchu, they experience it!

  • Rules and Regulations to enter Machu Picchu

    There are several rules and regulations that you need to observe to make your Machu Picchu vacation enjoyable. Since July 19, 2011, the Peruvian government has authorized the National Institute of Culture to limit the number of visitors allowed to enter the site of Machu Picchu.  Currently no more than 2,500 visitors are able to visit Machu Picchu and its breath-taking remains.  After the limit of visitors has been reached the Machu Picchu citadel is closed and no additional bookings are taken.  RIVER EXPLORES highly recommend booking Machu Picchu tours well in advance, because of the site’s popularity. It is important your personal information is correct because once the admission ticket, no further modifications can be made.

    With regard to other historic site, the maximum number of visitors allowed to enter the world-famous Huayna Picchu peak has been limited to 400 per day. Furthermore, the Huayna Picchu Peak is accessible at two times and these are at 7 am and at 10 am.

    Because of the need to preserve these famous sites he rules and regulations regarding the entrance fees to Machu Picchu are constantly changing.  It is the visitors responsibility to know and understand the rules detailed above before booking any Machu Picchu tours.

    Permits are available on a limited basis. It is therefore important to book them to guarantee an opportunity to visit this complex, especially during the busy tourist periods, these are  Easter, May to October and Christmas to New Year’s Day. All fees and deposits in relation to visiting the historic sites are non-refundable and not transferable without exception.

    See more detailed information about Machu Picchu – Rules and Regulations.

  • Activity tours options

    With our tours, be ready for the adventure of your life! Our vacation packages includes multi active adventure programs, alternative hikes to this great wonder of Incan culture and the famous Inca trails hikes. Some of these range of activities include to a private lodging in a Rain Forest Mountains that provides accommodation as part of the package. Also available here are restaurants and hot springs for relaxation.

    Typical Machu Picchu vacation packages are from three to five days. Inform RIVER EXPLORERS the following,  how the length of your stay, if you want a week, weekend or even just a day-trip. Tell us your location, how long you wish the tour to last and we will help you to organize a vacation that is like nothing else, you have experienced!

    Our Machu Picchu Tours include visits to Cusco, the scenic Andean Mountains, the Sacred Valley and then to the source of mighty Amazon in the beautiful and exotic rain forest in Santa Maria and Quillabamba. Then there is the fun filled rapids of the Urubamba River, other activities include trekking and biking through ancient ruins. Then there is the option of Machu Picchu, which is something that you will remember forever.  There is so much to do on our Machu Picchu vacations.  How do you decide what you want to do?

    Mountain biking

    Mountain biking tours

    Our mountain biking itineraries are designed to for those who are experienced bikers and those who are inexperienced and are suitable for all ages.  Our itineraries begin 3350 meters – 10990 feet to 4200 meters – 13779 feet and they involved traveling downhill to 1500 meters. Don’t worry if you don’t want to complete the full itinerary our support vans are always ready to pick you up as needed. For the advanced MTB bikers there are challenging circuits that will thrill even to the most experienced bikers.

    River rafting

    River rafting

    The rafting activities are optional, but is highly recommended. The Urubamba River in the rain forest offer different sections for all levels of rafting. You can choose a level III if you are a first time or inexperienced rafter. If you have some experience maybe a level IV might suit. RIVER EXPLORERS recommend level II for families with kids over 7 years age. If you tire of rafting, there is always our support van that is on stand-by to take you to your hotel or you just can follow the rafting tour taking pictures or simply enjoy the special scenery of the rain forest and its wildlife.

    You can choose any other rafting adventure trips and we can include them in your vacation package. Our Machu Picchu tours activities are all designed to your individual preferences and wishes.



    Canopy is another optional activity for those not interested in hiking to the Llaqtapata complex. The canopy is a memorable two-hour tour that includes 2500 meters of cable subdivided in 7 sections, plus 150 meters of rock-climbing on the beautiful Via Ferrata. It takes place on a mountain circuit equipped with cables, fixed ladders and bridges that are very accessible for passengers. This tour is not difficult and we will provide assistance and we recommend that you are moderately fit to take part in the climbing section.


    Hiking trails

    The most exciting challenge for many of our trekkers is to hike the majestic mountain ranges of Peru at a high altitude. Hiking is very special in the mountain landscapes near Machu Picchu and it is an extraordinary experience. This can be a big physical challenge because of the altitude. With some preparation, there is not a reason why any reasonably fit person cannot take on the challenge of hiking Machu Picchu. We do not require you to be particularly fit to participate in our Machu Picchu tours, moreover our activities are suitable for those of all ages who are physically active.

    The Hiking tours

    The trekking sections in the multi-sports trip packages are not very that hard and they are worth the effort.  Most of our planned hikes are approximately 6 to 7 hours walking through the Rain Forest, crossing streams and jungle plantations.  The hike is not particularly difficult or hard, the only medium to hard level hiking is from Santa Teresa to Llaqtapata (not to be confused with the complex incorrectly called Llaqtapata on the Inca trail, research has proven that the name of this site on the Inca trail is Patallaqta). It is a three-hour hike to reach Patallacta, this is a magnificent Inca complex, which gives unique vistas of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. If the hike to Patallacta is not to your taste, you can walk to the nearby Hydroelectric train station to reach the site.

    It is very important that you are acclimatized before you undertake any hikes. Once you are acclimatized every activity in our Machu Picchu vacation package can be undertaken.

    Altitude sickness

    Altitude sickness is a common problem for those not from the region. This occurs when the amount of oxygen we breath in is less than what we experience at sea level.  Altitude sickness, symptoms include headaches, a loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. It normally occurs at elevations of more than 2,438 m (8,000 ft.) or higher.

    Altitude sickness is not uncommon among visitors but it soon passes. Some people are more vulnerable to altitude sickness than others. Even young and fit athletes can suffer from the effects of altitude sickness.  If a person is physically fit, they have a better chance of adapting to the altitude and less likely to experience altitude sickness.

    What is High Altitude?

    High Altitude: 1,500m to 3,500m (4,921 to 11,483 ft)

    Very High Altitude 3,500m to 5,500m (11,483 to18,045 ft)

    Extreme Altitude: 5,500m (18,045 ft) and higher

    Before hiking

    Proper acclimatization is the best way to prevent altitude sickness. Slowly ascending will give your body time to get used to the changes in altitude.

    Before booking any Machu Picchu tours, it is advisable that you give yourself and others enough time in the program for acclimatization so that you can prevent altitude sickness and enjoy the experience to the full.

    Other preventive advice

    Apart from acclimatizing correctly and taking medication for altitude sickness, the following advice is helpful to make sure that your Machu Picchu vacation is memorable.

    • If you feel any of the symptoms of altitude sickness, stay at your current location or altitude until the symptoms are gone.
    • If the symptoms get worse, immediately call your guide and they will help you to descend to a lower altitude.
    • Make sure that everyone in your group and family has acclimatized before anyone goes to a higher elevation.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. It is recommended to drink between four to six liters a day.
    • At altitude, eat high-calorie meals, because at high altitude your body needs plenty of energy. This is no place for a diet!
    • Avoid alcohol, smoking or the use of medication such as tranquilizers or sleeping pills while at altitude.

    Remember that the risk of sunstroke and sunburn is higher at altitude, so take good precautions to prevent these happening. Make sure you have appropriate eye and skin protection such as sunglasses and a suitable sunblock. The guides on our Machu Picchu tours will provide you with any advice that you need.

  • Transportation

    Our tours take place in some remote areas and far from the big cities. Access to some places are difficult and special type of transport may be required. Whatever tour you chose from our Machu Picchu Vacation packages we always have the right transportation with experienced drivers who knows the road like no others.


    Buses and vans

    The service on our  vacations are second to none. Our specially trained guides will meet you at your hotel, airport, bus terminals or any other location you request and drive you to the first programmed activity destination. Our buses, vans and 4X4 are new and comfortable and they are specially designed for each activity.


    Train to and from Machu Picchu

    In most of our Machu Picchu tours, there is a one night stay at Aguas Calientes giving you the opportunity to a full day to explore the wonder of Machu Picchu, to climb Huayna Picchu, Montaña or Inti Punku at your own pace.  After the tour ends, we take you back to the Ollantaytambo or Cusco train station where transport is provided to take you back to your hotels.

    The train service that we commonly use is the Expedition. In our packages we always like to give our guests plenty of choices and options. If you would like more comfort, you can easily upgrade to luxurious Vistadome or the Hiram Bingham train services.


    The Expedition train service is great for a traveler’s comfort and to provide them with a great experience. The train has four seats placed in front of each other, with great panoramic views from the windows, there is also air condition and heating. There are also spacious racks for your backpacks; these are located above the seats.


    This service is perfect for people who are looking for some more comfort. In this train, they surrounded by large panoramic glass windows offering magical vistas of the Urubamba River and the rain forest mountains. Great for photographers!

    The Vistadome offers passengers on board great customer service, extras include music, a show with dancers and a meal.  With leather and adjustable seats, air conditioning and heating, this train offers comfort and relaxation during the entire trip. Our tours are not all about hiking but also leisure and relaxation!

    Belmond Hiram Bingham

    The Belmond Hiram Bingham was voted the best train in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler UK (2011). This is a luxurious and exclusive train easily recognizable by their gold-blue color and for its elegant cozy interior decorations. It has four wagons; two dining Cars, a kitchen, bar and a special observatory wagon. Think of it as a hotel on wheels!

    The dining tables are set with polished cutlery and gleaming crystal and is luxuriously furnished.

    This package also includes a welcome tea at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge after your Machu Picchu tour ends, on board entertainment, a gourmet dinner and an excellent selection of wines.

    On our Machu Picchu vacation packages, you can live the high life-if you wish.

  • Hotels and accommodations

    Machu Picchu’s are ideal for adventurers all set in a setting of exceptional beauty. We offer tour packages that include first-class trekking, mountain biking, river rafting tours and canopy. There is so much to do!

    Our vacation packages give customers a wide range of hotels and lodges where you can relax on the balcony or at the Colcamayo hot springs. Maybe you prefer simply camping and watching as the sun sets behind the majestic Andes Mountains.



    Our Machu Picchu vacation packages means that you can experience some of the finest landscapes in the world. You will experience rugged mountains to jungle forest, from hot springs to cool rivers. Machu Picchu surroundings are great for camping and ideal for those who love the great outdoors!

    We provide all- season camping tents designed, for every type of weather for heavy rains and even snow, thicker walls for better insulation with a solid frame. Our tents are sturdy and surprisingly comfortable. For the comfort of our clients, our Machu Picchu hiking tours provides them with all the camping gear they need, from kitchen gear, dinner tents, kitchen tents, chairs and tables. We also provide them with excellent cooks and their camping equipment is transported by mules, horses and in some cases porters.

    The Mule-assisted in our hiking tours give you the chance to enjoy the fullness of the Andean mountains with a better level of comfort than a normal backpacking trip. You get to fully appreciate the beauty as you hike with just a small backpack, while mules carry part of your staff and all the camping gear. This is all part of the Machu Picchu vacation package.

    Hotels and lodges

    Hotels and lodges

    With our tour pacakges you have great accommodation. During the height of the tourist season most of hotels for the Machu Picchu tours in Aguas Calientes are typically booked months in advance. But no worries, provide our customers with a wide range of options when it comes to accommodation suitable for every budget.


    Quillabamba is a small city located in the rain forest and just 4 hours from Cusco. It offers a wide variety of hostels and hotels, and we have chosen the best available in town.

    Santa Teresa

    Santa Teresa is a very small town only 5 hours walking and 1 hour by road from Aguas Calientes.  The accommodation available includes small hostels, guest houses and camping. The best and most comfortable place to stay is the Eco Quechua Lodge this is part of all our Machu Picchu tours, however this requires reservations of 3 to 6 months in advance.

    Aguas Calientes

    Aguas Calientes, is a beautiful village located below Machu Picchu. Because of its location hotels and food are expensive and even basic hostels are expensive. The hotel and other accommodation that we use are comfortable, clean and safe. Our first choice is Rupa Wasi Lodge (standard rooms) that includes private rooms with nice balconies offering spectacular views of the Machu Picchu Mountains.  These are often booked out. If hotel rooms are not available in Rupa Wasi, we would recommend the Casita de la Luz. You can of course upgrade your hotel category upon request.  There are hundreds of hotels from simple guest houses to 5 stars and we will assist you and it is all part of the service on our tours.

  • Climate

    There are two main seasons on Machu Picchu, they are dry and the rainy seasons. The weather in wet season can include blue skies and long showers. We recommend booking your trip during the dry season this is from April until December. During the wet season, some activities are not available or locations even closed because the weather interrupts the normal trip itinerary and even the cancellation of the whole tour.


    In Cusco

    Cusco is the place from where most of our tour packages departs.

    Dry Season

    From May to November climate is dry, cold in the morning and evenings, sunny most of the day from May to August, some rain between September to November. Average temperature fluctuates between 0ºC – 32ºF to 20ºC – 68ºF. From May to August and 5ºC – 41ºF to 24ºC – 75.2ºF from September to April.

    Raining season

    From December to April, average temperature can range from   5ºC – 41ºF to 24ºC – 75.2ºF. Heavier rains fall in January and February with continuous precipitation leading to occasionally to flooding in the different areas of Cusco region.


    In Quillabamba Santa Teresa

    Quillabamba is a small town, that is very authentic and located in the rain forest, just 4 hours from Cusco and 2 from Machu Picchu. Quillabamba also has 2 main seasons, the rainy and the dry season.

    Rainy season

    From November to April temperature can range from 15ºC – 59ºF to 25ºC – 77ºF. Heavy and torrential rain usually falls between January and February. This makes it often difficult to follow the itinerary.

    Dry season

    From December until March, the temperature ranges from 20ºC – 68ºF to 30C – 86ºF, with sunny weather from May to August and occasional showers in September and October.

    Machu Picchu

    In Machu Picchu

    The climate in Machu Picchu is very changeable due to its location. The site is at once part of the Andes and the Amazon regions, it has two distinct seasons.

    The dry season

    From April to the end of November, the climate is warm and humid by day. The temperatures range from 25ºC – 77ºF by day time and in the evenings’, can fall to 15ºC – 59ºF.

    The rainy season

    December to mid-April. The averages temperatures during daylight hours is 20ºC – 68ºF and at night can fall to 12ºC – 53ºF. The highest rainfall is between January and February. Even during raining season, it is normal to have nice clear mornings and this is great weather for hiking.

  • Machu Picchu Tours Facts

    Thank you for choosing River Explorers as your Machu Picchu vacation expert!  Our Machu Picchu tours is second to none. We out the customer first and our mission to provide you with an experience that will live for you forever.

    You’ve not only chosen an exceptional destination for your vacation, but you’ve also picked one that is not too crowded for your vacation. With our Machu Picchu vacation packages, you do not feel like a tourist but someone on a great adventure!

    If you have not planned a tour of Machu Picchu and want to go, no need to panic, we can help you. We can, quickly put together a trip you’ll be remembering for the rest of your life! We can help you to have an experience of a lifetime. Our vacation packages includes entrance fees to Machu Picchu, train tickets, hotel rooms, bus tickets, guided tours etc. Before you take your decision, we recommend that you take a moment to look at our itinerary programs and our maps, and then decide. Then you will see that nothing is like one of our Machu Picchu tours.

    Where is Machu Picchu?

    Where is Machu Picchu?

    Machu Picchu lies at 2400 meters – 7874 feet of altitude, built between the two peaks which form a kind of peninsula, surrounded on three hill sides by the gorges of the Urubamba River at some 450 meters –1476 feet to the River and at 80 Km – 49 miles north-west of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. This seems like an impossible location for ancient cultures to build a city of such beautiful structures – however, centuries after, Machu Picchu still remains.

    Where do I find it on a map

    Where do I find it on a map

    Our website contains colored maps shapes and symbols that shows tourist circuits, archaeological sites, rivers, mountains. Icons also specify camping places, rafting and trekking sections, and bus, train or flight options. Our maps provide also distance calculations, archaeological descriptions, altitudes and offer names of cities, lakes, canyons, etc.

    You’ll find maps on the tour packages programs at the bottom of the page.



    Be sure to do a thorough research in order to find the right tour program for Machu Picchu before traveling.

    The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is one of most popular tourist attractions in Peru and South America, and it is therefore highly recommended to book your trip with time in advance, especially during the high peaks of tourist visits during the year.

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