If you're looking to combine some adventure with a tour of Machu Picchu at the end, consider this three-day itinerary. The Sacred Valley is a hotbed of great day adventures, given its steep terrain along the Urubamba river and dramatic scenery. Choose from a selection of activities — from zip-lining, ATVing, single-track mountain biking or paddle-boarding before your visit to Peru's most famous ruins.

Highlights

  • Descend on the world’s longest zip-line into the heart of the Sacred Valley
  • Take an ATV to the mines of Maras and explore thousands of salt pools
  • Finish with a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley’s crown jewel
  • Enjoy a train ride along the Urubamba river back from Machu Picchu back to Cusco

Overview map

Overview map
Overview map

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Cusco to Ollantaytambo

Stone house of the Incas
Stay at a restored Inca home in the heart of the village (© Nicole Koch)

Your trip starts off with an adventure. At 8 am, you’ll get picked up at your hotel and will head out for an ATV and Zipline tour. Above the Sacred Valley, you will go down a two-kilometer zip-line, the longest in the world.

Then, you’ll hop on an ATV (four-wheeled quad bikes with a driver) to see the amazing countryside of Peru. You will see people pasturing their animals, working their farm land with wooden plows and bulls, and often collecting firewood on their backs for their homemade stoves at home. After exploring around, you will drive the ATVs down to the salt mines and also over to the Moray ruins.

After the tour, you will be dropped off in the town of Ollantaytambo where you will stay in a beautifully restored Inca Canchon (stone house for the Inca) in the heart of the village. It has a 3000 sq. foot garden with plenty of room to relax after your tour.

Day 2: Ollantaytambo (day visit to village of Pallata)

Ruins of Inca Terraces in Ollantaytambo
Terraces descending down the ruins of Ollantaytambo 

In the early morning, ascend the ancient ruins of Ollantaytambo for spectacular views of the valley and town at sunrise. By going early in the morning you’ll avoid the crowds. After lunch, head up the valley from Ollantaytambo (either by car, foot or horseback) to a local village, where you can see a traditional way of life.

Day 3: Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
The iconic ruins of Machu Picchu

Today, you’ll head out early for your train to Aguas Calientes. After about a one hour and 40-minute train ride, you will arrive in Aguas Calientes where your guide will be waiting for you at the train station. He will explain to you when and where to meet for your shared tour of Machu Picchu. From there, either hike up to the ancient citadel or grab a bus ticket at the counter nearby. Your guide can point you in the right direction.  

After your guided tour of Machu Picchu, enjoy the ruins on your own and relax in this amazing sanctuary. In the afternoon, head down for your train back to Cusco. At the train station in Poroy, a driver will be waiting for you to bring you back to your hotel.