Christmas in Peru: An Itinerary

How to see Cusco City and Machu Picchu in just 1 Week!

Check out THIS POST for our photos and experiences of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu!


December 18, 2016: Arrive in Cusco: Check into Hotel


Machu Picchu

December 19, 2016: 3-hour Peru Rail train to Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu



Group 1 Ticket ($71/person)

Includes the citadel of Machu Picchu along with the Wayna Picchu Mountain & Huayna Picchu / Temple of the Sun lookout. *DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT

  • 5am Breakfast at Taypikala
  • 6am Bus to Machu Picchu
  • 7am first group: 2-3 hours for HP & WP + 1 hour for the citadel of MP = 3-4 hours
  • 11am finish Machu Picchu head back into town
  • Lunch at 12pm, collect bags, get to train station by 2:50pm
  • Vistadome: Depart Aguas Calientes 3:30p – Arrive Cusco 7pm ($109)



December 21, 2016: CUSCO CITY TOUR



December 22, 2016: Ruins right at the top of Cusco

  • Taxi to Sacsayhuaman
  • Walk one of the Original Inca Highways
    • Sacsayhuaman to Plaza de Armas
  • The BEST sandwiches @ Juanito’s
  • Palacio Del Inka
  • Rest & Shower at R House Hotel
  • Tapas Dinner @ Cicciolina


 The Sacred Valley

December 23, 2016: Purchase the Boleto Parciales Turistico (70 soles) either in cash, at the sites themselves, or in Cusco beforehand.

The partial ticket gives you access to 4 sites: Moray, Pisac, Chinchero & Ollantaytambo. Full ticket: 130 soles.

  • START EARLY – can visit these locations via taxi or bus (or book a private tour)
  • Visit Pisac – hike up to the ruins and purchase souvenirs at the market for the same goods as Cusco but at a slightly better price (look up the “market day” beforehand)
    • Don’t forget to take cash because the closest one is either back in Cusco or in the town of Urubamba, on your way to Maras & Moray
  • Visit the Salinas de Maras (not part of the Boleto Turistico – cost: 10 soles pp)
  • Visit the ruins of Moray (use your ticket and hike around the ruins just before sunset and your 1.5 hour drive back to Cusco)

*There are a number of ways to do the Sacred Valley with many more sites to visit than the ones listed here. We hear the hike from Moray à Maras Salt Mines à Urubamba is fantastic!


Christmas Eve

December 24, 2016

  • Start at the Santurantikuy Festival & Market to buy nativity scene pieces and drink Ponche (Peruvian version of eggnog)
  • Tamale and Hot Chocolate lunch on the street
  • 5pm Yin Yoga Class @ The Healing House
  • Eat dinner @ Chicha
  • Attend 10pm Mass... probably end up standing outside because all of the cathedrals will be completely packed with standing room only :)
  • Enjoy Christmas Carols in the square before bed
  • Watch midnight fireworks from the square or your hotel window!! The ENTIRE city lights up with roman candles and large blasts coming from every window in the city.

Christmas Day

December 25, 2016

  • Walk around in the square in the morning, it’s quieter but it all stops before noon
  • Lie in bed and recover because not a lot is happening in the city.


  • Chinchero
  • Ollantaytambo: interesting Inka site on the way to Machu Picchu
  • Andahuaylilas: the town church is known as the Sistine Chapel of the Ande
  • Awana Kancha & Zooligica: Feed Llamas and Alpacas just 20 minutes outside Cusco


  • Prepare for altitude sickness (bring Advil, take it easy, drink TONS of water and help yourself to the Coca tea at most hotels or oxygen provided by some restaurants)
  • Aguas Calientes is at a slightly lower elevation than the city of Cusco so it’s not a bad idea to schedule your Machu Picchu trip soon after you arrive.
  • You need your passport to buy the bus tickets and to get into Machu Picchu

 Feliz Navidad!

Meg + Tyler

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