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2 Days in Machu Picchu in December

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 posts
10 reviews
8 helpful votes
2 Days in Machu Picchu in December


We are planning on spending two days in Machu Picchu in December. We are planning on buying the Huayna Picchu tickets with the 7:00 entrance/hike time for the first day and Machu Picchu mountain tickets with the 6:00 entrance and 7:00 hike time for the second day. Right now our itinerary looks like this:


Take 4:36 train from Ollantayambo

Arrive in Aguas Calientes at 6:09

Buy our tickets for the bus up to Machu Picchu


Get in line for bus at 4:30 am

Get to Machu Picchu by 7:00 and hike Huayna Picchu

9:00 - 12:00 tour the ruins with a guide

Go back to hotel and spend afternoon relaxing/napping


Get in line for bus at 3:30 am

Get to Machu Picchu by 6:00 and visit ruins for another hour

7:00-11:00 hike Machu Picchu

12:00 head back to Aguas Calientes

3:20 train back to Cusco

Does this itinerary seem reasonable?

In regards to the bus. How early do we need to line up for the 5:30 am bus to Machu Picchu? Is 3:30 am necessary to catch the first bus? If we leave Machu Picchu at noon are we pretty safe taking a 3:20 train to Cusco or are we in danger of missing the train?

Also does anyone have any tour guide recommendations? We are looking to do a 2-3 hour tour of ruins.

Thank you so much for any advice you have!

3 replies to this topic
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
19,308 posts
128 reviews
76 helpful votes
1. Re: 2 Days in Machu Picchu in December

The buses don’t run on a timetable. There is no 5;30 or 6,00 bus. In the morning they leave every few minutes as long as there are people waiting. 3:30 would be pretty early to line up.

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
9,639 posts
20 reviews
50 helpful votes
2. Re: 2 Days in Machu Picchu in December

I would only spend two days at MP if you have enough time for the other amazing sites in the Sacred Valley and Cusco. You will want 4 days (at least 3) apart from MP. We had one day at MP. We hiked Montana (MP Mountain). We chose the late time slot for the mountain as early mornings can be foggy.

I don't know how early you have to get in line for the bus (we walked up) but I don't think it would take 2 hours. Since hourly entrance times were introduced (that is relatively new) I have heard they don't let people with later entrance times board early buses. I think the first bus is at 5:20 am.

We did not go with a guide but you can find guides at the entrance.

3 hours is plenty of time to get from MP to AC! Have you considered taking the train back to Ollantaytambo and then a minibus or taxi to Cusco? That way you can leave most of your luggage in Ollantaytambo and there are more train departures to Ollantaytambo (it is sometimes cheaper as well).

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
2 posts
13 reviews
12 helpful votes
3. Re: 2 Days in Machu Picchu in December

Be aware that early mornings in December could have you in fog.

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