Peru is a destination of great myth and folklore bestowed by the indigenous people that inhabit its land to the present day. Up until the Spanish colonization of South America in the 16th century, an indigenous group of Peruvians known as the Inca ruled the land. Now, all that’s left of this empire are the ruins of their infrastructure which are found throughout Peru. The most remarkable of all is Machu Picchu, an almost-perfectly preserved citadel built atop a mountain peak 47 miles (75 km) from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco.

Although its purpose remains a mystery, the preservation of the citadel means it offers the greatest insight into Inca culture the world has ever known. It’s no wonder, therefore, that it was included as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. From its architecture and history to its myths and folklore, there’s no better way to learn about Machu Picchu than by witnessing it for yourself. If you want to experience the wonder and beauty of Machu Picchu firsthand, our luxury Machu Picchu tours are the way to go.

Machu Picchu Tours for Seniors

Is Machu Picchu accessible to Seniors?

Often, senior travelers rule out a trip to this once-in-a-lifetime destination because they’re under the impression there is a great deal of effort involved in reaching Machu Picchu, but that’s not necessarily the case! While there are five-day treks to reach the citadel in the sky, there are also transport links to the top. Therefore, our experts at Totally Latin America can help you plan a Machu Picchu tour that is perfectly adapted to match your fitness level. To help you decide which way you would like to reach it, we have shared some of the best Machu Picchu tours for seniors in 2024 below.

The Train To Machu Picchu

One of the best ways for senior travelers with lower mobility levels to reach Machu Picchu is on the Hiram Bigham Express. Known as one of the most exclusive train rides in the world, it makes the journey to Machu Picchu worthwhile of its own accord. Its wood-paneled 1920s Pullman-style carriages whisk you away from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town situated at the base of the citadel, in just three hours. 

Along the way, expect delicious Peruvian food and drink served with impeccable service in its elegant old-fashioned dining car. Meanwhile, live guitar music and traditional performances ensue at the bar car as you pass breathtaking landscapes to complete your Peruvian experience. Find out more about the Hiram Bigham Express here.

How to get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Since the Hiram Bingham train only reaches Aguas Calientes, it’s then up to you whether you would like to make the final ascent to Machu Picchu on foot or by bus. On foot, the ascent to the citadel from Agues Calientes is five miles along a steep, uneven, and rocky terrain, so it’s often only attempted by people in their prime. However, senior travelers can attempt it if they are in a healthy condition and are willing to take it at a slower pace than the 20-somethings. From the Hiram Bingham train to the Aguas Calientes bus and the Machu Picchu private guide, Totally Latin America can map every aspect of the journey to the citadel in the sky to ensure it suits you perfectly.

Hike the One-Day Inca Trail

While the Inca Trail is typically 4-5 days long, Totally Latin America can make a one-day Inca Trail hike possible. This option is ideal for seniors with a reasonable fitness level who want to follow in the Inca footsteps but can’t commit to the entire trek. The one-day trail involves a four-hour hike with a short steep incline from the Kilometer 104 train station to Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate. You’ll also stop at several other sacred Inca sites including Chachabamba and Wiñay Wayna along the way. 

Throughout the journey, you’ll be accompanied by a private guide who encourages you to take the trail at your own pace. The guide will also share rarely-heard stories about the Royal Incas who trod that trail before you and help you spot local flora and fauna. After exploring Machu Picchu, you’ll take a bus back to Cusco to spend a couple of days walking among the hallowed walls in the heartland of the Inca people.

Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

The long journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu can be tiring for senior travelers, especially due to the change in altitude. Many combat this by taking the journey at a slower pace and stopping at the Sacred Valley on the way there or back. Stretching 37 miles along the Urubamba River, the valley is a quiet and scenic region of farmlands and small colonial villages that offer visitors a window into the lifestyle and traditions of rural Peru. Once populated by royal Inca estates used as a place of respite from the city of Cusco, the region is now populated with luxurious estancias, retreats, and spa resorts that promise to do the same. 

With valuable knowledge of the best places to stay in the Sacred Valley in 2024, Totally Latin America will find a luxury lodge that fits you. During your stay, allow us to show you the wealth of history and depth of traditions that the Sacred Valley holds dear on fascinating private tours. From exploring the Incan Pisac crop terraces to learning traditional weaving techniques from Quechua women in Chinchero, there are so many enticing excursions to choose from. We recommend staying two to three days in the region to get the most out of your visit.

Acclimating to the Altitude as a Senior Traveler

When traveling to the highlands of Peru and Machu Picchu in particular (which reaches an elevation of 2430 meters), it’s important to properly acclimate to the altitude, especially for senior travelers. If not, you can be too sick, lightheaded, and lethargic to enjoy your incredible Machu Picchu journey. 

With this in mind, Totally Latin America can build you a custom-designed luxury Peru tour that increases your altitude in small manageable steps so that you have the best chance of avoiding altitude sickness and making the most of your trip. Combining Machu Picchu with an extended stop in Cusco and the Sacred Valley is an ideal solution since they are both at a very manageable elevation. However, there is a host of options, and the travel luxury Peru vacation experts at Totally Latin America will be glad to advise on the best combination for your own unique preferences.

Looking To Explore Peru Further?

Peru is a magnificently intrepid country and although Machu Picchu is one of its most illustrious sights, many more are to be found across the country. We recommend combining your journey to Machu Picchu with another Peruvian destination to get the greatest value out of your trip. 

After visiting the Incan citadel, spend a few solitary days on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Then, venture down to the Amazon Jungle where you can stay in a luxurious jungle lodge or meander along the Amazon River on a high-end cruise. End your Peruvian adventure in the culinary and political capital of Lima where you can celebrate the completion of your trip at one of the city’s three restaurants on the World Top 50 Best Restaurants List. 

Totally Latin America’s Peru destination experts will provide honest impartial advice that will help you to choose which of these options best suits your travel preferences and taste. Once you’ve decided which parts of Peru appeal to you most, the experts will create a unique luxury Peru tour for your 2024 Peru vacation that is suited to your personal pace. 

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Enquire about your Machu Picchu and Peru adventure

Your travel experts are waiting to make your senior’s luxury Peru vacation a reality. To enquire, visit our Contact Us page and fill in the short contact form and you will be contacted by a travel expert by email or phone for your chosen destination within 24 hours. Once you’ve chosen the element of your ideal Totally Latin America trip, the experts will curate your very own personal travel itinerary.

Important Note: Prior to any vacation in Peru it is essential to seek medical advice from your doctor and also ensure you have a fully inclusive travel insurance policy to meet your individual needs. Your travel expert will be happy to provide details of your itinerary as required.