Top Tour Companies for Traveling to Machu Picchu

By Samantha Scott
August 11, 2017

Visiting Machu Picchu is one of the top travel bucket list items in the world. The iconic citadel in the clouds has all the earmarks of a classic trip: the journey is just as much a transformative experience as the destination, the mysteries of an ancient civilization, and of course the opportunity for the profile picture of a lifetime.

Hiker viewing Machu Picchu from above

Getting to Machu Picchu is an achievement whether you take the traditional Inca Trail, one of the more obscure treks such as Lares or Salkantay, or if you take the famous PeruRail train from Cusco. Either way it’s an unforgettable journey.

These 11 companies we’ve selected as the top Machu Picchu tour operators are leaders in Peru and Machu Picchu travel. Introducing the famous site to new travelers of all ages year after year. Many of these companies feature local Peruvian guides who bring the stories of the ancient Inca to life along your journey.

We also looked at some key factors including customer reviews, itinerary design, and industry reputation.

Inca path to Machu Picchu

Without further adieu, here are the Top 11 Machu Picchu tour operators of 2017:

The Top 3

1. Wildland Trekking

Wildland Trekking logo

Most Popular Trip - Ancascocha Trek - The Ancascocha Trek is only offered by a few companies because it is so off the beaten path. It is less traveled than the original Inca Trail, yet was rated one the "World’s Best Hikes" by National Geographic.

Inca ruins, tiny villages and the beautiful mountain vistas of the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges provide ample dramatic cultural experiences and scenery.

Guests love getting to experience the lifestyles of Quechua farming communities, travel through traditional villages like Chillipajawa and Ancascocha (12,136 ft.), and reach a high point of 14,925 ft. at Huayanay Pass.

Group of tourists at Machu Picchu

New Upcoming Trips or Destinations - We're coming out with a short (5-day) lodge-based Inca Trail Trek that we're excited about.

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - First, all we do is hiking and trekking, and we're expert at it. We don't muddy our waters with multi-sport, cycling, rafting, zip lines or anything else. We have refined the trekking experience by giving it literally all of our attention.

Two female hikers on the way to Machu Picchu

Second, we make sure every detail is flawlessly executed, from the pre-trip support to the food, travel logistics, first-aid, interp and final good-byes. We limit bells and whistles and instead focus on the quality of the experience.

Epic shot of sunlight over Machu Picchu

Every aspect of the trip is measured by one discerning question - does this improve the guest experience? If it doesn't, we discard or change it.

Our guests are fully confident in what they're going to experience and it's this assurance that they're going to have world-class service and a once-in-a-lifetime level experience that keeps people coming back again and again to Wildland.

2. Journey’s International

Journeys International

Most Popular Trip - “Amazon and Andes Odyssey: This in a unique adventure in that it provides a very comprehensive and active overview of Peru in a shorter amount of time (9 days), which fits best into most people's schedules. It is also fully customizable depending on the traveler's preferences.

Our suggested itinerary begins by flying into the remote Amazon Tambopata Nature Reserve for four days, engaging in extensive nature exploration, then heading up to Cusco in the Andes for four days of exploration at sites such as Machu Picchu, the Urubamba Sacred Valley, Qenko, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo.

Llama against Machu Picchu steps and mountainside

New Upcoming Trips or Destinations -We have launched about half of our new trips for 2018 and will be launching the rest within the next week. They are all incredibly creative and are already filling up!” - Journeys International. Their tours go all around the world, from Italy to Saudi Arabia.

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - Journeys has been leading trips to Machu Picchu for almost 40 years, and in that time we've found the best off-the-beaten-path ways to experience this bucket list destination, as well as the best ways to tie it into a more thorough exploration of Peru.

Two women and child in traditional dress, Peru

Our hands-on, personalized approach to custom travel guarantees that the traveler will experience the exact adventure they were looking for.

3. Kuoda Travel

Kuoda Travel logo

Most Popular Trip - Our most popular trip to Machu Picchu is our Journey to the Center of the Incan Empire tour. It's special and differentiates itself from the rest because first it’s 100% customizable to meet the interests, personality, and expectations of each respective guest. Not to mention totally private.  What better way to experience the best of a world renowned site than in a personal manner and with a top expert guide and on your own terms.  

New Upcoming Trips or Destinations - No new trips as of now.

Solo hiker along the Inca Trail

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - Our expert knowledge, VIP service, boots on the ground service and intelligent 100% customized itineraries that can adapt, adhere and adjust to any taste, interest or unexpected event. We have struck the perfect balance between personalization, independence while providing the in-the-know support and assistance. Our trips to Machu Picchu are more than just observation, they are about immersing and participating!

The Runners Up

4. Inka Rainbow

Inka Rainbow logo

Most Popular Trip - Discover The Southern Of Perú - 13 Days. On this tour you will witness the most spectacular attractions in Peru on a complete 13-day trip. We’ll explore the beautiful city of Lima to the Paracas national reserve and the enigmatic Nazca lines to the impressive Colca canyon, the mystical Machu Picchu and the amazing floating islands of Lake Titicaca. This package will completely immerse you in the history of Perú, archaeology, and our culture.

New Upcoming Trips or Destinations - Best of Peru - Amazonas, Machu Picchu, and Titikaka Lake

Exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - INKA RAINBOW Is a local tour operator that specializes in offering tours throughout all of Peru that include Andean treks and expeditions, cultural tourism, archaeological sightseeing, outdoor adventure sports like river rafting, biking and horseback riding through the amazing landscapes of the Cusco Region, and exotic Amazon and Manu jungle trips.

What sets us apart from the competition is our years in the market, vast experience and long term relationships that allow us to offer our tours at a discounted price. We own and maintain our own high end trekking/camping gear.

Group of hikers along the Inca Trail

Explore the mysterious Inca Empire, pre-Inca cultures and the impact of the Spanish colonization that exist in all corners of the country through the eyes our local Quechua speaking guides. Native speakers of this Inca language are able to provide an insight and translation of the history and culture that other guides cannot. Our goal is that after you experience a tour with us, you will return home having had a true experience of the Andes.

Tourist exploring ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru

It is important to share with our clients, that we are a private entity with a strong purpose to serve humanitarian and social objectives as defined by its members. Created by a group of independent professional guides with extensive experience in tourism, we annually dedicate a certain percentage of our proceeds to social projects focused on the remote areas of our provinces which we visit and work.

This is a way to give back to the communities and the Mother Earth for all the wonderful things that they give us. In this way, we are creating a sustainable situation for nature and tourism so everyone can appreciate the amazing country of Peru.

When you travel with us, you contribute to making this a better world for everyone.

5. Wilderness Travel

Wilderness travel logo

Most Popular Trip - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

New Upcoming Trips or Destinations - Hiker's Journey to Machu Picchu

camp in Peru

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - 5 days on the trail, not 4 rushed days as other companies offer. Two exclusive campsites, and spectacular locations for all of our campsites.

Hiker relaxing over Machu Picchu view

The best food on the trail, hands down, from fresh-brewed coffee in the morning to three course meals in the spacious dining tent at night.

Comfortable tents, great sleeping pads. Most importantly, the most informed expert Trip Leaders who bring the Inca world to life.

6. Adventure Life

Adventure Life logo

Most Popular Trip - Machu Picchu by Train  

New upcoming itineraries or destinations - Choquequirao Trek and Machu Picchu

What sets your trips to Machu Picchu apart? - Adventure Life has operated trips to Peru since the beginning of our company. Therefore, we have longevity of presence and of experience, the best local guides in the country who have been loyal to us for years, and we understand how best to give travelers a true taste of Peru.

Two friends on a trip to Machu Picchu

Our group size is limited to 12 travelers, giving a more intimate and personal experience in a destination that is swarming with large tourist groups. All of our guides are Peruvians who reflect the perspective of local people, not of a foreign tour guide.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Travel should inspire, it should be authentic, and it should reflect your passion and personality. Adventure Life definitely follows through with this mission statement. All of our trips are customizable to the individuals traveling, their interests, their desires, and the travel time available. This unique ability to plan every trip according to the distinct needs of the traveler definitely sets us apart from other generic travel agents.

Llama close up at Machu Picchu

Our Adventure Life team, from Trip Planners to Administrative staff, have personally traveled to Peru. Therefore, travelers have the invaluable access to recommendations and knowledge of people who have been on our tours and experienced the country themselves. This grants confidence, as well as guidance, for travelers throughout the planning process and sometimes even during their travels.

7. Mountain Lodges Peru

Mountain Lodges Peru

This is a truly unique way to experience Peru, with a wonderful local touch throughout your entire journey. Their lodges are comfortable, eco friendly, and showcase beautiful views.

Peru rail train to Machu Picchu

They have a strong emphasis on sustainable travel and reciprocity - ensuring that your tourism dollars have a positive impact for the people of Peru.

8. Andean Discovery

Andean Discovery logo

With the mantra “Experience Our Home as Yours”, family owned Andean Discovery brings a breadth of natural friendliness and local pride to their tours.

Young girl and llama in traditional dress in Peru

They focus on travel throughout the Andean regions of South America, including Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos, and Colombia. They work collaboratively with local communities and initiatives to keep their tours responsible and protect the natural environment.

Explore these and hundreds more travel companies to find your next tour  to Machu Picchu.

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