Top Side Trips from Machu Picchu

If you’re coming to Peru, we can assume you’re coming to Machu Picchu. But after you cross that dream destination off your list, where should you go next? Take advantage of the other incredible destinations near Machu Picchu, and make your trip a double (or triple) threat to your bucket list! Even if you’re coming for a short trip, there are a ton of great side trips from Machu Picchu that you should absolutely consider so you can get a glimpse of at least one another wanderlust-worthy spot.

Our Favorite Peruvian Destinations to Combine with Machu Picchu

Maybe we’re biased, but there is so much within Peru to see that there’s no need to leave the country to get a wide variety of experiences.

Machu Picchu and the Amazon

For those intrigued by the rich biodiversity of Peru, the combination of visiting the Amazon rainforest and Machu Picchu ensures the trip of a lifetime. From the beautiful Inca empire in the Andes to the exotic and untamed Amazon, this combination is a classic. Swap your hiking boots and llama sweaters for tall rain boots and Panama hats, and walk behind a guide with a machete instead of a backpack-toting donkey. One of the most popular ways to visit the Amazon is with an Amazon cruise- if you’re tired from the high-altitude activity in Cusco, you can relax as you sail through the serene rainforest.

The Amazon covers a huge part of Peru so the options are endless, but you can reach Puerto Maldonado in just an hour from Cusco, and can stay as short as a couple of days or as long as…well, as long as you want to stay! (More details on why/where/how to visit the Amazon from Machu Picchu here).

Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

For those with more of an interest in the traditional cultures and peoples of Peru, combining your trip to Machu Picchu with Lake Titicaca is the quintessential experience. From exploring the ancient city of Cusco & learning about Inca culture at Machu Picchu, you’ll travel through the Andes to Lake Titicaca in Puno, where their time-honored way of life remains preserved alongside the largest lake in South America. From seeing the petite Cusquena women near Machu Picchu carrying both llamas and babies to work in the local markets, to witnessing cheerful locals in Puno weaving entire boats out of reeds, you’ll probably forget what century you’re in.

Expect a trip full of colors, people, faces, dances, food and tradition. You must travel by between these destinations, which guarantees a whole other set of sights. (You can read more helpful information on visiting Lake Titicaca with Machu Picchu here).

Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines

We may know a lot about Peru’s history, but there are still a ton of mysteries that we have yet to solve. The architectural feat of Machu Picchu is still shrouded in mystery (why was it built? how was it possible?), as are the impressive Nazca lines. The Nazca lines make perfect designs as seen from the sky- yet it stills seems unfathomable to us that their creation was possible so long ago.

Alien rumors run wild over both of these destinations, and any curious traveler will obsess over the unknowns that you’ll be left with. This is a great combination for history buffs, especially those hoping to take tours from locals and learn all the facts while seeing the sights.

Machu Picchu and Cusco

Who says you even have to leave Cusco? If you want to cut down on travel time, you’ll find that there are endless activities and opportunities for excursions just within Cusco itself. If you head back to the city of Cusco after Machu Picchu, you can fill your time with various day trips to the Salinas de Maras salt mines, Moray Inca ruins, the scenic town of Pisac, the Chinchero Indian village and much much more. That’s almost a week’s worth right there! Anyone with an interest in the highlands, Incas, ruins, or who wants to thoroughly experience Cusco will love seeing these must-visit spots.

Machu Picchu and Lima

There’s no avoiding passing through Lima on your way to Machu Picchu- make a trip out of it! Urban city explorers, foodies or those who love the coast should allow enough time in the capital city of Lima. It’s known for having some of the top restaurants in the world with world-class seafood (it’s ceviche is taking over the gastronomy scene), salsa-dancing nightlife, interesting museums, and all of the modern amenities that you might miss in other parts of the country. Right on the coast, it’s also a very popular destination for surfers. (Read more on how to combine Machu Picchu and Lima in our post here.)

Having trouble deciding? We couldn’t choose just one either, but they’re all sure to be the combined trip of a lifetime! If you’re interested in learning more about prices, tours, packages, or want to book any of these trips, you can contact our travel specialists who are always ready to help you plan today! We offer tours throughout all of these destinations, every step of the way, so that all you have to do is show up! You can contact our travel specialists at by clicking here or, or read about just some of the tours we offer here.