Tips and Tricks for Travel to Machu Picchu This Year

Oct 17, 2023 | Adventure, Peru, Tour, Travel | 0 comments

How To Travel To Machu Picchu

How To Travel To Machu Picchu?

Welcome to the ultimate guide for Machu Picchu – an insider’s perspective that goes beyond the typical Travel agency information! Discover the hidden details and insights that other agencies might not disclose. Our comprehensive guide, updated every two weeks, is your go-to resource for all things Machu Picchu. From tours and trekking to train options.

Great news! Machu Picchu is fully open for exploration. To enhance your experience. We highly recommend Tour Leaders Peru (visit their website here) for top-notch tours and treks. Navigating Machu Picchu without a tour can lead to ticket and guide issues, so it’s advisable to plan your visit with the help of seasoned experts.

But that’s not all – if you find yourself with a stopover in Lima. Seize the opportunity to explore more of Peru! Uncover the wonders of the only Desert Oasis in South America HUACACHINA or venture into Peru’s mini-Galapagos. All in just one day.

Check out our exclusive Day Tours from Lima, Peru Tours Here and make the most of your time in this captivating region. Your Machu Picchu adventure begins with us. Let’s embark on a journey filled with unparalleled beauty and exploration!

How to Travel from Lima to Cusco and then Machu Picchu?

How To Travel To Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu Mountain Best option – Machu Picchu Hike

Machu Picchu, the iconic Incan citadel. Is exclusively accessible from the city of Cusco, a gateway to the wonders of Peru. Getting to Cusco is a seamless journey, with options for both bus and air travel.

Travel By Bus To Machu Picchu: If you choose the scenic route by bus. Cruz de el Sur or Peru Hop offers a comprehensive network of buses connecting various destinations. Embark on a journey that allows you to Discover the Real Peru along the way. Immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of the country’s diverse landscapes and cultures.

Traveling By Air to Cusco: For those seeking a quicker and more convenient option, air travel to the Capital of the Incas. It takes only a 1-hour flight from Lima. with Latam Airlines is highly recommended. Benefit from the efficiency and comfort provided by Latam Airlines. Ensuring a smooth transition to your Machu Picchu adventure.

If your travel plans include a layover in Lima. Take advantage of the opportunity to discover some of Peru’s hidden gems with a day trip from Lima. Explore the unique charm and cultural treasures of Lima before continuing your journey to the breathtaking Machu Picchu.

Where is Machu Picchu Located?

Machu Picchu is strategically situated with Cusco serving as the primary gateway to this ancient wonder. To embark on your Machu Picchu adventure. Your journey begins by reaching Machu Picchu Pueblo town from San Pedro train Station.

Machu Picchu Pueblo, the quaint town at the base of the Machu picchu canyon, is accessible through various means, including train travel, trekking, or a combination of bus and walking.

Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes. The awe-inspiring Machu Picchu awaits at the summit of the mountain, overlooking the charming town below. This carefully orchestrated route ensures a gradual and enchanting approach to the magnificent Incan citadel, making every step of the journey a memorable part of your Machu Picchu experience.

RELATED: 11 Places to Travel Besides Machu Picchu

Trip Options from Cusco to Aguas Calientes

There are 3 options for you to choose from

  • Trekking from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. ex Inca trail to Machu Picchu 4 days
  • Taking the Train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo train Station to Machu Picchu town
  • Taking the Bus from Cusco to Hidroheltric Town then walking to Hotspring Town( Tour Name: Machu Picchu By Car)

Journeying from Aguas Calientes to Majestic Machu Picchu

Visit Machu Picchu From Cusco
Aguas Calientes town

Navigating the final stretch from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu offers two primary options:

  1. Scenic Hike to machu Picchu: Embark on a rewarding but difficult journey by walking up the steep hill, a two-hour ascent that adds an adventurous touch to the Machu Picchu entrance.
  2. Convenient Bus Ride: Opt for the bus, though it comes at a higher USD 24 cost for a relatively short journey. While pricier, it offers a comfortable and efficient alternative to reach the majestic Incan citadel. Machu Picchu bus tickets are available on the Consettur website and sales offices.

If you’ve booked a Machu Picchu Travel Package, whether through a trek or train, rest assured that most reputable companies include a local guide. These guides assist you in navigating the route from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and guide you up to Machu Picchu, ensuring a seamless and informative journey.

Crucially, to gain access to Machu Picchu, securing an entrance ticket in advance is mandatory, as they are not available at the machu picchu entrance itself.

Machu Picchu Tour Packages

Typically, 6-day Peru tour or trek packages include these all entrance tickets, but due to their limited availability, it’s advisable to book your excursion at least a week in advance.

Attempting to arrange your ticket and transportation independently is discouraged, as it can lead to higher costs and considerable inconvenience.

Entrance to Machu Picchu requires the accompaniment of a local guide, and arranging transportation independently can be challenging. For a smoother and more reliable experience, a tour or trek is highly recommended.

Exercise caution when selecting a tour or trek company, as instances of scams have been reported. If a price appears unusually low, it’s often a red flag. To ensure a reputable and secure experience, we recommend considering established companies with a proven track record and positive feedback from our extensive customers.

Main Attractions in Machu Picchu

Best Attraction while exploring in Machu Picchu

As one of the most popular travel destinations in South America, Machu Picchu offers a myriad of breathtaking attractions to explore. From ancient ruins to stunning landscapes, there is something for every type of traveler. Here are some of the best attractions you won’t want to miss while exploring this magical destination.

The Lost City of Machu Picchu

Machu Travel Peru way To Get There
Machu Picchu Inca City from the Sun Gate

Of course, no trip to Machu Picchu would be complete without visiting the iconic Lost City of The Incas itself. This 15th-century Incan citadel astounds visitors with its impressive architecture and rich history.

You can take a guided tour or explore on your own, but either way, don’t miss the chance to witness this wonder of the world up close.

Intihuatana Stone: SUN DIAL

  • Time: Allow 20-30 minutes
  • Elevation: Approximately 7,970 feet (2,430 meters)
  • Description: Marvel at the Intihuatana Stone, a celestial observatory showcasing the Incas’ astronomical prowess. The ‘hitching post of the sun’ offers a unique alignment with the four cardinal points and a fascinating shadow phenomenon during equinoxes.

Royal Inca Tomb:

  • Time: Explore for 30-40 minutes
  • Elevation: Around 7,970 feet (2,430 meters)
  • Description: Delve into the mysteries of the Royal Tomb, a cave-like structure with a rich history of sacrificial and burial rituals. Discover over 100 excavated skeletons and witness the sophistication of Incan masonry in the adjacent ceremonial baths.

Climb Huayna Picchu:

  • Time: Allocate 2-3 hours (including descent)
  • Elevation: Summit at approximately 8,920 feet (2,720 meters)
  • Description: For the adventurous, ascend Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain behind Machu Picchu. Secure your climb in advance, and enjoy breathtaking views from the summit, but be cautious of narrow paths without barriers.

Temple of the Sun:

  • Time: Spend 20-30 minutes
  • Elevation: Approximately 8,040 feet (2,450 meters)
  • Description: Explore the Temple of the Sun, a sacred space dedicated to Inca sun worship. Admire the exquisite stonework and architectural precision that characterize this significant structure.

Sun Gate (Inti Punku):

  • Time: Plan for a 1-2 hour round trip
  • Elevation: Ascend to around 8,920 feet (2,720 meters)
  • Description: Take a rewarding hike to the Sun Gate, or Inti Punku, for a panoramic view of Machu Picchu. This vantage point offers a unique perspective and is especially popular during sunrise.

Agricultural Terraces:

  • Time: Explore at your leisure
  • Elevation: Varies, generally between 7,970 to 8,200 feet (2,430 to 2,500 meters)
  • Description: Wander through the intricate agricultural terraces that showcase the Incas’ advanced farming techniques. The terraces offer a glimpse into the agricultural practices that sustained Machu Picchu.

Immerse yourself in the diverse attractions of Machu Picchu, and tailor your exploration based on your interests and available time. Each site contributes to the rich tapestry of this ancient wonder, offering a comprehensive and traveler-friendly experience.

What is the optimal time of day to visit Machu Picchu?

To optimize your Machu Picchu experience, consider planning your visit during the morning or dusk hours. The site tends to be busiest from 11 am to 3 pm, coinciding with the arrival of train and bus visitors.

Exploring Machu Picchu during the earlier hours or as the day transitions into dusk not only provides a more serene and meditative atmosphere but also offers optimal lighting conditions for photography.

We highly recommend staying overnight in Aguas Calientes if you are hiking the Inca Trail. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to witness the breathtaking sunset at Machu Picchu.

By avoiding the peak midday crowds, you can immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of this ancient citadel, capturing its essence in the soft glow of morning light or the warm hues of sunset.

Journey to Machu Picchu on Foot.

Embarking on a trek to Machu Picchu by foot is the ultimate way to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that unfold along the journey.

Picture yourself surrounded by snow-capped peaks, pristine sapphire lakes, terraced fields, and lush emerald-forested slopes – a truly varied and awe-inspiring experience.

The Inca Trail and Alternative Treks to Machu Picchu: A Unique Adventure

The Classic Inca Trail:

The Classic Inca Trail stands as the quintessential pilgrimage to Machu Picchu, weaving through breathtaking landscapes ancient ruins, and diverse ecosystems.

This iconic trek, spanning approximately 26 miles, offers a genuine connection to the historical and spiritual essence of the Inca civilization. The four-day journey culminates with the awe-inspiring sunrise entry to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate, providing a truly rewarding experience.

Inca Quarry Trail:

The Inca Quarry Trail emerges as a captivating new travel addition, blending ancient ruins and stunning landscapes. This alternative route introduces trekkers to the intricacies of Incan quarrying techniques while providing breathtaking views.

Spanning approximately three days, the trek offers a unique perspective on the journey to Machu Picchu.

Ancascocha Trek:

The Ancascocha Trek is known as a hiking trail by National Geographic. presents a less-traveled route, immersing trekkers in the serene landscapes of the Andes.

This four-day journey navigates through picturesque valleys, mountain passes, and the stunning Ancascocha Lake, providing a tranquil and off-the-beaten-path experience on the way to Machu Picchu.

Salkantay Trek (Alternative Inca Trail)

Often hailed as the ‘alternative Inca Trail. The Salkantay Trek is a thrilling adventure leading trekkers through the stunning Salkantay Mountain. This challenging yet captivating route, typically lasting five days, reveals snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, and diverse ecosystems.

As you traverse high-altitude landscapes, the grandeur of Machu Picchu slowly unveils itself, offering a unique perspective and a sense of accomplishment.

Inca Jungle Trek:

The Inca Jungle Trek offers an exciting blend of trekking and adventure activities. This diverse route incorporates mountain biking, zip-lining, and hot springs, making it an ideal choice for those seeking an adrenaline-infused journey to Machu Picchu.

The four-day trek takes you through lush jungles, quaint villages, and Incan ruins, providing a dynamic and immersive experience.

Lares Trek:

The Lares Trek caters to those seeking a less-traveled path to Machu Picchu. This trek, usually spanning three to four days, navigates through remote Andean villages, revealing authentic glimpses of local culture.

Surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and traditional Quechua communities, the Lares Trek offers a tranquil and culturally rich alternative.

Choquequirao Trek:

The Choquequirao Trek, often referred to as Machu Picchu’s ‘sister city,’ takes trekkers to the lesser-explored archaeological site of Choquequirao.

This challenging route spans approximately four days and reveals the grandeur of ancient terraces, temples, and plazas. While less frequent, the trek offers a profound sense of discovery and a unique connection to Incan history.

Embarking on the Inca Trail or one of its alternative routes is not just a physical journey but a cultural and historical odyssey.

Whichever path you choose, the adventure to Machu Picchu promises awe-inspiring landscapes, ancient wonders, and a profound connection to the rich heritage of the Incas.

Our Guided Tour In Peru to Machu Picchu

Our guide to trekking vacations in Peru unveils an extensive of routes and distances. Ensuring you find the perfect match for your fitness level, available time, and preferred accommodation. Whether it’s the iconic Inca Trail, the adventurous Salkantay Trek 5 days (often hailed as the ‘alternative Inca Trail’), or the enchanting Ausangate trek to Rainbow Mountain route.

We offer both group and private treks spanning from 1 to 12 days. This flexibility allows you to navigate these spectacular trails at a pace that suits you. Once you’ve acclimatized to the altitude.

It’s important to note that regulations limit the number of walkers on the Inca Trail. Only 500 people, including porters, are permitted to start the trek each day. Due to the high demand, permits sell out well in advance, underscoring the necessity of planning your trek early for an unforgettable Inca Trail experience.

Consider the Elevation Before Hiking to Machu Picchu

A brief consideration about altitude: Machu Picchu sits at approximately 2,450 meters above sea level, while Cuzco, the starting point for many treks, is at 3,400 meters.

At these elevations, oxygen levels are reduced by 20 percent, making acclimatization crucial. While altitude sickness symptoms are generally mild and transient, our Peru specialists can provide personalized recommendations on how to acclimatize before your trek and address any altitude-related concerns during your journey.

Embark on this adventure, breathe in the mountain air, and let the ancient paths lead you to the wonders of Machu Picchu.

Where to Stay in Cusco and Machu Picchu

When considering accommodations in Aguas Calientes and Cusco, your stay can be as delightful as your Machu Picchu adventure.

Aguas Calientes:

Aguas Calientes offers a diverse range of hotels catering to various preferences. For a luxurious experience, consider the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, conveniently located near Machu Picchu, providing exclusive access to the site.

Another excellent option is Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, surrounded by lush greenery and offering a tranquil retreat after your explorations.

Cusco:

Cusco offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious 5-star hotels to cozy hostels and convenient Airbnb. As a travel tour operator, we specialize in recommending and working with the finest accommodation options available.

The Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, combines colonial elegance with modern luxury. Alternatively, the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco offers a blend of history and sophistication, set in a restored 16th-century convent.

Where to Eat in Machu Picchu:

Indulge your palate in Aguas Calientes with a visit to Indio Feliz, an award-winning gem tucked away on a side street. This restaurant seamlessly blends Peruvian flavors with a French twist, offering a culinary experience like no other.

For a taste of local street food, time your visit on a Sunday to savor slow-cooked chicharrones (hog roast) until it runs out – a savory delight that promises succulent meat and the crispiest crackling.

As you plan your Machu Picchu journey, rest assured that the delightful accommodations and culinary gems in Aguas Calientes and Cusco will enhance every aspect of your experience. From the heights of the Andes to the charming streets of Cusco, let your exploration be complemented by the comfort and flavor these destinations have to offer.

Where to Stay in Cusco and Machu Picchu

When considering accommodations in Aguas Calientes and Cusco, your stay can be as delightful as your Machu Picchu adventure.

Aguas Calientes:

Aguas Calientes offers a diverse range of hotels catering to various preferences. For a luxurious experience, consider the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, conveniently located near Machu Picchu, providing exclusive access to the site. Another excellent option is Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, surrounded by lush greenery and offering a tranquil retreat after your explorations.

Cusco:

Cusco offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious 5-star hotels to cozy hostels and convenient Airbnb. As a travel tour operator, we specialize in recommending and working with the finest accommodation options available.

The Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, combines colonial elegance with modern luxury. Alternatively, the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco offers a blend of history and sophistication, set in a restored 16th-century convent.

Where to Eat in Machu Picchu:

Indulge your palate in Aguas Calientes with a visit to Indio Feliz, an award-winning gem tucked away on a side street. This restaurant seamlessly blends Peruvian flavors with a French twist, offering a culinary experience like no other. Full House Peruvian cuisine Restaurants, Chullos Restaurant & Craft Beer are our best recommendations.

For a taste of local street food, time your visit on a Sunday to savor slow-cooked chicharrones (hog roast) until it runs out – a savory delight that promises succulent meat and the crispiest crackling.

As you plan your Machu Picchu journey, rest assured that the delightful accommodations and culinary gems in Aguas Calientes and Cusco will enhance every aspect of your experience. From the heights of the Andes to the charming streets of Cusco, let your exploration be complemented by the comfort and flavor these destinations have to offer.

What You Should Carry To Machu Picchu

  • Your passport! You cannot enter without it!
  • Your ticket to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu / Huayna Picchu Mountain.
  • Some money for a passport stamp (s/1), bathroom (S/1), and souvenirs you may want to buy as well as dinner or lunch at the restaurant (expensive).
  • A camera (and maybe a selfie stick).
  • Good walking shoes.
  • Water.
  • A lunchbox and some snacks.
  • Sunscreen and/or a small foldable umbrella depending on the weather.

What You Suldnt Take To Machu Picchu

  • Tripods are not allowed at the historical site. You can leave yours in the lockers outside.
  • Professional cameras are not allowed. Permits for professional cameras are over $300 so avoid bringing a professional-looking camera in to save some money.
  • You cannot come to Machu Picchu with your travel backpack. Only smaller models are allowed so leave your backpack in Aguas Calientes if you’re stuck with it. You can pay a hotel a small amount of money to take care of it.
  • Walking sticks are not allowed unless the person needs them.
  • Only small foldable umbrellas are allowed so avoid bringing a big umbrella with spikes.

Travel Guide Tips to Machu Picchu

An enriching journey to Machu Picchu with our thoughtfully crafted itineraries, each designed to explore this iconic site and other treasures across Peru.

For an immersive experience, consider dedicating at least 8 days to your Peruvian adventure. This allows ample time to marvel at Machu Picchu and its neighboring Incan ruins, with the flexibility to explore the captivating city of Cusco before or after your visit.

If you wish to have a more in-depth travel experience, consider adding extra days to explore the wonders of the Peruvian Amazon, immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Lake Titicaca, or uncover the breathtaking landscapes of Arequipa Colca Valley. Each destination offers a unique perspective to your journey, showcasing the diverse and awe-inspiring attractions of Peru.

Whether you’re drawn to ancient ruins, lush rainforests, high-altitude lakes, or picturesque valleys, our curated itineraries offer a seamless blend of experiences, ensuring your trip to Machu Picchu becomes an unforgettable exploration of Peru’s rich cultural and natural heritage.

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