7 tips for traveling to Machu Picchu – Peru

Plan the great trip to the citadel of the great Inca empire of Machu Picchu.

1.- WHEN TO GO

November through March is the rainy season and the season preferred by Latinos. From July to September, the high is the time for the Europeans.

2.- HOW TO ARRIVE at THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

The fastest and easiest way to get to the citadel is by train. There are currently three companies that offer their services to Aguas Calientes: PeruRail, Inca Rail, and Machu Picchu Train. All offer daily frequencies from Ollantaytambo station. The prices are similar and the benefits too. The main difference is their schedules. In addition, PeruRail is the only one that adds three services from the station of Poroy (in Cusco) and one, in autovagón, from the station of Urubamba.

3.- ON THE ROAD OF INCA

If you plan to make the Inca Trail, reserve your place at least five months in advance. Only 500 people are allowed per day, and the road is closed in February.

 4.- HOW TO ENTER MACHU PICCHU

Those who prefer to pay for the entrance ticket with a credit card can do it with Visa only through the sanctuary website (www.Machupicchu.gob.pe, option paid). The easiest way to buy the ticket in cash is to do it directly in the House of Culture of Aguas Calientes Machu Pichu. They do not accept dollars) and close at 20:30. Do not forget to bring a passport to buy the entrance or enter the citadel.

5.- CLIMBING HUAYNA PICCHU

Huayna Picchu: The “young mountain” is 2 667 meters high and forms part of the Salcantay massif; To make a summit in it is to access a different perspective, amplified, of Machu Picchu and, in passing, meet with the surprise that there are significant archaeological remains.

To climb it, you need to be in good physical condition and present at the park entrance – with a general access ticket in hand – at 4:30 in the morning. It is the only way to secure a place in one of only two scheduled shifts per day, for a maximum of 400 people in total; the climb is of medium difficulty, and rising at a good pace requires between 45 and 60 minutes. Essential: carry water and trekking shoes.

6.- WHERE TO SLEEP

The closest enclave to the Archaeological Park, Aguas Calientes, is the chosen place to spend the night. The hotel’s offer is quite broad. While there are some luxury hotels, the cheapest options are considerably lower in infrastructure and service. A good alternative is to spend the night in Ollantaytambo instead of Aguas Calientes.

7.- ATTENTION!

Never change money on the street. Check that the bills are not broken or worn when you do it. Minimum damage is enough so that no bank, trade, or exchange house takes it.

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