Kondor Path Tours

The Ultimate Machu Picchu Travel Guide

One of South America’s best-known archeological finds is the Lost City of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, which lies tucked away in the Andes Mountains’ cloud forests, was supposedly the royal realm or sacred religious place of the Inca monarchs. Today, Machu Picchu is Peru’s most sought-after tourist destination because of its hilltop setting, exquisite masonry, and ancient history.

Ready for an experience? Before heading to one of the world’s most famous manufactured wonders, here’s what you need to know:

Where is Machu Picchu located precisely?

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel located in the eastern mountains of southern Peru in a 2,430-meter (7,970-foot) mountain range. It is located in the Machu Picchu sanctuary territory of the Urubamba province above the Sacred Valley, 50 miles (80km) northwest of Cusco. The Urubamba River flows in between, crossing the Cordillera to create a tropical mountain climate valley.

What is the elevation of Machu Picchu?

You may be wondering how Machu Picchu’s elevation affects your visit. Machu Picchu Park itself is not considered a high-altitude destination. The mountain saddle where most ruins are located is about 2,407 meters above sea level, about 1,005 meters below Cusco, and 480 meters below the Sacred Valley.

The two peaks, Huayna Picchu and Montaña Machu Picchu, reach 2,692 meters (8,835 feet) and 3,081 meters (10,111 feet), respectively. The usual threshold for altitude sickness expression is 2438 meters, or 8000 feet.

Aguas Calientes has a comfortable elevation of approximately 2,042 meters (6,700 feet).

Sun and other thoughts

Machu Picchu is almost unaffected by strong winds. The average wind speed is less than 9.6 km/6 miles annually, and the maximum wind speed rarely exceeds 16 km/10 mph.

Sunscreen is a must. Because of cloud cover, the UV index is moderate at 3 or 4 virtually every month. But soon, this cloud will divide, enabling the sun to blaze hotter at high elevations. Bring sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, a hat, and sunglasses that shield the sun. Wearing long sleeves and long pants is highly advised. It’s crucial to use insect repellant.

What are the ticket types and prices for Machu Picchu?

  • Machu Picchu only “Circuit 1, 2, 3, 4”: PRICE: Adult (S/ 239), Child or Student (S/ 119)
  • Machu Picchu “Circuit 4” + Wayna Picchu: Price: Adult (S/ 309), Child or Student (S/ 179)
  • Machu Picchu “Circuit 3” + Machu Picchu Montaña – PRICE: Adult (S/ 309), Child or Student (S/ 179)
  • Machu Picchu “Circuit 4” + Huchuy Picchu: Price: Adult (S/ 239), Child or Student (S/ 119)

How do I get to Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu can only be reached in three ways: by the Inca Trail, the train that passes via Ollantaytambo, and another route that passes through the hydroelectric train station, “Intiwatana.” About travel and cost, each provides a unique experience. Your choice depends on the type of experience you are looking for.

Three steps to get to Machu Picchu

  1. First, you have to reach Cusco.
  2. Then you can travel by train or walk from Cusco. Most tourists appreciate the relaxing train ride to Machu Picchu’s Aguas Calientes station. Walking tours also pass through Aguas Calientes before visiting the ruins, except for the Inca Trail, which ends at the Sun Gate entrance to Machu Picchu.
  3. Finally, take the short bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu for your visit. Enjoy learning what makes this Inca edifice from the fifteenth century one of the world’s New Seven Wonders!

How do I get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is 9 kilometers up the mountain from Aguas Calientes. There are only two ways to get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes: by bus or on foot.

There is a bus that goes from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.

Consettur Machupicchu runs buses that shuttle people between Aguas Calientes and the ruins’ main entrance. The Carretera Hiram Bingham is a hilly, winding road that the route traverses. Every 15 minutes or when the bus is full, buses leave from the Aguas Calientes bus stop on Av. Hermanos Ayar between 5:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The bus ride usually takes about 25 minutes. At 5:30 p.m., the last bus returning to town departs from the ruins.

Hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

A strenuous ascent leads beside the river and mountain to the Machu Picchu entrance. You can hike the 7 km (4.5 miles) following the dirt road or take the more vertical route, “The Inca Trail from the Puente Ruinas to Machu Picchu.”

What are the extra hikes around Machu Picchu Park?

A visit to Machu Picchu is not a visit to a specific place. There are other places to hike for visitors with a bit of a thirst for the extra discovery kilometers.

Huayna Picchu Hike

Trekkers usually take 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the summit. Athletes can reach the top in 45 minutes. Getting off is about the same time, so walking for 3 hours with plenty of time would be good.

Machu Picchu Montaña Hike

It usually takes hikers about two hours to reach the top. The athletic guy climbs to the top in 1 hour and 30 minutes. It takes about 1.5 hours to go down, so it’s good to give yourself 4 hours to enjoy the views.

Sun Gate (Inti Punku) Hike

Most people take 40–60 minutes to reach the Sun Gate, taking breaks and taking pictures just in time.

Inca Bridge “Puente Inca” Hike

The Inca Bridge was built of several narrow logs on a steep vertical cliff; the Inca Bridge is said to have served as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu. Most people get to the Inca Bridge in about 20–30 minutes.

What are the items not allowed to enter Machu Picchu?

It is necessary not to bring any of the following objects to Machu Picchu:

  1. Tripods extend or support cameras and smartphones. It is prohibited to enter while carrying “a selfie stick.”
  2. Bags, backpacks, or bags weighing more than five kilograms
  3. Food or luggage.
  4. Illegal substances (drugs or being under the influence)
  5. Alcoholic beverages (or under their influence).
  6. Sprays or paints.
  7. Musical instruments, megaphones, or speakers.
  8. Heels with hard-soled shoes
  9. Baby carriages—carrying a baby carrier is ideal.
  10. Sharp objects and weapons of any kind
  11. Banners, posters, and posters.
  12. Clothing is intended for advertising purposes.
  13. Canes with a metal tip (older adults can carry hiking poles with a rubber tip)

What behaviors are not allowed in Machu Picchu?

  1. It is forbidden to leave the established circuits or routes.
  2. Take illegal trails or avoid entry and establish control of Machu Picchu.
  3. Generate tumult, jump, or cause disorder in the access and at any point in the Inca Machu Picchu.
  4. Climb or lean on walls and structures.
  5. Do not engage in any activity that distorts the sacred character of Machu Picchu.
  6. Carrying out obscene and inappropriate acts in public violates morality and good customs, such as undressing, dressing up, lying down, or running.
  7. Smoking or “vaping” an electronic cigarette
  8. Make overflights in the place’s airspace with paragliders, drones, or any smaller vessel.
  9. Feed the Inca city’s domestic or wild animals.
  10. Make loud or annoying noises: clap, shout, whistle, or sing.
  11. Improve recording or taking pictures for commercials or in dangerous locations.

What are the sanctions for violators of the Machu Picchu regulations?

  • Failure to comply with the prohibitions in Machu Picchu will result in the expulsion of the visitor without the right to a refund of the ticket price. Given the seriousness of the crime, the authorities will take appropriate legal action.
  • Sometimes, authorities can restrict a visitor’s access. Attacking the integrity of others is one of the world’s wonders, which is punishable, for example. Another case is the Inca city’s attack on morality and good customs.
  • There are HD cameras and security guards inside Machu Picchu. If necessary, you can step in for tourists who don’t follow the rules of the place.

What is a souvenir stamp at Machu Picchu?

If you want to know where to get a Machu Picchu stamp on your passport, there is a simple answer: the stamping area is at the Machu Picchu exit on the right. “Do it at the end of the Machu Picchu tour.” However, your passport stamp at Machu Picchu is much more than a stamp; it proves the fantastic journey you have just completed in southern Peru.

Aguas Calientes Food and Accommodation

An overnight stay in Aguas Calientes is strongly suggested to enjoy Machu Picchu early in the morning, whether doing an Inca Jungle, Choquequirao Trek, or a day trip to Machu Picchu.

Due to its proximity to Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes has several hotels, restaurants, cafes, and small shops. It’s also helpful to know that food is not permitted at the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Eat a healthy breakfast before leaving.

What tour should I choose to visit Machu Picchu?

Your degree of fitness, prior trekking experience, and the orientation of your tour group are just a few of the variables that will affect your trip to Machu Picchu.


Machu Picchu Day Trip

Daytime travel is the quickest way to visit the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Trains from the train stations at San Pedro, Poroy, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo arrive at Aguas Calientes. Even though this trip is lengthy, it’s well worth seeing the fantastic sights while traveling by train through the Amazon cloud forest and the Andes. The primary benefit of a day trip is that it gives tourists a chance to see the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu with a tour guide and gain further insight into the tourism experience, which is ideal for those ill-prepared for a climb. In light of this, many incorporate day excursions from the “Sacred Valley of the Incas,” Cusco, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo.

02-day tour: Overnight in Aguas Calientes

Let’s say you’re short on time, but you still want to see the highlights of Machu Picchu by leisurely exploring various ancient sites with incredible panoramic views. If so, we advise taking the 2-day journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to reach Machu Picchu.

This is a beautiful Andean adventure way to immerse yourself in the local Inca culture and get the proper background before visiting the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. After a fantastic tour of the Sacred Valley on the first day, you will have plenty of time to rest before catching the train to Aguas Calientes and heading to Machu Picchu on the second day.

Multi-Day Tours to Machu Picchu

The sheer quantity of Inca sites and ruins that are easily accessible from Cusco’s city astounds tourists. You should consider a multi-day tour to explore more of the region and Cusco’s local culture and traditions. We have 3- to 7-day multi-day tours covering the most impressive sites of the Cusco region to complete your Cusco vacation in Peru.

Are you ready to explore Machu Picchu, “the lost city of the Incas”?

Of course, take a train through the Sacred Valley or Maras Moray to Machu Picchu Pueblo, then catch a bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Main Gate. The first impression of Machu Picchu is distinct from every angle when seeing a photo of the Inca stronghold.

A tour of Machu Picchu is a great way to bring ancestral ruins to life, learn about their history, and glimpse the incredible ingenuity of the Inca people who built the Inca citadel.

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