Every professional or amateur traveler has always wanted to set foot in the renowned Machu Picchu. And how not to? With the most prominent and wonderful views of a lost city of the Incas, added to the mysteries that surround this complex, it is understandable to want to visit it. Thanks to our many years of offering private and personalized trips, we know how confusing it can be for tourists to explore the Wonder of the World. That is why together with Machu Travel Peru we have decided to prepare a travel guide so that you can know everything about how to visit Machu Picchu.
HOW TO VISIT MACHU PICCHU THE RIGHT WAY
WHEN TO GO
In general, if you want to visit Machu Picchu, the complex is available all year round, but its climate is divided into two very marked seasons that usually coincide with the tourist seasons. For example, from October to April is the rainy season, and normally coincides with the low tourist season. While the dry season is from May to September and this matches the high tourist season. Keep in mind that the Peruvian climate is very unpredictable, so the best time to go to Machu Picchu will depend a lot on your taste and availability. If you are one of those who likes quiet visits and without so many people around, the low season may be for you.
The Imperial City is the starting place for any Machu Picchu vacations. Whether you are traveling by plane or bus, Cusco will be a mandatory stop for those adventurers looking to tour the well-known Inca citadel. You can choose to stay a few days while touring the city and acclimatize ideally to the altitude. In this way, when you go up to Machu Picchu, you will be prepared for everything. In Cusco, you will find hotels, resorts, and boutiques of all budgets, whether you are looking for exclusive or more classic options. If you plan to visit Machu Picchu, you will most likely pass through this beautiful city with a lot to see.
Wherever you come from, it is surely lower than in Cusco (3,400 meters) or Machu Picchu (2,430 meters). Unless you plan to stay in Cusco for a few days, we highly recommend that you immediately go to Aguas Calientes (2,040 meters) or Sacred Valley (2,900 meters). These places are at a lower altitude and will make your acclimatization easier. You can take advantage and stay in Aguas Calientes by taking the train to Machu Picchu, or you can go by bus to the Sacred Valley to rest around the most wonderful landscapes. This will help you minimize the unpleasant effects of altitude including headache, fatigue, and nausea. In this way when you want to visit Machu Picchu, you are in shape and condition so you do not miss anything of the wonderful complex.
FROM CUSCO TO MACHU PICCHU
To go from Cusco to Machu Picchu, there are two main ways, you can take a beautiful train trip to the town of Aguas Calientes or you can choose the well-known Inca Trail. Regularly, in all Machu Picchu tours, you can opt for the train option unless indicated otherwise. The train ride is a trip with panoramic views that lasts about 3 ½ hours approximately every way, it goes within the Urubamba River through the Sacred Valley and can have exclusive, luxurious, or classic options. Keep in mind that the train will leave you in Aguas Calientes, where you will have to take a bus or take a walk to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
The other option is to take the classic Inca Trail, which is a hiking trek lasting 4 days and 3 nights. The Inca Trail is one of the most incredible and famous hiking routes in the world, those who choose to visit Machu Picchu with the Inca Trail, are usually rewarded with wonderful views. The Inca Trail usually ends at the Inti Punku, where from there you will visit the famous archaeological complex.
HIKE OR TRAIN?
Now between these two options, which is the best? This will depend a lot on the inclination of the client, because if you are looking to make a one-day visit, perhaps the train is the best option. But if you have time available, the Inca Trail is an opportunity without parallel. To be able to hike to Machu Picchu is to be able to complement your visit with additional views and archaeological ruins without comparison.
But if you are looking to put aside effort and adventure, you can choose a luxurious and exclusive train journey through the wonderful Belmond Hiram Bingham. This travel service offers all the comforts that a 5-star hotel provides but onboard a train.
Also known as Machu Picchu town, Aguas Calientes is a small town that stands before the Wonder of the World. It is a perfect place to eat something delicious and recharge energies before starting your guided tour. You can stay in an exclusive and luxurious place like the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo or the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. There are many things you can do before diving into the archaeological complex, such as visiting the hot springs named after the town or enjoying a traditional Andean meal. When you are at the entrance to Machu Picchu you can hire a certified guide to explain the different Machu Picchu facts.
Whether you want to tour the citadel, do a complementary hike like Huayna Picchu mountain or Machu Picchu mountain, you will need some Machu Picchu reservations. You can do them together with an operator or tourist agency that will provide you and cover all the details such as transportation, accommodation, guide, lunch and much more if you wish. Keep in mind that to visit the Wonder of the World you will need to make your reservations months in advance because we are talking about one of the most desired places by tourists and adventurers.
“A MIND THAT IS STRETCHED BY A NEW EXPERIENCE CAN NEVER GO BACK TO ITS OLD DIMENSIONS”
We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have been of help for your next trip to the Wonder of the World. Remember that you can make your adventure much easier if you choose to do it with us. If you have any questions, you can consult with our qualified advisers to guide you through all the steps to follow.