walking up machu picchu citadel

Walking up Machu Picchu: The best tips for tourists

Walking up Machu Picchu is a must-visit point if you are searching for pristine beauty places in Peru. Nobody on his/her trip here leaves without having enjoyed this Majestic Peruvian Historical Sanctuary declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. But above all, no one leaves without having acquired the knowledge about the revelations of the mysteries of Machu Picchu and its Inca Empire.

walking up machu picchu the lost city of the incas

So here you will find the best tips for tourists which will be very useful for your walking up to Machu Picchu:

The best time to visit Machu Picchu

When you plan your visit to Machu Picchu, you must consider the weather. There are two seasons: dry and rainy.

  • The rainy season goes from mid-November to late-March. From January to March, heavy rain and flooding hit parts of the path to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is closed each February due to strong downpours during the whole month and for maintenance.
  • The dry season from April to mid-November is really pleasant. However, between April and July, Machu Picchu is crowded, if you are thinking about how best to arrange your trip during these months, book your tours in Peru well in advance. If you prefer to avoid crowds come to Machu Picchu between August to mid-November.

Anyway, in the dry season, your walking up Machu Picchu will have an impressive blue sky. In the rainy season, you will see the greenest landscapes.

There is a well-heard phrase that says “if the mountain does not come to Muhammad, Muhammad goes to the mountain.” Machu Picchu is waiting for you to find it to dazzle you by its natural beauty, magic, enigmatic and cultural history.

walking up machu picchu rainy

How to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu?

There are different ways to get there. So to choose the right Machu Picchu itinerary, it is necessary you are convinced about choosing the type of tour you are most passionate and suits you best.

If you love hiking and trekking, the following adventure tours will be perfect for you:

  • The 4-day Inca Trail

It is the most famous and popular tour, where you are going to walk through the mountains until you arrive at the majestic citadel. Note that access to this trail is limited, the Culture Ministry provides 500 permits per day. Since this trek has high demand, you must do reservations in advance.

walking up machu picchu inca trail

  • The Short Inca Trail (2 days/1 night)

Some people prefer walking 2 days and resting 1 night! If you are part of this group, the Short Inca Trail is the best tour.

Spending one night in a nice accommodation in Aguas Calientes is the perfect plan for those who have a small taste for hiking. The Short Inca Trail is an enjoyable and soft route, for these reasons, people with low physical choose it! The access is also limited (250 permits per day) but doesn’t have the same demand as the 4-day Inca trail

  • Alternative Treks:

If you weren’t able to find the 4-day Inca Trail or if you are those who incline to unusual activities, don`t worry! There are different routes for walking up to Machu Picchu and they are available all year long:

    • The 5-day Salkantay Trek:
This tour is an arduous one, but you are going to see incredible high-altitude sceneries.
    • The 4-day Lares Trek:
On this tour, you make a few stops in some local Andean communities.
    • Choquequirao Trek:
If you want to carry out a daring challenge, you must try this tour! It will take you to the hidden Incan ruins that not many tourists usually see.

walking up machu picchu train

For those who prefer calm in their tours but with an entertaining and incomparable contrast, the following tour will suit you very well:

  • Machu Picchu by train:

This route combines a journey by shared tourist bus or private vehicle and train (this is up to you!).

Your journey begins from Cusco by car to the train station in Poroy or Ollantaytambo. Then, you continue by train enjoying the incredible views and entertainment on board (this last one according to your train category). Upon arrival, you take the bus to the Majestic Sanctuary. If you wish, you can spend the night in a nice accommodation in Aguas Calientes. Finally, return to Cusco.

If you are a couple having an amazing Machu Picchu honeymoon, let’s take love to heights and take pleasure in all marvelous Machu Picchu has to offer!

Climbing the Two Mountains of Machu Picchu Sanctuary

There are two alternative options to climb within the Machu Picchu Sanctuary:
  • Huayna Picchu or Wayna Picchu is the most requested and involves to climb up the peak that appears in the background of most classic Machu Picchu photographs. Between go and return, it lasts around 2 hours depending on your pace.

walking up machu picchu huayna picchu climb

  • Machu Picchu mountain is more rigorous and less crowded than Huayna Picchu. The hike takes 1 hour approximately more than Huayna Picchu, but views are
    breathtaking!

For both mountains, the permits are restricted to 200 per day, going down rapidly. If you desire to visit any of the mountains, make reservations in advance.

Practical information

  1. If you are traveling with a big backpack larger than 25L, you will be required to store it at the Machu Picchu entrance gate. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enter.´
  2. According to the Culture Ministry Policy is mandatory to have a Guide at the moment to enter the Sanctuary. The service has a duration of 2 hours approximately. After the guided tour, you can stay on your own there until your visiting time ends.
  3. Neither smoking nor sitting on the ruins are allowed within the Sanctuary.
  4. Toilets can be found only at the Machu Picchu entrance gate. There are not toilets available within the Sanctuary.

walking up machu picchu entrance

What do you need to bring?

For walking up Machu Picchu, you must have:

  • Original current Passport or ID.
  • Winter and summer clothing.
  • Hiking shoes.
  • Cap
  • Waterproof jacket/rain poncho.
  • Swimsuit and sandals – you can use them at the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock and lip balm.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Camelbak – in case you’re a trekking and outdoor enthusiast, you can fill it up with boiled and cooled water.
  • Camera with extra batteries.
  • Extra money in Peruvian currency for snacks, drinks, tips, and artisan crafts.
  • Travel Insurance – it’s strongly recommended to get a travel insurance, you never know what might happen.

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!


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