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Machu Picchu Tours

About Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is synonyms of historical richness, ancient culture, and dazzling architecture. But, What does Machu Picchu mean? The name comes from the ancient Quechua language and it means “Old Peak”. This Incan citadel is surrounded by terrace, temples, water channels, and unbeatable magic. It has been considered a cultural heritage of humanity in recognition of its religious and political importance during the age of its inhabitants, the Incas.

Certainly, there’s a lot of things to do in Peru and Machu Travel Peru makes tailor-made Machu Picchu tours which are designed according to your need and desires. You will be dazzled by one of the most impressive architectural jewels of the world and marveled at its ancient history. It will be a special experience that will connect you with the ancestral Inca lifestyle.
Every detail of your vacations in Peru will be perfectly organized by our expert team. They will provide you with the best service throughout your Machu Picchu tours.

Our Machu Picchu tours


The meaning of Machu Picchu can simply be translated to "old or ancient mountain". With many legends and theories surrounding the position of the site, most archeologists agree that its sacred geography and astronomy were auspicious factors in helping the Inca Pachacuti decide where to build this citadel here at 2492m. It’s thought that agricultural influences, as well as geo-sacred indicators, prevailed and that the site secured a decent supply of sacred coca and maize for the Inca nobles and priests in Cusco.

The discovery of Machu Picchu

Never discovered by the Spanish conquerors, for many centuries the site of Machu Picchu lay forgotten, except by local Indians and settlers, until it was found on July 24, 1911, by the US explorer Hiram Bingham. It was a fantastic find, not least because the site was still relatively intact, without the usual ravages of either Spanish conquistadores or tomb robbers. Accompanied only by two locals, Bingham left his base camp around 10 am and crossed a bridge so dodgy that he crawled over it on his hands and knees before climbing a precipitous slope until they reached the ridge at around midday. After resting at a small hut, he received hospitality from a local peasant who described an extensive system of terraces where they had found good fertile soil for their crops. Bingham was led to the site by an 11 -year-old local boy, Pablito Alvarez, but it didn't take him long to see that he had come across some important ancient Inca terraces over a hundred of which had recently been cleared of forest for subsistence crops. After a little more exploration Bingham found the fine white stonework and began to realize that this might be the place he was looking for.

The discovery of Machu Picchu

Origins of Machu Picchu

Bingham first theorized that Machu Picchu was the lost city of Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the Incas from the Spanish conquistadors. Not until another American expedition surveyed the ruins around Machu Picchu in the 1940s did serious doubts begin to arise over this assertion, and more recently the site of the Incas' final stronghold has been shown to be Espiritu Pampa in the Amazon jungle.

Meanwhile, it was speculated that Machu Picchu was perhaps the best preserved of a series of agricultural centers that served Cusco in its prime. The city was conceived and built in the mid-fifteenth century by Emperor Pachacuti, the first to expand the empire beyond the Sacred Valley towards the forested gold-lands. With crop fertility, mountains, and nature as sacred to the Incas, an agricultural center as important as Machu Picchu would easily have merited the site with fine stonework and temple precincts. It was clearly also a ritual center, given the layout and quantity of temples; but for the Incas, it was usual to not separate things we consider economic tasks from more conventional religious activities. So, Machu Picchu represents to many archeologists the most classical and best-preserved remains in existence of a citadel used by the Incas as both a religious temple site and an agricultural (perhaps experimental) center.

Origins of Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu is located in the high Andes mountain range, right in the middle of the Sacred Valley. The Valley at the same time borders the nearby Amazon Rainforest. If you travel about 80 kilometers east of Cusco, you will arrive at Machu Picchu, built on the side of a mountain. The Machu Picchu map is surrounded by high peaks with exuberant vegetation. Machu Picchu overlooks the Urubamba River, which flows through Aguas Calientes, the city below. The citadel of Machu Picchu is crossed by 2 mountain ranges. The Urubamba mountain range and the Vilcanota mountain range are the ones that cross the citadel. The main mountains that surround the citadel are the mountain of Machu Picchu and the mountain of Huayna Picchu. Both mountains are part of the Vilcabamba batholith. The citadel is located just halfway between the two mountain tops.

Machu Picchu Geography


Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountain range at 7,970 ft (2430 m) above sea level. While the Inca citadel is located about 450 meters above the Sacred Valley. Not only is Machu Picchu available for hikes, but also try Huayna Picchu (8,920 ft / 2,720 m) and Machu Picchu Mountain (10,100 ft / 3,080 m).


Located on the cusp of the Andes Mountains and upper Amazon basin, the mild subtropical climate of Machu Picchu is more humid than Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The temperature of the Inca citadel is warm and humid during the day, while at night it is much cooler. The temperature can range between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. And no matter what time you travel, rain can appear without warning. Water never freezes at Machu Picchu. See Seasonal Info for more details.

Machu Picchu & Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a common health concern for folks going to Machu Picchu. Everyone reacts differently, but severe reactions to high elevations are rare and hard to predict. Many travelers only experience minor symptoms, such as shortness of breath, headache, loss of appetite, or nausea, as a result of the altitude. Cusco and the Sacred Valley are at higher elevations than Machu Picchu. It will be one of the many things to keep in mind during a honeymoon in Machu Picchu.

Seasonal Info

What weather to expect at Machu Picchu

In the morning the temperature can be cool and also at night, so bring a good jacket. During the middle of the day, it can be warm so dress in layers.

Average Daily Temperatures

  • Day: 65-82 F (18-28 C)
  • Night: 50-65 F (9-17 C)


  • The Dry Season: April to October
  • The Rainy Season: November to March

NB: In the highlands of Peru, there is a rainy season and dry season. But you should expect rain at any time of the year, so always come prepared.

When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

The truth is that the Inca citadel is available throughout the year. The best time to visit Machu Picchu will depend a lot on how you want to enjoy your adventure. In general, you can choose to travel in the high season or the low season. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although the truth is that an experience like the Inca citadel can be appreciated at any time of the year.

  • Travel during shoulder months (April, May, September, and October) for smaller crowds and generally good weather.
  • The most popular time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season (April to October) when sunny blue skies are more common. June, July, and August tend to be the busiest months at Machu Picchu.
  • Traveling to Machu Picchu during the rainy season (November-March) has benefits too. Of course, there’s a higher chance of showers, but the ruins aren’t as crowded and flowers are in bloom.

How to get to Machu Picchu

Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-path route to Machu Picchu? The spectacular Andean mountain scenery is undoubtedly picturesque and extremely varied. It encompasses glaciers, lakes, and forests. There are several iconic ways to reach the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu that are considered more than exceptional and unique ones. They won't cease to surprise you. Keep in mind that for whatever way you choose to go to the citadel you will need to reserve your Machu Picchu tickets. Check out our Machu Picchu tours and decide which one best suits your schedule and style of travel.

Classic ways

By train

Arrive in style on a wonderful train journey. You can choose from budget options to more luxurious and exclusive ones. The easiest and most frequent way to get is to take the train from Cusco (Poroy train station) to Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes(also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo). There are two main companies that count on the highest standards of comfort, convenience, and safety. If you are traveling independently, it is advisable to book train tickets to Machu Picchu in advance. The total travel time can be between three and a half hours to four hours of travel.

By bus

When arriving at Aguas Calientes, shuttle buses are available to ascend the mountain and transport you to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. They operate throughout the day and leave every 15 minutes from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and vice versa. The shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is a fairly short trip. The trip can last between 35 to 40 minutes depending on the pace. The bus station is just 5 minutes from the train station.

Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is a specific section of the hundreds of routes built by the Inca Empire. One of the most rewarding and challenging ways to get to Machu Picchu is by following one of the paths of the Inca Trail. It's a spectacular network of tracks that wind across snow-capped Andean mountains, rivers, and breathtaking landscapes. Thanks to its natural and cultural treasures, it has become an attraction that draws thousands of enthusiastic travelers every year. This route has as its main destination the wonderful Machu Picchu. Along your way, you can visit Inca ruins and much more. Numerous tour operators offer the possibility of walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Please note that depending on your operator, you will have alternatives of different durations. The classic Inca Trail tour lasts 4 days and 3 nights. Although there are other variants of fewer days.

See more information about Inca Trail map.

Choquequirao Trek

Those travelers who are interested in archeology should consider the Choquequirao trek. This trek is a four-day to nine-day hike through a wide variety of flora and fauna, spectacular and stunning Andean scenery, and an ancient trail leading to the well-preserved Inca ruins of Choquequirao. This challenging hike is an excellent alternative to complement your wonderful tour of Machu Picchu. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Salkantay Trek

If you are looking to enjoy a less crowded and more private experience, the Salkantay Trek is one of the best options. This is usually the second most popular way to hike to Machu Picchu. The Salkantay trek owes its name to one of the highest Andean peaks in Peru: The Salkantay Mountain. The Salkantay is one of the most imposing peaks in the Peruvian Andes and has a height of 6,271 meters above sea level. This incredible five-day trek is one of the best trekking alternatives to Machu Picchu, but more difficult. You will pass through imposing Andean peaks, cloud forests, and dazzling jungle. Without a doubt, it's a must!


What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca citadel located at 2,430m. above the sea level, in the Peruvian Andes. It was built in the 15th century and was abandoned only one hundred years later. In 1986, Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Besides, in 2007, it was chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World since it's one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the whole world. See more about what is Machu Picchu.

Where is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu sits above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the Cusco department. At 2,430 m., the Inca citadel is overlooking the Urubamba River and surrounded by majestic forest-covered mountains. The access point to Machu Picchu is the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo.

How can I get to Machu Picchu?

Most travelers fly into the city of Cusco before taking their Machu Picchu tours. There are a couple of ways to get to the Inca citadel such as taking the train or hiking. There are several interesting trails you can take but the most popular and famous one is the Inca Trail.

In order to take the train, you must go to the Ollantaytambo Train Station which is around 1.5 hrs. away from Cusco by bus. From there, you have to take a train trip to Aguas Calientes that takes around 2 hrs. Once you arrived at Machu Picchu Pueblo, you have two options: take a bus or walk up until the entrance to Machu Picchu.

See more information about how to get to Machu Picchu

When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is a year-round destination. However, the weather in the Andes is commonly unpredictable, which means that the rain can fall at any time of the year. There are two seasons in the Andes: The dry and the wet season.

The dry season, from April to October (June and July are the most crowded), brings cooler air, bright blue skies, and sunny days but the nights are cold on hiking trails (The Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance).

During the wet season, from November to March, the temperatures are warmer, there are fewer people and the Inca citadel is intensely greener due to the heavy rains. Keep in mind that during the rainy season, the Machu Picchu trip cost can be much lower.

Can you get to Machu Picchu in a day?

Absolutely yes. If you are in Cusco, you can start your journey very early in the morning, take a 1.5-hour bus ride to Ollantaytambo, and then a 2.5-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes. Once you arrive there, you can take a 30-min bus ride to the Inca citadel. You will have some hours to explore the dazzling Machu Picchu sanctuary and then, return to Cusco the same day.

Keep in mind that you must book your Machu Picchu tours and tickets in advance.

How high is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is at a height of 2,430 m. above the sea level - sitting at 1000 m. lower than Cusco- which is below the minimum height at which altitude sickness can hit you badly. It mostly affects people from low-altitude locations. But be aware that a visit to Machu Picchu involves walking up and down many steep stairs, terraces, and ramps at different altitudes.

See more about how high is Machu Picchu.

Will the altitude affect me?

Technically, yes. Altitude sickness can affect anybody who goes from low altitudes to high altitudes without giving the body time to adjust to the changes in oxygen level and air pressure.

Regardless of gender, age, or fitness level, most travelers can feel the effects of high altitude at over 2,000 m. The symptoms include dizziness, headaches, tiredness, and vomiting. Thus, Machu Travel Peru recommends taking your time to explore the Inca citadel, drinking plenty of water o coca tea. Even spending a couple of days in the city of Cusco to let your body acclimatize to the high Andean altitude.

See more about Coca leaf tea for altitude sickness.

What should I pack for Machu Picchu?

If you plan a day trip, you must be well-prepared with essentials such as sunscreen -the UV index is higher in the Andes-, hat, insect repellent, water - the tap water is not generally safe to drink in Peru- and snacks. If you plan a several-days tour, make sure to read all the details of your travel itinerary.

What is Wayna Picchu?

Wayna Picchu or Huayna Picchu, also known as the “stairs of death”, is the large mountain sits directly behind Machu Picchu.
See more about Huayna Picchu trek.

For many travelers, Huayna Picchu is one of the most dazzling places in the Inca sanctuary. The views from the top of this mountain are, without a doubt, mind-blowing. It's well worth the climbing effort. However, it's not recommended for people who suffer vertigo or cannot overcome their fear of heights.

What are the toilet facilities like at Machu Picchu?

The toilets are available only at the entrance, none inside the Inca citadel. There is also a small fee to use them, so don't forget to bring some extra money.

Can I visit Machu Picchu if I have a disability?

Yes, you can. The Inca citadel has already special access for disabled people. Travelers with motor disabilities can do their Machu Picchu tours in a wheelchair. According to the site-conservation regulations, it isn't allowed to use crutches. Although there is also the possibility of enjoying a Machu Picchu virtual tour from the comfort of your home.

How is the tour to Machu Picchu?

This will depend a lot on the time you have chosen to visit the wonderful citadel. But if you have decided to do it in the first shifts, then your tour will start early in the morning in Cusco. You will enjoy a train trip to Aguas Calientes, the city before Machu Picchu. The tour includes a visit of several hours together with a guide who can explain the most important facts. In general, most people enjoy the Inca citadel in one day, but those who wish can stay longer.

Who manages the tour, tickets, and tickets?

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a protected area of Peru of more than 35 thousand hectares. This includes the citadel of Machu Picchu, a protected place nationally and internationally. This depends largely on the Peruvian Government and the Ministry of Culture of Cusco. So they are the ones who define the access conditions, the regulations, the entrance fees, and who can sell them. All agencies, including ours, must go through different controls and corresponding payments. As for trains, there are two companies in charge of providing travel services. These are Peru Rail and IncaRail. They are the ones who manage the schedules, conditions, and rates.


The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, with its large ruins and perfect architecture, is one of the world's most incredible archaeological sites. Its breathtaking location captivates many visitors who want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. You have a good selection of attractions to choose from during your Machu Picchu tours.

The Temple of the Sun

One of the best places to visit at Machu Picchu. It is located next to the main fountain. It is the only round building in Machu Picchu. This wonderful, semicircular, and tapering tower of fascinating stonework is best viewed from above. The Temple of the Sun is recognized for having some of the best stonework in Machu Picchu. It is believed that it functioned as a kind of astronomical observatory. The Temple of the Sun provides exceptional views of both, the June solstice sunrise and the constellation of the Pleiades -an important astronomical Andean symbol related to crop fertility- which rises over the nearby peak of Huayna Picchu.

In addition, you can see some niches where it is believed that offerings have been placed.

The Temple of the Sun

The Royal Tomb

It is also known as the Palace of the Princess. As in the Temple of the Sun, some tall niches were found for the offerings. This natural rock cave is located below the Temple of the Sun. And the base of the building has a structure that resembles that of a cave. It was for these reasons that Hiram Bingham mentioned it as a "grave". And despite being known as the Royal Tomb, no graves or mummies were ever found there. Its purpose was highly debated, probably because it represented access to the spiritual heart of the mountains.

The Royal Tomb

The funerary rock

The rock is located just outside the Watchman’s Hut. The different investigations are still not very clear about the main function. Although it is believed that it could be a sacrificial altar. The Funerary Rock is an important symbol of the Inca civilization. Due to its funeral character, the building was intended for the mummification process. It represents, symbolically, the entrance to the cemetery in the Inca citadel.  It is also believed that it could also have been used in the mummifications of deceased nobles. In addition, according to some studies, the Funerary Rock also had a close relationship with the study of the cosmos and the stars, especially the sun.

The funerary rock

The Sacred Plaza

The Sacred Plaza or Central Plaza is the large green area that separates the residential buildings from the functional buildings. It was a political and social center. Due to its excellent location, it was considered the most important architectural ensemble of the Inca citadel. In its surroundings, you can find some of the most important structures. Among them the Main Temple, the Temple of the Three Windows, Intihuatana, the Temple of the Moon, and the Priest's House. It is the commonplace of the different llamas that graze in the surroundings.

The Sacred Plaza

The Intihuatana

It is one of the most emblematic and iconic places of Machu Picchu. Intihuatana means “Hitching Post of the Sun” and refers to the carved rock pillar at the top of the Intihuatana hill. It has been carved in the shape of the Inca Empire's map. Its exact use remains unclear, but the Inca astronomers were able to predict the solstices using the angles of this rock pillar. Besides, the Intihuatana seems to be aligned with important mountains such as Veronica, Salkantay, Pumasillo, and Huayna Picchu. This structure was not the only one of its kind, but it is one of the only ones in contemporary times. Intihuatanas from other sites were destroyed by the Spanish.

The Intihuatana

The Temple of the Moon

The Temple of the Moon is an Inca ceremonial temple. The site has stone masonry and a shallow cave. In the center of the cave is a throne carved out of the rock. This temple is located inside a natural cave below the top of Huayna Picchu mountain. Its name is due to the fact that it is often lit up by the moonlight. But some archeologists believe the structure was probably dedicated to the spirit of the mountain. The Incas believed the caves could connect them with the world of the dead. The caves are believed to have been used to house mummies.

The Temple of the Moon


Intipunku or the Sun Gate is one of the most important archeological constructions around the Machu Picchu sanctuary. It was once a fortress of the Inca citadel and, according to history, its steps were a control gate for those who entered and exited the citadel.
Intipunku was designed to workshop the Inti, the Sun god. The rising sun passes through the Sun Gate each year on the summer solstice. Nowadays, it's also the name of the final section of the famous Inca Trail. At the top of Intipunku construction, you will witness an incredible view of the entire site, with the unmistakable shape of Huayna Picchu in the background.


Machu Picchu Pueblo

Also known as Aguas Calientes, this town is the closest access point to the historical site of Machu Picchu, about 6 km. away. The name Aguas Calientes translates to Hot Springs, and that is why it bears that name. Despite being a small town, it has a lively and bustling vibe which counts with many hotels and restaurants, as well as natural hot springs. The small town can be an excellent alternative where to stay. It is located much lower than the Sacred Valley and Cusco. What makes it an ideal destination to acclimatize to the height of the Inca citadel.

Machu Picchu Pueblo

The thermal baths

These natural thermal baths give their name to Aguas Calientes. It means hot springs. They are thermo-medicinal waters that surge from the ground at about 40° and are surrounded by a beautiful landscape of the Andes. They are particularly enjoyable after a few days on the Inca Trail or after your Machu Picchu tours.

The thermal baths

Machu Picchu Museum

If you are planning a trip to Machu Picchu, you have to take into account this wonderful museum. The museum is located in Puente Ruinas, approximately 2 km. from Machu Picchu Pueblo, at the foot of Machu Picchu mountain. It's dedicated to Machu Picchu and its history. It has a series of rooms with interactive displays with lots of interesting facts. You will get an understanding of the importance of these ruins and Inca history.

Machu Picchu Museum

Principal temple

This is another of the most important buildings around the Sacred Plaza. Its name is due to its large size compared to the other structures. Together with the Temple of the Three Windows, they make up the two buildings with the greatest spiritual significance. This temple is an impressive rectangular-shaped building that counts with a massive solidity and perfection. It consists of two lateral walls and one rear wall, and a total of seventeen trapezoidal-shaped niches which were used for ceremonial offerings.
During the Inca times, the temple housed royal mummies since the Incas considered them as deities. They worshiped not only them but their supreme god Wiracocha.

Principal temple

House of the High Priest

It is another of the important structures around the Sacred Plaza. It is not entirely clear whether a high priest actually lived there. But it is one of the only residences with four walls. Located in front of the Principal Temple, it was built with a lower architectural quality than the temples on its sides. There is little information about these mysterious ruins. One of the many mysteries of Machu Picchu that still have to be solved.

House of the High Priest


Considered by many to be one of the finest structures in the citadel. It is also often called the “House of Ornaments”. This small but famous building is located behind the Principal Temple. It counts with many well-carved niches used for the storage of ceremonial objects. The Sacristy is known for its two rocks flanking its entrance that contain 32 angles each. Inside you will see an unusual low platform at the bottom of the back wall. It seems that it was used as a kind of stone seat or bed.


Inca Drawbridge

It was built as a secret entrance for the Inca army. The Inca bridge is an original wooden drawbridge that was designed to control access to the Inca citadel. There is an elevated walk that brings you from the Hut of the Caretaker to the Inca drawbridge. This trail will give you a different but nice view of Machu Picchu. But you will only be able to admire the bridge from a nearby viewpoint since, some years ago, someone crossed and tragically fell. Actually, there is no bridge, if not a stone section in the middle of a cliff. Where there should be a bridge there is a drop of about 6 meters. This gap is usually filled in with several tree trunks.

Inca Drawbridge

Wayna Pichhu

It is one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the Inca citadel. The famous Wayna Picchu or Huayna Picchu is located in front of Machu Picchu, at a height of 2,720 m. You can get there using a path that departs from the Inca citadel. It is not a hike with great difficulties and it has many advantages to be able to enjoy it. You can enjoy the exclusive Temple of the Moon and much more. At the top of the mountain, you will not only find a small set of Inca constructions but also witness breathtaking and amazing views of the ruins. The tickets have to be booked in advance as access to Wayna Picchu is limited to 400 people per day.

Wayna Pichhu

Temple Of The Cóndor

The Temple of the Condor is situated in the urbanized zone of the Inca citadel where you will find a gigantic stone condor carved in fine detail with its wings extended as if it were in full flying. Definitely, one of the most spectacular and impressive examples of what the Incas could do with the stones.
In fact, the condor was a sacred symbol for the Inca civilization, a god that was worshiped since it represented wisdom and the celestial domain. It was called hanan pacha in Quechua.

Temple Of The Cóndor

When to Go

Machu Picchu is a year-round destination. It's open seven days a week, every day of the year, including holidays. Thus, the best time to do your Machu Picchu tours will depend on your plans and personal preferences. Peru is a large country with diverse geographies, climate, and weather conditions. The dry season coincides with the tourist high season that runs from May to September. During this time, you will expect clearest skies and the lowest daily rainfall averages but large crowds. While the rainy season, from October to April, carries a greater risk of rain, fog, and cloud, but there will be fewer people. Sundays are usually the busiest days because it is when the inhabitants of Cusco can enter the site for free. In addition, only about 2,500 visitors a day are allowed to enter the site.

How to Get Acclimated

Cusco, the entry city of many Machu Picchu tours, is at a height of 3,399 m. above sea level. And wherever you come from, it is most likely much lower than Cusco or Machu Picchu. From this altitude, the air pressure drops and there is less oxygen available. So, no matter how physically fit you are, you may be at risk of getting altitude sickness, which commonly includes headache, fatigue, and nausea. Unless you have booked a trip to Machu Picchu that requires an overnight stay in Cusco, we recommend that you go immediately to Aguas Calientes. This is a small tourist town that is located before the Inca citadel. Aguas Calientes is located about 2,040 meters above sea level. Or you can also choose to stay in the Sacred Valley. Which by nature is at a much lower altitude than Cusco and the mountains that surround it. Before any Andean sightseeing, we highly recommend spending some extra time to get acclimated to the altitude. To reduce the risk, you can also drink as much water or coca tea as you can, it will help your body adjust to the thinner air. Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 m. above sea level.

Things to Do in Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes is named after the hot springs in the city that are often overlooked. For most travelers, the main reason to come to Aguas Calientes is to get to the dazzling Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. That is why it is also usually known as Machu Picchu Pueblo or Machu Picchu town. However, there are several attractions, cool sights, and interesting things to do in Aguas Calientes.

There are several attractions that are more than worthy of consideration such as the hot springs or “the butterfly house”. Also, the town counts with hotels, bars, and restaurants. You will find typical Peruvian and Cusco food- to spend the night before or after your Machu Picchu tours. Keep in mind that Aguas Calientes is not necessarily on the renewing front of Peruvian cuisine. But if you are looking for high-end restaurants, you may want to explore the luxury hotels in town.

Tips for Visiting Machu Picchu

Without a doubt, a visit to Machu Picchu will be one of the most fulfilling and exciting trips you will ever embark upon. But it's important to take care of all the details to be able to take advantage of your journey. Before embarking on your Machu Picchu tours, take into consideration these tips:

Choose the right time

Machu Picchu is located high up in the Andean mountains and covered with tropical forests. For this reason, it's pretty important to choose the right time for your Machu Picchu tours.

There are two seasons in the highlands, the dry and the rainy season. The dry season, from May to September, coincides with the high season. During these months, there are clear skies and no risk of rain or fog, but large crowds. While in the rainy season, from October to April, you will expect highly daily rainfalls but short crowds.

*The Inca Trail is closed in February for maintenance works.

Choose the best tour

There are two main options to reach Machu Picchu. The first one is taking the train from Poroy Train Station, about 25 min. from Cusco, or from Ollantaytambo Train Station, about 1h. from Cusco. The second one is hiking the Inca Trail, a 4-day hike among the Andes. Choose the best itinerary to know Machu Picchu.

In addition, the Inca Sanctuary is located on a mountain ridge where the Peruvian Andes meet the Amazon. For this reason, if you are the kind of traveler who enjoys being in contact with nature and wildlife, you have the huge opportunity to discover our unbeatable jungle during your Machu Picchu tours.

Book your ticket in advance

We recommend buying your ticket well in advance to find availability. Aside from that, they are highly in demand, the Peruvian government established crowd-control measures. Thus, in order to avoid disappointment -especially during the high season- two or three months in advance would be great. See more information about Huayna Picchu tickets.

In addition, the Machu Picchu's entrance ticket is only valid for one day. Thus, take into consideration that there is no possibility of exchange or refund. So it is highly recommended to make your Machu Picchu reservations long before you plan to leave for Peru.

Your entrance tickets

In case you are traveling independently, you can buy your entrance tickets individually. Although you have to keep in mind that you must hire a local guide before entering the site. At the entrance of the citadel, you will find many guides. But if you book a tour package through an agency or hotel, then everything will be scheduled and prepared.

Stamp your passport

Just outside the entrance to the Inca citadel, there is a barely marked station where you can get your stamped passport. If you are looking to fill your passport with the wonderful stamp of Machu Picchu, you cannot miss this opportunity.

Altitude sickness

You never should underestimate altitude sickness during your Machu Picchu tours. As we mentioned above, the best way to avoid it and make your trip pleasant and without problems is to spend a couple of days in Cusco without doing any activities that demand a physical effort. Avoid over-fatigue and keep hydrated as much as you can. Your body will be acclimatized to the new height. Also, another way to prevent the symptoms is taking coca tea or chewing coca leaves which will help you to recover your energy.

Arrive early

The best way to avoid the crowds at the Inca citadel is to arrive as early as possible. You can stay in Aguas Calientes for the night and go to the sanctuary really early in the morning. Machu Picchu opens for the first shift of visitors at 6:00 a.m. You will also have the opportunity to watch a dazzling sunrise over the Inca ruins. Your Machu Picchu tours will be undoubtedly magical and unforgettable.

Pack light and smart

Make sure you are well-prepared with the essentials to make your Machu Picchu tours unforgettable. Don't forget to bring a sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent -locals use shampoo as an anti-mosquito method-, comfortable hiking shoes, raincoat, and layers of clothing -Andean weather is kind of unpredictable-. Also, water, snacks, and extra cash.

Complementary walks

Both for the mountain of Huayna Picchu and for the mountain of Machu Picchu will require a separate ticket. As with entrance tickets, there are a limited number of tickets. The view of the Inca ruins is usually a highlight for visitors, but the views offered by these routes are fascinating. The Huayna Picchu hike may present some steeper and narrower sections. While the Machu Picchu mountain route is much more relaxed and family-friendly. Keep in mind that doing both walks on the same day is virtually impossible.

Do a hike

Although Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu - the neighboring peak that overlooks Machu Picchu- require tickets, there are free hiking opportunities inside the Inca citadel such as The Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge. The first one takes around two hours round trip and the second one takes less than an hour round trip. Both are relatively gentle trails where you will witness fantastic and impressive views of Machu Picchu. You will have magnificent possibilities to take a great variety of Machu Picchu pictures.

Stay for lunch

Just outside the entrance, you can find a wonderful cafeteria and a casual bar with a fascinating terrace. Although we highly recommend having lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge buffet. It can be a bit expensive but it is worth every penny. In case you are traveling on a budget, the town of Aguas Calientes has wonderful restaurant options. Some are cheaper than others.


Although there is an overwhelming choice of places to stay in Machu Picchu Pueblo, there can be a lot of competition for lodgings during the high season (June-Sept), when large groups of travelers often turn up and take over entire hotels. Running into town on an early train will give you a greater choice of where to stay. But for the best spots, try to book at least a week or two, if not months, in advance.

The following are our top choices for hotels in Machu Picchu.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Address: Hermanos Ayar Avenue, Mz 1-Lt 3, Aguas Calientes.

The Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is a family accommodation with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality. Sumaq means "beautiful" in Quechua, and the name is apt for this five-star lodging, Sumaq is immersed in dense vegetation that is the entryway to the enigmatic archeological monument of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Sumaq Hotel successfully recreates the aesthetics of the Inca culture in a comfortable and sophisticated setting. The entire staff hails from this region of Peru and is highly trained to make your stay enjoyable as well as enlightening; this hotel offers all the amenities and high level of service that travellers can expect.

sumaq machu picchu hotel

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

Address: Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu.

The Inkaterra Asociacion was founded to conserve the environment, ecosystems, cultural, archaeological and natural resources and to maintain an ecological balance. It also works to support Peru’s cultural identity and sustainable development. Part of Inkaterra profits are invested in the association activities, such as: environmental education to local kids in Machu Picchu pueblo, research programs and management of an orchid garden in the hotel with over 300 species, as well as a rescue and preservation project of the Spectacled Bear, a highly threatened species.

inkaterra machu picchu pueblo

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

Address: In Machu Picchu.

This luxurious lodge is the only accommodation located adjacent to the citadel of Machu Picchu, which can offer you the chance to avoid the crowds and be the first and last visitor during the day to explore this wonderful Inca site. By taking a room at the sanctuary, you will have access to the site during quiet periods.
You can take dinner on the terrace while enjoying the mountain views and order from a menu that specializes in local cuisine. The lodge itself has a strict eco policy and is careful to the fragile nature of the site.

belmond sanctuary lodge machu picchu

El Mapi Hotel by Inkaterra

Address: Pachacutec Avenue, Aguas Calientes.

The "El Mapi" hotel offers an efficient and friendly people into a pleasant atmosphere; here you will be welcomed along with other global guests, relax in a wholesome ambience after your long visit to the Machu Picchu archaeological site.
El Mapi hotel offers a blend of classic, modern, restored and recycled materials. Here you will feel the lobby’s flowing vitality. Its lofty ceilings, panoramic windows and an open cafeteria layout allows you to enjoy the sense of space, the natural light suffused through the fence of tall eucalyptus trunks into an ambience which gives its guests the effect of harmony and wellbeing.

el mapi hotel by inkaterra

Casa del Sol Hotel Machu Picchu

Address: Imperio de los Incas Urb. # 608, Aguas Calientes.

This romantic spa hotel lies in the heart of sacred lands. At 5 minutes from the train station and opposite to the bus station of Machu Picchu.
The Hotel counts of a Resto-Bar named "Manka", where is posible to see the most beautiful views of the Vilcanota River, where its guests can enjoy delicious flavors of Peruvian cuisine based on Andean products. In addition, its "Kintu" Spa is the place to be for rest and relaxation, offering body scrubs, hydrotherapy, Turkish bath/hammam, body treatments, as well as massages, facials and massage treatment rooms. There is also a bar/lounge where guests can enjoy drinks after a long day.

casa del sol

Tierra Viva Machu Picchu

Address: Av. Hermanos Ayar N°401, Machu Picchu.

Tierra Viva Machu Picchu hotel strategic location ensures our clients the best experience possible of the amazing Inca citadel. Our facilities are located in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes, facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds. We have exclusively at your disposal, a bus stop from where our clients can directly take the bus to Machu Picchu or get to the archeological site after a 60 minute walk.
Modern style, our Hotel has 43 spacious and comfortable rooms, a lounge with a fireplace, a breakfast room and a bar to relax and enjoy some drinks after a day of adventures.

tierra viva machu picchu

Taypicala Machu Picchu

Address: Pachacutec Avenue # 808, Aguas Calientes.

The Taypikala Boutique Machu Picchu is a beautiful and rustic building situated into a privileged location, surrounded by life and nature that invites reflection and contemplation of the creator's work. The Taypikala Boutique Machupicchu seeks to meet the needs of its customers by providing high quality service and welfare required by guests to achieve a good stay of relaxation, vitality and spirituality in Machu Picchu.
There is a large dining area outside, relax with a cocktail at the bar, or if you're tired from your day in the mountains, you can order room service. Once your meal arrives, you can eat at the table provided in your room.

taypicala machu picchu

La Cabaña Machu Picchu

Address: Pachacuteq Avenue # 805, Aguas Calientes.

The Hotel is located at the foot of the imposing mountain of Machu Picchu and along the Vilcanota River, in the heart of bohemian Machu Picchu Pueblo, better known as “Aguas Calientes”. La Cabaña Machu Picchu Boutique Hotel is a warm, cozy and familiar accommodation and also a great spot for a romantic get-away. It has a rustic décor with an environmental style that provides connection with the culture and nature of Machu Picchu. In addition, it provides a personalized service with skilled and friendly staff. Its main satisfaction is to make its guest feel comfortable, relaxed and happy in the hotel.

la cabana machupicchu

Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu

Address: Imperio de Los Incas Urb. E - 34, Aguas Calientes.

Guests can start their day with a tasty, buffet-style breakfast. The breakfast includes seasonal fruit, cheese, ham, bread, juice, coffee, cereal, and among others. Throughout the rest of the day, you can order your lunch at the restaurants situated nearby. Meals incorporate local ingredients into international cuisine and include quinoa, trout, alpaca, pizza, sandwiches, and deserts.
The hotel features 54 rooms spread over 5 stories. The rooms are clean and simple, and equipped with the right range of amenities. Also have a private bathroom with a hot-water rain shower, including a hair dryer and toiletries.

casa andina classic machu picchu

Intipunku Inn Hotel

Address: Las Orquideas Street # M-24, Aguas Calientes.

The Inti Punku Machu Picchu hotel has been operating since 2010, featuring a clean, crisp décor in a quiet setting yet conveniently located right near the train station and the handicraft market, with experience of more than five years in the market.
This establishment meets the expectations of its guests need a good resting place at affordable prices. The Inti Punku Inn offers all the comforts and amenities that you can find in a 3-star hotel, also with a best bilingual staff that is a feature of our trademark.

intipunku inn

Eating and Drinking

Life is too short to eat bad food, isn’t it? Check out some of the best restaurants in Machu Picchu Pueblo.

Inkaterra Hotel Restaurant

Inkaterra Hotel is a hotel chain that is considered the best in Aguas Calientes. This contemporary place is an airy open dining room that overlooks beautiful forest gardens. The menu counts with a variety of dishes, they include traditional Peruvian and international cuisine.

Located in the railroad Km. 110. It’s open daily, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Tree House

The Tree House is a delightful and welcoming restaurant that counts with peaceful Zen vibes and a laid-back atmosphere. It offers a great variety of dishes dubbed “Peruvian Fusion”. A few examples of the exquisite fusion cooking on offer are Camote Ravioli, Cuy Confitado, and Thai chicken soup.

It’s located in Jr. Huanacaure 105 and it’s open daily, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Indio Feliz Restaurant Bistro

It offers an original and delicious Franco-Peruvian cuisine in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

It’s located in Calle Lloque Yupanqui 103. It’s open daily, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Toto’s House

This cozy restaurant offers a buffet lunch (served from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), oven pizza, grill, a great selection of main courses, desserts, and many more. It’s specialized in Peruvian and international cuisine.

Toto’s House is located in the heart of Aguas Calientes, facing the main shuttle bus stop. From there, you will have nice views of the Vilcabamba River. The dining room decoration is dominated by a grill stove. It’s open daily, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Chullpi Machu Picchu Restaurant

This restaurant has a sophisticated and minimalist atmosphere. It offers a stylized, and avant-garde version of the exquisite flavors of Peruvian cuisine. Vegan options are available as well.

It’s located in Av. Imperio de Los Incas 140. It’s open daily, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Chez Maggy

This restaurant is full of gastronomic pleasures. Its international cuisine counts with interesting recipes from several countries. Its extensive menu included exquisite soups, salads, a great variety of pasta, meats, and more. Its specialty is pizza, it is made with exotic ingredients.

Chez Maggy is located in Av. Pachacutec 156. It’s open daily, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Every year we receive many reviews from our clients letting us know about the great and unforgettable experience they had with Machu Travel Peru. Here you will find our client's reviews. They share travel tips, their stories, advices, great moment, and more. Around the world we get many reviews from people like you.

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20 March 2022

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If you are looking for a affordable but great tour company to Peru this is it! My first point of contact was Lizbeth, she made sure to add every city my boyfriend and I wanted to visit and was able set up the itinerary within 2 weeks! Sol was our point of contact in Peru she is beyond amazing!...Continue Reading
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24 February 2022

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We wanted to pack as many activities as possible into our short time available in country. Lizbeth, our travel representative, took care of all the details from booking flights from Lima to the Amazon Jungle, back to Lima, then Cusco....Continue Reading
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30 November 2021

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Ha sido un sueño visitar Machu Picchu para poder terminar todas las siete maravillas del mundo. Como viajo solo, me aseguré de elegir a las personas adecuadas para ofrecer mis recorridos y esta compañía fue INCREÍBLE de principio a fin. Desde el momento en que me comuniqué con ellos por primera vez hasta mi último día, todo estuvo a la altura. ...Continue Reading
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30 December 2021

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Nosotros, 2 familias, un grupo de 8 decidimos ir a Perú por 6 días y "Machu TravelPeru" nos ayudó a organizar el viaje. Liz entendió nuestras necesidades ya que ambas familias llegaban y salían de Perú en diferentes momentos. Teníamos un plan determinado en mente y personalizaron los itinerarios para satisfacer nuestras necesidades....Continue Reading
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26 December 2021

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Recommend this travel agency for anyone researching travel packages to Peru. What stood out for us was punctuality, timely and clear communication and coordination, patience of the staff from our driver to tour guides, and arranging for our pre-departure COVID test sample to be taken at our hotel....Continue Reading
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19 December 2021

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We decided to go to Peru and visit Machu Picchu just one month before the actual planned departure date. “Machu Travel” was incredible in helping us organize the trip of a lifetime....Continue Reading
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23 December 2021

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This was a once in a lifetime breathtaking experience! Our guide took time to get to know us, our attitudes and level of fitness, to ensure we fully enjoyed the experience at a pace that suited us....Continue Reading



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