How to enjoy a visit to Machu Picchu

by Freddy June 6, 2022
tours machu picchu

A trip to Peru would not be the same without a visit to Machu Picchu. The citadel is visited by 1.5 million tourists each year and is a proud member of the exclusive club of The United Nations Organization UNESCO, being officially one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Machu Picchu also sits firmly atop many people’s bucket lists, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Peru. If you are thinking of organizing a trip to Machu Picchu, here is some essential information and helpful guidelines that will ensure your visit will be an unforgettable one.

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Getting to Machu Picchu

Once you have landed in Cusco, there are a number of different routes you can take to reach the gates of Machu Picchu. The most popular and direct route is that of the tourist train from either Cusco or the Sacred Valley. Alternatively, you can take a car to Hydroelectrica and then walk for 3 hours along the railway line. Or if you fancy a lengthier adventure, you can choose from the multitude of trekking options to Machu Picchu.

Surrounded on all sides by snow-capped mountains, tropical jungle valleys and an abundance of ancient archaeological sites, the sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a hotspot for hikers and nature lovers the world over. If you are a seeking a bucket list adventure to the Lost city of the Incas where you can connect with nature and learn about Andean history and culture, then there is the perfect hike waiting just for you!

This region of Peru is famous for its ancient network of Inca Trails, known locally as Qhapaq Ñan, that meander through the Andes Mountains for over 25,000 miles. The Classic Inca Trail brings thousands of visitors each year to Peru, who seek to embark on a journey of a lifetime to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

While the Inca Trail is celebrated and for good reason, there is also a wide range of treks to Machu Picchu that are often overlooked but are nonetheless worthy of exploration and fame, including the famous Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, the Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu, and the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu.

If you are traveling with a group of friends or with a family, you can opt to hire the services of a private tour guide. Otherwise, if you are a solo traveller, or prefer to take part as part of a group of other tourists, you can sign up for a group tour through a tour operator.

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Combined Tours

In addition to a day trip to Machu Picchu, you can choose to combine a tour of the Sacred Valley, with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes town and a visit to Machu Picchu the following day. Tours of the Sacred Valley include visits to the archaeological sites of Chinchero, Maras and Moray, Pisac and Ollantaytambo, either as a private tour or as part of a group.

Day tours from Cusco also include Rainbow Mountain, The Red Valley, Laguna Humantay, The South Valley of Cusco and Huchuy Qosqo. The popularity of these destinations mean that these tours are in high demand, so booking them in advance will ensure that you secure your place on a group tour or the exclusive services of a private tour guide and transport.

Remember to pack for the weather, bring sunglasses, a hat, and high SPF sunscreen since the sun’s rays are strong at altitude. Drinking water will be your best friend on the tours, as will a pair of good quality walking shoes! Most importantly is to be kind to your body and allow yourself plenty of time to acclimatise to the altitude in the city of Cusco.

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