machu-picchu-peru
1400AD-Present-Modern Era Peru South America

Machu Picchu | The Ultimate Travel Guide

on
May 18, 2020

This post is also available in: Română

TypeMountain, Inca ancient temples
Year 1450
Other namesLost City of the Incas
Visiting Hours / TicketsVisiting Hours:
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Everyday including public holidays

Tickets are NOT sold at the entrance gate. Tickets can be purchased online and from ticket centers from Cusco, Aguas Calientes, or any city with a Banco de Nacion. If you buy the tickets online make sure to print it or to save it on your phone. Make sure to have your passport with you if you buy the tickets from the cities that I mention. You need also to have the passport with you when you visit the citadel.

Machu Picchu Solo Ticket: Adult 65 USD / Student, Child 39 USD
Machu Picchu + Huayana Picchu: Adult 80 USD / Student, Child 54 USD
Machu Picchu + Mountain: Adult 80 USD / 54 USD
Machu Picchu Site Museum: 7 USD

You must book them in advance on the website bellow.
Secrets of Machu Picchu

Purpose of Machu Picchu

Some say that Machu Picchu served as a royal estate for Inca emperors and nobles.

Others say that it was a religious site, pointing to its proximity to mountains.

One of the strange things about Machu Picchu is that the site provides no information about the ruins. This way the ruins are surrounded in mystery. In order to find more information about Machu Picchu, you must visit the site museum Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón. You will find out how and why Machu Picchu was built, and why the Inca chose such an extraordinary natural location for the citadel. The museum is located at the end of a long dirt road near the base of Machu Picchu (about a 30-minute walk from the town of Aguas Calientes).

Machu Picchu translates to “old peak” in the native Quechua language.

Machu Picchu became UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Machu Picchu was recently named one of the seven new wonders of the world.

The Lost City of the Incas

In 1911 the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham reached this place when he was looking for a different city, known as Vilcabamba, a hidden capital to which the Inca had escaped after the Spanish conquistadors arrived. So, Bingham believed that Machu Picchu is this lost city and he wrote a best-selling book, “The Lost City of the Incas”. This book made Macchu Pichu very famous and a lot of tourists came to take Inca Trail and to discover the city.

The Vilcabamba is located in the jungle about 50 miles west of Machu Picchu.

Mysterious stones

The stones from Machu Picchu are cut precisely and arranged very closely together using no mortar. When an earthquake occurs, the stones in an Inca building are moving and then fall back into place. With mortar, many of the buildings at Machu Picchu would have collapsed long ago.

The lower areas of the site contain the buildings occupied by farmers.

The most important areas, the religious ones, are located at the top of the mountain, from where the movements of the “Sun King” were watched.

The Intihuatana Stone

The Intihuatana Stone (“hitching post of the sun”) is an accurate indicator of the date of the two equinoxes and other significant celestial events. On March 21st and September 21st the Sun stands directly above the Intihuatana, creating no shadow because the rock has an inclination of around 13 degrees. It is often said that the Intihuatana stone serves as a portal to another world. By touching the sacred stone a sensitive person can open a vision to the spiritual world.

machu-picchu-Intihuatana 2
Photo by LoggaWiggler /Pixabay

Temple Of The Three Windows

Temple Of The Three Windows – Just 3 of the 5 windows are remaining, and these 3 windows represent each part of the world: The underground (Uku-Pacha) the heaven (Hanan-Pacha), and the present (Kay-Pacha). 

machu-picchu-Temple of the Three Windows
Image by LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

The Sacred Rock

The Sacred Rock – this rock might be an altar, an important element in an area of worship, destined for the worship of the Apu ”Yanantin

The Temple of the Sun

The Temple of the Sun is one of the most important structures at Machu Picchu. Only priests and higher nobles were permitted to enter. Windows within the walls of the tower are aligned to the summer and winter solstices.

machu-picchu-Temple of the Sun
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

The Guardhouse

The Guardhouse –  an important building for security and defense. Here you can take amazing panoramic pictures.

Getting there
  • Most visitors to Machu Picchu fly into Lima and then transfer to Cusco.
  • From Cusco, you can take a rail connection to Aguas Calientes, which lies at the foot of the ascent to Machu Picchu or you can stay in Cusco.
  • Train companies to choose from: Inca Rail, Peru Rail, and the Belmond Hiram Bingham. The Hiram Bingham service is on a gorgeous train that includes meals and drinks during your journey. It’s more expensive than Inca Rail or Peru Rail.
  • On the train, there is a maximum weight for the bag (up to 7 Kg). It is recommended to leave your big bags in Cusco hotel.
  • It is advisable to spend one day in Aguas Calientes to get acclimatized to the higher altitude.
  • Book as far in advance as possible. TRAIN Tickets sell out weeks ahead in some months.
  • The Machu Picchu is two hours walk or a short bus ride from Aguas Calientes. If you have the entrance in Machu Picchu at 6 AM you need to take the bus that leaves Aguas Calientes at 5:30 AM. Be at the station at 4 AM to catch 5:30 bus as there is a long line.
When to Go
  • Machu Picchu is open year-round.
  • The best months to go are usually May and June when is dry season.
  • The busiest day is Sunday as the people that live in Custo can enter the citadel for free.
  • Inca Trail is closed during February for restoration work.
  • If you want to take Inca Trail you need a permit. Book as far in advance as possible. Permits sell out weeks ahead in some months.
Travel Tips
  • You need to follow a designated route as part of your tour.
  • You will have a designated time for entry.
  • The climb is difficult and takes about 90 minutes.
  • Don’t forget the passport and the tickets. You’ll need to show both to re-enter the citadel (if you want to go to the toilet or go out for food)
  • Bring water
  • Bring raincoat
  • Wear a hat
  • Use plenty of high SPF sunscreen
  • Bring money cash (you need for paying toilet entrance)
  • Bring insect spray
  • Don’t bring drones, umbrellas, or walking sticks and large backpacks. There is a storage place before the entrance.
  • When you arrive at the citadel in the morning head for the Guard House. This will give you a superb view of the citadel and here you can take amazing pictures. Take all the pictures that you need because after you move on to the citadel ruins you can’t come back here. Also, after a while the myst will cover the mountain and it is possible to not have again the opportunity to take clear pictures.
  • Once inside the citadel, you have the option to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain.
Where to stay

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge – the only hotel close to the entrance of Machu Picchu

Hotels in Aguas Calientes

TAGS
RELATED POSTS