MACHU PICCHU | How to Get There, When to Go, How to Visit, Price and Inca Trail. Useful Information
MACHU PICCHU in PERU
Practical information to best organize your trip to this destination with details on when to go, necessary documents, how to get around and much more
SHORT HISTORY of MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu was probably founded in the mid-15th century. The name means “old mountain” in the native Peruvian language and was built as a fortress city for the aristocracy of Cuzco, the capital of the Inca empire. It was abandoned due to the Spanish invasion but was only rediscovered on July 24, 1922 by Hiram Bingham who was exploring the old Inca roads in the area in search of the last Inca capital: Vilcabamba. In 1983 it was declared a Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
WHEN to VISIT MACHU PICCHU
The best times to visit this wonderful site are the months of April and May and the period between September and October. The climate is dry and sunny, rainfall is scarce and the views are breathtaking.
Map by Intrepid Travel
WHERE MACHU PICCHU is LOCATED and ALTITUDE
Machu Picchu is located in Peru, in the Urubamba valley at an altitude of approximately 2,430 meters above sea level. Mount Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 3,082 meters above sea level.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST to go to MACHU PICCHU
The entrance ticket to the archaeological site costs 152 Soles (approximately 41 euros). If you buy the combined ticket archaeological site + Huayna Picchu (or Montaña Machu Picchu) the price is 200 Soles (around 54 euros).
HOW to VISIT MACHU PICCHU
You can choose between the train (Inca Rail or Peru Rail) or the famous InkaTrail.
There are two types and companies of trains:
INCA RAIL Train - Route, Duration and Cost
IncaRail guarantees a safe and memorable travel experience on all its trains, they depart from Ollantaytambo to the village of Machu Picchu and there are different types:
- Voyager, from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, created for those passengers seeking comfort and relaxation and offers relaxing background music and food. Price from 50 to 70 dollars.
- Voyager Premium & Lounge, from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, offers a premium service, with personalized attention and preferential boarding, spacious and much more comfortable seats, Andean instrumental music in the background while enjoying the natural landscapes surrounding the trip, and you will find a lounge car with observatory and outdoor balconies. Price around 60/70 dollars.
- 360°, from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, the train that offers panoramic windows and is the only train in Peru with an on-board entertainment app that allows you to learn more about the train journey and the Inca civilization. Price around 80/90 dollars.
- First Class, which offers maximum comfort and space on board with only 30 passengers per car.
- Private, designed for travelers seeking privacy, luxury and maximum comfort for up to 8 people.
The journey from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu (and vice versa) takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
PERU RAIL Train - Route, Duration and Cost
PeruRail guarantees a safe and memorable travel experience on all its trains and there are different types:
- Expedition, from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, one of the most popular trains to Machu Picchu because it has more departure times and is more convenient. Price from 55 to 70 dollars.
- Vistadome and Vistadome Observatory, from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, offers all the comforts needed to enjoy the beautiful scenery towards Machu Picchu. The train is made entirely of windows, both on the sides and above you, so it will allow you to admire the landscape much better! Includes free snacks and drinks. During the return journey there is a show of music, dance and fashion show with alpaca clothing. Price from 80 to 100 dollars.
- Hiram Bingham (Belmond Trains), the train departs only from Poroy station, offers a luxury service that has all the comforts on board so much so that it is considered one of the most luxurious train experiences in the world. Reservations for this train must be made at least one month in advance. Price from 500 dollars. Duration is 3 to 5 hours.
We suggest opting for:
ROUND: Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes with VISTADOME
RETURN: Aguas Calientes - Ollantaytambo with EXPEDITION
WHICH TRAIN TO CHOOSE: PERU RAIL or INCA RAIL?
Both Peru Rail and Inca Rail are great options for traveling to Machu Picchu. Both companies have similar prices. Peru Rail is the most used because it has a greater number of daily departures. However, Inca Rail's 360° train offers a spectacular view. At the same time both companies offer luxurious trains such as Hiram Bingham (Peru Rail) and “Private” (Inca Rail).
There are different Trekking routes to reach Machu Picchu, the most famous? Inka Trail!
INKA TRAIL - Route, How Long and What to Bring?
The Inca Trail is considered among the top 5 hiking trails in the world. It travels 43 kilometers in 4 days and 3 nights through an ancient network of paths. The start of the journey is in Pisqacucho (kilometer 82), near the city of Ollantaytambo in Cusco. The end is at Intipunku (Puerta del Sol) in the Inca city of Machu Picchu. The cost varies between 550 dollars and 1465 dollars or even more.
During the journey you must not forget: passport or identity document, extra cash, sleeping bag, phone batteries, hat, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, rain poncho, various snacks, medicines and personal hygiene items .
As for clothing, we recommend: loose, comfortable trousers, cotton t-shirt, sweaters, windcheaters, gloves, trousers, socks, underwear, trekking shoes, hat).
CITIES to VISIT near MACHU PICCHU
In addition to visiting Machu Picchu we recommend visiting these splendid towns:
Machu Picchu Pueblo (or Aguas Calientes)
Aguas Calientes is a Peruvian village in the Cusco region, known as 'Machupicchu Pueblo'. It is the capital of the Machupicchu district, an island enclosed between stone ravines and the high vegetation of the cloud forest and divided by two rushing rivers.
Ollataytambo is a city in Peru located 75 km northeast of Cusco. It is the best existing example of Inca urban planning as it is dominated by massive Inca ruins and narrow cobbled streets.
Cusco is the historical capital of Peru and represents the initial seat of power of the Inca Empire. In 1983 it was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and it is really worth visiting given its immense riches.
WHERE TO EAT near MACHU PICCHU?
BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS near MACHU PICCHU in PERU Quality/Price
Aguas Calientes - €€€ - Restaurante Tupana Wasi Aguas Calientes - €€ - KAYMANKA Restaurant ® Tested by World Mappers
Aguas Calientes - €€ - Chullos Craft Beer & Home Made Food
Aguas Calientes - € - Sami Restaurant
TRAVEL TIPS for VISITING MACHU PICCHU in PERU by World Mappers
Could the high altitude cause problems? Yes, especially in the first days of your stay. Weakness, fatigue, headache, slight nausea and tachycardia may be the first symptoms in Peru. But don't worry, it's all normal, these are usually mild symptoms that disappear in a couple of days. To prevent this it is good to avoid smoking, alcohol, strenuous walks and above all avoid eating a lot but it is good to drink plenty of liquids, since the dry and windy climate can create small dehydration problems.
There are health and hygiene rules: never drink water from the taps, only consume bottled water, making sure it is well sealed. Avoid milk and its derivatives as long as they have not been pasteurized first. Peeling fruit is always the best safe alternative.
Here is what you can and cannot do with tickets to Machu Picchu: – It is open from 6am to 5.30pm and entry is possible from 6am to 2pm. – It is possible to stay in Machu Picchu for a maximum of 4 hours. – It is possible to access only if you are accompanied by an official guide. – Do not leave the citadel otherwise you will have to pay for another ticket to enter. – It is forbidden to bring the tripod, use the drone or consume food inside. – Bring your passport, you will be asked for it at the entrance. – Book in advance with Peru Ande Stop!
CHEAP CAR RENTAL in PERU
To travel around Peru you need a rental car. We have chosen to rely on DiscoverCars.com, the best car rental website where you can search, compare and save up to 70%, a real bargain right? They will help you choose the perfect car for your next trip, without having surprises of car delivery surcharges, and where it suits you best. Then just download their App to manage your booking wherever you are.
TRAVEL INSURANCE for PERU
Before any trip it is good to take out insurance to cover any inconveniences that could ruin the experience. We always rely on HeyMondo which allows you to choose the right insurance for every need. We recommend that you always protect yourself with health insurance and coverage for any cancellations, delays and, if you use them, for theft or breakage of electronic equipment. Medical treatment in Peru can be very expensive. Health insurance in this country is not mandatory by law but is strongly recommended; without it, even a routine visit can make you shell out staggering amounts.
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INTERNET & PHONE CALL in PERU - eSIM CARD
How many times do we go abroad and the first thing we do is call home to say we have arrived. How often are we in a city on vacation and we need to find a place to eat using Google Maps or the internet. How many times do we need to send messages and photos on WhatsApp without spending a salary.
Tired of spending millions when abroad calling or using the internet?
Here is the SOLUTION we use: Holafly, a new technology with eSIM. Order your eSIM on the website and within minutes you will receive an email with a QR code. Just scan it and you'll be connected to the internet right away. You save time, stress and above all do something good for the environment by not having a physical SIM. If you are in a hurry and have to leave tomorrow and have not thought about the internet problem, you can solve it very quickly with this eSIM, and there is no problem that you could accidentally lose it or damage it while traveling. Most importantly, with the eSIM you don't have to change or remove your regular SIM card, you can leave it in the phone and use the eSIM instead of the physical one.
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This is a "new" technology and not all devices are compatible with it, but you can check which phones are already compatible with the eSIM at this link: https://esim.holafly.com/how-to/esim-phones.
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