Machu Picchu

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Top 5 things visitors often miss at Machu Picchu

Peru's Machu Picchu is the scenic site of many secrets. In fact, nobody really knows what the Incans even used it for! Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the mystery.

  • The hiking trails

    1. The hiking trails

    You can walk up to Machu Picchu by foot if you're fit enough. The strenuous climb reveals numerous overgrown trails, many of which are now being opened for public tours.

  • The earthquake-resistant bricks

    2. The earthquake-resistant bricks

    Peru is prone to earthquakes and the building blocks of Machu Picchu have been cut precisely enough to simply shake off the threat of tremors!

  • The underground engineering

    3. The underground engineering

    An estimated 60% of Machu Picchu's construction is underground. Its deep foundations and efficient drainage systems never fail to impress historians and archaeologists alike.

  • The secret temple

    4. The secret temple

    Machu Picchu may have been a site of religious pilgrimage. Supporting this is the Temple of the Moon – a shrine beautifully carved into a cave on the far side of Huayna Picchu.

  • The excellent but poorly located museum

    5. The excellent but poorly located museum

    Want more insight but can't stand crowded museums? You're in luck! Few tourists follow the long dirt track to the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón, but they really should!

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go?

    The best time to visit is as early as possible if you want to see the site from Huayna Picchu – the highest peak of the two, and the one offering the most breathtaking views. Only 400 visitors are allowed up each day, so queues begin forming long before dawn!
    It's also worth noting that although rainy season is officially from October to April, the sky can burst at any moment!

  • How to get there?

    The PeruRail train from Cusco takes 3½ hours from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu (recently renamed Machu Picchu Pueblo, both town names are used). Train tickets sell out quickly so make sure you book with weeks to spare! The hike from Aguas Calientes takes about 90 minutes, otherwise expect long waits for the busy buses, despite the fact that they depart every few minutes from 5:30AM onwards.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open from 6:00AM to 5:00PM daily.
  • Is it expensive?
    Tickets cost 126 soles, which is about $45.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Absolutely! Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Machu Picchu can be reached from Aguas Calientes by foot or bus.
  • Additional information

    • Get there early to make sure you can go up!

    • The hike is strenuous and rainstorms are frequent.

Other Sightseeing Options in Machu Picchu

Want to discover all there is to do in Machu Picchu? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Machu Picchu

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,086 reviews

This experience couldn´t have been any better. Cusco and Machu Pichu are open and pretty close to back to normal. You are expected to still wear a mask, but other than that, really enjoyable. Our van to Ollantaytambo arrived right on time and the driver was very friendly and accommodating. We had a member of the group who was struggling with altitude sickness and he stopped a couple of times to let her get some air and make sure that she was good to continue. Get your guide sends all of the train tickets, bus ticket and park entrance tickets to your phone, which made travel super simple and quick. The train ride was beautiful and more than we had imagined. When we got off the train in Machu Pichu town (Aguas Calientes) our guide was waiting for us and pretty much stayed with us the entire day until we got back on the train. He had some good food recommendations for us and helped us every step of the tour. He was knowledgeab and friendly and we would definitely use get your guide again.

This was a "bucket list" trip for us and it was amazing! Our personal guide, Alex, just made the trip extraordinary - he was super informative on all facts / history of Machu Picchu and took such perfect care of us, from the hotel pickup to getting us to Ollentaytambo in the Sacred Valley, to catching the INCREDIBLE luxury first class train ride to Aguas Calientes along the rushing Urubamba River, to taking the bus up the VERY steep, winding road to Machu Picchu, to touring the site for over 2 hours (very few tourists re/ COVID so NOW is the time to go of you want to have MP all to yourself!), then having the most delicious lunch next door at the luxury Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, then back down the mountain to the awaiting train and from Ollentaytambo back to Cusco with a private vehicle / safe driver. THANK YOU ALEX!!! We will never forget the magic of this experience!!! Chris and Elissa, CANADA

Roni was AMAZING! We were the only 2 on the tour so it was essentially a private tour to us! Roni was super patient when it came to us walking around and taking photos (he actually took 90% of them!) Roni was super knowledgeable and explained to us everything to be known about Machu Picchu! The entire tour was awesome from start to finish! I will say, you will not get any emails or information until the day prior to your tour so don’t be worried like we were! I highly recommend everyone book your tour here! Thank you again Roni!!

This was a wonderful trip with an extremely knowledgeable guide. The trip was well organized and the customer service was excellent. We only had one day to go to Cusco and Machu Picchu and the tour company made it work. I would absolutely take this tour again!

After a little miscommunication about when and where to meet, our guide finally showed. Ronie was excellent and knowledgeable. He was as excited about the tour as we were. Machu Picchu was spectacular! It exceeded our expectations in every way.