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Top things to do in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is for those interested in archaeology, lovers of experience-based tourism and adventure sports, orchid spotting and bird-watchers.

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Machu Picchu Travel Guide - Planning to Travel to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a World Heritage Site, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, one of the Top Places to See Before You Die, the top spot landmark destination in the world by Tripadvisor, and more ....

Machu Picchu Inca City, the jewel in the crown of Inca architecture, and Peru's main tourism destination. Its name translated into Spanish means “Old Mountain”. It has also been called “Lost City of the Incas”.

Is a mystical place, a monument to divinity, where people can feel that they are a creation of God. The high sense of spirituality that inhabits this place seems to transport its visitors to a place where everything "in an unimaginable way" is possible. It is a place where strange forces of nature allow the individuals to reach an incomparable cosmic state, a state that can only be experimented in Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu has an excellent hotel infrastructure, restaurants, bars, hot springs and much more ....

Machu Picchu: Lost City of the Incas, is a World Heritage Site, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, one of the Top Places to See Before You Die, the top spot landmark destination in the world by Tripadvisor, and more ....

Our guide to Machu Picchu gives you expert recommendations on the best attractions, restaurants, hotels, and more.

Sights & Attractions in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Inca City - The Holy City of the Incas

Built high up on a mountain, the citadel was hidden for centuries under thick vegetation, only to be discovered by accident in 1911, by the American Hiram Bingham. The Inca citadel is believed to have been built in the 15th century under the Inca Pachacútec. The archaeological site is divided into two sectors, stretching over approximately 20 hectares. One sector was focused entirely on agriculture, with terraces up to 4 metres high that appear to hang off the steep mountain slopes. The other sector, the urban part of the citadel, holds various buildings and plazas in perfect harmony and distribution. Some of the highlights include the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana or solar observatory, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple and the Condor Sector. One of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Only permitted the admission of 1500 visitors per day. Machu Picchu Photo Gallery

Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu was created in January 1981, for protect endangered species such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and the cock-of-the-rock (Rupicula peruviana) and the archaeological remains. Since 1983 it has been declared World Heritage Site (UNESCO) because of its archaeological importance as well as its unique flora such as the orchids that you may find aplenty. The sanctuary was established to protect the flora and fauna and the landscape of the renowned Machu Picchu archaeological site, and more than 200 archaeological sites, founded by the Inca culture. It is thought that it was a royal Inca residence and was perhaps the centre for collecting coca from surrounding plantations. The site eventually fell into ruin, was covered by the encroaching forest, and "lost to science" until re-discovery in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. There are also the remains of the Inca Way in the area, and local legends, including that of the spectacled bear, which is thought to serve as a messenger between the spirits of the high elevations and those of the jungle.

Inca Trail - the most famous hiking trail

For the fit there is simply no substitute for traveling to Machu Picchu Inca City the way the Inca themselves did—on foot. Today the Inca Trail winds through the mountains and along the path of the ancient royal highway. More than 75,000 people make the trip each year and along the way experience some of the associated sites that were part of the Qhapaq Ñan in this area. It’s no longer possible to do the trek independently. Due to heavy use the trail has become heavily regulated. Visitors must sign up with an organized group to tackle either the classic four-day route or a recently added two-day option.

The circuit varies depending on the actual section you wish to go on. The most popular route starts at Km 82 on the Cusco - Machu Picchu railway line (40 Km from Machu Picchu Inca City). A less strenuous alternative is the Camino Sagrado (Sacred Path), which starts at Km 104 on the same railway line. It forms part of the Qhapaq Ñan, the network of Inca trails (World Heritage Site). This is one of the most important trekking routes in South America. On the trek, hikers can see numerous ravines and flows of water that originate in glaciers. Among the 12 archaeological sites that can be visited, the following really stand out: Qoriwachayrachina, Patallaqta, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Intipunku, Intipata and Wiñay Wayna. Only permitted the admission of 500 visitors per day, included the guides and porters.

Machu Picchu Town

Is located 70 miles (112 Km.) from Cusco, in the Urubamba valley in the lowest part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in an area of direct access to the upper jungle. Is 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) away, about 1.5 hours walking to archaeological area. It has many hotels and restaurants for tourists, the train station, Indian handicraft markets, hot springs and Machu Picchu Site Museum - Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón. All travelers to and from Machu Picchu Inca City must pass through here. (Also know as Aguas Calientes).

How to travel to Machu Picchu

Daily train service to Machu Picchu from Cusco and Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley of the Incas). Alternative is the Inca Trail, the trekking route.

Machu Picchu Town has no roads, no cars or buses, there are no airport.

Tourism and Travel to Machu Picchu

  • Maps of Machu Picchu

Location of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Town is located on the highest part of the eastern Andes, (high rain forest area) above the Urubamba river and northwest of Cusco, 2,300 meters above sea level (7,546 ft.)

Population of Machu Picchu

3,400 inhabitants - 1,600 tourist (daily)

Distances to Machu Picchu

  • From Cusco: 70 miles (112 Km.)
  • From Lima: 794 miles (1,277 Km)

Weather of Machu Picchu

Dry and cold in the high Andean region and pleasant and wet in the jungle region.

The temperature fluctuates between 12 and 24°C (54° and 75°F) in the Machu Picchu citadel area.

The rainy season is from October to March, although fog and scattered showers can occur at any time of the year.

  • Machu Picchu Town

    Machu Picchu Town - © J. Mazzotti

  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

    Wiñay Wayna - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    © G. Mazzotti