Machu Picchu has long been the top visitor attraction in Peru. Its popularity has increased in recent years, and it has become one of the leading landmark attractions in the world. In 1981, Machu Picchu was named a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary. In 1983, it was adopted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural and physical significance. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in a worldwide poll.
More recently, the historical site was voted as the “Traveler´s Choice, #1 Landmark Attraction in the World” by Trip Advisor. Since the Citadel can only be reached by foot or train, Machu Picchu travel begins with a striking scenic journey through the Urubamba or Sacred Valley. The valley then descends into a lush, mountainous sub-tropical forest where the site was conceived and constructed in the 15th century at the peak of the Inca Empire.
The estate itself consists of two main sectors: the agricultural terraces and the urban living and ceremonial centers. The Incas were master builders and known for their stone cutting and fitting techniques. This technique was so precise that a knife blade will not fit between the joints. The construction was adapted to the fit the natural form of the mountains creating a breathtaking visual experience.
Exploring the vast ruins with one of our Machu Picchu travel packages is a journey back in time. You will imagine the reality of living in such a rugged land. Your guide will describe what life would have been like for the Incas. Your Machu Picchu tour experience will be an unforgettable adventure.
Attractions at/around Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, is a village that joins the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. This eclectic gathering place for tourists is just a short thirty minute bus ride away to the famous citadel. A variety of hotels and restaurants are sure to satisfy every level of taste. Among this village’s major attractions is the pueblo’s namesake thermal baths. These baths are renowned for their healing and medicinal properties and a great way to relax after a long day in the citadel.
Huayna Picchu Mountain Hike
Up until a just a few years ago, the hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the prominent mountain overlooking the citadel in the classic photos, was an option only a few hearty adventurers attempted. In recent years, however, the strenuous hike has become very popular among all ages and types of visitors. Permits for the hike are now limited to 400 a day and sell out two to three months in advance during the high season. We highly recommend doing this hike (as long as you are not afraid of heights). The view is absolutely breathtaking.
Machu Picchu Mountain Hike
For those who miss out on snagging Huayna Picchu permits or are not up to its strenuous nature, the hike up Machu Picchu Mountain is a great alternative. The mountain rises behind the citadel, opposite Huayna Picchu. While slightly longer in duration, allow about 2 hours, it has a less demanding incline and presents an equally spectacular view.
The Inca Trail
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the most popular trek in South America and increasingly in the world. The Inca Trail is one of those rare treks where the journey and the destination are equally worthy and breathtaking. Not that long ago it was a trek for the individual adventurer with a map and a backpack. But because of its popularity, it is now restricted to 500 hikers a day under the supervision and care of professional operators.
Weather at Machu Picchu
The temperature ranges between 54ºF-75ºF. Generally MP is rainy (77 inches per year) especially between November and March
From November to March is the rainy season at Machu Picchu, while between April to November is considered the dry season.
80% of the annual rainfall occurs during the rainy season. However, Machu Picchu is part of the high-jungle and it rains in every season. On the hottest days it can get up to 79ºF and in the early mornings in June and July the temperature can dip to around 45ºF. The annual average temperature is 64ºF.
The best months to visit Machu Picchu (weather-wise) are May to October.
The average humidity is 77% in the dry season and 91% in the wet season.
What to wear
Be prepared for weather fluctuations. Layering is key.
We recommend taking a backpack, a sweater, and an outer water-proof jacket. We also recommend buying or taking one of those cheap plastic ponchos just in case. You can buy them anywhere in Peru. Always, always bring plenty of water. You will be hiking up and down steps all day and you will get more tired than you would expect. Bring snacks. There is a café just outside the entrance to Machu Picchu (make sure to hold on to your entrance ticket so you can get back in) but it is a bit pricey and can be very busy.
In the dry season (May- November) you will want to wear a short-sleeve shirt and long pants (or shorts). But remember that in the morning it can still be cool and wet, so pack a jacket. Mosquito repellent is a good idea in the dry season when the weather is warm.
Bathrooms are just outside the entrance as well. It is 1 or 2 Soles to use the restrooms. The line to the women’s restroom can get quite long.