Machu Picchu: Official Ticket and Optional Mountain Hike
- Valid: 4 - 5 hours
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
We picked up the train tickets at Ollantaytambo and were able to rescedule the return trip; got a privat guide at Aguas Calientes (we also speak the language.). In the morning we left our travel bag at the Hotel, but there are also lockers at the Park Entrance. The size of back packs does not seem to be stricly enforced. Having all the vouchers before the trip makes the experience so much smoother. The town does a great job of getting the visitors up and down the mountain.
Both guides were very informative and attentive. The pick-up taxi driver was 20 minutes early, rushing us, and then we had to wait another 20 minutes for some unknown reason, which was altogether an unpleasant beginning. Accommodations were good, food was good, site visits were great. Final driver was prompt and efficient. In general, I would recommend this trip and will certainly consider booking with GYG again.
We had a fantastic day today on our Machu Picchu trip. The bus driver picked us up at a hotel on time. He was very friendly. Willka Travel had everything ready to go for us, including all of our bus, train, and Machu Picchu tickets. The guide at Machu Picchu was was fantastic. He spoke perfect English and was very knowledgeable of the history there. Our return trip was just as good. I highly recommend this trip.
This was a wonderful experience. Doing it through a package deal is the way to go. I had planned to organize it on my own, but getting there is a bit of an ordeal. Its 1 hour Luxury Van ride from cusco to the train station, 1.5 hours on the train to the town of Machu Picchu, 30 min bus trip up the mountain to Machu Picchu. Having someone take care of all of that was really nice. Great Experience.
Pickup at nearby hotel was smooth and local tour guides were all excellent with communications, schedule for long day trip and also with help and assistance with train boarding. Olga, our Machu Picchu guide from LimaTours was super special and extremely knowledgeable. Great activity and excellent tour.