Being one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is an unmissable adventure for many travelers. Thousands of visitors come to Peru every day to do some of the different excursions to Machu Picchu. Certainly, the workers of Cusco Peru Travel do it whenever they can just for pleasure.
Machu Picchu is synonymous with historical wealth, ancient culture, and impressive architecture. You will be dazzled by the sacred areas, the royal sites, the Inca temples, the terraces, the water channels, and, of course, the incomparable magic. It will be an unforgettable experience that will connect you with the ancient and mystical Inca lifestyle. Therefore, together with our team of travel experts, we have prepared a small article about the various Machu Picchu excursions.
Machu Picchu has been considered a cultural heritage of humanity in recognition of its political and religious importance during the time of its inhabitants, the Incas. Without a doubt, Machu Picchu seduces anyone in several ways. At the same time, some questions may arise, right? Something like: Do I need to book my Machu Picchu excursions in advance? When is the best time to go to Machu Picchu? Do I need a guide? We know you may feel overwhelmed because you want to take care of the details, but you don’t have to worry.
Cusco Peru Travel will help you with everything. We will provide you with practical information for your Machu Picchu excursions. They will be an unforgettable and captivating travel experience.
Enjoy the best Machu Picchu excursions
- Machu Picchu excursions: Which route fits you the best?
- Machu Picchu adventures
- About the Machu Picchu regulations
- Other Machu Picchu treks
- Learn a little more
MACHU PICCHU EXCURSIONS: WHICH ROUTE FITS YOU BEST?
There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu which bring you through a wide variety of flora and fauna, spectacular Andean scenery, and breathtaking landscapes.
If you are looking for off-the-beaten-path Machu Picchu excursions, you can take the Salkantay Trek or the Inca Jungle Trek. But the most popular and iconic route is the Inca Trail. This incredible and historical (built almost 600 years ago) hiking trail attracts lots of travelers every year. It is a 4-days-and-3-nights trek through an undoubtedly picturesque and extremely varied Andean scenery that encompasses glaciers, lakes, and forests. You will get to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate or Intipunku that was the original entrance gate to the Inca Citadel. Being able to enjoy a walk from Cusco to Machu Picchu is an unparalleled experience.
Additionally, you will enjoy not only lush landscapes but also amazing Inca and Pre-Inca ruins which can only be accessed along the Inca Trail. Your eyes will sparkle with delight.
The Inca Trail is considered one of the greatest adventure trek in the world: for this reason, there is a huge demand for tickets. Only 500 people are allowed per day, of which 200 are hikers, the rest includes guides and porters. We recommend obtaining your permit well in advance, at least six months before planning your Machu Picchu excursions.
Additionally, take into consideration that it’s not possible to do the Inca Trail independently. You have to do it with an approved tour provider, who buys the permits in advance. How much this Machu Picchu trip cost? Approximately, US$600 per person. Have in mind that every year in February, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance works.
The Machu Picchu excursions are often done by train. It is the fastest, easiest, and most comfortable way of getting to Machu Picchu from Cusco (Poroy Station) or Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley). Indeed, the train route to Machu Picchu is considered one of the most spectacular railway routes in the world.
The scenic 3.5-hour trip is a mesmerizing and epic journey from the magnificent Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the town located beneath Machu Picchu.
Two companies bring visitors: Peru Rail and Inca Rail. Both of them count with excellent standards of comfort, convenience, and safety.
Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you can choose between taking a shuttle bus up or hiking up to the Machu Picchu entrance. Keep in mind that the bus ride will take around 30 min. and the hike around one hour and a half.
The buses operate throughout the day and leave every 15 minutes from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and vice versa. To travel by train to the beautiful Inca citadel is one of the best luxury vacations you have at your reach.
MACHU PICCHU ADVENTURES
Certainly, Peru has a lot to offer, but the magnificent Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu is its best gem. It is one of the most impressive architectural jewels in the world. Visiting Machu Picchu is an adventure in itself. Once you arrive and take a look at this impressive Inca sanctuary, you will feel like the magic of your journey is just beginning.
But being a popular destination, you must make your arrangements a few months in advance. Especially if you also plan a luxury vacation or want to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain. Huayna Picchu is the huge mountain that rises in the background of the classic Machu Picchu photo. Its availability is limited and only 400 visitors per day are allowed to climb. In addition to the Huayna Picchu, there is the option to complement your tour with the Machu Picchu mountain. Keep in mind that on your visit you can only do one of these and not both. It is also physically impossible to enjoy these two walks together with a tour of the citadel.
ABOUT THE MACHU PICCHU REGULATIONS
According to the new regulations of the Peruvian government, the number of visitors to the Inca Citadel is limited to 2,500 people per day. In addition, access to the Inca Citadel is organized into different groups. What does this mean? It means that according to the reservation time of your Machu Picchu ticket, you will have access to the Sanctuary.
That means that if you belong to the group from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. You will only be able to access the site during that time. After 8:00 a.m. you will lose your ticket and must buy a new one. So, take proper precautions and don’t be late for your Machu Picchu excursions.
In the same way, Cusco Peru Travel recommends buying your entrance ticket in advance. This way, you’ll avoid disappointment during your dream vacation in Machu Picchu. Especially during the high season (June to September). Tickets can sell out quickly.
Also, take into account that tickets are no longer on sale at the entrance to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. You must buy your tickets directly on the official website of Machu Picchu, through an authorized ticket agent (commission included) or a travel agency.
OTHER MACHU PICCHU TREKS
If you are looking for a less crowded experience, or just looking to see and experience other tours in Peru, there are a plethora of hiking alternatives. And we are not only talking about the Inca Trail. The second most popular way to get to the Inca citadel is by going around the Salkantay mountain. This is one of the most imposing peaks in the Peruvian Andes and stands at 20,569 feet high. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu usually has a responsible and sustainable approach.
Another great alternative is the Inca Jungle Trek that combines a number of different adventure activities. Such as cycling, rafting, zip-lining, and mountain biking among others. All in a mission to reach the Inca citadel and thus enjoy one of the greatest attractions of Peru.
And we couldn’t forget to mention the fabulous Lares Trek. This walk has its beginning in the town of Lares, hence its name. This alternative offers you a beautiful walk accompanied by cultural encounters. You will get to know some interesting Andean communities before arriving in Machu Picchu town.
LEARN A LITTLE MORE
Within luxury travel to Machu Picchu, it is a good idea that you take advantage of the explanation of the guides. They will explain to you the main data of this beautiful citadel. Within the numerous Machu Picchu facts, you will be able to learn some surprising things. First off, you must know the rocks that formed Machu Picchu were extremely heavy with some weighing over 50 tons. It is said that the stones were pushed up the mountain by the Incas, but there is another belief that they chiseled the stones from the side of the mountain itself.
The Inca Citadel was constructed with a technique called ashlar. It involves stones being perfectly shaped so that no mortar is needed. With this technique, the stones are fit so well that not even a needle would fit between them. Incredible, right? Incan building skills were simply amazing!
“NATURE IS, IN FACT, A SUGGESTER OF UNEASINESS, A PROMOTER OF PILGRIMAGES AND OF EXCURSIONS OF THE FANCY WICH NEVER COME TO ANY SATISFACTORY HAVEN.”
Together with Cusco Peru Travel, we hope we have been of help. Keep in mind that depending on the travel agency or tour operator, the different Machu Picchu excursions will have some variations. But in general, everyone seeks to show the imposing beauty of this magical and unique place. If you have more questions about our travel programs or excursions to the citadel, you can consult with our qualified team of advisers. They will be happy to show you everything you can enjoy in Peru!