A great getaway to Peru unquestionably includes a trip to Machu Picchu. The Inca refuge in the mountains, hidden until 1911, effortlessly enchants all who visit it. Some hikers choose the difficult yet impressive hiking trail while others opt for the luxurious and scenic train. No matter what your decision is, either way, will be to your liking when discovering the amazing Inca citadel. Therefore, together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel, we have prepared a small article about what you need to know on a Machu Picchu trip. So, let’s see what you need to know for your trip:
The most important things to know on a Machu Picchu trip
THE WEATHER IN MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu is located in a subtropical area and is protected by the snowy peaks Salkantay, to the south, and Verónica, to the north. Its rugged geography allows two marked seasons throughout the year:
The rainy season runs from November to March. Despite the rainfall, the days are warmer. Temperatures range from 19 ° C / 66.2 ° F to 21 ° C / 69.8 ° F. February may experience heavier rains. Besides, throughout that month, the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance. Although the Inca citadel is available. Despite the rains, the rainy season usually coincides with the low tourist season. So if you are looking for short lines and space with fewer people around, this is your time to visit the citadel.
The dry season runs from April to October. The days are really warm, and the flora is at its best. The average temperature is 17 ° C / 62.6 ° F and 19 ° C / 66.2 ° F. This season there are also many insects, so it is a good idea to bring a good repellent. However, despite the pleasant weather in broad daylight, the nights are cold. From June to August, the temperature is below 0 º C / 32 º F. The consensus says that the dry season is considered the best time to visit Machu Picchu. You will be able to appreciate a beautiful clear blue sky and the most colorful landscapes.
ALTERNATIVES TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU
Fortunately, to get to Machu Picchu there is not only one way. There are different and varied ways to get to the Wonder of the World. But in itself we can divide them between the following two ways:
MACHU PICCHU BY TRAIN
It is one of the easiest and most comfortable routes, not to mention the luxurious and exclusive details that are offered. On the journey from Cusco to Machu by train, you will have the opportunity to pass through fantastic landscapes. All this added to a good service, comfortable and well-kept carriages. At this moment two companies are dedicated to offering these trips by trains. The companies are Peru Rail and Inca Rail. Both offer similar and high-quality services.
HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU
The other option may be a little less comfortable, but you will experience unique sensations and views. The different hiking routes to Machu Picchu are special for adventurers and athletes. You will find multiple camp offers, luxury cabins and, glamorous camps with massages every night. Among the different treks to Machu Picchu you can find:
- 4-day Inca Trail: This iconic hiking trail is the most recognized of all. It has access limited to 500 permits per day. You must book well in advance. The route ends at the Sun Gate, one of the best places to visit in Machu Picchu.
- 5-day Salkantay Trek: This route passes through high-altitude landscapes. It is a really arduous but rewarding hike.
- Lares Trek of 4 days: On this route, you will have the opportunity to closely observe the life of some Andean settlers.
- 4-day Inca Jungle: Beyond hiking; it combines extreme sports such as cycling, rafting and, zip-lining.
- 8-day Choquequirao Trek: A great challenge, where you can discover hidden Inca ruins that not many travelers see. There are also other shorter variants.
INSIDE MACHU PICCHU
When you are about to enter the Inca citadel, you will notice that there are a few rules that must be respected. The Inca citadel is a site visited by thousands of people a day, so order is necessary to keep the complex in condition. That is why we have listed some tips for travelers. These will make your Machu Picchu trip a better one, besides you will not have problems with the guards.
GET A MACHU PICCHU STAMP
One of the best ways to commemorate your Machu Picchu trip is with one of these free stamps in your passport. One more proof that he has passed through the magical citadel. You can show it to your friends and family. To get it, go to a small booth near the Machu Picchu exit doors, right in front of the cloakroom. There you can do it yourself or one of the employees will stamp it for you.
YOU CAN ENTER ONLY WITH A GUIDE
Due to the new regulations imposed by the government, it is mandatory to have a guide at the time of entering Machu Picchu. The guided tour usually lasts for approximately 2 hours. After that, you can be left alone and tour the complex at your own pace until your visit is over. Don’t worry about the Machu Picchu trip cost, many pre-organized trips already include a certified guide in their prices. Still, don’t forget to tip him/her.
ENTRY IS ALLOWED CARRYING ONLY ONE BACKPACK
On your Machu Picchu trip consider bringing a backpack. If you have a large backpack of over 25 liters, you will be asked to store it at the front door for a fee. Inside your backpack, you can put a water bottle, camera, jacket, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, or other items you need.
YOU CANNOT RE-ENTER ONCE YOU HAVE EXIT
Something to keep in mind before entering the archaeological complex is that you will not be able to enter again if you decide to leave. So it is a good idea to go to the toilets before visiting Machu Picchu. Make sure to organize everything well and once in Machu Picchu, feel free to enjoy the magic of the site.
THERE ARE NO BATHROOMS WITHIN MACHU PICCHU
Other things about Machu Picchu to keep in mind is that there are no bathrooms inside. You can find toilets only at the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. The price for using it is one sol (less than a dollar). Make sure to visit these before embarking on your adventure, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable during your guided tour.
YOU CAN PET THE LLAMAS
Perhaps you have read or heard some facts about Machu Picchu that mention that llamas are living in the Sanctuary. This is completely true. These are friendly and you can pet them if you wish. These are very photogenic and love the camera, literally. Many times in your attempts to take photos you will see how they get in the middle of the views.
SMOKING IS PROHIBITED
Since Machu Picchu is a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, you cannot smoke there. Take care and respect this majestic place. Also, due to the height, it is not recommended either. Save your breath for an in-depth tour of this architectural marvel.
BRINGING TRIPODS AND “JUMPING PHOTOS” ARE NOT ALLOWED
Tripods are prohibited on your Machu Picchu trip. You can just bring your camera and take as many photos as you want. However, “jump images” are not allowed either. Staff is concerned that you might fall or damage something. Please try not to argue, these are the rules.
THERE IS A HIDDEN MACHU PICCHU MUSEUM
The name of this museum and orchid exhibition is Manuel Chávez Ballón. To get there, you must walk 35 minutes along the road from Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas. This museum is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm. It is very illustrative and gives you some interesting Machu Picchu information. The price to visit it is US $ 8.00 per person.
“TRAVELING TENDS TO MAGNIFY ALL HUMAN EMOTIONS.”
To enjoy your Machu Picchu trip, it is a good idea to take into account these data and tips. If you consider the aforementioned, your trip will be a much more organized one and without surprises. But if you want to avoid any type of misunderstanding, better consult with the advisers of Cusco Peru Travel. We will be delighted to make your trip to Machu Picchu one of the best in the world.