Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world that is most famous for its ancient Inca ruins consisting of temples, terraces, and water channels.
Machu Picchu translates to Old Mountain, taking its name from the location of the Incan citadel.
I spent one full day exploring Machu Picchu Mountain and have put together this complete guide which includes everything you need to know before you go!
QUICK ANSWERS: MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN
Here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
WHERE IS MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN?
Machu Picchu Mountain is located in the Sacred Valley approximately 70 km from Cusco City in Peru.
Machu Picchu’s altitude is 2,350m above sea level.
HOW TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU?
There are a couple of ways of reaching Machu Picchu by either trekking or by train and bus.
Trekking Machu Picchu
The Inca trail is the most common route for trekking Machu Picchu and there are many different packages to choose from including 2-day, 4-day, 5-day, and 8-day treks.
There are dozens of tour operators and offices dotted around Cusco City to book the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to find an operator to book a trek with and not be ripped off.
Alternatively, you can book your Machu Picchu trek online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organize it once you arrive.
I recommend planning a trip to Machu Picchu on the Get Your Guide website. They have a number of trekking options that are affordable and reliable.
Click Here to search for all trekking Machu Picchu options and book online!
Train + Bus to Machu Picchu
The easier option is by taking the train and bus combo from Cusco with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
Believe me, with all the things to do in Aguas Calientes, you won’t get bored!
There are daily trains that depart from Ollantaytambo (a town near Cusco) and arrive in Aguas Calientes. The 2-hour train journey itself is beyond scenic and an experience I am sure you will never forget!
Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes I recommend spending one night here and taking the first bus that departs at 5 am from the main bus stop in Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu the following morning.
Find All → Hotels in Aguas Calientes
- Train Cost: $100 – $200 return depending on which package you choose.
- Bus Cost: $12 one way or $24 return.
- Opening Hours: Machu Picchu Mountain opening hours are from 6:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Sunday.
You can purchase Machu Picchu train tickets in Cusco at a tourist office or online in advance.
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WHAT ARE THE BEST MACHU PICCHU TOURS?
For all Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco, there are a number of different packages available on the Get Your Guide website.
Click Here to find a Machu Picchu tour that best suits you.
I personally visited these amazing ruins with Killa Expeditions, a reputable adventure tour company in Cusco.
Myself and eleven other keen trekkers embarked on a 9-Day Ausangate Trek which included Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu, and Sacred Valley. It was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had!
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WHAT TO EXPECT AT MACHU PICCHU
According to historians, Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century by the Inca Pachacutec.
This Inca city was built with huge blocks of stone and the most fascinating part is that no mortar was used during the construction.
The ruins are divided into two main areas, the agricultural area consisting of terraces, and the urban area which served administrative purposes. These two areas combined are absolutely beautiful it’s a picture-perfect destination.
Must Read → 3 Week Peru Itinerary
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Due to a massive influx of tourism over the past few years, authorities have limited the number of visitors to 2, 500 people on any given day in order to preserve the ruins at Machu Picchu.
The earlier you can get to Machu Picchu the better to avoid the crowds and on a clear day, you may get lucky enough to see the sunrise over the mountains, illuminating the Inca ruins below.
The ruins are best explored on a guided tour if you are wanting to learn first-hand the long history of this ancient Incan city.
Otherwise, visitors are free to roam around at their own pace taking in the sights and capturing pictures along the way.
Bear in mind that the designated pathways are one way only so once you go down you can’t go back up. Take your time and get that perfect photo at each viewpoint as you make your way around the ruins.