5 Facts That Will Make You Want To Visit Machu Picchu

Updated On: May 16, 2022

Machu Picchu

What Do You Know About Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America. It was built between 1450 and 1460. The main attraction in Machu Picchu is the ruins of a citadel with over 150 different buildings. Machu Picchu roughly translates to “old mountain” in the Quechua language. With the expanse of hand-crafted dry stones, Machu Picchu is one of the last remnants of the elusive Inca civilization. A while after its completion, the citadel was abundant for three to four centuries. One of the biggest questions about this historic landmark is that no one has confirmed why the Incas have left the citadel. 

Machu Picchu is 100% handmade; no tools, animals, or wheels were used to build the royal estate’s expanse. Instead, hundreds of men pushed up 50 tons of rocks or scaled the mountain to form What we now know as Incan ruins. Machu Picchu is the greatest remnant in modern times of Incan engineering techniques. 

But What’s so great about the stairs? These stairs were individually hand-carved large stone pieces. You can’t enter the Machu Picchu citadel without a guide. The local government doesn’t allow entry for first-timers unless they have an official guide. Those who have done a tour before must bring proof of their previous tour and the identification of their former guide. 

Altitude sickness is a potentially fatal tourist problem. As you go to higher altitudes, oxygen gets thinner, making it harder to breathe. Standing at 7.970 ft above sea level, the Machu Picchu is a very high point. Around 60% of Machu Picchu’s construction was done underground. It was built with deep building processes such as foundations and drainages. The method used to build Machu Picchu was called ashlar masonry. This method requires all the stones to be uniform in shape, size and texture. Since it was way before the industrial age, expert Inca masons had to cut and work these building blocks from scratch. 

Lamas and alpacas are everywhere. Since it is so high up in the mountains, the Incas only had lamas and alpacas to domesticate. Lamas were so important to the Incas society that hunting them was forbidden. Now, these woolly creatures are the only permanent residents of Machu Picchu. Macha Picchu is built on fault lines. Another extreme feat of the Incan ruins is that this citadel was built on two fault lines. Peru is prone to frequent earthquakes but the precise ashlar construction makes the citadel even more earthquake-resistant than modern buildings. Machu Picchu is surrounded by cloud forests. Its vegetation is surrounded by fog and condensation year-round. 

The Incas were serious about their crops. Over 300 terraces comprise the agriculture zone, which makes nearly 6 hectares of land just for planting. Inca traditions divide the citadel by class. Most of the former inhabitants of Machu Picchu were immigrants. Scientists studied skeletons recovered from the area and found out most of them originated from coastal areas. The bone composition indicated a short-term diet consisting heavily of corn, which proves their transfer to Machu Picchu. 

Machu Picchu 1 Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America. It was built between 1450 and 1460. The main attraction in Machu Picchu is the ruins of a citadel with over 150 different buildings. Machu Picchu roughly translates to “old mountain” in the Quechua language. With the expanse of hand-crafted dry stones, Machu Picchu is one of the last remnants of the elusive Inca civilization. A while after its completion, the citadel was abundant for three to four centuries. One of the biggest questions about this historic landmark is that no one has confirmed why the Incas have left the citadel. 
5 Facts That Will Make You Want To Visit Machu Picchu 3

Match Picchu During the Pandemic

Machu Picchu was closed for eight months during the pandemic. It closed in March 2020 and reopened in November of the same year. Since then, it had a lot of changes. You need to check the official website if you plan to go there. 

How to Get to Machu Picchu?

The fastest way to Machu Picchu is via train. The road to Machu Picchu via train consists of a three-part ride. First, you need to go to Cusco via plane or bus. From Cusco, you take the Poroy Staion or Ollantaytambo station to reach Aguas Calientes. The Poroy road takes 4 hours while the latter takes 2 hours. You can check the official website for all the information and prices. Finally, ride a shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to get to Machu Picchu. It is also a walking distance. You can also get to Machu Picchu through an intense 4-day trek on the Inca Trail. 

When to Go To Machu Picchu?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is a bit of an opinion. However, the main points to decide on are the time, the crowd, and the cost. As for the cost, there is a high and low season like most travel destinations. The difference between the cost is about 17% between high and low. Prices are not crazy different when you stay at a hostel. However, it can be a little pricy when you start looking at fancy hotels. The increase in the prices can affect other things like restaurants and transportation. All in all, the high months are from June through August. As for the crowd, the months of the highest attendants are July, August and September. Regarding the weather, it can’t be confirmed if it is going to rain or not. February is known for rain, on average it rains about 20 days of the month. The months with the ideal weather are June, July and August. March is one of the best months if you want to avoid crowds. However, the downfall is that it rains on average 13 days out of the month. April tends to be in the middle to lower end of rain on an average for nine days. It is the fifth-lowest month in regards to crowds as well. April is the shoulder season, so hotels and restaurant pricing is going to be on the lower end. June is thought to be the best month to travel to Machu Picchu. It is the best weather next to July and its attendants on average is a lot less than it would be in July. The prices are still within the high season.

Where Can I stay in Machu Picchu?

There is only one property to stay at in Machu Picchu and that is Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.  The next best option to stay nearby is to stay in Aguas Calientes. It is the base town of Machu Picchu and where you find the train station, restaurants and all of the hotels. There are various accommodation options in Aguas Calientes ranging from campsites to high-end properties. 

What Can I Do in Machu Picchu?

There is a visitor limit of 2.500 visitors per day. The tour schedule is divided into 2 timeslots, morning (from 6 AM to 12 Noon) and afternoon ( from 12 Noon to 5:30 PM). The trip to Machu Picchu Mountain is 4 hours. The ascent and descent from the mountain take four strenuous hours. For the summit, you must leave before 1 PM and leave the mountain at 3 PM.  You can only tour with 16 people. The tour group for Machu Picchu has a maximum of 16 people all accompanied by an official guide for first-time visitors. 

Hiking the Inca Trail is an amazing experience. It takes four days and three nights, meaning four days of hiking, three nights at the campsite and one day for the Machu Picchu guided tour. This trek takes you along the rivers up to the mountains, and down to the cloud forest in three nice days of hiking. There is a team of borders, the green machine which helps with 7 kilos of weight per person and also takes the equipment needed for the campsite. The Inca Trail takes you for 26 miles up to Machu Picchu and is the hard day the second one with about 10 miles in total. The highest point will be reached on the second day which is located at 14000 feet.

There are other ways to hike the Inca Trail. There is also the 5 days and 4 night Inca Trail. It is the same bath still it gives you the chance to go down to Aguas Calientes, to spend the night at a hotel, get ready, recover energy and go up to Machu Picchu on the fifth day. 

There are also 7 days, and 6 nights Salkantay Inca Trail. It is the second most popular trek in Cusco to go to Machu Picchu. It is a tour for experienced jokers which takes 7 days, and 6 nights with the 7th day in Machu Picchu.

There are also shorter options like the two days Inca Trail. It takes you one day of hiking through Machu Picchu. You can go down and spend the night at a hotel and go up to Machu Picchu the next day. Another option is to spend the night at a campsite and on the second day go up to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu 2 Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South America. It was built between 1450 and 1460. The main attraction in Machu Picchu is the ruins of a citadel with over 150 different buildings. Machu Picchu roughly translates to “old mountain” in the Quechua language. With the expanse of hand-crafted dry stones, Machu Picchu is one of the last remnants of the elusive Inca civilization. A while after its completion, the citadel was abundant for three to four centuries. One of the biggest questions about this historic landmark is that no one has confirmed why the Incas have left the citadel. 
5 Facts That Will Make You Want To Visit Machu Picchu 4

Spots to Visit

The Museo Manuel Chavez Balloon is a 30-minutes walk from Aguas Calientes. It is preferred that tourists visit this museum before proceeding to the Inca ruins or the mountains. It opens from Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Over 600 terraces support the citadel. Because it is built along a cliffside, the Incas crafted more than 600 terraces to keep the structure from sliding off. 

Functionally, the citadel has an agricultural sector and an urban sector. However, the Incas divided it into Hanan (upper) and Urin (lower). It has 3 main structures. The three main structures in the urban zone are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. No one knows definitely what the Intihuatana is for. It is a giant rock on a pyramid found in the citadel. It is inscribed with markings that denote the four cardinal directions, North, East, West, and South. The rock also seems to be connected to summer and winter solstices. It casts different shadows and flights during specific points of the solstices. 

The Incas worshipped the Sun. The Temple of the sun, also known as the Templo Del Sol, is an Incan structure that commemorates the sun. They used it for offerings and memorials. 

The Temple of the Three Windows is in Machu Picchu’s sacred Plaza. This rectangular building contains 3 windows aligned to the sunrise overlooking the mountain range. It is believed to have been a ceremony site for the Incas. 

The Hanan Zone is in the west. It is built on sacred, royal and industrial structures. Urin is in the East. The Urin contains most of the residential structure as well as the graveyards. 

The Huayna Picchu has been named “The Stairs of Death”. High humidity in Machu Picchu makes these stairs constantly slippery, especially during the late rainy season and early morning. Only 400 are allowed to climb it per day. If you want to participate, you must be pre-registered and meet certain qualifications to be cleared for the climb. There are no handrails on Huayna Picchu, only two safety lines along the trail. It stands 260m higher than Machu Picchu. The 2-hours hike is more dangerous since you only get to hold onto two safety lines. 

The Top-Rated Hotels in Machu Picchu

Taypikala Hotel Machu Picchu is ideal for families. It has spacious rooms, a child-friendly environment and amenities you can use to relax. It is a 4-star hotel. The hotel offers free internet, free parking, free breakfast, baggage storage, a bar, Concierge, and a 24-hour front desk. There are different 4 room types to choose from. Most of the rooms have AC, wake up service, a flat-screen tv, room service, free toiletries, a hairdryer and a shower. Prices can vary depending on the room size and the features. Nearby attractions involve Plaza Manco Capac and the Virgen Del Carmen. 

Hotel La Cabana Machu Picchu is ideal for couples. It is a 3-star hotel. It has cute rooms, nice views, relaxing areas and delicious food. It is located near Aguas Calientes hot springs. It is situated 300m from the centre of Machu Picchu. It offers free high-speed internet, free breakfast, children’s television networks, massage, baggage storage, a non-smoking hotel, a 24-hour front desk, and many other things. There are 5 room-type to choose from. Most of the rooms have AC, an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen tv, a minibar, a balcony, a hot tub, free toiletries, a sofa, a shower, towels, a seating area, a desk, and a lot more. Prices can vary according to the room size and facilities. Nearby attractions involve Plaza Manco Capac and the Virgen Del Carmen. 

Inti Punku Machu Picchu Hotel & Suites is ideal for work trips. The hotel is easy to access, has a good location, has meeting areas and a very comfortable bed to sleep in at the end of the day. It is located 150m from the centre of Machu Picchu. The hotel offers free high-speed internet, free breakfast, children’s television networks, walking tours, airport transportation, baggage storage, a business centre, a 24-hour front desk, and many other things. The hotel has 6 room-type to choose from. Most of the rooms have AC, a flat-screen tv, mini bar, balcony, garden view, mountain view, landmark view, city view, inner courtyard view, patio, terrace, sofa, shower, towels, housekeeping, telephone, and a lot more. Prices can vary according to the room size and facilities. Nearby attractions involve Plaza Manco Capac, Mercado de Artesanias, and the Virgen Del Carmen. 

SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel is an ideal high-end hotel. The hotel is easy to access, has a good location, has meeting areas and a very comfortable bed to sleep in at the end of the day. It is a mountain hotel with a spa near Aguas Calientes hot springs. It is situated 300m from the centre of Machu Picchu. It offers free high-speed internet, free breakfast, children’s television networks, a sauna, hiking, walking tours, a business centre with free internet, conference facilities and many other things. The hotel features 3 room types to choose from. Most of the rooms have AC, private bathroom, flat-screen tv, minibar, balcony, river view, spa bath, terrace, sofa, hot tub, coffee machine, free toiletries, bathrobe, fireplace, ironing facilities and a lot more. Prices can vary according to the room size and facilities. Nearby attractions involve Plaza Manco Capac, Mercado de Artesanias, and the Virgen Del Carmen. 

Hotel Flower’s House is the ideal budget hotel. It is located 200m from the centre of Machu Picchu. It offers free high-speed internet, free breakfast, free parking, a non-smoking hotel, a 24-hour front desk, private check-in/ check-out, an ironing service, baggage storage, and many other things. The hotel has 3 room types to choose from. Most of the rooms have AC, en-suite bathroom, flat-screen tv, minibar, mountain view, city view, river view, bath, terrace, sofa, heating, hairdryer, dressing room, free toiletries, and a lot more. Prices can vary according to the room size and facilities. Nearby attractions include Plaza Manco Capac, Mercado de Artesanias, and the Virgen Del Carmen. 

Top-Rated Restaurants in Machu Picchu

Chullos Craft Beer & Homemade Food is one of the top-rated restaurants. It serves Peruvian, International, and Grill cuisines. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. It also serves special diets including vegetarian-friendly, vegan options, and gluten-free options. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks. It serves alcohol, a full bar, wine and beer. It features takeout, outdoor seating, buffet, television, highchairs available, wheelchair accessible and free wifi. You can pay by American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Credit Cards, and Gift Cards. It requires reservations. 

Apu Inti Restaurant Machu Picchu is one of the top-rated restaurants. It serves Peruvian cuisine. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. It also serves special diets including vegetarian-friendly, vegan options, and gluten-free options. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks. It serves alcohol, a full bar, wine and beer. It features takeout, seating, highchairs available, wheelchair accessible and free wifi. You can pay by American Express, Mastercard, Visa, and Credit Cards. It requires reservations. 

Chef House Peruvian Food is one of the top-rated restaurants. It serves Peruvian, Latin, Fusion, and Healthy cuisines. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks. It serves alcohol, a full bar, and a table service.

Chef House Peruvian Food is one of the top-rated restaurants. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. It serves Peruvian, Latin, Fusion, and Healthy cuisines. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, late-night and drinks. It features takeout and seating. It serves alcohol, a full bar, and a table service. It requires a reservation. 

Julian Restaurant is one of the best restaurants. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. It serves Peruvian cuisine. It also serves special diets including vegetarian-friendly, vegan options, and gluten-free options. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night, and drinks. It serves alcohol, a full bar, wine and beer. It features delivery,  takeout, outdoor seating, highchairs available, wheelchair accessible and free wifi. You can pay by American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Digital cards and Credit Cards. It requires reservations. 

Full House Peruvian Cuisine is one of the best restaurants. It is located in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Peru. It serves bar, Peruvian, pizza, and healthy and fusion cuisines. It also serves special diets including vegetarian-friendly, vegan options, and gluten-free options. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, and drinks. It serves alcohol, a full bar, wine and beer. It features delivery, takeout, outdoor seating, television, live music, highchairs available, wheelchair accessible and free wifi. You can pay by American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Digital cards and Credit Cards. It requires reservations. 

Dos in Machu Picchu

  • It is preferred to book the tickets in advance. At peak seasons Machu Picchu tickets can book up several months in advance. 
  • The ministry of Culture Website is the cheapest option to get the tickets.
  • Tourists need to secure a permit and a guide to hiking the Inca Trail. 
  • You need to bring your passport as you need your passport number to purchase tickets for your visit to Machu Picchu.
  • Make sure to bring your passport to the site as the gate agents will check the name and passport number. 
  • It is highly recommended to have insect repellent and sunscreen. 
  • It is recommended to stay in Cusco for at least 2 days before the trek to the Inca trail to get used to the altitude. 
  • It is recommended to be always hydrated to keep yourself active. 
  • It is recommended to get some medications for altitude sickness. 

Don’ts in Machu Picchu

  • You can’t wear traditional clothing.
  • Loud noises are forbidden, you can’t clap, shout, whistle or sing on Machu Picchu.
  • Baby strollers are prohibited. If you want to bring your baby along, pick a baby carrier instead.