Machu Picchu Travel Tours

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic and mysterious archaeological sites in the world. Located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, this ancient city was built by the Incas in the 15th century and remained hidden from the outside world until its rediscovery in 1911. Today, it attracts millions of visitors annually who come to marvel at its breathtaking beauty and learn about its fascinating history.

History of Machu Picchu

The history of Machu Picchu dates back to the height of the Inca Empire. It is believed to have been built as a royal estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti around 1450. However, it was abandoned just over a century later during the Spanish conquest and was soon forgotten, becoming overgrown by the surrounding jungle and hidden from the outside world for centuries.

Discovering Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. While searching for the lost city of Vilcabamba, he stumbled upon the ruins and was captivated by their grandeur. Bingham’s discovery brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world and sparked a renewed interest in Inca civilization.

Exploring the Ruins

Visitors to Machu Picchu can explore the well-preserved ruins, which include temples, terraces, and residential areas. The most iconic structure is the Intihuatana Stone, believed to have been used as an astronomical observatory by the Incas. The Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Three Windows are also must-see attractions.

Unique Features of Machu Picchu

  • The strategic location of Machu Picchu on a mountain ridge offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.
  • The precise stone masonry of the buildings, without the use of mortar, is a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the Incas.
  • The agricultural terraces, known as “andenes,” showcase the Inca’s ingenuity in harnessing the steep terrain for farming.
  • Machu Picchu’s intricate water management system, including fountains and channels, highlights the Inca’s mastery of hydraulic engineering.

Hiking to Machu Picchu

One of the most popular ways to reach Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca Trail. This multi-day trek takes you through stunning landscapes, including cloud forests and ancient Inca ruins. It is a challenging but rewarding experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty and history of the region.

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. The weather is generally sunny and clear, providing optimal conditions for exploring the ruins and hiking. However, it is important to note that Machu Picchu can be crowded during this time, so it is advisable to book tickets and accommodations in advance.

Getting to Machu Picchu

To reach Machu Picchu, you will first need to travel to the city of Cusco in Peru. From there, you can choose to take a train or hike to the site. Trains depart from Cusco and Ollantaytambo, offering scenic journeys through the Andes. Alternatively, you can hike the Inca Trail or opt for other popular trekking routes, such as the Salkantay Trek or the Lares Trek.

Accommodation Options

There are several accommodation options near Machu Picchu, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Many visitors choose to stay in the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, which is located at the base of the mountain. From there, you can easily access the site by bus or by hiking up the steep trail.

Local Culture and Traditions

The region surrounding Machu Picchu is rich in Andean culture and traditions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture by participating in traditional ceremonies, visiting indigenous communities, or exploring the colorful markets of Cusco. It is also worth trying traditional Peruvian cuisine, which includes dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and quinoa soup.

Protecting Machu Picchu

Due to its popularity, Machu Picchu faces several challenges in terms of conservation and preservation. To protect the site, the Peruvian government has implemented measures such as limiting the number of daily visitors and enforcing strict regulations. Visitors are required to follow designated paths and are prohibited from touching or climbing on the ruins. It is crucial for everyone to respect these rules and help preserve the site for future generations.


Machu Picchu is a testament to the ingenuity and architectural brilliance of the Inca civilization. Its awe-inspiring beauty, rich history, and unique features continue to captivate visitors from around the world. Whether you choose to hike the Inca Trail, explore the ruins, or immerse yourself in the local culture, a visit to Machu Picchu is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When was Machu Picchu built?

Machu Picchu was built around 1450 during the height of the Inca Empire.

2. How long does it take to hike to Machu Picchu?

The duration of the hike to Machu Picchu depends on the chosen route. The classic Inca Trail usually takes about 4 days, while alternative treks can range from 2 to 8 days.

3. Are there any height restrictions for visiting Machu Picchu?

There are no specific height restrictions for visiting Machu Picchu. However, it is located at an altitude of approximately 2,430 meters (7,970 feet), so visitors should take precautions and acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness.

4. Can I visit Machu Picchu without a guide?

No, visiting Machu Picchu without a guide is not allowed. To enter the site, visitors must be accompanied by a licensed guide who can provide valuable insights into the history and significance of the ruins.
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