How to Visit Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is an incredible experience that requires some planning due to its remote location and popularity among tourists. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to visit Machu Picchu:

  1. Plan Your Trip in Advance: Machu Picchu is a popular destination, and tickets often sell out, especially during the high season (May to September). Decide on the time of year you want to visit and book your tickets well in advance, including entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and any additional permits you may need if you plan to hike the Inca Trail or other trekking routes.
  2. Choose Your Transportation: There are several ways to reach Machu Picchu:
    • Train: The most common way to reach Machu Picchu is by train from either Ollantaytambo or Poroy (near Cusco) to Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. From Aguas Calientes, you can take a bus or hike up to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
    • Hiking: If you’re adventurous and physically fit, you can hike the famous Inca Trail or one of the alternative trekking routes to Machu Picchu. Permits are required for the Inca Trail and should be booked in advance.
  3. Arrive in Aguas Calientes: Regardless of how you choose to travel, you’ll need to arrive in Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, the day before your visit to Machu Picchu. This town offers accommodation, restaurants, and other services for tourists.
  4. Purchase Bus Tickets (Optional): While it’s possible to hike up to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes (known as the Machu Picchu trek), most visitors opt to take a bus for the steep ascent. Bus tickets can be purchased in Aguas Calientes or online in advance.
  5. Visit Machu Picchu: On the day of your visit, wake up early to catch one of the first buses to Machu Picchu. Alternatively, if you’re hiking up, start your ascent early to arrive at the entrance when it opens. Once inside, take your time exploring the ancient ruins, learning about the history and significance of Machu Picchu.
  6. Optional: Guided Tour: Consider joining a guided tour of Machu Picchu to learn more about the site’s history, architecture, and culture. Official guides are available at the entrance of Machu Picchu, or you can arrange a tour in advance through a reputable tour operator.
  7. Respect the Rules and Environment: Follow the rules and regulations set by the Peruvian authorities to protect Machu Picchu and its surroundings. Stay on designated paths, avoid littering, and respect the local flora and fauna.
  8. Enjoy the Experience: Finally, take time to soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of Machu Picchu and the surrounding Andean landscape. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll cherish forever.