Machu Picchu
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Guide for a trip to Machu Picchu
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Complete guide for a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru

Are you planning to travel to Machu Picchu? This is a selection of questions and answers that summarizes well all the concerns of tourists who travel to the Inca City in Cusco, Peru. If you want to arrive either by the Inca Trail, by train or otherwise.



Tourist in Machu Picchu

Tourist in Machu Picchu


1. What tickets to buy in Machu Picchu?

  • Before traveling to Peru, decide if you want to know Machu Picchu in an organized tour or on your own.
  • If you decide to do it on your own (the cheapest way), secure the purchase of the following tickets:
    • Entrance to Machu Picchu.
    • Train ticket to Aguas Calientes.
    • Bus ticket to Machu Picchu.

  • These are the entrances to Machu Picchu and the hours to choose:

    • Entrance Machu Picchu Solo.
      • Group 1: entry from 6 am
      • Group 2: entry from 7 a.m.
      • Group 3: entry from 8 a.m.
      • Group 4: entry from 9 a.m.
      • Group 5: entry from 10 a.m.
      • Group 6: entry from 11 a.m.
      • Group 7: entry from 12 p.m.
      • Group 8: entry from 1 pm
      • Group 9: entry from 2 pm

    • Entrance Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu.
      • Group 1: entry from 6 am (Huayna Picchu from 7 am to 8 am)
      • Group 2: entry from 7 am (Huayna Picchu from 7 am to 8 am)
      • Group 3: entry from 8 am (Huayna Picchu from 10.30 am to 11.30 am

    • Entrance Machu Picchu + Mountain.
      • Group 1: entry from 6 am (Mountain from 7 am to 8 am).
      • Group 2: entry from 7 am (Mountain from 7 am to 8 am).
      • Group 3: entry from 8 am (Mountain from 9 am to 10 am).

    • Entrance Machu Picchu + Museum.
      • Entrance to Machu Picchu: The 9 schedules of the ticket Machu Picchu Only.
      • Entrance to the Museum: from 8 am to 4 pm

  • Book Machu Picchu tickets in advance. Especially, the ticket Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu because it runs out faster.
  • After buying the entrance Machu Picchu, do the same with train tickets, bus, hotels, air tickets, etc.

2. What documents are necessary in Peru?

Visa

  • If it is Latin American, North American or European; you will not need a VISA to enter Peru.
  • If you are a member of the Andean Community of Nations (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia), you can enter Peru carrying your identity document or passport.
  • Minors will need to enter Peru in the company of their parents.

Passport

  • Tourists who enter Peru with their passport must carry the seal for entry into a country of the Andean Community of Nations.
  • To enter Machu Picchu, it is important to carry your passport or your country’s identity document.

College ID

  • University students who carry their university card have a discount on the price of the Machu Picchu ticket.

Aliens card

  • Foreigners residing in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador or Bolivia can also buy their Machu Picchu entrance at a discount. To do this they must present their updated immigration card.
Children in Machu Picchu
Children visiting Machu Picchu in the company of their parents

3. What vaccines are necessary in Peru?

  • No vaccination is required to visit Machu Picchu in Peru. However, it is recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever.
  • These are other recommended vaccines in Machu Picchu:

    • Hepatitis A.
    • The measles.
    • Typhoid.
    • Diphtheria

4. How are the hotels in Machu Picchu?

  • Aguas Calientes, also called Machu Picchu town, has hundreds of hotels and accommodations of various categories.
  • You can get rooms at cheap prices. There are also 5 star hotels in Machu Picchu.
  • Some people come with the idea of ​​camping in Machu Picchu. In Aguas Calientes there is a place for this.
  • These are some of the most exclusive and recommended hotels in Machu Picchu:

    • Hotel the Mapi.
    • House of the Sun Machu Picchu.
    • Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
    • Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu.
    • Tierra Viva Machu Picchu.

5. How is the weather in Cusco and Machu Picchu?

  • Machu Picchu is located in the jungle of Peru. The climate is subtropical: it rains at any time and the sun can reach 25ºC. on day.
  • From November to March is the rainy season in Cusco and Machu Picchu. In those months there are more rains so you should bring a poncho and waterproof clothing.
  • From April to October is the dry season. Most tourists prefer to come in those months because the sky is blue and the sun is radiant.
  • Regardless of the time of year, use sunscreen and clothing to protect yourself from the sun and rain poncho in case of fluvial precipitation.
Wet tourists in Machu Picchu
Tourists after a drizzle in Machu Picchu

6. How to avoid altitude sickness?

  • Altitude sickness (also called soroche) is a physical malaise suffered by people who suddenly climb to places of high altitude such as Cusco.
  • This discomfort is due to the low oxygen pressure. The symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, headache, insomnia, nausea, difficulty breathing.
  • Altitude sickness is most noticeable in the city of Cusco because it is located at 3,400 meters above sea level Machu Picchu is located at 2,430 meters above sea level
  • It is recommended to acclimatize to the city of Cusco the first day.
  • You can find pills against altitude sickness at any pharmacy. We recommend drinking mate de coca or caramels of coca.

7. How to get to Machu Picchu?

There are 3 ways to get to Machu Picchu: the Inca Trail, the train route and the alternative route through Santa María.

Train route from Ollantaytambo

  • The train is one of the most used and fastest ways to get to Machu Picchu.
  • Around 85% of visitors use this service to reach the Inca City.
  • It is necessary to book train tickets in advance. Otherwise, you only have to choose between the most expensive services.
  • The route starts from the town of Ollantaytambo to the final station in Aguas Calientes. The trip takes almost 2 hours.
  • To get to Ollantaytambo from the city of Cusco you should simply take a bus on the street Pavitos. The trip takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu you have to take one of the buses that leave every 10 minutes. The trip takes almost 30 minutes.

Route along the Inca Trail

  • E sta 4 – day trek ends at the Puerta del Sol (Intipunku), a place that was the main entrance to Machu Picchu during the time of the Incas.
  • This hiking route crosses the old paths that connected the different points of the Inca empire.
  • This route can only be accessed through authorized travel agencies.
  • It is important to have a good physical condition although it is more important to buy the tours online with 4 or 5 months in advance.

Alternative route through Santa María

  • This long route to Machu Picchu is preferred by people who want to save the cost of train tickets.
  • It is a long and exhausting road but allows you to enjoy the landscape in the most economical way.
  • The alternative route goes from Cusco to the town of Santa María. Then from there to the town of Santa Teresa. Finally it ends in Aguas Calientes, after a short walk.
  • Getting to Aguas Calientes from Cusco by this route takes 7 or 8 hours. The last part is walked from the Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes (2 hours on average).
Tourists at the top of Huayna Picchu
Group of friends following the alternative route to Machu Picchu

8. Health and safety in Peru

Security in Cusco and Machu Picchu

  • Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes and the tourist areas of Cusco are monitored by the tourism police 24 hours a day.
  • However, as in any part of the world, it is recommended not to lose sight of the belongings of tourists.

Health in Machu Picchu

  • Hygiene is very important to maintain health in Machu Picchu. Try to eat in places that meet cleaning standards.
  • In Machu Picchu protect yourself from heat with a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • If you plan to climb the Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu mountains, follow the trails and do not risk your life for a photo near the cliffs.

9. Discounts to visit Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu offers 3 types of discounts for your entrance tickets:

Discount for university students:

  • Access to this discount is granted to undergraduate students under 25 years of age.
  • The purchase of the ticket is with the valid university card.

Discount for minors:

  • Access to this discount tourists who have between 8 and 17 years at the time of the visit to Machu Picchu.
  • The purchase of the ticket is with the passport or valid identity document.

Discount for citizens of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN):

  • Access to this discount tourists from Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Also foreigners residing in those countries.
  • The purchase of the ticket is with the identity document, passport or immigration card.

10. How to take advantage of Machu Picchu?

  • Machu Picchu houses mysterious constructions like: the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Temple of the Condor. Take your time to tour them.
  • Carry a camera with lots of available memory.
  • Arrive on time at the time of entry in print on your ticket Machu Picchu. If you arrive late you will not be able to enjoy all the tourist places.
  • If you want to climb the mountain Huayna Picchu you must book your ticket in advance and arrive as early as possible.
  • Hire the services of a good tour guide in the language of your choice. A good guide can make the difference in a perfect visit to the Inca City.
  • Most tourists enter in the mornings. Visiting Machu Picchu in the afternoon offers more beautiful landscapes and a route with fewer tourists around.

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, March 4, 2019