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Mistakes visitors make in Machu Picchu
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8 mistakes when going to Machu Picchu

The trip to Machu Picchu is an experience that, in most cases, is done once in a lifetime. This visit must be special. However, there are cases of people making mistakes during the trip. Perhaps the most common mistake when visiting Machu Picchu is not reserving entrance tickets in advance. Also, do not hire a tour guide for the visit or do not inform yourself about the prohibitions in the Inca citadel. These are the 8 mistakes that visitors make the most to Machu Picchu.

Salto en Machu Picchu
Please, you should not jump over the Inca City, this action damages its structure

The high tourist season in Machu Picchu
The high season in Machu Picchu begins in December and ends approximately at the end of March. These days coincide with the rainy season throughout Cusco. From April to November is considered the high tourist season and coincides with the dry season (little rain). In high season it is recommended to buy tickets to Machu Picchu in advance. The same for train tickets and hotels during the trip. During those months of the year, the demand for visitors to visit the Inca citadel increases.

Book Machu Picchu tickets at the last minute

  • Many of the people who travel to Machu Picchu in Peru and in general, to all Latin American countries, seek the thrill of visiting the most amazing places on their own.
  • However, if you want to travel to Machu Picchu on your own; There is something that is definitely the most important thing about the trip to Machu Picchu, and that is booking entrance tickets to the Inca city.
  • The availability of tickets to Machu Picchu is limited; Thus, some tickets must be reserved months in advance.
  • For example, the Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu ticket will have to be reserved 2 months in advance. Otherwise you may have to accommodate remaining available tickets and times.
  • Also remember that you will not be able to enter Machu Picchu if you do not present a copy of your passport, along with the printed copy of your Machu Picchu ticket.
  • The enormous number of people who visit Machu Picchu between the months of July and August (high season), means that not only Machu Picchu tickets, but also hotels in Aguas Calientes and Cusco must be reserved a few months in advance, Otherwise you may have to spend more than expected

Take the trip to Machu Picchu in one day

  • If you have the opportunity and of course the necessary time, try to spend the night before your visit in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town), especially if you decided to climb some of the mountains of Machu Picchu.
  • The first time to enter Huayna Picchu mountain is at 7 am. and it is possible, if you want to do everything on the same day, you will miss the possibility of being at the entrance to the Huayna Picchu mountain at the right time.
  • So, after spending the night in Aguas Calientes, you can board the first bus to Machu Picchu, and be one of the first people to enter the Inca city, with the possibility of seeing the sunrise of Machu Picchu, within the Inca city, or from some of the mountains around it.
  • Therefore, visiting the Inca citadel and one of the mountains is possible but not recommended. The best thing, in those cases, is to spend a night beforehand in the town of Aguas Calientes.

Visit Machu Picchu without a raincoat

  • Many people have to deal with other large crowds of people, to avoid the rainy season in Machu Picchu.
  • It is mistakenly believed that during these months (December to March) it rains all day every day, but that is far from being true.
  • What is a common mistake is visiting Machu Picchu without a raincoat in your backpack. Rain can occur at any time of the day, so a raincoat is necessary. Remember that umbrellas are prohibited when visiting the Inca citadel.
  • The rains in Cusco and Machu Picchu during the rainy season occur in most cases in the afternoon, so you can visit Machu Picchu in the morning, with sun and a warm and very cool climate, which will allow you to explore the mountains of Machu Picchu without so much fatigue.

Evade the regulations of Machu Picchu

  • In Machu Picchu there are strict regulations that must be followed during the tour of the archaeological site. Among the rules it is stated not to use umbrellas, shoes with high heels, selfie sticks, baby strollers, suitcases, drones or perform actions that alter the sacred character of the Inca citadel.
  • For example, jumping is prohibited in Machu Picchu. Although a photo jumping in the Inca citadel guarantees many likes on social networks, it also causes (in a very small way) the sinking of the sacred city of the Incas.
  • Studies carried out in Machu Picchu reveal that the city sinks between 2 and 3 centimeters each year due to the weight of visitors.
  • In an attempt to stop the alarming descent, the authorities will ask you not to jump at the archaeological site, and even if it doesn’t seem important to you, please don’t do it.
  • Another thing you cannot do in Machu Picchu is eat in unassigned areas, sit in the ruins, touch the Inca walls; and for nothing in the world do you get naked; This may cause you to be restricted from entering Machu Picchu for life.

Visit Machu Picchu without a tourist guide

  • The tour of Machu Picchu with a tourist guide is mandatory, according to the visiting regulations. However, in practice many tourists travel without a guide.
  • The visit with a tourist guide is highly recommended to learn about the history and importance of each of the stone constructions that exist in Machu Picchu. The guide is also in charge of ensuring the well-being of the visitor and the Inca buildings.
  • Yes, you will need a guide in Machu Picchu, and although you can use your Smartphone to see what it is all about, there is nothing better than an experienced guide to explain the wonder of each of the structures of Machu Picchu.
  • At the archaeological site there are no information panels about each of the constructions. Don’t let your guide ruin your trip to Machu Picchu, know how to hire a guide on your tour of the archaeological site.

Take excess luggage on the trip to Machu Picchu

  • Do not take too much luggage with you, it is not allowed in Machu Picchu and you will not need it.
  • The visit to the Inca citadel only requires a backpack with utensils such as: a raincoat, a snack, a rehydrating drink, a hat, an extra polo shirt (if you are traveling through the mountains) or any utensils you consider necessary.
  • Remember that suitcases are not allowed in Machu Picchu. They also won’t allow you to tour the Inca citadel or even get on the train with a very large backpack, so take only what is absolutely necessary.
  • If you plan to spend one or several nights in the town of Aguas Calientes, you can bring a suitcase with the luggage you consider necessary. But remember that, when visiting Machu Picchu, for your comfort, you will only need a small backpack.

Avoid taking the excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

  • If time permits, tour one of the Andean communities between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley was at one time the heart of the Inca civilization, the largest empire in the Western Hemisphere.
  • If you are already in the Sacred Valley of the Incas do not miss the opportunity to see the Inca towns and the colonial cities that were built on or near them.
  • Like, for example, Ollantaytambo or Pisac, two of the most famous Andean communities in the Sacred Valley. Pisac has Andean weaving communities, where you can find beautiful alpaca garments and learn something about how they are made and the ancient way of weaving of the Incas.
  • Ollantaytambo has an urban structure that has its origins in the Inca era. It has small streets, water channels, adobe and stone homes. That is why Ollantaytambo is known as ‘living Inca city’.

Avoid Peruvian food on the trip to Machu Picchu

  • It may be unnecessary to warn you against excessive alcohol consumption the night before your visit to Machu Picchu.
  • However, avoiding trying pisco sour is a mistake during your trip. It is the national cocktail of Peru. It is made from beaten egg white, lemon juice and Angostura bitters.
  • It has a sweet and sour flavor and is so addictive that a simple glass can lead you to a night of pisco-induced debauchery.
  • You can have a drink during dinner. However, avoid drinking excessively one night before visiting Machu Picchu. The result can be a hangover like no other, which is accentuated by the height and the excitement of being in the Inca citadel.

Advice from people who have been there

Machu Picchu is amazing

Vania A. (Argentina)By: Vania A. (Argentina)

“With the best view!“

“The first time you see Machu Picchu you feel full of energy, the truth is that it is amazing how the Incas built something so perfect. It was a nice experience that I highly recommend. The A-1 organization“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 1, 2024