Machu Picchu is at the top of many bucket lists, and for very good reason! It is most certainly not an overrated tourist trap and is every bit as magical as one would imagine.
However, being prepared and visiting at certain times of the year can make this experience that much better. For this reasont, We´ll be sharing 10 of our tips for visiting one of the seventh wonders Machu Picchu.
1.- Get There Early
The first shuttle bus leaves Aguas Calientes (the nearest town to Macchu Picchu) at 5:30 am. You have to be in line waiting at less since 4:30 am, Getting there right away in the morning means you have the chance to see Machu Picchu at sunrise and there will be fewer people! The wait for the bus is also not so bad. Many of the stores are already open at that time, and you can buy coffee/tea/snacks/etc. while you wait with fellow explorers.
2.- Bring Soles for the Bathroom
Make sure you have small bills or coins! It costs 2 soles to use the bathroom at the entrance of Machu Picchu.
3.- Be Sure to Use the Bathroom Before Entering + Pack Snacks
And you are most certainly going to want to use that bathroom at the entrance before you go into Machu Picchu. There are no bathrooms inside!
You’ll also want to pack snacks and water before entering. There are also no vendors inside
4.- Bring Your Passport
Bring your passport! You’re going to need this for entering Machu Picchu anyways, and you’ll also have the chance to get your passport stamped at Machu Picchu for no charge
5.- Be Prepared to Hike a Bit
Visiting Machu Picchu requires quite a lot of walking and it can be tiring. Be sure to dress appropriately and, again, pack water. You also have the option to hike to different areas to get different views of Machu Picchu.
You can hike to:
*The Sun Gate (About a 2-hour hike, according your own pace)
*Inca Bridge (About a half hour hike, according your own pace)
*Huayna Picchu (This you need to reserve tickets for about 6 months in advance, though)
*Machu Picchu Mountain (Again, you need to reserve your spot ahead of time)
Of course, the hikes above are optional. You can stay in Machu Picchu and be happy with the views and photos.
6.- You Can Enter Machu Picchu Twice in 1 Day With Your Ticket
If you need to exit Machu Picchu (for the bathroom, lunch, a tour, etc.) you are able to re-enter one more time. So don’t worry!
7.- Be Aware of Rainy Season/Peak Season
1.) Rainy season starts (december to April) dry season from may to november but never known the weather in Machu Picchu is unpredictable
2.) Peak tourist season (that’s July & August). You have to be fully prepared to be bombarded with thousands and thousands of people at Machu Picchu.
8.- Pack Bug Spray
You may not even notice you’re getting bit, but there are some mean little bugs at Machu Picchu!. You can buy bug spray at any pharmacy before going to Machu Picchu. Also, bring sunscreen! You will get burnt to a crisp without it.
9.- The Llamas are Friendly (Sort Of)
You’ll see llamas walking all over Machu Picchu. They are used to people trying to touch them and are quite relaxed. (Obviously, as with all animals, move slowly and be gente.
10.- There’s More Than 1 Way to Get to Machu Picchu
The most popular way to get to Machu Picchu is to take the train from either Cusco or Ollantaytambo. There are 3 companies to choose from, depending on your budget and where you want to leave from. There’s Peru Rail, Inca Rail& the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train. It’s a very beautiful train ride! You’re also served a drink and snack (or a full on luxurious meal if you opt for the last train service).
Your other option is to hike to Machu Picchu. This typically takes 4 days but can be longer depending on the route you take. This also requires a fair amount of training, gear, and time to acclimate to the altitude. You are required to hike with a guide as well.