Machu Picchu is a terraced citadel with remains of temples, palaces, fountain and altars. The fabled “Lost City of the Incas” is thought to have been constructed by the Incas around 1450 and is an architectural marvel.
The citadel sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level in the Sacred Valley northwest of Cusco. It remains a mystery what purpose Machu Picchu served and why it was abandoned. In the centuries that followed its abandonment, the jungle hid the isolated city from sight until it was uncovered in 1911.
Walk up to the Guardhouse and Funeral Rock to get the full overview of the mystical city with its comical free-roaming llamas. Visit the semicircular Temple of the Sun, the Palace of the Princess and the Temple of the Three Windows. Don’t miss the Intihuatana, a carved stone marking the winter solstice.
Due to the thin air and humidity, it is a good idea to pace yourself as you explore the sacred buildings. Notice how, without the aid of advanced tools, the Incas cut and stacked the huge stone blocks to fit precisely.
Make sure to plan ahead to visit the world-famous city in the sky, as there is only a limited amount of visitors allowed on-site and getting there takes 3 to 4 hours. Take the train to Aguas Calientes from Poroy, a small village near Cusco, or from Ollantaytambo further down the line. The luxury option is to take a one-day package tour from Cusco with a guide. Purchase your Machu Picchu entrance ticket in Aguas Calientes before you take the bus or hike up the mountain. If you also want to climb Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain, book special tickets through the government website for Machu Picchu. Students receive a discount.
Bring lunch, water and an information booklet, as there are few facilities on the mountain. Aim to arrive just before sunrise to see Machu Picchu lit in full glory.
historicalBuilding, hiking and ruins
Known for its thermal baths, trekking routes and beautiful scenery, this deep valley village is an attractive stopover for those waiting to climb up to Machu Picchu.
The distinctive mountain that towers over the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu has its own temple ruins and archeological sites.
A train trip takes you into the mountains to see one of the wonders of the Americas on this tour to Machu Picchu. Discover the ancient citadel of the Incas in the hands of expert guides thanks to tickets on the Inca Rail.
Journey high into the Andes Mountains and walk among the ruins of Machu Picchu. Your guide takes you to the most significant sites—the Temple of the Three Windows, the Temple of the Sun, and the Sun Stone—and shares the mysterious stories tied to each one.
Embark on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes and secluded trails on the outskirts of Cusco as you traverse the region on horseback. On this half-day tour, uncover the history of the ancient Inca Empire with a trek up the mountain to the archeological site of the Temple of the Moon.
Visit one of the New 7 Wonders of the World at the fascinating ancient Inca town of Machu Picchu. Perched on a misty mountaintop, this picturesque site is a mystical setting where history and legends abound—take it in from the panoramic windows of a glass-top train as you ride to the peak.
The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. This route takes you far off the beaten track to where you can meet and interact with members of traditional Andean communities.
Early morning pick up from your Cusco hotel and transfer to the train station. On the train you will enjoy comfort & spectacular Andean scenery. Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes a representative will assist you to continue the journey by bus to reach the citadel.