One thing to note about going to Machu Picchu is that it is not cheap and the logistics can be even trickier that you ever expected. And if you want to go to these iconic Incan ruins, you must follow this Machu Picchu travel tips below.
What is The Right Time to Go to Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is open all year, but in some times, the crowds will be just too much or the weather is just too dry. Officially, October to April is the rain season but it can rain anytime at Machu Picchu. And like many other places, it also has the peak season, which is on July to August. And on this season, the visitors will be abundant.
How to Get There
You can hike the Inca Trail and it will take several days. You can do that of course if you have abundant time. If you decide to hike, it is recommended that you walk through the Sun Gat of Machu Picchu at sunrise to get the spiritual experience.
Another way is taking the train which takes 3-5 hours from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. While on the train, you will be lucky to see the view of Urubamba River with canyon walls on either side.
The station is actually located in Poroy, the town near to Cusco. From your hotel, it might take 20 minutes with taxi. And don’t worry, the taxi is quite affordable.
There are several trains available: Expedition, Vistadome, and the Hiram Bingham. Expedition seats are next to the window but some seats are abutted with the window divider. The Vistadome is more comfortable while the Hiram Bingham is the luxury option.
To avoid running out of tickets, you can book some weeks in advance (or more) on the Perurail site. If the ticket form Cusco is sold out, you can depart from Ollantaytambo town or that stops there when you get back. To get there from Cusco, you can take taxi.
Where to Stay
There are many affordable hotels in ‘downtown’ Aguas Calientes. If you want something of more luxury, there are also abundant to choose. It’s just that you have to choose based on your budget and preference.
Spending your night at Machu Picchu gates is also possible in order to be the first ones in and the last ones out, without having to wait for the bus lines. And this is, of course, not cheap.
Where to Eat
There you will find several decent restaurants by walking down at Av. Pachacutec.
– Bring rain jacket and water no matter what the day looks like
– You can take bus from Aguas Calientes to the citadel with buses, and it will take you minutes. But the lines of the bus can be pretty depressing. Walking is an option is you’re okay with a 90-minute time spent.
– You can buy tickets in http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ if you travel independently. If you plan to hike Huayna Picchu, you will need a separate ticket and the number of tickets is limited so you need to book in advance.
– Bring some coins for bathrooms and small stuff.
– Bring passport anytime because it is needed when you need to get out of the gate for food, for instance.