MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN, PERU – A COMPLETE GUIDE

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Machu Picchu Mountain is one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world that is most famous for its ancient Inca ruins consisting of temples, terraces and water channels. Machu Picchu translates to Old Mountain, taking its name from the location of the Incan citadel.

I spent one full day exploring Machu Picchu Mountain and have put together this Machu Picchu Guide for everything you need to know before you go!

 

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WHERE IS MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN LOCATED

Machu Picchu Mountain is located in the Sacred Valley approximately 70km from Cusco City in Peru.

Machu Picchu altitude is 2,350m above sea level.

Find All ∼ Machu Picchu Hotels

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HOW TO GET TO MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN

There are a couple of ways of reaching Machu Picchu Mountain by either trekking or by train and bus.

Trekking Machu Picchu:

The Inca trail is the most common route for trekking Machu Picchu and there are many different packages to choose from including 2-day, 4-day, 5-day and 8-day treks.

There are dozens of tour operators and offices dotted around Cusco City to book the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to find an operator to book a trek with and not be ripped off.

Alternatively, you can book your Machu Picchu trek online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organise it once you arrive.

I recommend planning a trip to Machu Picchu on the Get Your Guide website. They have a number of trekking options to Machu Picchu Mountain that are affordable and reliable.

Click Here to search for all trekking Machu Picchu options and book online!

Train + Bus to Machu Picchu Mountain:

The easier option of getting to Machu Picchu Mountain is by taking the train and bus combo from Cusco with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu Mountain.

There are daily trains that depart from Ollantaytambo (a town near Cusco) and arrive in Aguas Calientes. The 2-hour train journey itself is beyond scenic and an experience I am sure you will never forget!

Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes I recommend spending one night here and taking the first bus that departs at 5am from the main bus stop in Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Mountain the following morning.

Find All ∼ Hotels in Aguas Calientes

Train Cost: $100 – $200 return depending on which package you choose.

Bus Cost: $12 one way or $24 return.

Opening Hours: Machu Picchu Mountain opening hours are from 6:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Sunday.

You can purchase Machu Picchu train tickets in Cusco at a tourist office or online in advance.

 

WHERE TO BOOK MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN

For all Machu Picchu Tours from Cusco, there are a number of different packages available on the Get Your Guide website.

Click Here to find a Machu Picchu tour that best suits you.

I personally visited Machu Picchu Mountain with Killa Expeditions, a reputable adventure tour company in Cusco.

Myself and eleven other keen trekkers embarked on a 9-Day Ausangate Trek which included Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley. It was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had!

Find All ∼ Machu Picchu Hotels

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN

According to historians, Machu Picchu Mountain was built in the 15th century by the Inca Pachacutec. This Inca city was built with huge blocks of stone and the most fascinating part is that no mortar was used during the construction.

The ruins are divided into two main areas, the agriculture area consisting of terraces and the urban area which served administrative purposes. These two areas combined are absolutely beautiful and why Machu Picchu Mountain is a picture-perfect destination.

Due to a massive influx of tourism over the past few years, authorities have limited the number of visitors to 2,500 people on any given day in order to preserve the ruins at Machu Picchu.

The earlier you can get to Machu Picchu the better to avoid the crowds and on a clear day, you may get lucky enough to see the sun rise up over the mountains, illuminating the Inca ruins below.

Machu Picchu Mountain is best explored on a guided tour if you are wanting to learn first-hand the long history of this ancient Incan city. Otherwise, visitors are free to roam around at their own pace taking in the sights and capturing pictures along the way.

Bear in mind that the designated pathways are one way only so once you go down you can’t go back up. Take your time and get that perfect photo at each viewpoint as you make your way around Machu Picchu Mountain.

Must Read → 3 Week Peru Itinerary

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MACHU PICCHU HOTELS

Machu Picchu Mountain has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Machu Picchu to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Awarded the best hotel in Machu Picchu! Sumaq Hotel is located along the beautiful Urubamba River and only 20-minutes drive from Machu Picchu Archaeological Site. This 5-star hotel offers comfort, elegance and relaxation in Adean design. Free wifi is available, luxurious and spacious rooms, private balconies with mountain views and a superb breakfast is included. Check prices on booking.com

Mid Range: Hotel Ferre Machu Picchu

Hotel Ferre is a 3-star hotel located just 5-minutes walk from the train station. The rooms are spacious and cosy with free wifi, private bathroom, mountain and river views and breakfast is included. You can also enjoy the communal sauna and hot tub inside the hotel. Check prices on booking.com

Budget: Casa Machu Picchu Hostel

Casa Machu Picchu Hostel is the perfect spot for budget backpackers looking for cheap accommodation. Centrally located in Aguas Calientes, this hostel has dorm rooms, shared bathrooms and showers with hot water and a continental breakfast is included. Chill out in the lounge or terrace to enjoy the free wifi or to meet some other fellow travelers. Check prices on booking.com

For all other places to stay at Machu Picchu Mountain, Click Here to search on Booking.com

 

MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN MAP

 

WATCH MY TREKKING IN PERU VIDEO

 

AIRBNB PERU

Another option for accommodation in Peru is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Peru.

Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

 

MORE PERU TRAVEL GUIDES

Peru Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Peru Itinerary

Cusco Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Cusco

Rainbow Mountain Guide: Rainbow Mountain Trek

Machu Picchu Guide: Machu Picchu Mountain

Ausangate Guide: 9 Day Ausangate Trek

Huacachina Guide: Huacachina Oasis

Colca Canyon Guide: Colca Canyon Tour

Lake Titicaca Guide: Lake Titicaca Tour

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii 

• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2

• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black

• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm

• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L

• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m 

• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod

• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome

• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank

• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PERU?

• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case

• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket

• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes

• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag

• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter

• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes

• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel

• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance

• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt

 

Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Machu Picchu Mountain, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy Travels!

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