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Machu Picchu Travel Information

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  An absolute paragon of architecture and a solemn reminder of Inca civilization, Machu Picchu is an uncluttered archeological gem. This eighth wonder of the world offers an abundance of…

Machu Picchu in Peru
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An absolute paragon of architecture and a solemn reminder of Inca civilization, Machu Picchu is an uncluttered archeological gem. This eighth wonder of the world offers an abundance of medieval culture, spectacular sights, and grandeur to take in. Surrounded by misty mountains along the undulating Urubamba River, this historical place draws in thousands of pilgrims, travelers, and history buffs.


Machu Picchu was built by Pachacuti, an Incan Emperor, in the 15th century. It remained ‘lost’ for many years until it was rediscovered by a US historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, while he was chasing rumors of ancient Vilcabamba ruins in Peru. The purpose of the greatest archeological find of the 20th century remains unknown, and it is an enduring mystery that archeologists have been unable to resolve.

Things to Do in Machu Picchu

It is one of the few ancient Incan sites that were not plundered by the Spanish. There are several rooms, some are still unidentified, in the ruins such as the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. Other important sites include the Temple of the Condor, and Intihuatana – a carved stone that functions as a sun dial.

Classic Inca Trail – Natural beauty of Andes and sheer mystery of Incan ruins are entwined in one of the most popular hiking trails in South America. More than 82-km-long trail starts from Cuzco on the Urubamba River and ends at Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu. This trail, which lasts for 4 to 5 days, passes by the ruins of Patallaqta, Warmi Wanusqa (Dead Woman’s Pass), Qunchamarka and Puyupatamarca (archeological sites), and human settlements. While Lares Trek can be taken independently, the Salkantay Trail calls for a guided trekking.

Inca Bridge – In fact, there are two bridges (Trunk Bridge and Rope Bridge) that are part of a mountain trail. Often believed as a secret entrance to Machu Picchu, this strategic point is created by bridging a 20-ft gap by two tree trunks.

Day Tours – Along the Urubamba River, take a day trip to sacred valleys such as Chinchero, Maras, Moray, and Ollantaytambo. The historic Urubamba valley offers panoramic views of hidden Inca sites. You can also plan guided and private sightseeing tours to nearby city of Cuzco.

Nearby Attractions

Temple of the Three Widows, Cantera, Torreon, Moray, Choquequirao Archeological Park, Huayna Picchu, and Los Jardines de Mandor.

Where is Machu Picchu?

Located in the Cuzco Region of Peru in South America, Machu Picchu sits on a mountain above the Urubamba Valley.

How to Reach?

By Air – Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco is the closest airport from Machu Picchu. It is connected by major Peruvian and South American airlines.

Machu Picchu Airport

By Train – PeruRail has several departures between Machu Picchu station in Aguas Calientes and Cuzco.

By Road – Aguas Calientes, a town at the bottom of the valley, is the gateway to Machu Picchu site. You can reach here from Cuzco or Santa Maria. It is best to rent a car and take detours and explore the beautiful valleys.


Only a few hundred meters away, Belmod Sanctuary Lodge is a premium hotel that has deluxe suites with mountain views. In Aguas Calientes, you can stay at luxury hotels like Santuario Hotel, Inca Terra, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, and Hotel Hanaqpacha. For budget accommodations, Panorama B&B, Gringo Bill’s Hostal, Hostal Varayoc, Hostal Sol de Oro, and Hotel Muyurina are good options.


Palta Rellena with Pisco Sour is the specialty of restaurants in the Aguas Calientes town. There are several Pizza shops, cafes, and Chifas near the main bus stop. Restaurant Indio Feliz serves French Cuisine and Toto’s House is a traditional Peruvian restaurant know for the buffet lunch it offers. You can also choose to eat in the local food market on the main street.

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

To avoid rain and warm weather, visitors should plan to travel between April and October. The summer months from June to August are busier and can make it more difficult to find accommodation.

Machu Picchu Hours & Tickets

The general entry ticket for foreigners cost US$ 52 (Nuevos Soles 128) while the Peruvians or residents have to pay US$ 26 (Nuevos Soles 65). Separate packages are available for visiting the museum and Huayna Picchu. You can buy tickets online for visiting Machu Picchu. Tickets are valid only for one day.

This historical site is open from 6 AM to 5 PM everyday. For nocturnal tours, you can arrange a visit between 6 PM and 1 AM.

Machu Picchu Facts

  • It is one of the wonders of the world.
  • Its name in Quechua language translates as “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.”
  • It has an elevation of 2,400 meters and the citadel has an average altitude of 8047 feet above sea level.
  • Spanning over 80,000 acres, Santuario Historico Machu Pichhu comprises around 150 buildings that include baths, houses, sanctuaries, and temples.
  • The sanctuary was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
  • Stones that were used to build this city weigh as heavy as 50 pounds and were hauled to the top by hand.
  • Inca Trail is used for 26.2-mile-long marathon.
  • El Mirador, a latest discovery near Machu Picchu, may have been used by priests to observe the position of celestial bodies.

Things to Remember

  • Machu Picchu sites and nearby attractions are closed for maintenance and clean up during February.
  • Carry your original copy of passport and other documents while visiting.
  • Only 2,500 visitors per day are permitted to visit the ruins.
  • Although it is a steep climb and takes up to 90 minutes, you can walk to the top of the ruins.
  • Please do not hike on the train tracks.
  • Feeding wild animals and carrying alcoholic beverages to the site are strictly prohibited.



Related Maps

Nazca Lines, Peru

by Ady Sachdeva

Nazca Lines are an enigma to the researchers, a baffling beauty for the viewers, and a stimulating challenge for the historians. The legendary lines of Nazca in the Peruvian region…

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Nazca Lines, Peru

Condor is one of the many figures of the Lines of Nazca in Peru

Nazca Lines are an enigma to the researchers, a baffling beauty for the viewers, and a stimulating challenge for the historians. The legendary lines of Nazca in the Peruvian region of the pre-Hispanic South America range from huge monkeys to giant spiders. The nature, size, count, and age: everything about these Lines is yet to be unraveled. Distinctive visual motifs, conventionalized plants, imaginary beings, and several geometric figures depicted through these lines evoke a sense of mystery.


The question “Who made the Nazca Lines?” has not been answered even after more than 2,000 years. Many theories have evolved while speculating about them. These geoglyphs are divided into three chronological periods:

  • The first period is the Chavín period (500-300 BC). This phase witnessed the use of piling stones to form the figures.
  • The second period is characterized by Paracas, the local development, believed to have taken place between 400 BC and 200 BC.
  • Most of the geoglyphs belong to the third period (200 BC-AD 500). It is called the proper Nazca phase.

A pilot flying over the region first spotted the Nazca Lines in 1939.

Nearby Attractions

Maria Reiche Museum – It is the house of Maria Reiche, the German mathematician and researcher of the Nazca lines. The house was transformed into a small museum after she died in 1998. It is about 5 km north of mirador (lookout point) along Carr Panamericana Sur. The visitor can get a sneak peak into the life of Maria Reiche at the museum.

Pampas Galeras National Reserve – It is a vicuña sanctuary and a national reserve in the hills on the road to Cuzco about 90 km east of the Lines. The otherwise obscure and shy animal vicuña can easily be spotted here. A three-day long annual festival is organized here where vicuña is rounded for shearing by hundreds of villagers, who later indulge in festivities.

Chauchilla Cemetery – It is also popularly referred to as ‘Peru’s Necropolis’, which is a cemetery housing mummified remains and mud-brick tombs that belong to the Nazca community. It was discovered in 1920s. Burials at the Chauchilla Cemetery date back to 200 AD. The site is a little over 30 km away from these Lines.

Palpa Lines – The Palpa Lines are believed to be older than even the Nazca Lines as archaeologists suggest that they must have been drawn around 3,000 years ago. They are also gigantic representations of humans like those in Nazca.

Nazca Lines Location

The Nazca Lines are located in the desiccated coastal plain in Peru. The site is 421 km away from Peru’s national capital Lima. These Lines extend to the desert and the low Andean foothills.

How to Reach ?

By Air – This archeological site is about 81 km away from the San Juan Airport. While the capital of Lima is the major city closest to the Nazca Lines, the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima is over 570 km from this World Heritage Site

By Road – Nazca Lines are connected by road to some of the biggest cities in Peru. An eight-hour-long drive from Lima by car or a bus ride will get the tourists to this place.


It is naturally hard to find any luxurious accommodation in a desert like Nazca, yet there are a number of mid-range hotels available in the region. Hotel Casa Hacienda Nasca Oasis, Hotel Casa Andina Classic, Hotel Majoro, Hotel Alegria, and Hotel La Maison Suisse are some of the best options available in Nazca.


Mamashana Cafe Restaurante in Nazca is famous for its Japanese cuisines, Pizzas, sandwiches, and coffee. Rico Pollo is another popular restaurant in the region, which serves various chicken dishes and pizzas. La Maison Blanche is a restaurant-cum-bar and serves coffee as well.

Best time to visit Nazca Lines

The region experiences a moderate climate throughout the year. The best time to visit the Nazca Lines is early morning, when the air is calm.

Nazca Lines Facts

  • The Lines were scratched on the earth’s surface between 500 BC and 500 AD.
  • They cover an area of 75,358 hectares.
  • The popular belief that the Nazca Lines of Peru are only visible from the air is a myth.
  • It is believed that there are over 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures, and 70 animal and plant designs.
  • The largest figure covers about 200 meters of area and the longest one goes for nine miles.
  • The lines are covered with sand rich in iron and gravel that has acquired a dark coating due to weathering.
  • The researchers have concluded that most of these lines have been superimposed on the former ones.
  • The Nazca Lines became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
  • After the Second World War, Maria Reiche, a German-born teacher conducted the first official investigations of these Lines.

Image Credit : Paul Williams


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