The question hanging over all tourists is Machu Picchu is going to be closed to the public?

The answer is NO.

Only the Inca Trail is closed every year for the month of February for rainy season, conservation work etc, sometimes people turned this from a rumour to Machu Picchu is closing!!!

Dont fear, Im sure it will there for many years to come!


Best restaurants in Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)

You can choose between many of the restaurants in Machu Picchu options that are located in the same town of Aguas Calientes, and enjoy an excellent meal and view. The dishes they serve are for all tastes, from native cuisine and international cuisine; As for drinks you can order the famous Pisco sour or the Coca sour.

Below you can see a list of the most visited restaurants in the city of Machu Picchu:

El Indio Feliz Machu Picchu Restaurant – Peruvian-French cuisine.

Calle Lloque Yupanqui Nº 103 (Aguas Calientes) – Machu Picchu Pueblo
Urubamba, Cusco, Perú.
Reservations: 51 84 211090 / 211320

Toto´s house – One of the most spacious places with a good view, where you can enjoy a buffet lunch or a la carte dishes.

Toto's house restaurants in Machu Picchu

Imperio de los Incas St.  (Aguas Calientes) – Machu Picchu Pueblo

Cafe Inkaterra – Delight in the excellent combination of Novoandina food. Mix the best of both worlds, ancient and local ingredients with the newest preparation techniques.

Cafe Inkaterra Restaurants in Machu Picchu

Address: Address Machu Picchu, next to the train station Phone 5184 211122/211123. Email [email protected] . Open daily from noon to 4pm.

Chullpi Machupicchu restaurante

Tampu restaurant at Sanctuary Lodge

Chez Maggy Pizza place – selected tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh vegetables and meats, with the warranty the best pizza,  made on a clay oven.

Address: Pachacutec 156, (Aguas Calientes) – Machu Picchu Pueblo. Phone 084 211006.

Machu Picchu: You can no longer travel through ruins without a tour guide

Also, since this month the Inca citadel and wonder of the modern world can only be visited in two schedules and for four hours.

As of July 1 2017, visits to the citadel of Machu Picchu that take place in groups of up to 20 people will have to count with the service of a tourist guide, according to a resolution of the Ministry of Culture that came into effect on Saturday the first of July.

“To enter the City of Machupicchu, visitors must carry the entrance ticket, their official identity document and must be accompanied by a tourist guide for the protection of their physical integrity, especially in places of risk,” indicates the document.

However, how much does Machu Picchu Guide cost?

Prices vary according to the company that provides the service. According to travel agents, currently group guided prices for the Citadel range from $10 to $15 by groups of more than six people.

You can also use private services ranging from $25 to $50 per person for groups of up to four people. In all cases, these prices are for one hour and a half to two hours. However, the standard requires that the guiding time should not be less than three hours.

“If a family of four wants to enter alone, it would have to pay for a guide,” Jorge Arrunátegui, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries. He added that this new regulation seeks to improve the flow of tourists and information received by people who visit the wonder of the modern world.

Machu Picchu in double schedule

As well as the enforceability of the tour guide, the resolution establishes that the visits to the ruins can have a duration of four hours in the schedules of 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 PM and between 12:00 p.m. until 05:30 p.m. The price of tickets is as follows:

OptionForeign Adult (Soles)National Adutl (Soles)
Machu Picchu City15264
Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu200112
Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain200112
Machu Picchu City Afternoon Schedule100

*Afternoon entrance is valid for all adults, regardless of whether they are foreign or national.

Also, people who want to enter the two schedules of the visit of the Citadel will have to buy two tickets to the Inca shrine. All these provisions will be evaluated in November, according to the Ministry of Culture.

Re-entry to Machu Picchu

Although the Decentralized Department of Culture of Cusco recently recalled that during the tour of the City of Machu Picchu is not allowed to re-enter the Inca citadel, Deputy Minister Arrunategui indicated that people who want to go to the toilets, which are outside the ruins, they can re-enter without any problem.

The rule states that if a person enters both schedules during a day, having a guide is optional in the second entry. Also, if a person visits the ruins two days in a row, the second day will not need guidance.


Thanks to historian Hiram Bingham, the world has access to the fantastic and mysterious sites of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Your trip to Peru will be incomplete without visiting Machu Picchu. In Machu Picchu itself, there are magnificent structures that you must see. This ‘Lost City of the Incas’ has about 200 buildings which include both its urban and agricultural sections.
Some of these places you must visit include:

The Sun Gate

The Sun Gate is a very important structure in Machu Picchu. It has steps which give the impression that this was how people entered and exited the Sanctuary of the Sun god – INTI. The location of the gate allowed him to monitor the coming and going of people. Also known as Inti Punku, the sanctuary has a route to Machu Picchu and a very breathtaking view. At the Sun Gate, you get to see Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains and the Urubamba River more visibly.

Temple of the Sun

You’ll find the Temple of the Sun in the urban area, and you can gain entry by going in through a gate which has a closure mechanism that ensures maximum security of the city. This unique site overlooked the Urubamba site and was the most famous temple. It was covered in sheets of gold and gold statues filled the courtyard. The sun, during summer, usually shines through one of the windows of the temple and it aligns with the temple boulder. The people believed that being close to the sun made them find ease with their sacred practices. The Inca people held sacred events such as rituals and religious sacrifices there, and placed Torreon, their most important building or tower in the temple.

Temple of the Three Windows

This historical structure is very important in Machu Picchu as it is close to the Main Plaza which has the greatest spiritual value of the city. You will find it in the residential sector, precisely in the lower part, on the east. This sacred place provides so much of the history of Machu Picchu. Foreigners could not gain access into the city because this temple hid the Inca people from the Spanish invaders. It was the best hideout. The temple is a sided building with windows which were made by expert engineers. We can as well say that this is the foundation of the Inca civilization.


IntiHuatana refers to the stone which the Inca people used to ‘tie the Sun’ and keep him in his place. The stone is a ceremonial piece in between two annual equinoxes which occur in March 21st and September 21st. The Incas used it as a clock for telling times and as religious rituals for one of their main gods – the Sun. It was located in the Sacred Valley until it was slightly damaged in 2000.

To know more about the Sacred Rock Terraces, The Principal Temple and the Inca Bridge and how to climb Huayna Picchu, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re at your service


If you have any further questions about things to do in Machu Picchu, please just drop us a note below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

All You Need to Know all about Machu Picchu Weather

If there is anything that a tourist is most concerned with when planning a visit to Machu Picchu, it is certainly the weather of the place. Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a wonderful and mysterious Inca citadel on the Andes in Peru. This World Heritage Site is visited by millions of tourists every year. Many of these visitors experience difficulties because of the climate in Machu Picchu.

It has a very unpredictable weather

Machu Picchu, the ancient city built by Inca people thousands of years ago, is situated on Andes Mountains some 8000 feet above the sea level. It is also very close to the equator. This is why Machu Picchu weather can be very unpredictable from rainy to chilly and sometimes very dry. You need to plan your trip keeping in mind rains and humidity to avoid stress and discomfort.

Brace for short spells of rains

The region in which Machu Picchu is located is in the midst of rainforests but the high altitude of this wonderful structure keeps the climate milder for the tourists. If one talks about Machu Picchu weather averages, he finds that temperatures vary between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit all round the year. However, no matter when you visit Machu Picchu, you will find dense fog enveloping this marvelous structure on top of the mountains.

Do not go during the rainy season

If you want to avoid rains and humidity, keep in mind that the rainy season here begins in November and lasts till the month of April. January and February in particular are the two months when this region receives lots of rainfall. However, you cannot avoid a short spell of shower which is common all through the year in Machu Picchu. The best months to visit Machu Picchu are July and August. This is the dry season that lasts for 2 months from July till August. This is the peak season with hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving in this region of Peru. Days are dry while the nights are cool during these two months.

You would be surprised to know that many tourists come here during the rainy season only to avoid huge crowds comprised of tourists from all parts of the world. You can plan a trip to Machu Picchu   during this rainy season if you can brave the weather and less than ideal weather is not a big problem for you.

Given that Machu Picchu is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Peru, it should come as no surprise to learn that there is a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation. Whether you are looking for a simple but clean eco-friendly lodge, built in the local style, or would prefer something with a few more amenities and a bit more luxury, you are sure to find what you are looking for.

machu picchu accommodation inkaterra

However, there is one thing that you should be aware of before you rush ahead and book a hotel room. The Inca ruins themselves are set high on a mountain ridge in the Andes range and whilst you can obviously make the trip up to summit investigate them, there is no where to stay on the site. This means that what may be described as a ‘Machu Picchu hotel’ by a travel agent or internet based travel website, could well be some distance from the fabled Lost City of the Incas itself.

The reality is that many Machu Picchu hotels and lodges are quite a long way from the tourist attraction, with the biggest selection being in the nearest large city, Cusco (or Cuzco), which is approximately 70 km from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having said that, once you arrive in Cusco you will find that it has just about every kind of accommodation that you could desire, from cheap hostels for the budget traveler and backpackers through to top end hotels with restaurants and bars.

Whilst initially you may be disappointed that Machu Picchu hotels are usually Cusco hotels, do not worry. Firstly, as the local hub, Cusco has a large and well-established tourist industry, which has sprung up specifically to cater for visitors wanting to see Machu Picchu. Both local and tourist buses travel regularly between the city and the ruins and there are plenty of Machu Picchu tours being run out of the various hotels, hostels and lodges to help you get there. Secondly, Cusco itself is an enthralling city with a fascinating blend of ancient Inca and Spanish colonial architecture as well as a vibrant market packed with colour, noise and interest. Also, given that Cusco was once the capital of the now lost Inca Empire and is a World Heritage Site in its own right, no Inca-inspired trip to the region would really be complete without visiting it.

Of course, many people who make the journey to this stunning part of Peru are not looking for Machu Picchu hotels anyway as one of the most common ways to stay in the area is in a tent. Indeed, if you decide to visit Machu Picchu as part of an organized tour group there is a good chance that at least part of your trip will involve camping. For many travelers, the pilgrimage to the fabulous Inca ruins is done as one section of a longer trek through the Andes, often following the historic Inca Trail. If you are considering seeing this glorious region of South America under the guidance of a Machu Picchu tour, check what kinds of accommodation are included as it could be a shock to find yourself camping halfway up a mountain when you had assumed that you would be snuggly tucked up in a hotel room.

What is Machu Picchu and who found it

Machu Picchu is a true architectural gem. The beauty and mystery of its stone palaces is enhanced by the magnificent, almost virgin and abrupt geography colored green by exhuberant jungle flora.
The constructions were built harmoniously on the narrow and uneven surface of a cliff surrounded by the precipices of the imposing Urubamba Canyon, where 400meters below, the river roars and meanders.

What is Machu Picchu used for today
What is Machu Picchu used for today

Machu Picchu is located at 2.400 masl ( 7.847 fasl), on the top of a plateau located between two peaks. From these two, the smallest, the Huayna Picchu Is the one that defines the topography of the site.
As centuries went by the original name of this ruins fell into oblivion. In fact, Machu Picchu is just a topographic denomination that means “Old Mountain” , while the Huayna Picchu means “Young Mountain”. In this case the translation must keep a correlation with the concept of volume so as to mean “major summit” and “mirror summit” respectively.
Ever since its discovery en 1911, Machu Picchu has been a true and insoluble archaeological enigma. Even nowadays scholars are intrigued by its history and function, and it is possible that these mysteries will never be totally unraveled.

The discovery

Hiram Bingham, a north-American scholar who was leading an expedition from Yale University, discovered Machu Picchu on July 24th 1911. However, at the time, Hiram Bingham was mainly focused on finding Vilcabamba, the legendary capital of incas descendants, and bastion of the resistance against the Spanish from 1936 to 1572.

Hiram Bingham Machu Picchu
Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu on July 24 1911

While exploring the Urubamba Canyon, Bingham reached Mandorbamba, a desolated town where Melchor Arteaga a local farmer, told him that there were many ruins on the Machu Picchu Mountain. Yet reaching them meant climbing a steep covered with thick vegetation. Though skeptical –he knew very wel all the myths about lost cities- Bingham insisted on being guided to the site. Once they reached the summit, one of the children of the two families that lived there led him to the site, where Bingham confirmed the myths as he saw many archaeological constructions covered by a green mantle of tropical vegetation, and in an evident state of abandon. While he inspected the ruins, an astonished Bingham wrote in his diary: “Would anyonebelieve what I have found…?”
After this transcendent finding, Bingham returned to the site en 1912 and in the following years (1914 and 1915), many explorers made maps and explored in detail both the site and its surroundings.

what is machu picchu know for
What is Machu Picchu know for

Their excavations, though not very orthodox, in many different places of Machu Picchu allowed them to gather 555 vases, close to 220 bronze, copper and silver objects. The pottery found shows fine expressions of inca art; this also applies for the metal objects found: bracelets, earrings, decorated brooches, and knives and axes. Even though no gold was found, the material identified by Bingham was enough to infer Machu Picchu dates back to the timesof Inca splendor, something that was already evidenced by its architectural style.
Bingham also recognized other important archaeological sites in the surrounding areas. Among these were, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, the fortress of Vitcos, and important portions of inca trail, all of them superb examples of incas architecture.
Both the remains found and the architectural lead researches to relieve that the Machu Picchu Citadel was erected towards the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th , during inca times. However, the site inhabited after the Spanish invasion, at least during the 16th century. With time, Machu Picchu was forgotten or just remembered in the mist of the legend, until its scientific. After its discovery it became the symbol of our nation, and the greatest patrimony inherited from our ancestors.

Exploring the citadel

What is Machu Picchu famous for
Temple of the Sun viewed from above.

Located at 120 km to the northwest of Cusco on the valley of the Urubamba River (name given to Machu Picchu constitutes one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, and Peru’s main tourist destination. Few things made by humans maintain such harmony with is natural surrounding and adjacent archaeological groups.
The archaeological sites is strategically located on the peak of the Machu Picchu Mountain (quechua name for “old or major mountain”) that gives the name to the citadel and the spectacular setting we all have seen in photographs. Facing this mountain in the Huayna Picchu (young mountain) where it is also possible to find archaeological remains on its peak. Both peaks are surrounded by the mighty Urubamba River, which runs east through the canyon almost half a mile below the citadel.

In Machu Picchu it is possible to distinguish two different zones: the agricultural zone that contains a vast network of terraces, the urban zone, divided in a sacred zone (temples, monuments, funerary chambers) and the civil zone (rooms, diverse precincts and storage rooms).

The constructions found in Machu Picchu give testimony of the amazing skills and techniques used to work the rock. Studies carried out show that it was built as a complex in a simultaneous and uninterrupted way. Among the most interesting architectural precincts it is possible to find the so-called Royal Tomb, located close to the entrance of the Citadel, the temple of the Sun, the Tower (the only structured with a circular form), the Priestly Mansion, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Catedral Temple, the Plaza and the fountains and channels that form the “Baños del Inca” (the Inca Baths). The hydraulics channels and stairs, made completely out of rock, are other characteristic elements of the citadel. At last, it is also possible to find monoliths of great ritualistic importance, among which the Intihuatana (“where the sun is tied”), the most sacred space of the sites, stands out.

Machu Picchu is the most renowned symbol of the Inca’s Empire, Its name is Spanish means “Old Mountain” but these words only give us a vague idea of what this stunning place means for our country and the world.

In this Machu Picchu facts article we have tried to distill the most interesting and fun facts about this archaeological complex, the people who built it and the region at large.

We encourage you to use the quicklinks below to help you navigate to the Machu Picchu facts that are most interesting to you.

Machu Picchu Facts


Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco region of Peru, within the Urabamba Province. The site is 80km North-west of Cusco City. It’s exact geographic coordinates are 13.1633° S, 72.5456° W.

The Citadel sits in the saddle of two mountain peaks. Huayna Picchu (Young Peak) in the North and Machu Picchu Mountain (Old Peak) in the South. The outer sides of these mountains mark the location of two fault lines, which make Machu Picchu susceptible to earthquakes and landslides. To counter these risks the Incas built elaborate terraces and internal structures that are earthquake-proof (more on this below)

The ruins sit at 2,430m (7,970 feet) above sea level.



Machu Picchu was built in the mid 15th century (1450s), during the reign of Incan emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472).

The exact purpose of the site is still unknown, but it is thought to have either been a site of great spiritual importance, or served as a country estate for the emperor. Most academics fall into the second school of thought, although sites along the Inca Trail suggest that it may have also served as a spiritual retreat to honour nature.

The site was abandoned approximately 120 years after it was built, most likely due to the outbreak of smallpox, a disease that was introduced to the local population with the arrival of the Spanish.

It is often incorrectly referred to as the Lost City of the Incas (more on this below). Although it is not the Lost City, it is definitely the most iconic and recognisable Inca ruin.

The name Machu Picchu means Old Peak in Quechua.


Most of Machu Picchu was constructed in the Classical Inca style with dry polished walls. The Incas were masters of the construction technique called ashlar, in which stones are cut and moulded to fit together perfectly, without the use of mortar. Some stone features in Machu Picchu are so perfect that it is difficult to even insert a blade of grass between them.

The stones that were used to build the 200 or so buildings at Machu Picchu were created from a quarry nearby the city. The ashlar technique was a critical design feature that provided additional building strength for the city which was built in an earthquake-prone area.

Chips for the ashlar stones were used to build the vast array of terraces that surround Machu Picchu, and provide an efficient drainage system that reduces the risk of landslides. There are over 700 agricultural terraces in and around Machu Picchu. The terraces are incredible efficient at drainage, which any engineer or golf designer will tell you is key to stability in a landscape.

The structures within Machu Picchu were also constructed in a style that would protect the integrity of the building in the event of an earthquake. Doors and windows are trapezoidal in shape, tilting inwards for strength.

It is believed that the Incas never used wheels or pack animals to move and place stones as the steep gradient of the city would have rendered these techniques useless. The exact way that the Incas managed to move and place stones is still unknown, although it is very likely they used manpower to push and lever stones using wooden structures and ropes tied around stony knobs that were fashioned on the stones. Some of these knobs can still be seen on certain stone structures within the building, although most were filed flat.

Machu Picchu is divided into an urban and agricultural sector, and an upper and lower town. The upper town on the Western section was the religious area, and the lower town on the eastern section the residential area.

It is thought that around 1,000 people lived at Machu Picchu, the vast network of agricultural terraces would have easily been able to support as many people.

The primary archaeological sites are the Inti Watana (aka Intihuatana), the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows – all dedicated to their greatest deity, the Sun God.

Inti Watana (Intihuatana)

Inti Watana (aka as the ‘The Hitching Post of the Sun’) is a stone placed within Machu Picchu’s Citadel that points directly at the sun during the winter solstice. It is believed that the Inca’s thought the Inti Watana kept the sun on it’s path as it travelled through sky during the year.

Intihuatana Solar clock Machu Picchu facts


On November 11th and January 31st, the sun stands directly above the stone at midday, and casts no shadow. On the 21st June the stone casts the longest shadow to it’s northern side at midday, and a lesser shadow on it’s southern side on the 21st December.

Archeologists and anthropologists believe the Inti Watana served as a astronomic clock or calendar.

The Temple of the Sun

The Temple of the Sun Machu Picchu Facts
The Temple of the Sun is a semi-circular building that sits above the Inti Mach’ay, and was built into the natural environment with a large stone forming the foundation of the structure.

It is thought that the Temple of the Sun was used as a solar observatory, with the two windows in the structure related to the Summer and Winter solstice.

Inti Mach’ay

Inti Machay Machu Picchu Facts
Inti Mach’ay is a cave that is situated below the Temple of the Sun. It is believed to have been designed and constructed to celebrate the Royal Feast of the Sun, a Inca festival celebrated by the nobility during the December solstice.

The Inti Mach’ay is one of Machu Picchu’s most impressive architectural structures. Inside the cave tunnel is a window unlike any constructed by the Inca’s, which is strategically aligned to only allow sunlight into the structure during a few days of the December Solstice.

The Room or Temple or Three Windows

The Temple of the three windows Machu Picchu
The Temple of Three Windows is a beautiful structure fashioned from large polished stones that are artfully placed to create three windows that over look the lower city at Machu Picchu, and frame the mountainous landscape. The windows are situated in the Royal sector of Machu Picchu.

There exact purpose is unknown, although it is clear that there were originally five windows. When Bingham saw the windows he surmised that they represented three mythological caves from which the Ayar brothers, children of the sun, stepped into the world.

It has also been suggested that the windows represent the underground, the heavens and the earth.


The weather in and around Machu Picchu is characterised by two distinct seasons – a dry season which runs from late April through to early October, and a wet season which starts mid October and ends mid April.

Temperatures throughout the year are consistently warm during the day and cold at night and in the mornings.


Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Incas in the year 1572. The exact reason is still unknown but it is thought that the Inca’s either left the site due to increased encroachment from Spanish Conquistadors or due to an outbreak of smallpox.

Interestingly the Spanish never discovered Machu Picchu, which is just as well, as it is likely that the city would have been largely destroyed if they did find it.

After it was abandoned, the city fell into disrepair and became covered in overgrowth. Although known to locals, Machu Picchu remained unknown to the outside world until a Yale professor, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered it in 1911.

Bingham’s discovery brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world, but it is likely that other Westerners knew of the site and had perhaps visited before Bingham’s discovery in 1911. A german called Agusto Berns bought land opposite the site in 1864 and is thought to have plundered some artefacts from the ruins. A map dating back to 1874 shows the site of Machu Picchu, and a year later a French traveller, Charles Weiner, published an account of an impressive Inca ruin called ‘Huainapicchu’ and ‘Matchopicchu’.


During Bingham’s visits to Machu Picchu in 1912, 1914 and 1915, many artefacts – including silver statues, bones, mummies and ceramics – were removed from the city ruins for further study at Yale. The artefacts were meant to be returned after 18 months, but were only officially returned in their entirety in 2012. Yale claimed the delay in returning the artefacts was on account of Peru’s poor infrastructure and resources to properly take care of them.

In 2006 some of the artefacts were returned to Peru, and in 2007 an agreement was reached which included sponsorship, a travelling exhibition and the construction of a museum and research centre in Cusco to house a shared collection of artefacts. However, only a portion of the artefacts were included in this joint partnership.

In 2010 it was agreed that Yale would return the final collection of artefacts to Peru, all of which were delivered in November 2012.

Today, one can go see all these artefacts at La Casa Concha (The Shell House) in Cusco


In 1981 the Peruvian government made Machu Picchu a Historical Sanctuary. UNESCO followed suit shortly after and declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983. There are over 1,200 World Heritage Sites across the globe, 11 of which are in Peru. Machu Picchu is by far the most popular. Cusco City is also a World Heritage Site.

In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted a New Seven Wonder of the World. The other six sites are: The Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza (Mexico), Petra (Jordan), Christ the Redeemer (Brazil), Colosseum (Italy) and Taj Majal (India). The Great Pyramid of Giza was later included as an honorary candidate.


Machu Picchu is Peru’s most popular tourist attraction. Just short of 1.2 million people visited Machu Picchu in 2013, a 700% increase from the early 1980s where the annual average number of visitors was 100,000. More than two thirds of the visitors to Machu Picchu are foreigners as opposed to Peruvians who account for just under one third of visitors.

The World Monuments Fund placed Machu Picchu on their 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world due to the impact of tourism on the city ruins and the development and encroachment of the town of Aguas Calientes in the valley below Machu Picchu.

UNESCO have also threatened to placed Machu Picchu on their endangered list of World Heritage sites.

Concern over degradation to the site has led the Peruvian government to restrict the total number of entrance tickets per day to 2,500 permits.


Treks to Machu Picchu are very popular, with the Classic Inca Trail featuring as the most popular hiking route in Peru. The Classic Inca Trail is a 4-day trek that follows a path of original Inca trails from the Sacred Valley all the way to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate), the entrance into Machu Picchu. There are two variations on the Classic Inca Trail, a short version which involves one-day trekking, and a longer version which begins at the starting point of the Salkantay trek, Mollepata, and joins the Classic Inca Trail at Wayllabamba.

For conservation reasons the Inca Trail is limited to 500 permits a day, 300 of which are earmarked for support crew (guides and porters). No pack animals are allowed on the trail and walking poles with metal ends are forbidden. The trail is closed every February for maintenance reasons.

There are a number of alternative treks to Machu Picchu. These treks vary in length and difficulty, but each offer very unique trekking experiences. All alternative trails to Machu Picchu end at Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.

The most popular alternative trails include the Salkantay Trek (sometimes called the Santa Teresa Trek), Lares Trek, Choquequirao Trek, Inca Jungle Trek, Vilcabamba Trek and Huchuy Qosco Trek.

Treks to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 days

The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most complete that the mountain range Vilcabamba has to offer,
Inca Trail Hike
Last minute!

Classic 4 Day Inca Trail Hike

The Inca Trail Hike takes you along the Inca highway, past Inca ruins, through cloudforests & moorlands & Machu Picchu.
lares trek tours
Last minute!

Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu combine the best of the Lares Valley and the fascinating Inca archeological remains, Ollantaytambo

Choquequirao Trek 4 days

Choquequirao Trek is a serious trek of at least four days. Also called "Machu Picchu's sacred sister" Come and see

Weird Machu Picchu Facts


A group who call themselves the New Age Andean Cosmologists believe that aliens once inhabited the Cusco region and built Machu Picchu. They claim the Incas could not have had the technological and architectural know-how to have built Machu Picchu.

Unsurprisingly these views are refuted by all respected research bodies.


Human sacrifice was a part of Incan culture, but there is little information to suggest that sacrificial killings, of the human kind, happened at Machu Picchu. The one caveat here is retainer human sacrificial killings. Evidence suggest that these types of sacrifices occurred at Machu Picchu, in which a individual is killed after the death of a noble in order to accompany that person in the afterlife.

Much more common in the Inca culture is the sacrificial killing of animals, particularly the llama. Other forms of offerings include water, dirt and plants, especially coca leaves.


In recent years, there have been a few cases of tourists posing nude and streaking at Machu Picchu. In some cases tourists caught in the act have been detained and fined.

Nudity in Machu Picchu

The Peruvian authorities have started taking ‘Naked tourism’ very seriously and have introduced significant fines for those caught trying to pose for pictures in the nude.


Landslides in the Cusco region are common during the rainy season.

In January 2010, heavy rain in the Sacred Valley resulted in flooding with roads and railway tracks connecting Machu Picchu to Cusco being washed away. Over 2,000 tourists and 2,000 locals were trapped at Machu Picchu and needed to be arilifted to safety. The Citadel was closed for nearly three months.


In the 1980s, Peruvian authorities removed a large stone from Machu Picchu’s central plaza to make room for a helicopter landing zone. In the 1990s the authorities however changed their policy and forbid any helicopter landings at Machu Picchu.

In 2006, a company in Cusco called Helicusco applied and received a licence to fly helicopter tours over Machu Picchu. The decision to allow the company to fly tours over the city was however quickly overturned. Today, Machu Picchu is a no-fly zone.


Machu Picchu has appeared in popular culture, especially films and documentaries, since the 1950s.

In 1954 a Paramount Pictures film called Secret of the Incas was filmed on site in Cusco and Machu Picchu, the first time a Hollywood studio filmed within the Citadel.

In 1972, Machu Picchu featured again in a film called Aguirre, the Wrath of God which has sequences filmed from the trail on Huayna Picchu.

The 2004 production of The Motorcycle Diaries, which tells the story of Marxist revolutionary, Che Guerva’s youthful travels, features Machu Picchu.

National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History Channel and NOTV have all produced fascinating documentaries on Machu Picchu.


In 2005 and 2009, the University of Arkansas made fascinating 3D scans of the entire Machu Picchu complex.

Peter Olson from Sydney Australia turned these 3D images into this awesome video model of Machu Picchu.