Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Machu Picchu Travel Information
an archaeological marvel
Machu Picchu can be labeled as one of the most dazzling places on this planet and the next. This city was built by the Incas on a mountain slope surrounded by incredible landscapes, based on a series of terraces softly descending towards the Urubamba River. Fortunately, it never suffered the aftermath of the Spanish conquest and consequetly it remains in an acceptable state of preservation. Hidden in the jungle for centuries and discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu was then explored by a Yale-sponsored archeological expedition. The archeological site is highly organized and prepared to welcome many visitors. It is recommended to hire any of the many knowledgeable guides available. It will take at least one full day to get to know the whole complex: terraces, temples, towers, foutains, cemeteries, plazas and not to miss the museum under the ruins.
There are diferent options to get to Machu Picchu: either by train directly from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the nearby town, for a day visit; or by train from Ollantaytambo, though less favorable due to the trainīs schedule. Another option is the Inca Trail, the famous trekking tour on the ancient Inca route, which cover visits to ruins, tunnels and a close-up of the mountais and the jungle. This has become by far one the most popular trekking spots on the globe. It is possible to do a 1-day a 4-day trekking tour, which demads a higher dregree of fitness. The tour is highly worthy and the Door to the Sun (Intipunku), the imposing access to Machu Picchu, awaits you at the end of the trail.
Among some the unavoidable landmarks are the Temple of the Sun and the Sacred Stone (Intiwatana). You may ascend the Huayna Picchu, along a fantastic trek full of superlative views and breath-taking landscapes. There is yet another trail to the Huayna Picchu which slides down to the Urubamba River and leads straight to the Temple of the Moon, formed by two caves in diferent levels with impressive Inca niches inside. Important piece of advice: an early start (06:30) to experience the most amazing sunrise and dawn.
Everyone should visit Machu Picchu once in their lifetime!