Machu Picchu, a place that can be easily described as enchanted with its famous stonework of the Lost City and the scenery that brings wonders to everyone that visits its sites. The architectural marvel that the people of Incas has achieved has fascinated historians, explorers, and architects alike. The city is found in the middle of the jungle, which adds to its mystery because an entire civilization used to dwell, where now trees have taken over.
Visiting it is a worthwhile experience that your memory of it will forever be with you for the rest of your life. Getting there will require some arrangements that will take some planning. It is recommended to arrange for yourself Machu Picchu reservations to make the most of your trip. There are a number of tourism services that offer comprehensive packages that’ll take you to the well-known attractions of the place. The view of the site attracts a lot of tourists, so it’s wise to avoid the rush and the crowd to really appreciate the place. Here are some tips when you plan to visit Machu Picchu:
1. Plan your itinerary
During the peak seasons, you can expect a long line in the morning and at noon, when you visit with day-trippers. People line-up to see the sunrise at the top of the site. This is true from late June until the end of August. Rainy season peaks in January and ends in March. So the best time to visit is usually towards the end of April until mid-June.
The new regulations state that visits to the site are from 6 am to noon and in the afternoon which is from noon to 5:30. This means that you’ll have to pay the entrance fee twice if you wish to stay the entire day.
2. Getting there
You can get to Machu Pichu by train. There are two lines operating from Aguas Calientes to the site – Inca Rail and Peru Rail. You should book in advance, especially during peak season and if you’re boarding from Cusco. If you have more time and would prefer an adventure, you can hike to the lost city. There are 2-day and 4-day treks that are organized for outdoor enthusiasts who’d love to explore the surrounding natural terrain.
In Aguas Calientes, there are a number of hotels from budget travelers to more luxurious hotels for those with fancy tastes. The most expensive accommodation is located next to the ruins – Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
4. Famous Sites
When you visit Machu Picchu you’ll be passing by different parts of the site which are beautiful in their own right. The main sites include the Guard’s Quarter, Caretaker’s Hut, and the Terrace of the Ceremonial Rock, which is one of the highest points in the area. When you go down you’ll find the Main Gate, through which you’ll reach the Royal Tomb and the Temple of the Sun which has circular walls and positioned for the summer and winter solstices.
You will then see the Sacred Plaza that has three temples with the Principal Temple as the centerpiece, constructed with large stones placed horizontally. You can climb the staircase of the Intihuatana pyramid, which is on top of the urban area. At its peak, you’ll find their most sacred site, a 25-foot-long Sacred Rock and the Artisan’s Wall. An exquisite piece of artifact. You’ll finish the tour with the Temple of the Condor where you’ll find a sculpted rock depicting a bird.
You can take a walk around the site, you can try the easy route which will take you the Inca Drawbridge. You can take a longer trek to the Sun Gate. The most famous trek is at the peak of Huayna Picchu. It is very popular as it’ll take you to the forested mountain that stands over the ruins.
5. More tips
You should bring your own water as there will be a lot of walking involved during the trip. Water near the site is expensive and you won’t be allowed to eat while you’re inside. Prepare protective cover from the hot tropical sun and the rain. Also, bring mosquito repellant as most of the site is outside in its deep in the forest. You’ll also be required to only bring a small suitcase on the train, so pack your essentials.
There are some restaurants that have special tax so inquire beforehand for these costs. One fun fact is you can ask for a Macchu Picchu stamp on your passport on your way out.
With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in the magnificent ancient city. You will also be able to capture scenic pictures that you can take with you, along with the memories of your experience. The place is truly a treasure trove of ancient cultural and historical wonders.