Machu Picchu (literally translated as “old peak”) is an Inca citadel from the 15th century. This “Wonder of the World” is located approximately 8,000 feet above sea level and is one of the most iconic fixtures in South American tours. If you plan to visit Machu Picchu, there are a few things you should know.
How to Get to Machu Picchu
The most widely-used route takes you from Lima (Peru’s capital) to Cusco via airplane. A one-way flight usually costs around $100 USD.
From Cusco, you’ll take a bus or taxi to Poroy. A taxi costs around $10 USD, take about 20 minutes and is less crowded and more reliable than the bus system. Once in Poroy, you can hop on a train and ride for about three hours to Aguas Calientes, which is the town at the base of Machu Picchu. Depending on the train service and class you choose, the train ride will cost $75-$400 each way. Once in Aguas Calientes a bus will transport you to the ruins. You will need a pre-purchased ticket (paid for in local currency) and your passport for admission.
Machu Picchu Tours & Guides
You can book tours to Machu Picchu from anywhere in Peru. Many of the tour companies will include transportation costs in the price, but many tourists elect to find their own way to the ruins. Once you arrive, you can tour the grounds yourself or you can hire a Machu Picchu guide who will walk around with you and teach you many interesting facts about the historical significance of the area.
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Famous Photo Locations
The most famous photo location at Machu Picchu involves walking about 150 yards past the main gate and then heading uphill. This isn’t an easy hike, and it’s recommended you do this early in the day as the temperatures are cooler and the area will be less crowded.
There are also a handful of doorways and passages that serve as popular photo spots, and don’t miss your chance to take a selfie with one of the many llamas in the area.
Machu Picchu Reminders, Rules & Regulations
• You are not allowed to enter Machu Picchu under the influence of drugs or alcohol. • Firearms, fireworks, explosives, etc. are prohibited. • Attempting to trap or manipulate plants or animals is grounds for expulsion. • Sound equipment and pets are not allowed.
• Anyone caught exhibiting bad behavior or attempting to deface the ruins will be expelled and could face criminal prosecution. This is left to the discretion of guards and authorities on duty.