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Machu Picchu, a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and without a doubt one of the most spectacular ancient citadels in the world
Machu Picchu citadel is classed as one of the finest examples of landscape architecture in the world. Discovered in 1911 by US explorer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu which means “old mountain” in Quechua, sits on top of a mountain which sits above the Urubamba river and in a cloud forest.
The complex was built in the 15th century by the Inca Pachacútec. It is split into two major areas; the agricultural area which is made up of food storehouses and terraces, and the sacred area which has perfectly carved temples, tombs and squares. It is said that Machu Picchu was a centre of worship and an astronomic observatory, as well as the private retreat of Pachacutec who was the Inca ruler.
Machu Picchu is accessed from the small town of Machu Picchu Town (formerly Aguas Calientes) only accessible by foot or a 3 1/2 hour train ride from Cusco.
Once at Machu Picchu Town you take a 20-minute bus ride up the mountain to the citadel. A great option if you want more time is to stay in Machu Pichu Town and you will find a small selection of hotel's here (early booking strongly recommended!).
There is only one hotel located actually at the Machu Picchu site, which is the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. The Inca Trail is perhaps the most iconic ways to reach the citadel taking 5 days and 4 nights of walking and camping along ancient Inca pathways. There are also the Salkantay and Lares options which you can learn about in our Machu Picchu trekking guide. A more comfortable alternative adventure to reach the citadel is the Salkantay and Lares treks with Mountain Lodges of Peru.
Machu Picchu is open year-round. The time of year that is most popular is May - October which is the dry season, While officially, November to April is the rainy season It can rain anytime.
The peak season is July - August, which can attract large crowds but we know the best ways to avoid these, so speak to your Travel Specialist!
Alternatively call our Travel Specialists on 020 8546 6222.
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