Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Cultural site, is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and Peru's undoubted highlight.
The "Lost City of the Incas", discovered in 1911 by explorer Hiram Bingham, is classed as one of the finest examples of landscape architecture in the world. Machu Picchu - which means "old mountain" in Quechua - sits on top of a mountain in the Andes, an extraordinary and breathtaking location.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is accessed from Machu Picchu Town (formerly Aguas Calientes), only accessible by foot or a 3.5-hour train ride from Cusco.
Once at Machu Picchu Town, it is a 20-minute bus ride up the mountain to the citadel. For those wanting more time to fully appreciate this world masterpiece, we recommend a stay in Machu Picchu Town. There is only a small selection of hotels here, however, so early booking is strongly recommended!
There is only one hotel located at the actual Machu Picchu site - the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. One of the biggest benefits of staying in this beautiful hotel is the ability to beat the crowd's first thing in the morning and explore this incredible site in (almost) solitude.
The Inca Trail is perhaps the most well-known, and iconic, way to reach the citadel. Taking 4 days and 3 nights, the hike along ancient Incan pathways passes through outstanding scenery of Andean peaks, steep mountain passes and incredible cloud forests, not to mention a landscape full of centuries-old ruins that only those hiking have the opportunity to view. But the real highlight? Reaching Machu Picchu, and entering at sunrise – an experience we guarantee will be etched into your memory forever.
The Inca Trail isn't the only trek that leads to Machu Picchu however. Other options are the Salkantay and Lares routes, which offer equally impressive scenery with the benefit of far fewer tourists. You can read more about all hiking routes in our Machu Picchu trekking guide.
Machu Picchu is open year-round. July to August is peak season and so attracts large crowds. May to October is the most popular time of year, largely due to it being the "official" dry season, although, in reality, it can rain (or stay dry) at any time.
Speak to your Travel Specialist to find out your best options to visit this truly magical place.
Our passionate and friendly Travel Specialists can create a tailor-made Truly Individual holiday – perfectly planning your ideal trip to Peru and this mighty Incan masterpiece. Or, if you'd rather experience this with other like-minded travellers, choose from one of our small Escorted Group Tours that include this magical destination, and experience a truly stress-free adventure whilst on one of the most individual group tours available.
Our passionate and friendly Travel Specialists know all there is to know about Peru, so they will be able to help with all your queries and requirements, and suggest the very best options for you.
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