Visiting Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas and one of the seven wonders of the modern world is the dream of many travelers. This extraordinary construction of more than 500 years old lies in the middle of the jungle and apparently has not suffered the passage of time, as its original design is still preserved.
Since the late nineties the number of visitors coming to this part of the world has increased considerably, especially to Machu Picchu, which means that some tickets and tickets have to be booked in advance. The following is a summary of the most important points to consider.
The first step for a successful trip to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is to buy the Machu Picchu ticket. The Ministry of Culture is in charge of the care and preservation of this Inca wonder, as well as the sale of the Machu Picchu ticket. Due to the massive influx of visitors, there are some dates when getting tickets available from one day to another is difficult or very expensive.
The Ministry of Culture has determined the following ticket availability per day:
To avoid inconveniences, we advise you to purchase your Machu Picchu ticket at least one month before your travel date.
It is important to mention that the Machu Picchu ticket does not include access to the famous Huayna Picchu mountain and this ticket has to be booked much further in advance, as we will expand on later.
After purchasing the Machu Picchu ticket, the next step is to buy the train tickets from the town of Ollantaytambo to the town of Aguas Calientes. There are different types of services and train schedules but in general, if you want to make reservations from one day to another, especially in high season, prices can vary considerably. It is recommended to buy these tickets well in advance.
The railway companies on the Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes route are the following:
To visit Machu Picchu you must first arrive in the city of Cusco, either by air or by land. Here is a brief summary.
The companies currently providing services are LAN, Peruvian Airlines, Avianca, Viva Air and Amazonas. The average cost of a ticket ranges between USD100 and USD 150 if you want to buy it overnight.
The city of Cusco has developed an extensive hotel offer, which means that you will most likely have no problem finding an available location. However, room rates have a surcharge of approximately 20% in high season (June - July - August).
The city of Cusco is characterized by an urban architecture in which the Inca influence, with its stone walls, stairways and other stone constructions, on the one hand, and the Spanish influence, with its balconies, houses with large entrance gates and double pitched roofs, on the other, are intermingled.
The city of Cusco has at least 12 churches in its urban area, many of them have been built more than 400 years ago. Among the most representative are:
Many of the museums that can be found in the city of Cusco were once owned by the most important Spanish authorities living at that time or were once Inca palaces. Among the most representative museums are:
In spite of having been partially destroyed by the Spaniards, today you can still appreciate part of the original structure of some Inca palaces. The best known are:
Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and it is for this reason that the remains of the ancient city are buried and scattered throughout the city.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is located an hour's drive from Cusco and has countless attractions, both natural and archaeological.
The town of Pisac is located in the Sacred Valley and has a handicrafts fair that is very popular in the area. In the upper part of the town there are Inca terraces that offer an impressive view of the entire valley.
This town was in Inca times a fortress and observation center, as it is strategically located at the crossroads of three valleys. In its streets you can find Inca walls, aqueducts as well as terraces and cultivation terraces.
The Incas probably built Moray with the intention of experimenting with their crops, because in this construction that resembles a coliseum, important temperature differences have been recorded between one step and another, so it is believed that here they tested and developed new types of seeds.
Evidence of the experimentation with seeds during the time of the Incas can be seen in the town of Urubamba, where you can find the giant corn of Cusco, unique in the world for the size of its kernels and its pleasant flavor.
This town is famous for its weaving and textile industry, in its typical fair there is an innumerable variety of fabrics, wool and factory designs.
The famous Inca city is located 2,400 meters above sea level, almost 1,000 meters below the city of Cusco, which is located at 3,300 meters above sea level.
This mountain is the one that appears in the background of almost every photograph of Machu Picchu and is famous for the danger of climbing to the top. The ascent to the top of the mountain takes about an hour and a half, up stone stairs and over the edge of a four hundred meter chasm to the Urubamba River at its base. Because it is considered one of the five best short hikes in the world, tickets for the Huayna Picchu mountain should be purchased at least six months in advance.
The Machu Picchu mountain is also located next to the Inca citadel but offers a better view of the entire surrounding area. The climb up this mountain is easier than the climb up Huayna Picchu mountain and takes about two hours.
As you have been able to know, Cusco has these and many other charms to discover, do not waste time and book at once your experience in Cusco. We are waiting for you.
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