USEFUL INFORMATION FOR VISITING MACHU PICCHU, PERU

I have now written many articles on my trip to Peru and I am sure it seems very strange that I have not yet spoken of the symbolic place of this country, of that place sought after by all passionate travelers. Well, the time has come for me to tell you about my experience of my magical encounter with Machu Picchu!

Inca quarry trek 4 days

Inca quarry trek 4 days

I state that it was not long before I talked about it because I was disappointed, which is completely impossible, but simply because I told my trip in chronological order and, the visit to Machu Picchu was one of the things I did in the last days of my stay in Peru.

Before telling you about my experience, I think it is very useful that it gives you all the information you need to visit what is considered one of the most beautiful and important sites in the world . The most important thing to know is that if you go in high season, you need to buy the ticket well in advance because the daily entrances are limited and, as you can imagine, the requests are many.

For the purchase, the only authorized site is Andean Path Travel. Here you can make the first important choice, whether to buy the simple entrance or the one that also includes the climb to Huayna Picchu. I made the second choice and I am certainly biased, but the simple fact that I was enthusiastic about it authorizes me to suggest it to everyone.

Huayna Picchu is the famous mountain that can be seen in all the photos of Machu Picchu , that sloping peak that dominates the Inca citadel. Many photograph it but few choose to challenge it to get a completely new view of Machu Picchu, also because, although it is only 300 meters in altitude, the climb is very demanding and requires a minimum of training.

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Huayna Picchu

You can choose two different times for the climb , 7 or 10 in the morning. Also based on my experience, I suggest the climb in the second round because, very often, the clouds in the early morning are very low and risk obstructing the view, while with the removal of the rising sun, the chances of lightening are greater . It is also much better to face the difficult descent without meeting those who are going up!

I started from the theme of the ticket because it is one of the first to be missed if you decide to go here, but how do you get to Machu Picchu? We had left, in my last article, Ollantaytambo which is the place from which you take the train to Aguas Calientes , the starting point for the visit to Machu Picchu. We took the one at 16.36 which, in two hours, brought us to our destination. An alternative to reach Aguas Calientes is to organize transportation from Cusco with a minivan.

All the agencies in Cusco offer this service which leaves at 8.30 and which allows you to reach the desired destination in about 6 hours. In Aguas Calientes we stayed at the Hostal Continental, a very comfortable accommodation for the prohibitive alarm needed to get in line in the morning to take one of the many shuttles that reach Machu Picchu in half an hour. The shuttle ticket can be purchased once you arrive in Aguas Calientes from the authorized dealer. To go up to Machu Picchu there is actually an alternative to the shuttle, that is to do it on foot! It takes about 40 minutes and the road is very steep but, if the effort doesn’t scare you, it can be a valid alternative!

Returning to the shuttle, the first ones leave at 5 and already at 3 in the morning you will find people in line to make sure you get on the first ones at the start. I admit that we too got in line long before 5 but, going back, I probably would not do it anymore because the shuttles are many and go up and down continuously so, in my opinion, going to the departure station at 5 can be fine and still allows you to get to the site very early.

Now that I have given all the useful information, the most difficult task is waiting for me, namely to tell you about the emotion that you feel in finding yourself in a similar place, a place that has been dreaming for years, on whose images you have lost a lot often and whose beauty is practically impossible to describe in words. In reality, the magical encounter was not immediate but it took a few hours to wait since, once we arrived, we found ourselves immersed in thick clouds which barely allowed us to see the path to follow. I am not ashamed to say that I felt enormous discomfort and an immense fear that the clouds would not allow me to enjoy the place.

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Fortunately, as I am told that it often happens, around 9.30 the clouds began to thin out and slowly began to reveal first the ruins and then the mountains all around, composing that perfect picture that enchants the eyes. The vision is intoxicating and there are many panoramic points from which you can enjoy such beauty. Obviously, all this, making its way among the thousands of people who, it is necessary to make a reason for it, are present there like you to crown one of their dreams.

The nice thing is that when you are faced with such a myth, the desire to travel increases. Increases the desire to try again that emotion and to feel the adrenaline that, fortunately, many places in the world offer. And I, also thanks to Machu Picchu, will continue to pursue that emotion.

Inca Trail Itinerary: See How to Plan Your Trip on Your Own

Few destinations have such extraordinary attractions as Peru. Not by chance, every year, millions of travelers from the five continents of the globe visit the country, which is home to one of the 7 wonders of the modern world and, especially, the “Inca Trail “.

We are talking about Machu Picchu, known as “the lost city of the Incas”. In addition to the incomparable beauty, the place has a spiritual force, emanating from the archaeological remnants.

How about a trip to feel that energy up close? To help you organize your visit  to this magical place, we have prepared, in this post, some tips that will help in the assembly of a script for the  Inca Trail . Check out!

Buy tickets in advance

It is essential to guarantee tickets to Machu Picchu while still in Brazil. That’s because the site has a limited number of daily visitors (up to 500). Avoid Sundays and high season to avoid surprises.

Use the official email address of the Peruvian government to make the purchase. Due to fraud, the country’s websites have adopted a shopping system that only accepts “Verified by Visa” or “Master Card Security Code” cards. See if this is the case for yours!

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When to embark on the Inca Trail

The best time to visit the country is from May to September. The likelihood of rain is small at this time – and even less in June and July.

Caused by the reduction of oxygen in the blood, the discomfort occurs when the individual visits a city of high altitude (it is about 3,400 meters above sea level) and his body feels the impact of thin air.

To prevent harm, drink plenty of water and coca tea. Or, chew three leaves of the plant (the greenest ones), as if they were gum.

Choose to stay in Cusco

The city of Cusco ends up becoming the base for many visitors from Peru. Mandatory stop to Machu Picchu, the place has a  good hotel structure , lively nightlife and delicious gastronomic attractions.

The municipality is also considered a starting point for tours and excursions, with emphasis on the famous Plaza das Armas. For those who like shopping, you can find clothes, silverware and handicrafts at great prices.

One of the most sought after destinations, the Sacred Valley of the Incas (in the Peruvian Andes) is formed by several rivers, which flow through small valleys around indigenous villages and archaeological monuments in the region. Intended for the most diverse purposes, these constructions served as schools, houses, fortifications and cultivation areas.

Due to its climatic qualities and geographical position, the place that marked the history of the Inca Empire was chosen because it is conducive to agriculture. Even today, the region produces several species of potatoes and the best corn grain in all of Peru.

Decide how you will travel to Machu Picchu

There are two options: go on foot, on a trail, or by train. The train is the best option for those with little time or traveling with children . Backpackers and hikers arrive on foot to Machu Picchu through the mountains, via  the Inca  Trail or the Salkantay Trail, on excursions that last 4 or 5 days.

Trains leave from Ollantaytambo or Poroy (to reach one of these points, use a car, van or bus). In Cusco, tour agencies sell some tours there, so check availability. The destination is Águas Calientes.

At least two companies make the journey: Inca Rail and Peru Rail. You can buy tickets at Plaza das Armas, at the agencies of the companies themselves.

The duration of the trip is 1h30 on average. But the view is enchanting: the train follows the course of the Urubamba River while the forest looms before our eyes, as the vegetation appears, very quickly, through the window.

Don’t miss the sunrise at Machu Picchu

When you arrive at Águas Calientes, at night, buy the ticket for the bus that goes up to Machu Picchu (it is another 20 minutes) and rest at the hotel, as you will need to wake up early the next day. The ideal is to be in line for the minibus at 5 am, half an hour before he starts operations.

In this way, you will be able to see the first rays of sunlight appear in the mountains and illuminate Machu Picchu. At that time, the city will still be almost empty and you will enjoy the spectacle in which nature meets the Inca legacy, in addition to guaranteeing the famous photo in  front of the archaeological park.

If you are one of those who does not dispense with a local tour guide, you will like to note that, right at the entrance to Machu Picchu, there are several of them. There is no need to worry about hiring him before arriving at the archaeological site, therefore.

As only officially accredited guides enter there, you can trust any of them. In addition to talking about the meaning of the place and its constructions, they also explain (in English or Spanish, generally) the history of the Incas.

Know what to pack

One of the most important precautions that involve the trip is the preparation of the bags and the rest of the luggage with the belongings that you will take to the Inca quarry trek 4 days. Before, however, it is important to know that the station cafeteria has high prices and there are no restrooms inside the park.

Put on your most comfortable sneakers and wear light clothes, suitable for walking. Put sunscreen, UV-protected clothes , water, a light snack or fruit, repellent,  hat or cap ,  waterproof jacket  and  thermal sweaters  in case it gets cold in the backpack  .

In addition, you must have an identification document (ID or passport), the same one you used to buy tickets. If you have a passport,  take the opportunity to get a stamp  with the symbol of the park as a souvenir and record your experience.

Is that you? Are you ready to venture into the history of this enchanting civilization? To warm up already, comment on this post what you expect from a trip on the Inca Trail  or, if you’ve been there, leave your tip!

 

 

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