Planning a trip to Machu Picchu is an exciting endeavor. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you prepare
– Machu Picchu has a wet and dry season. The dry season (May to October) is the most popular time to visit but also the busiest. – The rainy season (November to April) sees fewer tourists, but the site can be cloudy, and the Inca Trail might be slippery.
Estimate costs for transportation, accommodation, tours, food, and any other activities you might want to do.
Decide How You'll Arrive: – Via Train: Most visitors take a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. – Trekking: Popular routes include the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, and the Lares Trek.
– Machu Picchu Tickets: Limited numbers of tickets are sold per day. It's essential to book in advance. – Train Tickets: Book train tickets in advance if you're not trekking. – Inca Trail Permit: If you're hiking the Inca Trail, you'll need a permit. These are limited and can sell out months in advance.
– In Cusco: Spend a few days here to acclimate to the altitude and explore the city. – In Aguas Calientes: There are various options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
1. A guide can provide historical and cultural context. If you're hiking the Inca Trail, a guide is mandatory.
– Altitude: Machu Picchu is over 2,400 meters above sea level. Consider taking altitude sickness pills or coca tea. – Packing: Bring rain gear, hiking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, snacks, and your passport (you can get a Machu Picchu stamp!).
– Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain: If you want a higher view, consider hiking one of these peaks, but you'll need an additional ticket. – Cusco and Sacred Valley: Consider exploring these richly historical areas. The Sacred Valley includes sites like Ollantaytambo and Pisac.
Read the Full Guide to Plan Your Trip to Machu Picchu