Although Machu Picchu sits on top of a mountain at 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level, millions of people each year continue to book for Machu Picchu tours just to see one of the world’s greatest wonders. As much as 5,000 visitors each day have made the trek up the steep slopes of the Andes to reach the ruins.

American explorer and historian, Hiram Bingham III, discovered the abandoned ruins in 1911 with the help of a Peruvian farmer and his son. Since then, the site has received worldwide recognition for its unique history and architecture.

  • It was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981.
  • It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
  • It was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Other Machu Picchu Facts

  • Machu Picchu is also known in the Quechuan language as Machu Pikchu, which likely means “old peak.”
  • Did you know this 15th-century citadel of the Incas was built without the use of mortar, metal tools, or the wheel?
  • Within the citadel, three primary structures, namely the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows, can be found.

Frequently Asked Questions About Machu Picchu Tours

First-time travelers to Machu Picchu have a lot of questions about trekking or hiking to this popular tourist destination. Here are some of the FAQs that we often encounter while helping our guests plan their itinerary for their trip to Peru.

What is the altitude of Machu Picchu?

The Inca fortress sits on a ridge between the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains on the eastern side of the Andes range. Its altitude is estimated to be 7,972 feet (or 2,430 meters) above sea level. It occupies 125.8 square miles of land on that mountaintop.

At such a high altitude, some people may experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as sluggishness and dizziness. Most visitors acclimatise quickly with symptoms disappearing after a day or two of rest and oxygenation.

What is the altitude of Machu Picchu?

The Inca fortress sits on a ridge between the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains on the eastern side of the Andes range. Its altitude is estimated to be 7,972 feet (or 2,430 meters) above sea level. It occupies 125.8 square miles of land on that mountaintop.

At such a high altitude, some people may experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as sluggishness and dizziness. Most visitors acclimatise quickly with symptoms disappearing after a day or two of rest and oxygenation.

What is the best time of year to visit Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is open from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day of the year. However, access is limited to only 2,500 visitors each day.

The best months to visit Machu Picchu are from May to September, when the rainy days are few and the hottest temperature is just 20 degrees higher than the freezing point. Unfortunately, lots of people think so, too. That’s why, if you wanted to avoid the crowds, schedule your tour of Machu Picchu around April to May or perhaps between September and October.

If you’re traveling to Machu Picchu during peak season, make sure you book your tickets in advance. You can do this online or through an agency. We recommended that you book them at least 6 months before your trip.

What's the best time for Machu Picchu tours?

It’s better to visit the site really early in the morning, which is only possible when you spend the night at Aguas Calientes. As early as 4:00 AM, visitors can start boarding the buses going to the Inca citadel. The entrance to the site stays open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM only. Be advised that all visitors must sign the notebook when they enter and exit the site.

During the dry season from April to October, the sun can be blindingly bright although the highest temperature in Machu Picchu may only reach 20 degrees Celsius. In addition to warm clothing, wear a hat and a pair of shades. And, don’t forget to use sunblock lotion!

*What to Wear and Bring on a Machu Picchu Tour*

What's the weather/climate like in Machu Picchu, Peru?

The rainy season starts in November and ends around March. The wettest month is January. It will be more humid than usual. You should bring a jacket or poncho and wear shoes that allow you to walk on wet and slippery surfaces safely.

How long does it take to climb up to Machu Picchu?

There’s more than one way to reach Machu Picchu. The most famous is the Inca Trail, which usually takes 3 to 4 days to complete the whole 43-kilometer hike. But for travelers who like a challenge, there’s the Salkantay Trek that’s around 73 kilometers and may take hikers 5 days to complete.

During the dry season from April to October, the sun can be blindingly bright although the highest temperature in Machu Picchu may only reach 20 degrees Celsius. In addition to warm clothing, wear a hat and a pair of shades. And, don’t forget to use sunblock lotion!

*Browse Our Machu Picchu Tour Packages*

*Getting to Machu Picchu from Other Places in Peru*

Can I go to Machu Picchu in one day?

The Peruvian government has updated its rules and regulations concerning Machu Picchu. One of the rules says that a licensed guide must accompany you on the first day of your tour. However, you can explore the site on your own afterward.

First-entry tourists have the best chance of spending the whole day exploring Machu Picchu and nearby sites, like the Museum and Huayna Picchu. However, if they exited around noon, they won’t be allowed to enter the site again.

Meanwhile, second-entry tourists can enter the site as early as 11:00 AM and stay inside until closing time at 5:30 PM.

Am I required to hire a licensed guide for Machu Picchu tours?

If it’s just a matter of reaching the site from the nearest town, then the answer is “Yes, you can!” Aguas Calientes, a town in the Urubamba River Valley in southeast Peru, is considered the gateway to the Inca ruins.

From there, it only takes tourists less than three hours to hike up the summit of the mountain. Travelers also have the option of taking the bus, which takes only 30 minutes or so, to reach the entrance to the park.

The Inca Trail is the most famous and also the most crowded, which is why the Peruvian government issues a limited number of hiking permits to reduce foot traffic. The purpose is to slow down the erosion of the soil and minimize the amount of trash and other waste left behind by tourists each day.

*The Do’s and Don’ts of Exploring Machu Picchu*

Before you go inside, make sure you have a full stomach and an empty bladder. There are no bathrooms inside the ruins and no snack bars or restaurants either.

Once inside, please remember this: Do not touch the ruins because even the simple transfer of sweat and oils from human skin can contribute to the erosion of these ancient stone structures.

TMP Tours That Include Machu Picchu

Tailor Made Peru offers several tours that include Machu Picchu, saving clients precious time from planning and leaving more for relaxation and actual exploration.

Here are some TMP packages with Machu Picchu tours in the itinerary:

  • The Best of Peru Tour Packages – These packages include top destinations in Peru.
  • Adventure Tours in Peru – Designed for adrenaline junkies, these tours cover trekking, kayaking, biking and river rafting all over the country.
  • Peru Trekking Holidays – These are tours that mainly explore the country’s highlands through the famous Inca trail.
  • Peru Luxury Tours – TMP’s luxury tours include only the best of the best, be it accomodations or destinations.

Visit Tailor Made Peru’s tour directory for more information on the said tour packages or get in touch with us for any inquiry.

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