Are you planning a trip to Machu Picchu in Peru? If so, you’re in for a real treat! Machu Picchu is one of the most stunning places on earth due to its breathtaking views, extensive history, and vibrant culture. This guide will cover two of the best outdoor activities in Machu Picchu, two must-see sights, and an unusual tip to make your vacation truly unforgettable.
If you’re up for a challenge, hiking the Inca Trail is an absolute must-do activity when visiting Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is a four-day trek through the Andes Mountains, taking you through ancient Incan ruins, lush jungle, and stunning mountain scenery. The trail is a total of 26 miles (43 kilometers), and you’ll reach an altitude of over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) at the highest point. The trek is not for the faint of heart, but the breathtaking views and unforgettable experience make it well worth the effort.
Make sure to book your Inca Trail trek in advance, as only a limited number of permits are issued each year. You’ll also need to be in good physical condition to complete the trek, so make sure to do some training beforehand.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, a zipline adventure in Machu Picchu is the perfect activity for you. The zipline adventure takes you soaring above the lush valleys and rushing rivers of the Sacred Valley. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the incredible scenery as you zip through the air at high speeds.
Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes for the zipline adventure. You’ll also need to be in good physical condition to participate, as you’ll be climbing stairs and hiking to reach the zipline platforms.
Nevertheless, a vacation to Machu Picchu wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the citadel. With its elaborate masonry, spectacular terraces, and breathtaking viewpoints of the surrounding mountains, this old Incan city is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the whole world. To properly understand the history and significance of the Machu Picchu Citadel, be sure to join a guided tour. For even more breathtaking sights, trek up to Huayna Picchu, the mountain peak that towers over the citadel.
Between Cusco and Machu Picchu, there is a region that is lush and verdant called the Sacred Valley. There are many little towns and villages there, each with an own culture and history. The Pisac Ruins and the Ollantaytambo fortress are just two of the amazing Incan ruins that can be seen in the Sacred Valley. Be sure to go on a day excursion to the Sacred Valley to see the historic ruins, discover the charming villages, and sample the food. Either a guided tour or independent exploration are options.
The Temple of the Moon is a hidden gem in Machu Picchu that is often overlooked by tourists. The temple itself is a marvel of Incan architecture, with intricate carvings and stonework that have withstood the test of time. It’s believed that the temple was used for important ceremonies and rituals, and many visitors report feeling a sense of awe and reverence in its presence. It is much less crowded than the main ruins of Machu Picchu. While the main site can be swarmed with tourists, the Temple of the Moon offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere where you can take your time to explore and appreciate the beauty of ancient culture.
Located deep in the mountains of Peru, the ruins of Choquequirao are often called the “sister city” of Machu Picchu. Like Machu Picchu, Choquequirao was a major Incan city, but it is much less well-known and receives far fewer visitors. This means that you can explore the ruins in relative peace and solitude, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Getting to Choquequirao requires a multi-day trek, but the journey is well worth the effort.
The Doorway of Amaru Muru is a mysterious stone doorway located in the mountains near Puno, Peru. The doorway is said to have been created by the Incas as a portal to other dimensions, and it is still used today by local shaman for spiritual purposes. Visitors to the doorway report feeling a powerful energy emanating from it, and some even claim to have seen strange phenomena like orbs and lights. While the doorway is not officially part of Machu Picchu, it is located nearby and is a fascinating and unusual attraction to visit while in the area.
If you’re looking for a luxurious and indulgent experience, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the perfect choice. It’s right next to the entrance of Machu Picchu, this five-star hotel offers stunning views of the ruins and the surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy top-notch amenities like an outdoor hot tub, a spa, and gourmet dining options. However, luxury comes at a price, and rooms at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge can be quite expensive.
For a comfortable and affordable option, consider the Tierra Viva Machu Picchu. This hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from the train station in Aguas Calientes, making it a convenient base for exploring Machu Picchu. The rooms are spacious and modern, with amenities like free Wi-Fi and breakfast included in the price. The Tierra Viva Machu Picchu offers great value for the price, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers.
Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel is a fantastic option if budget is limited. The railway station is a short distance from the vibrant and eccentric hotel that is situated in the center of Aguas Calientes. The hotel has services like free Wi-Fi and breakfast, and the rooms are simple but pleasant. Gringo Bill’s is distinguished by its lively atmosphere, which includes a bar and restaurant that attract both locals and tourists. The hotel is a fantastic choice for backpackers and low-budget vacationers due to its affordable rates.
For a true backpacker experience, Ecopackers Machupicchu is a great choice. This hostel is located in Aguas Calientes and offers dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms for a slightly higher price. The hostel is clean and comfortable, with friendly staff and a communal kitchen for guests to use. There’s also a common area where travelers can hang out and meet new people. Ecopackers Machupicchu is a great option for solo travelers or groups on a tight budget.
In summary, Machu Picchu is a place unlike any other. It’s understandable why so many tourists have it on their bucket lists given its beautiful views, extensive history, and dynamic culture. Machu Picchu offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking for a strenuous outdoor adventure, a unique cultural encounter, or simply a chance to soak in the breathtaking natural splendor of the Andes Mountains.Machu Picchu is a well-known location that can get crowded during the summer, so be careful to plan your trip far in advance. To guarantee you have the greatest experience possible, reserve your Inca Trail permits, lodging, and tours as soon as possible.