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Machu Picchu Travel Guide

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Travis Katz
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    5 Jul 01, 2014

    Machu Picchu is one of the most mystical places in the world - perched on top of a mountain in the remote, Andean jungles outside Cuzco, this place will take your breath away. I took the Inca trail - much more hardcore - but well worth the 3 days of high altitude and mud.

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Kelly G.
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    4 Jun 30, 2014

    Definitely a world wonder, especially when you learn about the irrigation system (which is totally amazing from an engineer's point of view). Lots of people and definitely be ready for stairmasters Peruvian style!!! I had planned for a whole day, but ended up being so exhausted, was only there for a couple hours. Still had a great time sitting in the grass watching the llamas that graze here! Would love to come back and try a short stay at the hotel up there.

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  • Machu PicchuCommunity ManagerPro 2014
    Alix F
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    5 Jun 13, 2014

    The history is fascinating, the llamas are charming (though it should be noted that they were brought in for a little added touristy charm), and the scenery is simply spectacular. On the day I was there, the clouds covered the ruins and then slowly burned off with the sun -- it was perfectly, eerily amazing.

    Recommended for:BackpackersFamily TravelersHistory BuffsOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Sara Benson
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    5 Jun 12, 2014

    A highlight of any trip to South America, Machu Picchu is the number-one tourist attraction Peru. Once you walk around the ancient Inca-built walls, watching the llamas nibbling in the grassy courtyards, and take in the mountain-top views, you'll understand why. The first time I visited, I trekked the Inca Trail for four days to get there, which definitely makes you appreciate it much more, when you pop out of the jungle, bone-tired, to view the ruins at sunrise before the day-trippers arrive. The second time, I took the train & bus, and I have to say it didn't move me as much. So, if you can, take the time to trek to Machu Picchu on foot. Alternatively, explore one of Peru's lesser-known Inca ruins that gets less mobbed.

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  • Machu Picchu
    Elvira Vanag
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    5 Jun 12, 2014

    Machu Picchu was much more impressive than I expected. It was even more fascinating than in all pictures that I have seen. I can't think of any other place from my travels that was so striking and magnificent.
    We were there in May. It was a good time to be there. The best bet to beat the crowds is to stay at least for one night at the Sanctuary Lodge (it’s expensive but well worth it) – you can enter the grounds before everybody gets there and you can stay there late watching the sunset when everybody leaves.

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Steve Sim
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    5 May 28, 2014

    Machu Picchu is one of those special place you dream about gong to. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

    What a site, what a view, what history.

    Our guide led us on a tour of the site. She explained why the Spaniards didn't discover this mountain top enclave. Why Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel and how the Inca's were so advance for their time.

    A breath taking view for sure.
    So peaceful.

    Tips:
    * The crowd thins out in the afternoon. A great time to explore on your own.
    * The Inca Bridge - or as I call it "The Bridge to Nowhere" it really doesn't go anywhere. Lol.

    Coming here was a dream come true for me. I hope it is for you as well.

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  • Machu Picchu
    Selmita
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    5 Feb 20, 2014

    A wonder. A hike. A cultural experience. Stunning. Breathtaking. Worth every penny. Pack rain gear and try to acclimate or drink a TON of water! The porters loved playing cards. Worth it to hike to Wyna Picchu.

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Trinity
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    5 Jun 10, 2014

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    One of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
    The Lost City of the Incas.

    Machu Picchu was well worth the trek. Hiking to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail, we first saw Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate. What an amazing view!

    You could also take the Peru Rail train from a neighboring city into Aguas Calientes, where a bus awaits to take you up to the Machu Picchu. Since we waited to the next day after the Inca Trail trek to explore Machu Picchu, we got to experience the bus ride to/from the site. Riding the bus from Aguas Calientes, we soon realized how far up we were going. It was quite the ride: sharp turns, abrupt stops, and an unending windy road all the way to the top. I can see why the Sanctuary Lodge at the entrance of Machu Picchu was so popular! You are right there and don't have to worry about taking the bus at the beginning or end of the day.

    The most memorable part of visiting Machu Picchu was hiking up Huayna Picchu. What a brutal leg workout! Step after step, often past narrow areas. Thank goodness for the cables along the way. Once we got to the top, we felt like we were close to skies and heavens. We were nearly 9000 feet above see level. An epic view of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley from here. Be sure to acquire the appropriate permit for this trek.

    Thanks to our guide, we bought box lunches and extra water before entering the site and packed them away in our daypacks. There was no place to buy food or drink once inside the site, so it was good we brought our own water, snacks and lunch. After hiking up Huayna Picchu, we took a break at the Moon Temple to eat our lunch. It was a good place to rest, very calm and quiet, since most folks did not trek down to the Moon Temple.

    An incredible journey not to be missed. Highly recommended.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersOutdoor EnthusiastsHistory BuffsBackpackers
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  • Machu Picchu
    Mio
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    5 Dec 04, 2013

    I've been here several times. Each time I went was magical like the first time. It will take your breath away when you see it.

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Harold Smith-Franzen (@smithfranzen)
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    5 Dec 10, 2013

    The jewel in the crown of a trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Don't make the mistake of making this a quick visit. The surge in tourism means it can be tough to find your own slice of the magic; however, if you visit multiple times or plan for a long stay, you'll increase your chances of finding solitude. Experiencing and viewing the ruins under different weather conditions is part of the enjoyment -- you may have clear blue skies, dense fog, and heavy rain all on the same day. Linger and enjoy.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Thais Guimaraes
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    5 Nov 22, 2013

    Machu Picchu, also known as the lost city of the Incas wes only discovered in 1911 and maybe that's the reason why it preserves its buildings and terraces. Today, about only 30% of the city is original, the rest has been reconstructed, but it's a complete city, with houses, temples, cemeteries, storage buildings and agricultural terraces. The famous mountain across Machu Picchu is Wayna Picchu, or "new mountain", in quechua, and you can climb Wayna Picchu as well, but make sure you arrive early and your train leaves in the late afternoon, because you need about 3 hours to visit and it's limited to a certain number of people. Machu Picchu is indeed a little magic and once you're there, all you can do is wonder how did these man built this city, at that time, with so little resources, at that place.

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  • Machu PicchuPro 2014
    Arlo Hemphill
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    5 Nov 13, 2013

    A place both spiritually and physically beautiful. A monument to monuments. Machu Picchu is an otherworldly dream, lost in the remote recesses of the Peruvian Andes. Whether your interest is in history, culture, spirituality, geography or adventure sports, you'll find something both memorable and magical in Machu Picchu.

    Recommended for:BackpackersFamily TravelersGreen TravelersHistory BuffsLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsSpiritual SeekersStudents
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  • Machu Picchu
    Daniel Mason-D'Croz
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    5 Nov 15, 2013

    One of the world's great monuments. Machu Picchu is a spectacular display of engineering, and thankfully was lost to history for a long time allowing much of it to be preserved. It is an absolute must see.

    I highly recommend contracting a guide in Aguas Calientes before heading to Machu Picchu. I would also recommend going right away to Huayna Picchu (the large mountain overlooking Machu Picchu) first thing in the morning. There is a limit to the number of people who can be on Huayna Picchu at a time, so if you can get there early, while your legs are still fresh that is the best way of ensuring you'll be able to go up to the top.

    Recommended for:Art & Design LoversHistory Buffs
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  • Machu Picchu
    Gogobot Editors' Choice
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    5 Nov 04, 2013

    The ruined Inca city is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is considered a spiritual destination by many. Hike the Inca Trail to get there, and arrive to marvel at the mystic ruins by the light of the rising sun.

    Recommended for:History BuffsSpiritual Seekers
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  • Machu Picchu
    Scott Kennedy
    5 Oct 21, 2013

    What can you say about Machu Picchu? It's one of the wonders of the world and deservedly so! It will take your breath away and will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip to Peru.

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  • Machu Picchu
    Yvonne Brett
    5 Oct 21, 2013

    Once you get the idea in your head that you want to go to Machu Picchu, you can't get it out! I dreamed of it for about five years and finally made the trip. This place is of course amazing! It was raining when we got there (good chance since it rains 200 days of the year) and we slogged around in it for an hour or two before we climbed up to the top. Then, as if it were scripted, the clouds parted for us and the sun shone on all its beauty and magnificence.

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  • Machu Picchu
    Tracy Gallagher
    5 Jan 11, 2014

    Machu Picchu: A destination on many traveler's bucket lists.. but I'v e met very few parents who consider bringing their kids.

    We did, and it was a rich and memorable experience for them.
    I am not going to lie and say they got as much out of it as I did...but I do believe as they mature, the magnitude of the adventure will take deeper hold.

    We went with a tour - Adventures by Disney. I highly recommend it - with this particular tour company, you are led by very amiable American Disney guide paired with a local guide who knows the country and ins and outs extremely well. (Hey American schools - we have a lot of catching up to do in history education!)

    We had a SUPER early wake up call the morning of our Machu PIcchu hike... because Adventure by Disney's goal is to beat the crowds. Have to admit - I was not loving being told what time to wake up - which is part of a being with a tour group- but it ended up being worth it.

    Arriving at the Ollantaytambo train station to being our journey to Machu Pichhu, I already felt transported somewhere lost in time.

    Although the station is pretty modern, Peru is still a third world country. It felt old fashioned. But once inside the passenger train to Machu Picchu, which services thousands of tourists, the ride was surprisingly plush: leather seats, meal service, and even a fashion show!

    In my seat I took it all in. The additional windows on the ceiling allowed more extensive viewing of the lush and rugged Andes dotted with Inca ruins.

    The thick fog rolling in and out between the hills - revealing a new scenery each time it dissipated... and the mysterious music playing through the train's speaker set the scene for a spiritual and mystic journey to the lost city of the Incas.

    It was an hour and a half train ride, and when we arrived at the main gate, you must show your passport. Tickets are pricey about 50 US dollars. Our tickets were already part of our Disney package, so we didn't need to wait in any lines. The Peru govt is now limiting the number of people, so order tickets in advance. There are lockers at the entrance to check any personal belongings too. (The other way to enter Machu PIcchu is to hike the Inca Trail...but with young children, our way is much easier.)

    Meandering up a hill, the ruins suddenly become visible as you walk through a tunnel-like rock formation.

    The first glimpse is an awesome moment - it makes you think about life and those who came so long before you.
    Wandering around this immense site is awesome - it is like one big park.
    I could tell you all the amazing stories about the Incas that you come to appreciate by exploring Machu Picchu... but you are better off getting the history lesson from another website. www.peru-machu-picchu.com/
    In a nutshell. the Incas built this city to purposely be out of reach.. and up high to be closer to the gods.

    The reason they say these remains are so special is that they weren't destroyed by the Spanish when they conquered Peru.... and were actually kept secret to most of the world, overgrown with fast growing lush vegetation. That, until American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911.
    Because they're unspoiled, we can marvel at the Incan construction - how did they get this many tons of boulders up to 8000 feet above sea level?
    How did they get each stone to fit together flawlessly, without mortar and modern tools?

    So how did the kids like it?

    As parents, we bring our children on trips like this with the hopes of teaching about other cultures and explaining history.

    The guides on our tour did a good job of trying to keep the kids engaged, and my six year old actually asked if we could Google the Incas.... mostly because he learned they had small feet, but hey - it was a start.... My older kids had fun imagining playing laser tag at Machu Picchu. Had to be honest. :)

    Tip: Bring many layers, as the climate changes - the fog and dampness will move in, and 10 minutes later the more intense sun is shining bright.

    We ate lunch at the restaurant right at the entrance - which is much more expensive than going back down the mountain for a cafe, but it saves you more valuable Machu Picchu touring time. My tip would be to splurge at the expensive restaurant near Machu Picchu, or pack a lunch if possible.

    After lunch, the guides gave us two choices: to hike part of the Inca trail from the ruins up to the Sun Gate.. or to spend more time wandering the ruins on our own.

    Our family chose to hike about 1000 feet higher along the stone path that the Incas built some 500 years ago. All my kids made it - even my six year old. The Inca trail here is wide enough that parents don't have to worry. You should however, judge the maturity, and physical shape of your child before you take him or her up there.

    It is a good hike - most in our group didn’t find it too strenuous - about two hours round trip depending on how long you rest at the top, and how big a ham you are.....

    We took many photos - you can't resist.... but we found the views at Sun Gate aren't more spectacular than below, just different.

    The Incas were highly spiritual people.. so I couldn't help but feel the power here. It was nice actually.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersHistory Buffs
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  • Machu Picchu
    Maggie Langeness
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    5 Aug 03, 2013

    Machu Picchu one of the new 7 world wonders. A must see in Peru, some take the Inca Trail which is the most popular route. For budget travelers there are tour companies in Cuzco that will offer the most cost-efficient but not as glamorous conditions to get there. Prepare yourself with proper hiking attire and lots of water.

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  • Machu Picchu
    Kayko
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    5 Jun 10, 2014

    Amazing Experience!

    We hiked the Inca trail to arrive in Machu Picchu at dawn. It was stunning. This city and it's surrounding mountains will take your breath away. After exploring the city we hiked Wayna Piccu, which is a must for your visit!

    Tips:

    Buying your Tickets - Now that tickets can be purchased in advance online they sell out quickly. Don't expect to buy your tickets at the entrance. Machu Piccu only allows 2,500 people to enter per day and Wayna Piccu 400. From June through September Machu Piccu is selling out weeks in advance and Wayna Piccu months in advance. We purchased our Wayna Piccu tickets 3 months in advance and barely made it. Although if you don't get tickets you can sometimes find scalpers in Cusco and pay $150 vs $59.

    Hiking Wayna Piccu - It's not for the light hearted. You must be in good health and in reasonable shape. The stairs are narrow and steep and take about 40 to 60 minutes to climb depending on your speed. While walking sticks are not allowed in Machu Piccu you may use one on the downhill of this hike if you have bad knees. Make sure you have rubber tip at the end of your stick.

    Recommended for:Local CultureBackpackersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Machu Picchu
    Vitor Alexander
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    5 May 03, 2013

    One's of the Wonders of the Modern World enchant people of all folks and part of the World. Everybody must know it!

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5.0 out of 5
193 member's reviews
68 people visited Machu Picchu

Description

Don't let the high altitude -- 7,970 feet to be exact -- scare you away from the trek to Peru's most famous ruins. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu, which means Old Mountain in Quechua, was built by the Incas around AD 1400. Its residents deserted the site a century later when the Spanish conquered the area and the sacred place was nicknamed the “Lost City." Even jaded ... read more
travelers are overcome by the magical setting.

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