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Machu Picchu Travel Info

Here we will present the most popular destination of Peru, the famous and extremely beautiful lost city of Machu Picchu, with all the travel info that you should know about and more! It lies on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, going down from the Andes mountains in an exotic location. In 2010 Machu Picchu was listed as 'One of the Seven New World Wonders' by UNESCO. Since then its fame and popularity have increased even further than before. More than 2000 people per day visit this place and the maximum is 2500 per day, as a measure to reduce the impact of tourism on the site; UNESCO is considering putting Machu Picchu on its List of World Heritage in Danger. To get an excellent impression, see this film 'Machu Picchu from above';

Virtual Tour Above Machu Picchu

How to arrive to Machu Picchu

1. By train

Most people go by train, and you can do that from Cusco, that is, Poroy, 13 kilometres (8 miles) west of Cuzco. Trains do not part anymore from the centre of Cusco. All trains from Poroy are operated by the company Peru Rail. Another possibility is to take the train from Ollantaytambo. Here 2 different companies are operating; Peru Rail, and Inca Rail. There were even 3 companies, so possibly one could find details about Machu Picchu Train company, but they have now the same contact details and ittinearties as Inca Train; see Machu Picchu Train. A third option is one train a day that is leaving from Urubamba. For more details on different types of trains and tickets, how to buy your tickets and other trains in Peru, see our train section.

2. Hiking the Inca Trail

Doing the Inca Trail is a great way to go to Machu Picchu. Spectacular scenery on a trail that goes high through the Andes, and where you will go 3 times over a pass that goes over the 4000 meters above sea level. You also will see cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and many Inca stones and ruins. The moment arrive at the final destination of Machu Picchu, is the greatest moment of the journey. What you have to take into account though is that there are regulations for going on the track, a maximum amount of persons per day of 500 which includes all the guides, cooks porters etc, which makes that only somewhat more than 200 tourists are able to get on the track per day. For all the information on the Inca Trail, please see our special Inca Trail section. There we also present alternatives that are as attractive as the official Inca trail, but where you can avoid the crowds. We also give you all the other necessary information and more!
There is no official road to Machu Picchu, but really adventurous travelers can get their by the back road; Santa María-Santa Teresa-"Hidroeléctrica". The aim is to arrive to Santa Teresa and then a short taxi-ride further is Hidroeléctrica, where you can take a short trainride to Aguas Calientes or take a 2 and a half hour walk there. Cusco to Santa María is a 4-hour journey by minivan and costs about 30 soles, or you can take a bus (15 soles) for a 5-hour drive. The dirt road is narrow and winding, surrounded by deep hills. This route allows travelers on a tight budget to reach Machu Picchu but it might be dangerous during the rainy season (high risk of landslides, avalanches) so please get advice before leaving Cusco.

The History of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is supposed to have been constructed by the Incas, the official versions say the Incas made the site around 1450 and that they abandoned the place only some 100 years later, without the Spanish ever knowing about it. Machu Picchu was officially re-discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. As with most other Inca sites, our opinion is different from the official versions. The constructions in Machu Picchu suggest that a special technology was used that might have been from far before the Incas, due to the scale and precision. The Inca did not have the necessary tools and skills to make such superior masonry. For more on this subject, see our section on the History of Machu Picchu and also The Virtual Tour of Machu Picchu.

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Great Books and Travel Guides about Machu Picchu

For more books on Machu Picchu, see here