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Machu Picchu

  • Aguas Calientes, Cusco Region, Peru

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

Even if you’ve seen the view in a thousand pictures, you will be blown away: clouds drifting up the lush valley, the newly-risen sun burning them away and drawing the veil from the face of Huayna Picchu mountain and the cascade of ruin-strewn terraces below.

Welcome to one of South America’s most iconic sights: the remarkable Inca citadel that lay undisturbed for centuries, only to come to international attention after a National Geographic expedition in 1911.

This Inca City was lost for centuries in the cloud forest, until it was romantically ‘re-discovered’ by explorer Hiram Bingham (with the help of locals who always knew it was there). Straddling a high mountain ridge, it was famously bult as the Inca’s secret final refuge – but you can’t help thinking they chose the location for the view.

It was abandoned around the time of the Spanish Conquest, and remains relatively intact because it was never discovered by the Conquistadors.

Know before you go 

Covering ten hectares of cloud forest mountaintop, its outstanding architecture is made up of elaborate ceremonial centres – including a sun temple – as well as residential areas and agricultural terraces. At the north end is Wayna Picchu, the cone-shaped mountain that stands majestically over the site.

Built in two stages during the 1400s and made using natural raw materials, the site is one of the world’s great examples of architecture that blends into its environment: set on the steep pinnacle of a granite mountain, the vast walls and terraces appear as if they are a continuous part of the rock escarpment.


Price from: £28
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Machu Picchu sits above the riverside village of Aguas Calientes. Arrive the night before and stay overnight to ensure catching the first bus up to the ruins (at 5.30am); for those dawn, crowd-free views.

Many people rely on tour operators to book tickets (train and entrance packages), but it’s also possible to buy tickets independently via the government website.

The most adventurous way to arrive in Machu Picchu is on the Inca Trail: a glorious Inca Road that winds 43km through the misty mountains past a string of spectacularly-located Inca ruins.

When to do it

The site is open all year round, seven days a week.

People visit Machu Picchu all year, but the peak dry season months (June to August) are best. Going in the shoulder season (April to May, September to October) means fewer crowds. Expect plenty of rain from November to March, so avoid if possible.

When it’s time to visit the site, go early. Magical Machu Picchu is at its best near dawn.

Who to go with: organised tours


Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Cusco

Local experts for an easy way to visit Machu Picchu with a special cancellation poliy, all details are arranged: ticket train on premium departures from/to Machu Picchu, bus on shift to go up and down the citadel, morning shift entrance fee, and expert local guide. Feel the energy, hear the stories and history of one of the most attractive places over the World. VIPAC refund cancellation Policy: if you cancel your booking before 20 days of the tour departure, we will refund 80% of the total amount. Cancellations with less than 20 days prior of the tour departure are non refundable in 100%. Due to high demand of visitors to Machu Picchu and limited capacity, we suggest to book 60 days prior. Last minute bookings, less than 60 days, can be booked on midday and afternoon shifts.

Price $349

Min age 2

Rating 4.45 / 5 [1264 ratings]

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  • Cusco

Our Day trip to Machu Picchu from Cusco is a wonderful way to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Happy Gringo offers you your best opportunity to see this marvel of South America and the whole Earth. Machu Picchu Day Trip enables you to experience the spectacular Citadel of Machu Picchu in just one day with a local tour operator. On our comfort service Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco; you’ll see the breathtaking Cloud City of Machupicchu with roundtrip train tickets to Cusco. Also, you will have a guided tour of the citadel and enjoy a delicious complimentary lunch on your own at Machu Picchu Pueblo. The Machu Picchu Inca Sanctuary Day Trip lasts around 14 hours; our Machu Picchu one-day tour leaves every day at 4:30 am. We return to the city of Cusco around 19:00 on Voyager or Expedition tourist trains, and our service is DOOR TO DOOR. Note - the Machu Picchu ticket and circuit are provided according to the availability. We recommend booking your trip in advance!

Price $399

Min age 1

Rating 4.60 / 5 [438 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Cusco

The Inca jungle Trail is a new route offered to Machu Picchu which involves biking, walking and just being. This multiple terrain trip includes recently discovered real Inca paths, archaeological ruins and a 60 kilometer bike downhill. This is done on brand new mountain bikes through the mountains from Abra Malaga to the green valleys below and the jungle base of Santa Maria. The four day, three night trip ends with a dawn view of the valleys below Machu Picchu.

Price $490

Min age 12

Rating 4.88 / 5 [359 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Cusco

Machu Picchu is named one of the new seven wonders of the world a UNESCO heritage Site considered one of the most important sites in the world. you will be sorrounded with nature and immersed in the fascinating mysteries that this wonderful Inca citadel holds. Feeling among the clouds, crossing the Puerta del Sol enveloped in mist and discovering the incredible panorama little by little, while the mist vanishes. -Enjoy the extraordinary panoramic train that will take you to MachuPicchu with extraordinary views towards the sacred valley. .spend enough time with your tour guide in the archeological site of Machu Picchu at the same time you will explore the beauty of MachuPicchu enjoying the architecture at 2400 meters above sea level. .All tickets are included in our service(bus and train tickets )admission tickets to MachuPicchu. .Transportation round trip from Cusco to the hotel. .You will know the wonder in just one day. Recharge with energy in one of the most important spiritual enclaves in the world. Surrounded by the canyon of the Urubamba River and between mountain ranges belonging to the Cordillera de los Andes, right on the edge of the Amazon. You will be able to know all this in a single day and we offer you security not only when paying but throughout the excursion. Leave everything in our hands and enjoy an unforgettable experience.

Price $332

Min age 4

Rating 4.84 / 5 [276 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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