Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a top attraction and the main reason to get on the plane and visit Peru in South America. Visiting Machu Picchu should be the highlight of your travels, but planning this trip can be challenging. Our travel guide covers essential things to know, tickets, fees, accommodation, how to get, trains, shuttle buses, treks, tours, or altitude. When speaking about 1 Day Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco, you've probably heard many times poetic words about a mysterious citadel high in the mountains, about a dream-like Incan ruin hidden in the green hills, and about the mist which, like a silk veil, rolls in and out, covering and uncovering all the beauty. And do you know what? All those statements about Machu Picchu are true. Martin and I have been discussing our visits (yes, plural) to Machu Picchu many times, and we always came to the same conclusion. Both our trips to Machu Picchu were incredible. We believe that visiting Machu Picchu was one of the best things we've done in South America. It doesn't happen that over-hyped and overly visited places often (at least to us) live up to the expectations. Still, Machu Picchu not only lived up to our expectations, it completely exceeded them. For your information, Machu Picchu sees around 1 500 000 travelers every year, and all first-time visitors have it on their Peru itinerary. Because of many recent changes and new regulations that came into force on January 1st, 2019, we've put together a list of things you need to know before visiting Machu Picchu, one of World's Seven Wonders, aiming to help you with planning an unforgettable day. This post covers everything we could think about, all topics we wanted to know the answer to before visiting Machu Picchu. Did we forget something? Do not hesitate to contact us via the comment section under this post as we want to keep our blog as up to date as possible. Machu Picchu was the highlight of our travels around Peru and South America. MACHU PICCHU AND OVERTOURISM Nowadays, those who do not blog about over-tourism seem that do not exist, and those who don't write long captions about this problem on Instagram do not exist twice as much. We don't want to trivialize these problematics, because over-tourism is a serious issue, but everyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of traveling is part of it (including travel bloggers), and there is very little we can do about it unless we want to stay put and only read about unique places such as Machu Picchu. We believe that everyone has the right to see nature or architecture in the same state as others had seen it before, and the only thing we can do is to behave and travel sustainably and try to cause as little impact on the places we visit as we can and follow all the local rules. On the other hand, governments and tourism boards have much more power to deal with over-tourism. That's why Machu Picchu, like some other excessively famous places around the world, see many changes and regulations lately. What can the government do to protect their shining stars to ensure that the country's significant and vital income and glue for their economy won't die out? It is possible to increase prices, regulate how much time you can spend on the site, what you can bring with you, order you to hire a guide, or how long in advance you must buy your tickets. Some of those rules have been applied on Machu Picchu in the recent years, so we will walk you through all the changes to ensure your time on site will be well spent. There is one small problem. Peru is still not a first-world country, and unfortunately, it is a country dealing with a lot of corruption and many other issues, and new rules don't mean that everything works the way it should, even when written in black and white. That's why we provide you with official information on how the visit to Machu Picchu should have looked like in the ideal world, but there is a chance that those rules won't be 100% enforced during your visit. Thousands of tourists visit Machu Picchu every day. BEST TIME TO VISIT MACHU PICCHU One of the most crucial questions before visiting Machu Picchu is the best time to visit. You can visit Machu Picchu at any time of the year, which is excellent as you can plan this trip according to your schedule, yet there are still things you should know and consider before booking the flight ticket. Peru has two distinct seasons - the dry season is Peruvian winter, when you can expect sunny weather and lower temperatures at nights and in the mornings. Although it still rains more in Machu Picchu, even during the dry season than in the rest of the country, your chances for more stable weather are higher. This season runs from May to October, which coincides with the tourist season, which is at its peak from June to August. If you are planning on visiting Machu Picchu during this time, you should consider booking your tickets in advance, or at least follow the official website to see if tickets for your desired date are running low or not. When you search for photos of Machu Picchu, you still can see that blue skies are not that common in the area, not even during the dry season. Summer, from November to March, brings higher temperatures, rain, and thinner crowds. We visited Machu Picchu twice in November, and it was not that crowded as we have expected, but there were still quite lots of people considering it was low season. During this time you can expect anything from sunshine, overcast to light and heavy rain, sometimes all those types of weather within one day. We visited Machu Picchu deliberately at the beginning of the rainy season because we hoped to take the killer foggy photo of the ruins with misty hills behind, and it miraculously worked out. As always, weather in the mountains can turn, either way, so come well prepared. February sees the heaviest rains. This is also the time when the Inca Trail is closed, as landslides can occur, and the experience for hikers would not be positive, but it is also a time when you'll have the citadel almost for yourself.