Tourists have been touring Machu Picchu since shortly after Hiram Bingham made the “Old Peak” famous in 1911. Bingham was guided to the site by a young quechan. There were people living there at that time, having found it after the Inca’s abandonment.

Machu Picchu is located 2,430 meters above sea level, overlooking the Urubamba River in the Andes Mountains. It is near the town of Aguas Calientes in the Cuzco department and was built by the Incas around 1460 AD There are theories, but no one knows exactly how the Incas built the site. Huge stones were used that had to be moved into the area over difficult mountainous terrain.

The stones fit together so perfectly that in some places a knife blade does not fit between them. Machu Picchu is built to withstand earthquakes, as the stones move slightly when the ground shakes and then settle back into their original positions.

The Inca Pachacuti, founding father of the Inca Empire, probably built the citadel as a ceremonial center for worshiping the Sun God and as an observatory for the sunrise solstice. It also has an agricultural area. These slopes not only harvested crops, but also helped defend the site from intruders. Machu Picchu is so located that any military attack would be very difficult to execute.

Machu Picchu is the most visited site in Peru and one of the main tourist destinations in all of South America. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Historic Sanctuary and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is known for its magnificent architecture, ancient mysticism, and breathtaking landscapes. The ruins are a must see when visiting Peru.

One day tours to Machu Picchu

There are several agencies in the city of Cuzco that offer day tours to Machu Picchu. Almost all follow the same basic structure. Early in the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the San Pedro train station. The train takes passengers up the Andes Mountains for about three hours to the mountainous city of Aguas Calientes (Aguas Calientes).

The city offers great views of the surrounding Andes Mountains, usually with low-lying clouds adding to the mystical feel of the city. There are cobbled streets that run uphill, slightly challenging the physical condition. Several residents still wear colorful traditional costumes.

After a short stop in Aguas Calientes, your guide will take you to a shuttle bus that runs on the road to Machu Picchu. The entrance to Machu Picchu overlooks the site. Your guide will take you through the ruins, explaining the meaning of each section. Most of the guides speak both English and Spanish very well.

After receiving information about the different sections of Machu Picchu, you will be given the opportunity to explore it on your own. Some tourists who are up to the challenge will take the steep steps up to a high peak called Huayna Picchu. This is a demanding ascent, but it is worth the effort as you will have a 360 degree view of the Department of Cuzco and Machu Picchu below.

After a few hours in Machu Picchu, you will be taken back to Aguas Calientes on a shuttle bus where you will have lunch. You will also be given some free time to explore the handicraft shops before returning to Cusco by train and then taking you back to your hotel.

The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Tours

The Inca Trail was built by the Incas to facilitate access to Machu Picchu. Along this route there are unforgettable views of the Andes and the Urubamba River below, a diversity of wildlife, and also several Inca ruins.

Now it is necessary to book a tour of the Inca Trail with an official travel agency that provides you with an official guide. There is a limit of 500 people per day who can walk the trail, so it is best to make reservations well in advance. Sometimes the Inca Trail is booked for a full year.

Your travel agency will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the train station. You will stop at the 2 or 4 day Inca Trail mark, whatever place you have signed up for. Both treks on the Inca Trail are basically the same. The 4-day hike requires more effort, but you will also have a chance to see more ruins and breathtaking landscapes.

Your guide should have almost everything you need with him, such as camping equipment, food, and sometimes horses or donkeys. The agency should also give you a list of recommended things to bring.

On the last night of the Inca Trail there is a hostel. Depending on the type of tour you take, you can either spend the night there or camp again. In the morning, the Inca Trail trek ends with a magnificent view of Machu Picchu below.

You will then have a full day to explore Machu Picchu with your guide and on your own. In the afternoon, you will be taken to Aguas Calientes for lunch and exploring the handicraft shops. Then you will return to Cuzco by train and you will be taken back to your hotel.

Alternative and luxury tours to Machu Picchu

There are several other tours available in addition to the two most popular types, as described above. One of these tours offers a longer stay in Aguas Calientes. Rather than spending just a couple of hours there, this tour allows you to stay overnight to explore more of this unusual mountain town. The next morning they will take you to Machu Picchu. In the afternoon the return to Cuzco begins.

Luxury tours are also offered. The Hiram Bingham luxury train goes to Aguas Calientes, where you can stay in luxury hotels with gourmet food, spas, views, and other amenities along with a personal tour guide. Your hotel may be in Aguas Calientes or at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge located right next to the ruins.

Private tours give you the advantage of having your tour guide fully focus on you and your group, allowing you to learn more about Inca and Peruvian history.

Other tours to Machu Picchu take tourists by helicopter or plane on a sightseeing mission over the Andes Mountains to see the Urubamba River, ancient structures and, of course, the ancient citadel to enjoy spectacular views from above and a ride nice.


A visit to Peru would not be complete without knowing Machu Picchu. When deciding what type of tour is ideal for you, consider your time, budget, and what you would most like to do in Machu Picchu.

If you are taking a package trip to Cuzco, Peru, your visit to the ruins will already be covered. When you go to Cuzco on your own you will find several agencies that offer a wide variety of tours to Machu Picchu. Most agencies charge roughly the same as others, but it’s best to check.

When you are on a budget and limited time, then the day trip is probably the best for you. If you have three to five days, are in reasonably good shape, and have some extra cash for your trip, then the 2- or 4-day Inca Trail and Machu Picchu tour will be an excellent option.

A luxury tour is perfect for those who like comfort while still being able to experience Peruvian culture. These tours can be very expensive, but they offer courtesies and alternatives that other tours do not.

Tours to Machu Picchu are highly recommended when you want to visit this mysterious citadel. The guides are professional and the service is excellent, offering you, in this country rich in ancient history, an experience you will never forget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *