With the help of local guides we have curated a few things to know before visiting Machu Picchu to help make your trip more memorable.
10 things to know before visiting Machu Picchu
If you have a picture in mind that you want to take at Machu Picchu, plan it out. You are going to see that this is a very popular place for tourists to be and you want to get that perfect picture but it’s not going to happen unless you get there early enough to prepare for it.
The tour takes you in one direction only so if you don’t get the pictures you want on the way up, you won’t be able to circle around and get it again.
If you want to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain it is highly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance.
You can hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. However, it may be easier to find transportation by bus going up and hiking back down off it to save you money. In general, the hike should take approximately two hours, depending on how fast you can or want to go.
If you plan to take the bus to get you to Machu Picchu, you will want to do this early. The tickets to Machu Picchu sell out rather quickly as do the bus tickets. If you have a small window of time to visit, then you will want to buy and plan for an early arrival and then wait your turn. Plan to be there by 6:30 am or you can hold off until the afternoon.
There are no bathrooms anywhere around once you go through the entrance. Your last shot for a bathroom is at the entrance.
You don’t want to go to Machu Picchu when it’s foggy otherwise you won’t be able to see it. The fog sets in early in the morning. If you are there early, you can wait out the fog. Consider going during the dry season so you will be able to enjoy the views as well as the trip itself.
Machu Picchu is at 2430 metres above sea level. Which is lower than Cusco. You will be able to enjoy the views and probably won’t even experience any of the side effects from high elevations.
Enjoy, take slow deep breaths every once in a while, and don’t focus on the altitude, focus on the scenery. Spend a day or two in Cusco before your tour to avoid altitude sickness.
The authorities verify your name on the passport with the entrance ticket before allowing you into the citadel. You can also get a free Machu Picchu passport stamp of the world heritage site as a souvenir. So don’t forget to bring your passport.
You can buy water bottles at stores just outside the citadel. However it costs double the price of what it costs in Aguas Calientes. It is a good idea to carry at least a litre when you leave your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
You may have read about Machu Picchu but when you are actually there, you are going to be so fascinated by it. The guide will keep you on track and keep you moving so you will be able to enjoy it all.