Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an Inca city surrounded by temples, platforms and water channels, built on top of a mountain. Its construction was built with large blocks of stone joined together, without the use of amalgam. At the moment it is considered cultural patrimony of the humanity when being recognized like important political center, religious and administrative of the Incaic time. Machu Picchu is one of the 7 wonders of the world most visited by tourists, has beautiful stone-based buildings, which were carved with much precision and detail, is the most important work for the Incas for having been built on a rugged mountain and inaccessible, divided into two large sectors, urban and agricultural separated by a large wall that descends the slope of the hill to reach the banks of the Vilcanota River.

 

Where it is located?

Machu Picchu, which in Spanish means "old mountain", is the most famous Inca citadel in the world. It is located northwest of Cusco, 129 kilometers above the Urubamba River (hence the name of the Vilcanota River), in the mountains of Vilcabamba. Its altitude is about 2380 m.s.n.m. The citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and is the main destination of Peru. Few works done by man show as much harmony with nature as the citadel of Machu Picchu shows us and the 33 archaeological groups that are united by the Inka trail.

The archaeological complex is located at the top of the mountain, Machu Picchu (in Quechua means old mountain or important mountain) which gives the name to the citadel and the impressive landscape that we have all seen. In front of this, the incredible mountain of Huayna Picchu appears ("young mountain") in whose top and slopes some archaeological remains are located. Both summits limit with the mighty Urubamba River that runs towards the east, 400 meters below the citadel.

 

General data

  • Machu Picchu means old mountain, named after the location of the Inca citadel.
  • The architectural complex was built approximately in the 15th century and according to historians it would have been built at the request of the Inca Pachacutec.
  • The exact location is in the district of Machu Picchu town, province of Urubamba, 110 km northeast of the city of Cusco.
  • Machu Picchu was interconnected with the entire Inca Empire through the Qhapaq Ñan, known route of the Inca roads.
  • Its annual temperature is 6.2º C minimum and maximum of 29.5º C.
  • The citadel has two sectors: the agricultural one, formed by the platforms and the urban one, that fulfilled administrative functions.
  • The average altitude of the citadel is 2450 meters above sea level.
  • The mountains of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu are ideal for panoramic photographs of the entire architectural complex.

 

Climate and Environment

It is located in a subtropical zone, the reason why the climate is temperate, warm and humid, with an annual average temperature of 130C during the day. One can perceive two distinct seasons during the year, the rainy season from November to March are where there is heavy rain. Visitors are advised to wear clothes according to the season. The dry season occurs in April and October, where high temperatures occur.

 

History and architecture

Built in the fifteenth century, possibly at the request of the Inca Pachacuteq, Machu Picchu is divided into two large sectors: the agricultural comprising a vast network of terraces and artificial terraces and the urban, consisting of various buildings and plazas including the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple and the Temple of the Condor.

Its buildings follow the classic Inca style: buildings with polished stone walls in a rectangular shape, joined together without the use of amalgams, doors and trapezoidal windows.

 

Flora and fauna

In Machu Picchu there is abundant flora and varied fauna. Especially the unique lives of the typical plants of the historical reserve of Machu Picchu which are pisonayes, alders, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids. In the fauna of the Machu Picchu reserve are the spectacled bear, gallito de las rocas or "tunqui", tankas, wild cats and an impressive variety of butterflies and insects unique in the region. A lie feat of the land, which is its natural environment is the strategic location of Machu Picchu where is this unique monument with a fusion of natural beauty, harmony and work balance of ancient Peruvians and whims of the nature.

 

Attractions

Machu Picchu Citadel

One of the greatest Inca architectural works, for having been built in a place that meant facing the greatest topographical difficulties; but thanks to this wild and inaccessible area this citadel was saved from destruction and depredation

 

Huayna Picchu

Huayna Picchu is located towards the north of the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Climbing the mountain from Machu Picchu takes between 45 to 60 minutes depending on the physical state of the person. The view is really impressive, highly recommended.

 

Machu Picchu Site Museum

Sample of excellent multimedia in the archaeological excavations, archaeological pieces and small botanical gardens.

 

Important data

 

About Machu Picchu

  • Declared a Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, being considered as an important religious, political and administrative center of the Inca period.
  • Machu Picchu was interconnected with the entire Inca Empire through the Qhapac Ñan, known route of the Inca roads.
  • Its temperature ranges between 6.2 ° and 29.5 °, since it is located in a subtropical zone. Its rainiest months are from November to March.
  • Its majestic architecture comprises some 140 structures throughout the citadel.
  • The average altitude of the citadel is 2 450 m s.n.m. - The mountains of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu are ideal for panoramic photographs of the entire architectural complex.
  • His discovery is due to the researcher Hiram Bingham III who was looking for the last capital of the Vilcabamba Incas.
  • Machu Picchu was declared "Historical Sanctuary of Peru" in 1981.

 

Entrance Tickets

 

Entrance tickets for any of the routes are not sold at the access control. In the case of Huayna Picchu, you will not be able to enter this area without the corresponding ticket.

The maximum capacity of entrance is of 400 visitors per day, divided in two groups of 200 people according to the indicated schedule. For the case of the mountain Machupicchu 800 visitors in two schedules of 400 people.

Make the purchase of the electronic ticket in advance, check the availability of spaces online at www.machupicchu.gob.pe

 

Only Machu Picchu ticket

This type of ticket allows you to enter the Inca City of Machu Picchu. The additional income to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain is not sold independently, so it should take the forecasts of the case.

Capacity: 2500 people per shift.

 

Schedule:

  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 06:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 07:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 08:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 09:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 10:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 11:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 12:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 13:00
  • Machu Picchu ticket Between 14:00

You can stay 5 or 6 hrs in the Machu Picchu Citadel

 

Price:

  • Adult: USD 70

  • Child: USD 41

  • Student: USD 41

Machu Picchu Ticket + Wayna Picchu

 

This type of Ticket includes the income to the City of Machu Picchu and the Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Capacity: 400 people per day, divided into two groups of 200 each.

 

Schedule:

  • Huayna Picchu Mountain 6:00 hrs.
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain 7:00 hrs.
  • Huayna Picchu Mountain 8:00 hrs.

Price:

  • Adult: USD 86

  • Child: USD 57

  • Student: USD 57

Machu Picchu Ticket + Mountain

This Ticket allows you access to the City of Machu Picchu and the Machu Picchu Mountain located in front of the Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Capacity: 400 people per day at each entrance time.

 

Schedule:

  • Machu Picchu Mountain 6:00 hrs.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain 7:00 hrs.
  • Machu Picchu Mountain 8:00 hrs.

Price:

  • Adult: USD 86
  • Child: USD 57
  • Student: USD 57

Machu Picchu Ticket + Museum

This ticket includes the entrance to the City of Machu Picchu and the Manuel Chávez Ballón Site Museum. The optional entrance to Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu can not be sold separately.

Capacity: 2500 people per day.

Schedule: Monday to Sunday from 09:00 - 17:00 hrs.

 

Price:

  • Adult: USD 77
  • Child: USD 45
  • Student: USD 45

To buy the electronic ticket to Machupicchu follow the following steps:

  • Make the reservation through the web page: www.machupicchu.gob.pe, consigning the date of visit, personal data and the route to visit. (Remember that this reservation is valid for 3 hours).
  • Once the reservation is made you can pay the amount online using a VISA credit card that has the Verifed by Visa security system or cancel the amount in one of the authorized offices.
  • Once the payment has been made, you must go back to the website www.machupicchu.gob.pe and enter the Check In tab where you must enter the reservation code number in order to print the entrance ticket to Machupicchu according to the selected modality.

Methods of payment of the Machu Picchu tickets

The payment of the ticket in person in Cusco can be made with cash in credit or debit card. Payment online is made with these payment methods:

  • Payment by Visa card: The official website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru only accepts 'Verified by Visa' cards for the purchase of Machu Picchu tickets. The websites of authorized tourism agencies also accept Visa as a method of payment.
  • Payment with paypal: The websites of the tourist agencies use PayPal as the main method of payment. PayPal is an online payment method that is characterized by speed and security. Accepts any type of credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).
  • Payment with Western Union: Only some tourist agencies use Western Union as payment method. Western Union has thousands of agencies around the world. To make the payment, you just have to complete the form, make the payment and wait for the deposit to become effective.
  • Payment with a bank transfer: The payment of the Machu Picchu ticket by a bank transfer is a method used by tourism agencies. This method is easy. It only requires completing a form, making the payment and waiting for the deposit to be effective.

 

How to get to Machu Picchu?

The first thing you have to do is arrive to the city of Cusco by any of the known modalities (see how to get to Cusco). Once there you can choose between one of the following options:

 

Inca Trail 

Recommended for those who wish a little more adventure, has its start at KM 82 of the railroad that goes from Cusco to Machu Picchu, this tour has a duration of 4 days and 3 nights, time in which one can tour the ancient and enigmatic stone path or Inca Trail.

If you want to embark on this adventure the first thing you have to do is book your entry ticket, which must be done with a minimum of 5 months in advance and the best way to do it is through travel agencies, which are responsible to carry out all the corresponding procedures so that you enjoy your stay in a better way. Access to the Inca Trail is done in groups of no less than 10 people and accompanied by qualified guides who will help you in any event that may arise.

There are two versions of the Inca Trail:

 

The classic - Inca Trail 4 days

Every year, approximately 25,000 hikers from all over the world travel their extraordinary 43 kilometers (26 miles) along a stone paved road built by the Incas, which leads to the impregnable citadel of Machu Picchu located deep in the high jungle of Cusco. You need a permit to hike this amazing path.

 

Prices:

  • Adult: USD 700
  • University student: USD 680
  • Kids under 18 years: USD 680

The short - Inca Trail 2 days

Short Inca Trail, this ideal alternative route for people who have little physical resistance or who do not have much time only lasts 2 days and 1 night, in total the hike involves 11 kilometers (6,14 miles). The walk lasts approximately 6 to 7 hours until you reach the Puerta del Sol known as Inti Punku, where you can get the first panoramic views of Machu Picchu.

  

Prices:

  • Adult: USD 450
  • University student: USD 430
  • Kids under 18 years: USD 430

Via Train

Another option to get to Machu Picchu is using the railroad tracks. For which, one must first purchase the train ticket one month in advance to secure the space, you can book it at the San Pedro train station or at the same train station in Poroy, the train part of the station of Poroy, located 20 minutes from the city of Cusco, departures are also made from the Ollantaytambo station, the trip takes about 4 hours, to the town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town. From Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes there are two ways to ascend to the citadel of Machu Picchu. The first is using the buses in a 20-minute journey and the second is at a walking pace that lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 min.

 

Train tickets

 

Peru Rail

You can buy the train tickets in the different points of sale of Peru Rail, as well as it can be done through the Web page www.perurail.com. Ticket sales are subject to space availability.

 

Inca Rail

You can buy tickets at different points of service or through the website www.incarail.com

 

Bus tickets

 

There are buses that take people from Machu Picchu to the Sanctuary from 05:30 hours, every 15 minutes. This frequency is given until 3:30 p.m. and return buses leave between 6:30 and 5:30 p.m. The travel time is approximately 25 minutes.

 

Prices:

 

  Round Trip One way
Adult USD 24 USD 12
Child USD 12 USD 7

 

It is recommended to buy bus tickets in advance to avoid double lines in Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes (one to buy and another to board buses).

You can purchase the tickets at the CONSETTUR offices located in the city of Cusco:

  • Av. Infancia Nº 433: L-S from 8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sundays and Holidays from 08:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Interbank Office: Av. Sol N ° 380, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Office Machu Picchu town: Av. Hermanos Ayar S / N Monday to Sunday included holidays from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Counter in P.A. Machupicchu: At the entrance of P.A. Machu Picchu, the hours of operation are from Monday to Sunday from 07:30 to 17:30 hours.

Data for the traveller

 

Recommendations

  • Bring cash because most stores do not accept credit cards.
  • Do not forget to bring a jacket for the rain, warm clothes for the night and bathing clothes for the thermal waters (the latter can be purchased in the same place).
  • Climb as soon as possible to the citadel of Machu Picchu so you can go around calmly and avoid the avalanche of tourists.
  • Wear mosquito repellent.
  • Receive the vaccine against yellow fever this due to the presence of mosquitoes in the area.
  • Wear sunblock because the weather in the jungle is usually inclement.
  • Remember that the sanctuary can not carry food, backpacks greater than 20 kilos, canes without caps on the tips, should not throw garbage

What you should know to travel to Machu Picchu

  • Admission to the citadel is allowed from 6:00 a.m.
  • The entry of food is prohibited. It is prohibited
  •  It is forbidden to climb the Inca walls.
  • Smoking and bonfires are prohibited.
  • The hygienic services are outside the citadel.

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