Visiting Machu Picchu: The quick guide
To be standing on top of that mountain, realising the incredible creation that a long-lost civilization built centuries ago was one of the most overwhelming emotions we’ve ever felt.
A citadel frozen in time
It is impressive, overwhelming, peaceful and almost incomprehensible all at the same time. There is a special energy up there in-between the peaks of the Andes mountains. It somehow makes you feel closer to those Gods that the Incas venerated. No matter how many tourists there might be, this peaceful energy allows you to feel like it’s just you, the mountain and its history.
Where to sleep in Machu Picchu Pueblo
The one and only Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Tucked away in its own private jungle reserve close to one of 7 World Wonders (Machu Picchu Citadel). Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is an oasis of unique beauty and peace. An intimate Andean village made of 83 whitewashes casitas, strewn between 12 acres of lush jungle and joined by stone paths, waterfalls, and terraces. Part of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and awarded as number 6 top Resorts in South America in CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER – Readers’ Choice Awards 2017. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an experience within an experience.
Where to eat in
Machu Picchu Pueblo
The Magical Cafe Inkaterra
Overlooking Río Vilcanota and hugged by two train tracks. This beautiful restaurant with its traditional Amazonian roof made by the Ese 'Eja with palm straw is also open to the public. In the menu you will find fusion style dishes that combine the classic Andean traditions with innovative twists.
Hugged by two train tracks
5 top tips Machu Picchu
Here are some tips to help you have the best Machu Picchu experience:
How to book tickets: Buying the tickets online is honestly a pain. The government website is not intuitive and doesn't work well, so it took us a good four tries and three different credit cards before we got the tickets. We managed to finally buy them by following the amazing step by step explanation on therewardboss.com. It might take a couple of times depending on your card.
What to wear: Assuming you will be lucky enough to go on a sunny day, it will be very hot once the sun is out, so don’t overdress. Jeans, a t-shirt and a light jacket will be enough. We were both wearing sneakers and had no issues with both the Machu Picchu Citadel ground and reaching the top of Montaña.
What to bring: Enough water for a day (we stayed on the grounds from 6am to 2pm), a hat, toilet paper and some snacks. Note: there are no toilets or shops once you enter the ground, only outside, and you are allowed one exit only to use the bathroom.
When to go: Morning or afternoon have both their perks in terms of time slots. We choose to visit in the morning as we wanted to experience the best light for photography (which meant we made sure to be in the first group to go in at 6am when the doors opened. To do so we had to take the first bus, which is at 5.30am, cueing for the bus starts from around 4am). Another beautiful aspect of being in Machu Picchu in the first group is that you can experience the sun rising and the fog rolling over the peaks. It lifts slowly to reveal the view and the citadel. The afternoon tour can be slightly less crowded and, depending on the month, you can get some nice light when the sun starts setting (but consider that the doors close at 5pm).
Best spots for photos: We are sure this is a key point for many of you! Most of the ‘Instagram famous’ photos are taken from the ‘guardian house’ viewpoint, and we can confirm that there is a very nice view from there. Our photos were taken from a different point as we were trying not to replicate the usual view. We walked up to the ‘guardian house’ and the continued up the little road on the right that leads to the ‘Inca Bridge’ (definitely visit the Inka Bridge, it is really incredible!). On your right side (with the ruins on your back) you will find a platform with a sign that says you can take photos from there.