Open all year round, the fabled ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is about 8,000 feet above sea level and can cause visitors difficulty as they acclimatise to the altitude. There are two approaches in how best to handle it; some visitors start with an overnight stay at nearby Cusco, even higher in the mountains, where they drink lots of fluids and do minimal activity until they’re used to the thinner air. Other’s start at the smaller Machu Picchu Pueblo, considerably lower in the mountains, and take the altitude shift in stages. Talk to our travel experts who can advise you.
Depending on your fitness levels, you can spend days hiking to this outstanding site of beauty, and push yourself to your physical limits, or you can be driven most of the way, leaving just a three hour hike from Aguas Calientes. Even this isn’t for the faint hearted.
Finally, don’t forget to spend time at Cusco. Itself achieving World Heritage Status, its cobblestone streets, ancient history and relaxed atmosphere make a couple of days stay well worth it.
TIP: Though Machu Picchu is busy most days, avoid peak season (July and August) and Sundays, where locals are allowed onto the site for free. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat, and a waterproof.