Peru’s main tourist attraction and one of the Seven Wonders of the World has been closed to the public since January 20 due to protests.
According to the agreement of the members of the Machu Picchu Management Unit (UGM), in a meeting held the day before, it was agreed as a tentative date to reopen the archaeological center of Machu Picchu next February 15, as the social unrest dissipates.
As is recalled, Peru’s main tourist attraction has been closed since January 20, following the blocking of the train tracks and alternate routes in the midst of social protests against the government of Dina Boluarte.
For the Chamber of Commerce of Machu Picchu, this passage would mean the reactivation of the main economic activity of the area, since more than 80% of the local population lives from tourism.
Last Wednesday, PeruRail also reported the resumption of its train operations, but only partially, with routes, for now, only on Wednesdays and Sundays.
“Having received notification from the concessionaire today, February 6, informing about the partial opening of rail operations between Ollantaytambo, Machupicchu and Hidroelectrica, PeruRail has arranged the operation of its mixed trains (local + tourist cars) on Wednesdays and Sundays, starting this February 8 until having the necessary conditions for rail operation,” the company reported in a statement.
That is why in this special edition, we will tell you all about what you should know on your next visit to this wonder of the world.
How to get to Machu Picchu
There are two ways from Aguas Calientes once you arrive in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu town, you still have work to do to get to Machu Picchu. The site is about 600 meters above the town and the valley floor.
Buses depart regularly to and from Machu Picchu town to the ruins. They cost $12 or 40 soles per person and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the top. This is the best price for tourists.
The road is bumpy and zigzagging, so be prepared if you get sick easily. In the high season the lines to get on the bus can take an hour or more to board.
Buses start running at 5:30 am and you will need to make sure you are on this bus if you want to catch the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Keep in mind that this is probably one of the busiest times you can take the bus, so you will likely need to be in line by 4:30 am.
You can also walk to Machu Picchu from the city. The climb is steep, but the stairs are well maintained and wide. The hike can be very pleasant and might take 45 minutes. The hike up/down from Machu Picchu is the free option, but depending on your physical ability it may exhaust you.
What are the hikes around Machu Picchu?
The fun doesn’t have to stop after admiring the magnificent Inca ruins. There are a number of hikes you can do to make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu.
The most popular hike to do is Huayna Picchu, or sometimes called Wayna Picchu. Huayna Picchu is the mountain directly behind every photo of the famous Inca ruins. It has been nicknamed the mountain of death because of its incredibly steep climb and terrifying stairs. Huayna Picchu is no joke and should only be conquered by the most experienced hikers.
Only 400 permits to climb Huayna Picchu are issued per day and are usually sold months in advance.
Machu Picchu Mountain
If you can’t get tickets to Huayna Picchu but want to hike, try Montana Machu Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain). They issue 800 passes per day for Machu Picchu Mountain, so you are more likely to get a ticket here if you book at the last minute.
Machu Picchu Mountain is definitely considered the least scary of the treks, as the trails and stairs are wider and not as steep, although it is a much higher elevation at 3082 meters above sea level.
The views at the top are to die for and you really enjoy the hike. The hike can be challenging at some points, but not terrible. The hike can take you about an hour and 10 minutes with photo stops and about 45 minutes to hike down. These tickets are sold along with tickets to Machu Picchu.
The Sun Gate, or Inti Punku, was once the entrance to Machu Picchu. This hike is the least demanding of all the above hikes and takes 3 to 4 hours round trip to complete. Once you enter Machu Picchu, you will find signs pointing you in the direction of the Sun Gate. The Sun Gate is the only hike that is free with your Machu Picchu ticket.
When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?
It often rains at Machu Picchu during the rainy season (November to March), which makes the trails murky and the clouds obscured. If you want the best chance of seeing Machu Picchu sunny and in all its splendor, you should plan to go in the dry season (May to October).
The busiest periods are June through August. Although we advise that you visit in mid-June and have clear, sunny days, booked your tickets only a few days in advance..
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