Expectations for Your Journey to Machu Picchu: The Mysterious “Lost City of the Incas

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The Machu Picchu evokes admiration and delight upon first glance. Neglected after the decline of the Inca Empire, and subsequently rediscovered after four centuries, Machu Picchu is unquestionably Peru’s finest creation. Essentially, all adventurers and hikers should make plans to visit it at least once in their lifetimes. An enriching journey to the site requires careful preparation and extensive knowledge. Consult our guide for activities to engage in and popular attractions near Machu Picchu.

machu picchu

Top 7 Activities to Experience at Machu Picchu

The area encompassing Machu Picchu is home to various captivating sights, ruins, and small towns. Here are some recommendations that you should keep in mind before packing your bags to trek this location:

Trail Leading To Machu Picchu

1. South America: Discover the Trail Leading to Machu Picchu

Upon arrival here, you will likely be bewildered by the multitude of paths. You can ascend the Inca Trail, which is an extraordinary four-day hike. The trail winds its way from the mighty Urubamba River, traversing mountain passes and passing through numerous crumbling fortresses before reaching the lost city of Machu Picchu. If you are unable to secure a booking for this trail, you can consider trying another path, such as the Choquequirao Trail.

Hike To The Sun Gate

2. South America: Trek to the Sun Gate

The Sun Gate compensates for the challenging trekking journey you undertake to reach the site. It provides an incredible opportunity to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas. However, if you are touring Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes, it is worthwhile to ascend to the Sun Gate to observe the remnants from above. It takes approximately an hour to reach Intipunku.

Royal Tomb

3. South America: Uncover the Royal Tomb

The Royal Burial Ground is located near the Sun Temple. Hiram Bingham, the explorer of Machu Picchu, was quoted as saying that the external boundary of the palace is the finest wall in America. Similar to the Sun Temple, there are large corners for sacrifices, and the base of the structure has a cave-like formation, which is why Bingham referred to the area as a tomb.

Funerary Rock

4. South America: Visit the Funeral Stone

Providing one of the finest views of Machu Picchu, this structure is a place where priests were preserved after death. When you reach the top, you can see the entirety of Machu Picchu. Additionally, if you’re fortunate, you might even encounter the site’s professional animal care team: a small group of alpacas and llamas.

Hut Of The Caretaker

5. South America: Discover The Caretaker’s Hut

If you appreciate picturesque views, be sure to visit the Caretaker’s Hut. It consists of a few buildings that have been renovated with a thatched roof, making it a suitable shelter in case you visit during the rainy season. The Inca Trail enters the city just below this cottage. Therefore, this hut is an ideal spot to enjoy a breathtaking view.

6. South America: Lose Yourself In Farm Terraces

One of the most remarkable achievements of the Incas was their ability to adapt to the hilly terrain of the Andes for agriculture. Here, you can stroll along the terraces at Machu Picchu to revel in the techniques they utilized to cultivate the land. It is also a serene location where you can unwind away from the noise and commotion of the city.

Farm Terraces View

7. South America: Get A Sweeping View Of Inca Drawbridge

A stunning yet flat walk from the Hut of the Caretaker leads you directly past the top of the terraces and out along a cliff-hugging narrow trail to the Inca drawbridge. In less than an hour’s walk, the path offers you a decent glimpse of cloud-forest vegetation and a completely distinct perspective of Machu Picchu.

Panoramic View Of Inca Drawbridge

But keep in mind, it is prescribed that you capture the bridge view from a distance only as someone crossed the bridge a few years ago and tragically fell to their demise.

4 Best-Kept Secrets About Machu Picchu

There are numerous secrets revolving around the ancient structure. We’ve made an effort to uncover some of them:

1. It Was An Ancient Resort Town

According to a team of archaeologists, Machu Picchu was built as a retreat for the Royal family. The research conducted by John Rowe, Lucy Salazar, and Richard Burger reveals that Machu Picchu was constructed envisioning the area as a peaceful place to recuperate from the hustle and bustle of the city in Cuzco.

Ancient Resort Town

2. A Majority Of The Foundation Is Subterranean

While tourists marvel at the impressive architectural achievements, it is estimated that 60% of the Inca town’s construction is underground. The Incas invested in solid building foundations and an extensive crushed rock drainage system to cope with the rainy season’s weather. You’ll have a fantastic time at Machu Picchu.

Portals Machupicchu Inca Architecture Stones

3. There Are Several Unexplored Paths & Enigmatic Temples

Numerous paths diverge from the main steps of Machu Picchu and are quickly overgrown by foliage, branches, and bushes. This is because the surrounding cloud forests grow at such a rapid pace. Occasionally, new terraces and trails are cleared and opened to visitors. Be sure to visit here for an incredible experience.

Unexplored Trails & Mysterious Temples

4. It’s Not Actually Misplaced

When Hiram Bingham III, the adventurer, originally discovered Machu Picchu in 1911, he was seeking the Lost City of the Incas known as Vilcabamba. He, in fact, believed that Machu Picchu was truly Vilcabamba, where the Incas had escaped when the Spanish arrived in 1532 in South America. Bingham’s theory was later disproven when Gene Savoy found Espiritu Pampa in 1964, the actual lost city.

How To Reach Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is situated approximately 50 miles northwest in the Cordillera de Vilcabamba of the Andes Mountains of Cuzco, Peru. It is positioned over the Urubamba River valley. The passage to Machu Picchu is the town of Aguas Calientes which is also referred to as Machu Picchu Pueblo. This small town has no road access from any neighboring towns, so it’s not directly reachable by car. You will have to utilize a combination of transportation modes including the train, walking, or car. You can choose between a bus or hike to Machu Picchu. Once there, Machu Picchu is perched at the summit of the mountain above Aguas Calientes.

Road and Mountains view

To visit the site, you must purchase a ticket in advance for entry, which is available from various ticket offices in Cusco or through online booking. Please note tickets for Machu Picchu are not sold at its entrance gate and are limited to 2500 daily tickets, with access to Montaña Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu each being further restricted to 400 daily tickets. During peak times of the year, tickets for these additional attractions may be sold out in advance. So, you must act quickly to book your trip in advance as the demand for this place remains insatiable among tourists. The site opens for entry at 6 AM and closes at 3 PM.

After exploring the awe-inspiring accomplishment of the ancient Incan builders, you will desire to embark on a more comprehensive exploration of Machu Picchu. And yes, you’ll discover many ideal locations to capture astonishing photographs and selfies. Prepare yourself for some adventures on your journey to South America. We assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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