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Last updated on June 21st, 2019 at 11:54 am

travel tips for machu picchu

Read our Top 10 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu from our Travel Consultant Adam Haynie.

People fly from across the world to visit the mysterious city of Machu Picchu, now the only question is – when will you?  When your time finally arrives, here are a few travel tips for Machu Picchu to help you enjoy your visit to the Lost City of the Incas.

#1 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Wake up Early

Not only can you beat the heat and avoid the crowds, but watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu is breathtaking. There is nothing like experiencing the tranquility and mystery of Machu Picchu during sunrise.

#2 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Pack Light

Bring your camera, rain jacket, comfortable walking shoes, water, and a snack.  That’s really all you need to put in your day pack.  Leave the rest of your luggage at your hotel in Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, or Aguas Calientes – not on your back!Don’t forget to bring some coins so that you can use the restroom there!

#3 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Be Prepared for Weather Changes

While extra caution should be given, don’t let a little rain stop you from enjoying the most spectacular Inca ruins. Be it with a rain jacket, poncho, umbrella, or just a little Dancin’ in the Rain, a good attitude will help you appreciate this ancient Incan domain.  If rain doesn’t sound so appealing, allow two days to visit Machu Picchu.  Luckily, storms do not last long in Machu Picchu, so if one day is blustery, a second scheduled day could bring clear blue skies.

#4 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – When to Go

I recommend visiting anytime during the “dry” season, but keep in mind the weather is always unpredictable.  High season is July-August, so you are sure to experience crowds.  Low season is October-April because this is the rainy season.

#5 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Hire a Guide

We always recommend having a guide take you through Machu Picchu.  Some would argue that a guidebook would suffice, however the local guides bring to life the Inca ruins by sharing information that only a local would know.  We are happy to book all private or group tours.

#6 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Climb to the Sky

Choose either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Montaña.  You will need separate tickets to climb these trails. Be sure to book this early, only 400 tickets per day are available for each hike, and once they’re gone they’re gone.  Both hikes are definitely worth the additional costs. You’ll experience a new vantage point for observing Machu Picchu.  Keep in mind these can be very strenuous hikes.

#7 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Bring your Passport

If you leave the gates to use the restroom or to grab food, you will need your passport to re-enter.  Don’t forget to get your passport stamped with the special Machu Picchu stamp that is located right outside the entrance gates and easy to miss.

#8 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Keep on Trekkin

If you enjoy hiking, take the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trail to see first-hand what Hiram Bingham found as they re-discovered Machu Picchu.  Spend either two days, four days, or five, on these treks for a magical experience. Don’t delay your booking because tickets often sell out more than six months before check-in.

 #9 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – Train Ride Necessities

Bring a book for the train.  If you’re traveling with younger children, make sure they have stuff to keep them entertained for the 2.5 hour train ride.

#10 Travel Tips for Machu Picchu – All Aboard

If you don’t have the time, or want to relax, board the Vistadome or Hiram Bingham train for the best views to Machu Picchu. These fist-class trains are the best in show and depart daily from Cuzco or Ollantaytambo.  Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you’re almost there, just a short bus will take you directly to the gate where you will start your Machu Picchu tour.


Peru is not the only destination we recommend visiting, we specialize in multi-country trips throughout South America.  Simply fill out the form below or contact us directly at (800) 747-4540 to start planning your dream vacation.

travel tips for machu picchu