Travel Guide: Machu Picchu

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When you want to go somewhere in South America, it is only natural to think of Machu Picchu when it comes to any South America Travel. There are so many things to do and see at this incredible citadel that is over 500 years old! In this article we will talk a little bit more about Machu Picchu and enjoying your first trip there and how you can make it as special as the place itself.

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History

One of the reasons that Machu Picchu is so famous is due to it being the lost city of the Inca empire. The reason it is known as this is because it was completely untouched by the Spanish when they occupied Peru, therefore it presents some very good examples of intact Inca architecture. Machu Picchu is also the most magnificent Inca ruin of all and this is reflected by the huge number of visitors each year and its status as one of the wonders of the world.

When to go

No matter how hard you try it will be very difficult to avoid some form of wet weather when visiting Machu Picchu, especially with damp and foggy conditions that are typical of such high altitudes. The peak tourist season runs from the end of may until August. Typically July and August are the drier months of the year and between January and February are the wettest.

In terms of picking a time of day to see Machu Picchu, it is advisable to try and get there as early as possible. This is great, not only for avoiding the bulk of the tourists, but also for catching the most amazing sunrise you will see in your life. Any time after lunch time is when the most tourists will be arriving, so if you have anything that you really want to take some time to look at then it is best to plan your visit around this.

Options

The most popular options for getting to the citadel are the two day or four day trail. The four day trail is much more challenging and runs for just over 40km, but is very up and down and is recommended for hikers with some experience. Of course this journey can be made much easier by employing the help of porters to help carry your things.

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What to see

  • Temple of the Sun – ┬áThis semicircular temple is an amazing way to experience the views of the Sacred Valley. The temple is thought to house
  • Inti Watana – This unusual, multi tiered stone was believed to tether the sun in the sky in its path each day by the Incas, and was therefore very important to the sun worshipping Inca people.
  • Terraces – Machu Picchu is home to hundreds of terraces that were used for agriculture, which is quite a unique and ingenious invention given the terrain of the high mountains. These terraces have their own complex irrigation system that was typical of the Inca people.