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Ways to Experience Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
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Reviewed 22 March 2020

I wanted to get here the first time I saw the amazing pictures of it in a National Geographic magazine! To actually see it was the epitome of what a "Bucket List" experience is all about--why we write/update one! WOW!

This has to be one of the more challenging sites to get to/from --not counting the long international flight--that we have ever encountered. It ended up being a 3 day adventure. We had to fly to Cusco, enter the Sacred Valley, stay overnight, take the train to Machu Picchu, take the bus to the site and then do it all in reverse! The great part of the tripis that there is so much to see and do along the way that it is all a great adventure.

One part of the trip that we were unprepared for is the bus ride up the mountain. My wife suffers from altro phobia, and this ride pushed her to the limit. So much so that we did not return for the second day (early in the morning when there are no crowds) at the site. However, we both felt that we had seen and done all that we needed to do on the first day and wanted to sleep in the next day.

In terms of what we did: all the lower levels, climb the STEEP stairs to the top (where the views and vistas are nothing short of incredible and ever changing with the clouds), the walk back down through the buildings without their roofs to get to the bar for a drink and to enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains.

Details of note: the Peruvian authorities have strict visiting rules that limit guided tours at Machu Picchu. The time slot is critical--DO NOT MISS IT! You are limited as to what you can take into the site--bring water, but no plastic bottles or any food. There are NO BATHROOMS on the site--only at the entrance (for a small fee) and you can't return! Do not bring small children--the 8,000 feet can make it tough for them and the stairs are too high. Some (most) of the paths are one way and they do get after you! Recognize that all the beautiful changes in the views are weather related--it does get hotter/colder as the day goes on. Be prepared with clothing for ALL POSSIBLE CONTINGENCIES!

There can be many people at points of interest. Try to "map out" what you absolutely want to see in advance and KNOW HOW YOU ARE GOING TO GET THERE! Study the site map. Be prepared to be amazed--it is better than you could ever imagine.

Date of experience: February 2020
10  Thank 1234texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 March 2020 via mobile

As many other people have said, this was on my bucket list. I’ve been wanting to see Machu Picchu for close to 2 decades. I finally decided to do it and I’m so glad I did. The place is incredible! The views, the Inca architecture, and the fresh air all make it worth every penny spent. To me, it was almost like a dream. There were times that it was hard to believe what I was seeing was real. If you ever have the chance to go, then go. If you don’t have a chance to go, make your own chance and go. You won’t regret it.

Date of experience: March 2020
3  Thank JA10000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 March 2020 via mobile

I can knock this off my bucket list. It was as amazing as it looks, it’s a must see before you die. So amazing. I already want to go back.

Date of experience: March 2020
Thank OldIrishCurmudgeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 March 2020 via mobile

And on my bucket list for 25 years and finally I got there with my husband and guide in cold (for Peru) August.
+ Views outstanding
+ Guide knew all the good photography views, so we got some really excellent pictures. He also took photos of us - great to have a private photographer!
Having said the above, I should also write that:

- Since the Peruvian authorities came with even stricter visiting rules in 2019, we only actually got 2.5 hrs at Macchu Picchu. The slot you get also seem to include the travelling time on the bus going up. We also had a train in the early evening and as our guide knew the queue going down could be really long, he made us leave MP well in advance. And the queue going down WAS long. There’s only this non-stop bus going between MP and the village. Some people walked, but it would also have taken a long time.
- Our trip: Train at 0800. Queue and bus and on site 11.00.
- Visit at Machu P 11-13.30.
- Queue & bus and down in the village again just before 3 pm Train 16.22. Our hotel the night before was very nice, but was quite far from the station, which contributed to our overall travelling time.
If I’d known what I know now, I’d have insisted on a hotel in the village so I could have got to MP as early as possible. There would have been less people and less time queuing resulting in more time at MP.
 
Needless to say, MP is not suitable for children, make sure you eat, drink and go to the toilet before entering the MP site. Bring water and be prepared for change in weather; hotter/colder.

Ask your guide about the timing on the site. Remember you cannot go back in many places, so you want to make you see as much as possible, but don’t want to come to the exit too early.
Consider visiting 2 days to see different parts of MP. in the program.

Date of experience: August 2019
2  Thank ScaniaSwede
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 March 2020

We took the bus from Agua Calientes up the mountain to the MP gate entrance at 8a.m. rather than climb the stairway. This let us catch the sunrise over the east mountain ridge as it illuminated this ancient, isolated Inca city. What a sight! Peru is protecting this unique architectural artifact and we appreciated that the daily number of visitng tourists was controlled. Wandering through this City you can almost imagine the ancient peoples there going about their daily lives. You can walk down via a twisting, manageable stairway, but wear good hiking boots. Imagine how the locals did it several times a day, back in their day. Hiring a tour guide is essential as there is some much information to garner. Be prepared to see something awesome. And go SOON as the government is likely to further restrict visitor numbers so as to protect the site.

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank rayporsche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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