15 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu

15 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu

1. It’s worth getting there early.

I can’t stress this enough: Get there early (first bus from Aguas Calientes leaves around 5:30, getting you there at around 6am). This is the prime time to get a serene feel for the site. By 11 a.m., it will be so crowded you can hardly walk through some places, and everyone will be lining up for the same shot.

2. “Jumping pictures” are not allowed–but people do it anyway.

You are not supposed to jump at Machu Picchu; I guess they’re worried about you falling or breaking something. However, lots of people do it and just risked getting yelled at.

3. There is no evidence that there were human sacrifices in Machu Picchu.

While concrete evidence has been found that shows the Incas did offer up human sacrificeselsewhere, there has never been any proof that that was what Machu Picchu was used for. Some tour guides will try to hype it up and make it sound like Machu Picchu is where they slaughtered human beings, but that’s simply not true. The true facts about the history of Machu Picchu are plenty interesting without the use of embellishment.

4. Do not book tours ahead of time if you can help it–they often cost double just to book online.

Expats and locals alike in Cusco have heard their fair share of stories from visitors who’ve been ripped off by tour companies. If you book online while you’re in your home country, prices can be double what you’d actually pay in Cusco itself! If you can wait to book tours until you arrive, then by all means, do so. Google average prices for tours in the area before booking. For example, a 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu should NOT cost $600 (which I’ve heard people do pay when they book online).

 5. There are three ways to get there: By train, by bus, or by hiking.There are two trains that go to Aguas Calientes (the town closest to Machu Picchu): Inca Rail and PeruRail. For more information on both, see my blog post about trains to Machu Picchu.

There are many hikes you can take to Machu Picchu. The most popular is the Inca Trail, four days and three nights.

The lesser known option is a bus from the Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes.

6. You can get a Machu Picchu passport stamp for free.

When you exit the Machu Picchu gates, look to your right. There is a little table with a special Machu Picchu stamp for your passport. Sometimes you can do it yourself; other times an employee will be handling it for you.

7. You can wait until last minute and get a tour guide at the entrance gates.

It’s not recommended because you may know nothing about their background, but if in a pinch, you can wait till last minute and just grab a tour guide at the gate when you get to Machu Picchu. There are always plenty there.

8. There are no bathrooms and no places to buy water or food once you get inside the gates.

Be prepared. Bring lots of water and snacks.

9. You have to pay to use the restrooms located at the entrance.

It costs 1 Peruvian Nuevo Sol to use the bathroom at the gates.

Read More: Wherever Writer


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