Machu Picchu, without a doubt, deserves to be where it is. A 100% cultural destination for those travelers who love history, culture and adventure (like me), and who has been named as one of the New Wonders of the World.
Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city located at 2,490 meters (8000 feet), commonly known as “The Lost City of the Incas.” It is one of the most famous and amazing ruins in the world and a necessary step when choosing Peru as your next travel destination. Well, here is this Machu Picchu Travel Guide for backpackers (and travelers of all kinds), with my best tips to take into account before, during and after your trip:}
Visa for Peru
In general, if you are Latin American, North American or European you will not need it. If you are a Mercosur citizen, all members can enter Peru just by carrying their ID or with a valid passport. If you are from a country that is not part of Mercosur, then you will need a valid passport and, in some exceptional cases, depending on your country of origin, a visa. Here some special cases:
- If you are a minor you will need to spend in the company of your parents.
- If you are a father and you travel with a child (s) you will need a marriage certificate, birth certificate of the child.
Vaccines for Peru
There is no obligatory vaccine to arrive in Peru. But Ministry of Health of Peru recommends getting vaccinated against Yellow Fever to go to certain regions of the jungle.
Normally no one does it, so it stays with you whether it’s worth the risk or not. In several countries this vaccine is free and when it costs, it is not expensive.
It is a very important factor, look carefully at what time you are going to visit Machu Picchu, everything has its pros and cons, they say that it is best to go in the dry season (April to October) where there are not many clouds and photos at Machu Picchu are spectacular … but, because it is a dry season the grass looks a little yellow, on the other hand, in the rainy season (November to March) you will see the grass very green, beautiful, everything blooms, but many times the clouds of rain play tricks, so I do not recommend them, you can spoil the photo, for me, the best season is from May to July, when the grass is still green and there are no clouds . Note that in time of rain the prices go down a lot!
Avoid loading many things
Machu Picchu is a place to walk, and walk a lot! a small briefcase and water is recommended to take, the road is long and many times beautiful sun is present, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen would not be bad, but do not forget to wear a very light jacket, it is possible that in the afternoon a little wind runs, this tip to Machu Picchu is important.
Maybe you have never experienced the lack of oxygen. This is commonly felt in Cusco due to the height and makes it all cost you triple the effort so do not count on your usual physical resistance which will be diminished. Your digestion will be a little slower and your sleep dense and deep. The ideal is to stay calm the first day to acclimatize. It is very normal for all pharmacies to sell pills for altitude sickness. Coca tea also helps as well as candies.
Doing the “Inca Trail” is not obligatory to get to Machu Picchu. Many people are confused about it. This is just a tourist route that can only be accessed through authorized travel agencies. There are trekkings of two and four days and it is essential to have an excellent physical condition. The walk ends in “one of the entrances to Machu Picchu” (Intipunku), which is why many believe it is the way to get there. Only a small group of visitors can access, so reservations must be made in advance.
If you are a student, it is convenient to take out the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) that allows you to have discounts in hostels, besides getting the ticket to go up to MachuPichu (it costs 128 PEN) at half price as well as the tourist ticket in Cusco and other advantages . (costs around 18 USD)
In Machu Picchu
Formerly with a single entrance you could visit the entire Machu Picchu complex. Now they have divided the visit into sections. If you want to climb the mountain Huayna Picchu you must book your ticket in advance and arrive before noon (It is the mountain behind the citadel where the Temple of the Moon is located). Same for the Machu Picchu mountain.
From Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes) you can climb up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Two ways:
- On foot: Not recommended for people who want to reserve energy to climb the Huayna Picchu
- By bus. There are buses that go up and down people all the time.
Finally enjoy your vacation trip and explore the beauty of the city of Cusco, the first step to visit the wonder of the world Machu Picchu.