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Machupicchu Travel Guide

It is located northwest of Cusco, 129 kilometers above the Urubamba River (hence the name of the Vilcanota River), in the Vilcabamba Mountains. Its altitude is about 2380 m.a.s.l. The citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and is Peru’s main destination. Few works made by man show so much harmony with nature as the citadel of Machu Picchu shows us and the 33 archaeological groups that are united by means of the Inka road. The archaeological complex is located at the top of the mountain, Machu Picchu (in Quechua it means ancient mountain or important mountain) which gives the name to the citadel and the impressive landscape that we have all seen. In front of it, the incredible mountain of Wayna Picchu appears (“young mountain”) in whose summit and slopes some archaeological remains are located. Both peaks border the mighty Urubamba River that runs eastward, 400 meters below the citadel.

Altitude

It is 2490 m.a.s.l. taking as a reference the Main Square of the archaeological site. According to some scientists, this was perhaps created 36 thousand years BC.

Climate

As it is located in a subtropical area, it has a temperature that ranges from 8º to 22º C. The rainiest months are from December to April.

How to get to Machu Picchu?

Access is by rail (112.5 Km – 4 hours approx), from the San Pedro station in Cusco, to the Aguas Calientes station and the only company that provides this service is Peru Rail. From this point there are two ways to get up to the citadel, one (which is the most common) is by bus (20 min trip). The other way is on foot (no cost to your pocket but it does cost a lot to your legs) in a 1 ½ hour walk. To the Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, and the lovers of the adventure can arrive at Machupicchu via the INCA TRAIL that goes from km 82 in four days and three nights approximately, km 88 in four days and three nights approximately and km 104 in two days and one night.

TOURIST PLACES FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MACHU PICCHU

Historical Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

On January 8, 1981, the Peruvian government declared Machu Picchu a Historic Sanctuary by Supreme Decree N° 021-81-AA, covering an area of 32,592 hectares, because of the need to protect the archaeological monuments, valuable vestiges of the pre-Hispanic era and its scenic setting, as well as the native flora and fauna species associated with the region. Machu Picchu is considered one of the wonders of the world and in 1983 was declared by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

The Citadel of Machu Picchu

One of the greatest Inkan architectural works, for having been built in a place that means facing the greatest topographical difficulties; but thanks to this wild and inaccessible area, the citadel enjoys extraordinary landscapes.

Wayna Picchu

It gives the characteristic image to the archaeological complex. At the top there is a group of platforms that would have been used for religious purposes.

Machu Picchu Village

Formerly called Aguas Calientes, it was born as a result of the large influx of visitors who came, in growing groups, to visit the adjacent archaeological complex. Here you can find: accommodation services, restaurants, internet, etc.

Inca Trail

The Inka Trail is approximately 46 km long (4 days of walking) between roads and ravines, which starts at km 82 of the railway line.

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