Machu Picchu Hiking Tours & Camping Tours

Here are Five of the Best Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

Are you planning your Trek to Machu Picchu and don’t know where to start? Here is a complete guide to everything you really need to know before booking your Inca trail tour, including the best Machu Picchu hiking tours you can take to get to Machu Picchu in a unique way.

Our Best hiking tours to Machu Picchu are designed to meet your needs. Some prefer to visit Machu Picchu by train from Cusco and also some take the option to visit it by doing the 2 day 1 night Inca Trail, or the classic 4 day Inca Trail.

One of the great things of booking with Come See Perú is that all our tours can be modified according to your interest and desire, if you want to visit Machu Picchu for more than 3 hours then we suggest that when making your reservation contact one of our specialists and book your tour to Machu Picchu plus a short hike to the Sun Gate.

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Guided Hikes To Machu Picchu

Our Peru trekking tours are fully personalized and excellent service with the support of our porters and luxurious itineraries that will make your experience unique and unforgettable, be amazed by the history, beauty and wonder of the deep Peru and its alternative trails connected to Machu Picchu.

Our Inca Trail tours can be modified according to  your interest and desire, if you want to visit Machu Picchu for more than 3 hours then we suggest that when making your reservation contact one of our specialists and book your tour to Machu Picchu plus the walk to the Sun Gate, this way you can stay and explore Machu Picchu longer and get the best views.

Machu Picchu Hiking Tours & Best Alternative Hikes to Machu Picchu

Choose your best Inca Trail tours option with the best Inca Trail company in Peru. Book your Inca trail hike  months in advance to secure a spot. If you can’t get a permit, or want to avoid the crowds of the classic Inca Trail, there are excellent Inca Trail alternatives that can also take you to Machu Picchu.

MORE ABOUT THE BEST MACHU PICCHU HIKING TOURS

Machu Picchu hiking tours

Are you planning your treks to Machu Picchu and don’t know where to start? Let us help you and give you all the information before you book your Inca Trail for this 2022, let’s know together more about the best Machu Picchu trekking tours with Come See Peru.

When Is the Best Time For a Hike to Machu Picchu?

The dry season is the best time of the year for a trek to Machu Picchu; April, May, September, October and November are the best months of the year to do the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

We do not recommend hiking the Inca Trail during the peak season which is the months of June, July and August because they are the months where there are more crowds and it is more complicated to get a space for the Inca Trail.

Which Trail is Best for Machu Picchu?

If you are ooking for an off-the-beaten-path route to Machu Picchu? we believe that the best alternate routes to Machu Picchu are: the Salkantay trek, the Lares trek and Huchuyqosqo, these routes don’t end at the sun gate as well as the Classic Inca Trail, however they are the best alternate routes, now if you are looking for a route with a combination of all these plus Inca ruins along the way then we can say that the best trail to Machu Picchu is the 4 days and 3 nights Inca Trail, or the 2 days and 1 night Inca Trail.

Which is Better salkantay or Inca Trail?

Compared to the Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek attracts fewer tourists. This route is more famous for its scenery, although each day of trekking is longer than the Inca Trail they are all worth it, because each day the scenery changes gradually, from the Andes to the jungle, most guides and hikers agree that they surpass those of the Inca Trail.

How Much Is The Inca Trail?

On average, the classic Inca Trail tour costs around $600 per person (this includes transportation to the trailhead from Cusco, a guide, porters, three meals a day, trekking permits, entrance to Machu Picchu and tents). You can find even cheaper, depending on the type of service you are looking for, remember that many agencies offer private services for just you and your family or friends and the shared or group service that is with other people from different countries is even the cheapest.

 

Which Trail is Best for Machu Picchu?

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

The highlight of the 4-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the opportunity to hike in the shadow of snow-capped Salkantay (6,264 meters).

Unlike the classic 3-day Inca Trail trek, which requires booking a place at least five to six weeks in advance (in low season), the Salkantay Trek can be booked in Cuzco upon arrival.

 

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Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail is considered by many to be the most famous hike in South America.  The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will make you speechless with its wonderful landscapes and gorgeous mountains.

The maximum limit of people who can do the  Classic Inca Trail is 500 people a day including tourists, porters and guides.

Where is Machu Picchu located?

Today, this Inca jewel is one of the country’s tourist attractions. Travelers approach Aguas Calientes to begin the Inca route that Hiram Bingham, the Yale teacher, popularized in the early 20th century. The historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven new wonders of the modern world and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983.

This incredible place is located is located about 50 miles northwest of Cusco, in the Vilcabamba mountain range of the Andes mountain, it is perched above the Rio Urubamba Valley in a narrow saddle between 2 peaks (WaynaPicchu mountain & Machupicchu mountain)Machu Picchu Inca site was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1983.

Location

Machupicchu Historic Sanctuary  is located 112.5 km northeast of Cusco, in the district of Machupicchu, province of Urubamba, Cusco region, southern Peru.

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How High Is Machu Picchu?

high is Machu Picchu? One of the biggest concerns of tourists is altitude sickness, altitude sickness is a problem that affects most visitors who travel to Cusco (3,300 m.a.s.l or 11000 feet). We recommend before doing any activity in Cusco is to rest the first day or do activities that do not require much effort.  The ruins of Machu Picchu are at an altitud of 2,480 m (7972 feet). We recommend that you travel directly to the town of Aguas Calientes that way you will ensure your trip and have a good time.

  • How high is Waynapicchu Mountain? Waynapicchu Mountain is at an altitude of 8,923 feet (2,720 m.a.s.l.).
  • How high is Machu Pichu Mountain? Machu Picchu Mountain is located at an altitude of 10,111 feet (3,082 m.a.s.l.).
  • How high is the town of Aguas Calientes? The town of Aguas Calientes or Machupicchu town is located at 6,692 feet (2,040 m.a.s.l.).

Best time to Visit Machu Picchu

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is located near the snow-capped mountains of Veronica and Salkantay, it is also very close to the Peruvian jungle. Due to its geographical location, it has a dry season and the rainy season, the first begins in April and ends in September and it is during these months that a high rate of visits is registered. The rainy season runs from October to March and is where prices of services are reduced.

Because it is located between the Vilcanota mountain range and the jungle brow, the climate of Machu Picchu is variable:

When To Visit Machu Picchu?

Peru has three different regions with distinct climates, the coastal part which is mainly desert has a dry and hot climate all year round. In the highlands of the Andes there are 2 seasons: a wet season from December to March and a dry season from April to November. Peru has a tropical rainforest region that is quite humid all year round, it also gets a lot of rain from December to March.

On the other hand, Machu Picchu’s temperature ranges from 12 to 24 °C (degrees Celsius), the climate in Machupicchu is warm and humid during the day and cool at night. The temperature is between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. The area by nature of the climate is rainy (about 1,955 mm annually), especially from November to March.

In the months of December to March or April is the rainy season in Machu Picchu, while in the months of April to November or December is the dry and sunny season, with a special shade in the spring month of September, where there is a spectacular landscape of subtropical forest, in the rainy months from September to April, downpours and drizzles are almost daily, followed by a clear blue sky and intense sunshine.

Machu Picchu by train from Cusco

How To Get To Machu Picchu?

There are two ways to get to this historic site. First you must take a bus from the city of Cusco to Ollantaytambo. From here, you can get a train to Aguas Calientes, the closest point to the ruins and from where you can take a bus that will take you to them. If you choose this means you will also be able to find beautiful views during the tour.

The quality of its architecture and the amazings views with big peak mountains has made Machu Picchu one of the most famous sites in the worlds. Machu Picchu site covers 80,000 acres or 32,500 hectares and about 7000 feet sea level in the Andes mountain.

Aguas Calientes Town
Aguas Calientes Town

To build this Inca citadel the Incas took advantage of the slopes of the mountain where they began to build the retaining walls making sure that in a earthquake these walls would give stability to the city built on top of the mountain that certainly has the same name, Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths and houses to temples and sanctuaries.

  Aguas Calientes is the town from which you will reach Machu Picchu and there are only 3 ways to get there by train, by doing the Inca Trail which will take you on a 4 day hike will be a unique adventure, and an alternative route by bus from Cusco.

The geographical location of Machu Picchu is at the following coordinates:

  • South latitude 13°9’47”
  • West longitude 72°32’44”

Hiking The Inca Trail

One of the main attractions along the route is the ancient network of settlements built on granite rock by the Incas such as Wiñay Wayna and Phuyupatamarca immersed in an overwhelming natural scenery. Hundreds of varieties of orchids, multicolored birds, and dream landscapes provide the ideal setting for a route that the walker should walk at least once.

Route description Inca Trail to Machupicchu

The Inca Trail is a well-established 4-day, 3-night hike, the total distance of the road is approximately 39.6 Km. and starts at Km. 82 in the place called Pisqacucho. To start the road you should cross a bridge, then head left through an eucalyptus orchard and start the day calmly.

Almost immediately you will find the archeological complexes of Q’ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca and Patallaca. From that last point you will continue along the left bank of the Kusichaca River in the area with the same name where you will not only see the bridge but also find tombs, aqueducts, terraces, roads and a canyon. You will continue until you reach the small town of Wayllabamba and Inca aqueducts. It takes about 4 hours to get to 9 km from this point. One will camp there the first night.

Inca trail
Inca trail from Cusco

The second day is more difficult, because the walker will have to climb to 4,200 meters, crossing the Warmiwañusqa pass, the first and the highest. If you suffer from “soroche” (altitude sickness) it is best not to stop or descend quickly to the valley of the river Pakaymayu, where you can camp. This place is 7 km away and is approximately 8 hours away.

The third day is the longest but the most interesting. You will be ready to visit the most impressive complexes such as Runkuraqay, the second pass at 3,800 meters above sea level its walled complex with niches that were perhaps a small place to rest, guard posts and places for worship after crossing the second pass you descend to Yanacocha (The Black Lagoon) then climb a path with stone steps to reach another group of buildings which attract the attention of visitors. This point is called Sayaqmarka a pre-Hispanic complex with narrow streets, buildings erected on different levels; sanctuaries, courtyards, canals and an exterior protective wall. At the top of the buttresses one can observe many constructions which lead to suppose that once it was a temple and an astronomical observatory, which had a permanent supply of water and excellent food stores.

Sayaqmarka is a place full of mystery and charm. The approximate distance to Runkuraqay is 5 Km. Which takes 2 hours. This complex extends 3,600 meters above sea level. There’s an excellent trail and a tunnel through this complex. We recommend camping near the ruins of Phuyupatamarca or 3 km further on at the Wiñay Wayna visitor centre, where one can buy food and drinks or make use of toilet facilities. The ruins of Phuyupatamarca are better preserved than we have seen before.

On the fourth day, which begins around 5:00 A.M., the trekker arrives in Machupicchu around 7:00 A.M. after 8 km of walking through the jungle. Follow the marked route and drink some water at the Wiñay Wayna Visitor Centre. The trail is clearly marked, but try to avoid getting too close to the edge of the cliff.

It’s forbidden to camp at Inti punku. You will leave your equipment at the control gate and enjoy the most important monument in this part of the continent. You will have time to visit Machupicchu until noon. Consult the train schedule to return to Cusco.

If you plan to stay in the town of Machupicchu (also called “Aguas Calientes”) the distance from the station to the ruins bridge to Machupicchu is 2 Km. This takes about 20 minutes down a narrow trail, which runs parallel to the railway line.

Keep in mind the Inca Trail is not a walk in the park.

If you go to the gym or play some kind of sport, it’s more than likely you’ll be able to complete the Inca Trail. It is not necessary to be a very experienced hiker, but acquiring a good level of fitness before arriving in Peru will make everything easier and more fun.

even if you don’t do as much exercise, remember that you will be accompanied by experienced local guides who will help you complete the walk successfully.

If you think hiking poles are only useful for old people then you’re wrong.

Don’t take this the wrong way because making the Inca Trail without the hiking poles is 100% possible but if you want to make the trek more comfortable and easy will be very useful, or if you have knee problems or a recent surgery then the hiking poles will help you a lot and protect you during the descents.

For the 4 days and 3 nights Inca Trail it is necessary and obligatory to make your reservation at least 8 to 6 months in advance, you should know that in 2002 the access of tourists to the Inca Trail was limited to only 500 people per day, 200 tourists and 300 between guides and porters, you can only do the Inca Trail with an authorized travel company or hire an authorized guide.

Many believe that the Inca Trail is quite difficult or almost impossible to do if you are over 50 years old, but let me tell you that you are wrong, the youngest tourist who made the classic Inca Trail satisfactorily was only 7 years old and the oldest was 87 years old, we believe that there is no age limit when you want to achieve your goal and break your own record, but you should also know that if you suffer from a physical problem or are overweight will cost twice as much effort, if you suffer from a heart problem we recommend that you do not do better, but don’t be sad because we have the best option for you, just as exciting, with beautiful views and mysterious Inca sites is the 2 days and 1 night alternative Inca Trail, which doesn’t demand much physical effort, and the best thing is that if you couldn’t book your permit for the classic Inca Trail then you can still book for the 2 day short Inca Trail, to book the short Inca Trail you can even do it up to 3 months in advance and make your dreams of getting to Machu Picchu through the Puerta del Sol come true.

What to Bring to Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu, during the last decades, has become the most popular place in South America. The Old Mountain (Spanish translation of the Inca name Machu Picchu) is visited every year by almost a million tourists (no more because of the restrictions imposed for its better archaeological preservation) and proudly carries the honor of being one of the Seven Wonders of the World declared by Unesco.

  • Don’t forget your passport! You can’t get in without him. It’s like you’re crossing the time
  • The entrance to the city of Machu Picchu and, where appropriate, the mountains of Huayna Picchu and Machu
  • Some money to stamp your passport (1 sun), go to the bathroom (1 sun) and buy something to eat or
  • The camera. You don’t want to run out of pictures of Machu Picchu!
  • Good walking shoes or walking
  • Water, especially if the sun
  • Something to eat (the nearby restaurant is very expensive).
  • Sunglasses and
  • Umbrella or raincoat (if you see the sky threatening).
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What to Wear to Machu Picchu?

The clothes you bring to Machu Picchu depend on many factors.

If you do any of the walks, the nights will be cold and you will have to wear good warm clothes, regardless of the time of year in which you are.

Good boots or hiking shoes, a layer of rain (or quality raincoat), sunglasses, sunscreen and hat complete a fairly well-groomed team (bearing in mind that the agency will give you a good sleeping bag warm).

If you do not have good warm clothes, take the opportunity to buy some llama wool in the area. They’re extremely warm.

Clothing may vary according to the weather of Machu Picchu on the day of your trip, we recommend checking the weather forecast before; however you should know that the weather is changeable as well as when the sky is clear can get cloudy in seconds.

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About Altitude Sickness in Machupicchu

The issue of altitude sickness is no nonsense, especially if you’re going to get to Machu Picchu if you’ve done any walking.

Normally, your body is not used to walking at these altitudes and you will need to acclimatize for two or three days before leaving. The ideal is to do it in Cusco (at 3,400 meters above sea level), a beautiful city.

Don’t walk too fast and don’t overexert yourself. Hydrate and drink the famous coke mates. These mates really help.

Some additional recommendations to avoid altitude sickness

  • Avoid sedatives, alcohol and
  • Drink plenty of water and eat
  • Rest when you get to the
  • If you can get there by land, it’s better, because you gradually increase the
  • Medications such as Diamox can be taken as early as one or two days before the ascent. It is best to consult your doctor before taking any
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What To Do In Machu Picchu?

Since you know how to get to Machu Picchu, you’re probably wondering what there is to do there. Here are some ideas, so that the experience of knowing this place can begin even before stepping on it.

Hike To The Sun Gate

If you chose to do the Inca Trail, you will be able to live the experience of entering Machu Picchu through Intipunku or Puerta del Sol. The walk will take about 2 hours, so it is worth going very early to take advantage of the whole day. It is believed that only important people had the honor of entering through this entrance.

At the time of the Incas this was the checkpoint for visitors to the city. And those who visited it were greeted with a first glimpse of its majesty in the middle of the mountains. From here, you can also observe the surroundings of the Urubamba River and the Huayna Picchu Mountain.

Do I need a separate ticket to walk to the Sun Gate?

No, if you have the Machu Picchu ticket before doing the tour you could go up first to the Puerta del Sol and on your return explore the city this will also allow you to have more time in Machu Picchu.

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Huaynapicchu Mountain Climbing

In Quechua Huayna Picchu means Young Mountain and although it has a little-known name, this is the mountain that appears in the background in all the classic photos of the Inca city. Its exploration is less popular, but it is the most attractive for the more adventurous visitors to the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary.

Book in advance and visit Huayna Picchu Mountain,  you have to sign up and go early as the number of visitors and times are limited! (from 5 to 6 months in advance) 

The ascent has a medium difficulty, since during the tour you will find paths next to cliffs and trails that you must walk with safety cables. The best thing about following this route is that it doesn’t have the same way back and forth. That way you’ll get to know two different sides of the mountain. ” the reward is the views from the top”

One thing to keep in mind before making your reservation for Waynapicchu Mountain is that this is not a climb for someone who is afraid of heights.

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Machupicchu Hot Springs

To get to the Machupicchu hot springs you just have to follow the path from the bus station uphill for about 10 to 15 minutes until you get to the sculpted rocks then turn right and connect to a street next to theTaipikala hotel, the hot springs are just 2 minutes from the hotel.

We will be able to find sulfur thermal waters that spring from the rock at different temperatures. Specially constructed pools suitable for the use of hot mineral baths. The average water temperature ranges from 38°C to 46°C. There are also changing rooms.

Where do the Machupicchu hotprings come from?

These hot springs come from a natural source of volcanic origin that formed long time ago probably long before the incas something you should know is you will not be able to swim in just relax your body the color of the water could give the impression that the water is dirty however you must know that this color is due to the minerals that the water possesses.

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Taking lots of pictures in Machupicchu

In Machupicchu you will not only enjoy the walks. Most of the people that visit it, enjoy taking pictures of the whole enclosure. In the traditional way, you will find one of the best views to get a photo: the Guardian’s House. From here you can pick up a clear postcard of Machu Picchu’s face.

Machu Picchu is a natural sanctuary, so there is wildlife in it. One photo that many visitors seek to capture is that of the spectacled bears that are protected in the complex. Funny pictures with flames are also popular, many of them are friendly, but they should always be treated with respect.

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Recharge your batteries in the Inca city of Machupicchu

You should know that due to the regulations in Machu Picchu it is no longer possible to visit certain places so there are places that will only be open for a limited time then they will be blocked off for security due to the little space that these places have to pass.

There are spaces where you can go to relax and meditate, for example, the favorite of many is the Intihuatana. It is a solar clock used as an astronomical calendar where many people come to live a unique experience.

According to information about Machu Picchu, due to the popularity it acquired, for its preservation it is currently cordoned off, but you can also get there. Another place with these characteristics is the “Inti Huatana” or sundial. This is a huge monolith that served as the center of worship for the god of the mountains.

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Architecture and structure of Machu Picchu

The Inca city of Machu Picchu is home to 172 sites: squares, palaces, temples, roads, staircases, platforms and aqueducts. And, like all major Inca urban centres, it is divided into two major sectors: the agricultural sector and the urban sector.

Each of these zones is characterized by its adaptation to the forms and conditions of the land on which they are settled.

1. Agricultural Zone

Located in the southern part of the Inca citadel. It has an extensive network of platforms that served several functions: beautify the mountain through terraces, not allow erosion of the soil and serve as terraces for cultivation.

Within the agricultural zone are found:

  • Surveillance
  • Upper agricultural area or first group of
  • Lower agricultural area or low sector
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2. Urban area

Located in the northern part of the citadel. It is characterized for having been the place of residence of the inhabitants of Machu Picchu, and for having served as place of religious practices.

The urban area is home to 19 urban complexes. In turn, the urban sector, following the Andean duality of the Incas, is divided into:

Hanan Sector or Sacred Sector
  • Sacred
  • Main
  • The Temple of the Three Windows. This is the name given to the group of enclosures that are distributed around a square courtyard. This temple is located in the sector “Hanan” or high district, the most important part of Machu Picchu. The most outstanding of this temple is its polygonal wall with 3 trapezoidal
  • The Intihuatana (place where the sun is tied). Sundial that is carved in granite stone. It has the shape of a prism and its four vertexes indicate the four cardinal points and it is located at the top of the sacred hill. It is one of the greatest mysteries of the Inca culture that had the function of measuring time by the effect of light and
  • The Temple of the Sun. Semicircular construction with two trapezoidal windows. It is built on a solid rock and is made up of the house of the ñusta, the tower and the mausoleum. According to some chroniclers, the temple was inhabited and had incrustations of precious stones and gold inside. The temple of the sun was a very protected place to which only the Inca or the priests had
  • Temple to the Royal Fountains (Pacchas).
Hurin Sector or Residential Zone
  • The Sacred Rock
  • Water Mirror
  • The prisons
  • Temple of the Condor
Machu Picchu Tourist Spots

Machu Picchu is so vast that just one day will not be enough to visit the main places that are in and around the Inca city.

Some of these main tourist places are:

  • Inca city of Machu
  • Inca
  • Puerta del
  • Machu Picchu
  • Huayna Picchu
  • Manuel Chávez Ballón Site
  • Putucusi
  • Mandor
  • Aguas
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Machu Picchu

Flora and Fauna of Machupicchu

In the Inca city of Machu Picchu you can find abundant flora and fauna. Above all, typical plants of the historical reserve of Machu Picchu which are pisonayes, alders, palm puya trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids. The fauna of Machu Picchu includes the spectacled bear, rock cockerel or “tunqui”, tankas, wild cats and an impressive variety of butterflies and insects unique to the region. In the mountain of Machu Picchu is this unique monument with a fusion of natural beauty, harmony and work balance of ancient Peruvians and beautiful nature.

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