A Trek to Machu Picchu offers one of the most enjoyable ways to view this pre-Columbian site. In addition to being able to visit the old mountain at a time when there are fewer visitors, travelers will enjoy many sites along the trail. If the 14 day hike is too demanding there are also shorter paths and it is also possible to visit by bus or train.
Located at just below 8,000 feet above sea level, the Inca builders created this structure that has endured for more than 550 years without the benefit of concrete. The citadel is the primary draw. The ruins adjoin a wilderness park and forest to cover over 116 square miles. There are numerous mysteries surrounding the village, thought to have had significance in several different areas of the Incas life.
The most active seasons for tourist are July and August when there is less rain than any other times of the year. Even in these months, visitors should expect occasional showers and misty clouds that hang onto the peaks at some time in the trip. November thru April is the rainy season for the area. The greatest amount of rainfall takes place in January and February. In addition, the Incan trail closes every February for restoration work.
A local guide is required to accompany all visitors on the trail. The least expensive way to meet the requirement is to join a group. The trail is limited to 500 visitors daily, so one should contact one of the guide businesses several months in advance for reservations. Site visitors are limited to 2,500 daily. It is no longer to join a group just by showing up as there are few openings unless there happens to be a group cancellation.
Visitors can visit the ruins without a guide. Take a bus from Aguas Calientes to access the area. They leave frequently for the 25 minute journey along a crooked road making a series of hairpin bends. Aguas Calientes can be accessed by train.
Most experts on travel in the area recommend deciding how one wants to make the trip before contacting operators. If planning to hike, it is best to take a couple of days in one of the nearby cities to become acclimated to the elevation and lower oxygen levels. If planning to arrive by train or bus, do some research into the options as there are less expensive basic options as well as luxury ones, but there are also big differences in costs for the trip.
Temperatures in the altitude can be cold due to the altitude so you will want a sweater or jacket. Due to the likelihood of rain, carry waterproof gear. At the site there are numerous sandflies that bite making a repellant essential. In addition, travelers should have sunglasses, hat and high SPR sunscreen.
No matter how the trek to Machu Picchu is made, it should be made. Tourists will not want to miss the opportunity to see this site. The views are impressive whether hiking or arriving by train or bus. These ruins have endured for centuries and an interesting place one should visit.
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