4.5 star rating: Recommended 421 Reviews

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  • Hours: Open daily 6am - 6pm
  • Admission: Adults: 122 Nuevos Soles


Machu Picchu

The holy grail for lovers of Inca monuments, the enigmatic lost city of Machu Picchu is the most famous archaeological site in all of South America.

The spectacular collection of temples, terraced hills and plazas was the mountain-top citadel of the Inca under Pachacutec and Tupac Yupanqui, until the coming of the Europeans with Pizarro.

It may have the most familiar name, but Machu Picchu has refused to reveal many of its mysteries, including the secrets of its construction, function and demise. The overgrown ruins were discovered by US historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, and the quality of the stonework hints that it was an extremely important ceremonial site.

The remains are thought to date from around 1450, built at the height of the Inca Empire, and as they escaped being plundered by the Spanish they include semi-intact icons and shrines that were defaced or removed at other sites.

Entering the site, a set of steps leads to the ruined Temple of the Sun and a series of altars and niches. Highlights include the remains of ceremonial baths, the Sacred Plaza with its tremendous view across the Urubamba River valley, a rare shrine to the sun, and a labyrinth of passageways and cells.

One of the best ways to visit Machu Picchu is on an all-inclusive Day Trip from Cusco, with scenic rail transport, entry and informative guide included.

Practical Info

Machu Picchu is a 20-minute bus trip from the service town of Aguas Calientes, following a tortuously twisting mountain road. To catch the sun rise, time your visit to arrive at Machu Picchu around 7am.

Buses leave Aguas Calientes every 10 or so minutes from 5:20am, and the last bus back to Aguas Calientes leaves at 5:30pm. Remember to buy your entry ticket to Machu Picchu before you head off - tickets aren’t sold at the site, only at the Machu Picchu Cultural Center in Aguas Calientes.

Machu Picchu can also be reached by the legendary four-day Inca Trail, following a majestic route across mountains and valleys. A scenic alternative to the Inca Trail would be the Salkantay trek.

Tours & Tickets

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Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 379 Reviews

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 14 hours

From USD $335.00

The Inca Trail: 4-Day Trek to Machu Picchu

4 star rating: Recommended 16 Reviews

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 4 days

From USD $847.99

Viator Exclusive: Early Access to Machu Picchu with an Archaeologist

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 21 Reviews

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 13 hours or 16 hours

From USD $450.99
From USD $904.99

Viator Exclusive: 6-Night Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 7 days

From USD $1,349.99

Hiram Bingham Luxury Train to Machu Picchu

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 13 hours

From USD $949.99

Private Machu Picchu Exploration from Cusco

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $553.00

Private 2-Day Tour of Cusco and Machu Picchu

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 2 days

From USD $1,111.99

6-Day Cultural Tour to Machu Picchu

Location: Cusco, Peru
Duration: 6 days

From USD $1,099.00
From USD $960.00

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