How to Prepare for Your Visit to Machu Picchu

Adventure seekers around the world have long since made the journey to Machu Picchu in Peru in order to stand among the historic ruins of the Inca Empire. For many people, a visit to Machu Picchu is one of those “bucket-list” journeys that they dream about for years, and actually being there in person can be quite an emotional experience. What makes the city even more unique is the fact it wasn’t even discovered by the Spaniards who conquered the area, a fact that wasn’t really revealed until the 20th century. For that reason, it is surrounded by mystery and intrigue, making it all the more popular to visit.

If you’ve got Machu Picchu on your radar for your next vacation, then there are a few tips and information that can help you to prepare for the journey.

The Best Time to Visit

The first thing to consider is when you plan on visiting Machu Picchu. Peak season is July and August, which means plenty of crowds. Up to 5,200 visitors explore the site during the high season. October through April is the rainy season in the area, so it isn’t the ideal time to visit. The site itself is open year-round, so you do have the option to explore at anytime.

How to Get There

You also need to consider the logistics of how you plan to get to Machu Picchu. The most popular option tends to be staying in the city of Cusco and then taking the train to the city of Aguas Calientes, which is a 3.5-hour journey. This town is located only a few miles from Machu Picchu, making it convenient.

What About the Elevation?

Tourists are often worried about the elevation and whether or not they need to get acclimated. Machu Picchu is almost 8,000 feet above sea level. What this means is that no matter where you are traveling from, it’s probably a much lower elevation. It’s a good idea to spend a night in Aguas Calientes, which is 6,700 feet above sea level and acclimate before heading to Machu Picchu. If you don’t give your body time to acclimate, you can end up suffering from altitude sickness, which will definitely put a damper on the trip.

Remember to Dress in Layers

Another tip is to dress in layers. Even in the middle of summer, it can feel quite cold, so be prepared.

Exploring the Rest of Peru

While the journey to Machu Picchu may be the highlight of your trip to Peru, as the site details, there are still plenty of other noteworthy sites to explore in the country.

If you enjoy exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then there are the cities Cusco and Arequipa. Backpackers can take on the challenge of a two-day hike to the isolated area of Chachapoyas, explore Peru’s capital city of Lima which is located on the Pacific coast, and you can explore the highest navigable lake in the world – Lake Titicaca, which sits more than 10,000 feet above sea level.

Make sure you give yourself more than enough time to explore not just Machu Picchu but the entire country of Peru.