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Travel to Machu Picchu, the jewel of Peru

LetsGoPeru, Peru, Luxury tours, travel, Machu Picchu tour

One of the most popular destinations in South America is of course, Peru. Visited every year by thousands of tourists from all over the world. Peru is a diverse country with several different regions and each region with its own different climate and treasures for the traveler to explore and experience first hand. In the highlands of Peru near the Inca city of Cusco is the magnificent Machu Picchu and no visit to Peru is complete without enjoying a tour of Machu Picchu.

The ruins themselves to this day remain a mystery, nobody seems to know why they were constructed and to what purpose they served. There are many theories as to why it was only inhabited for around a hundred years and why did they leave such a beautiful location, we may never know the answer to this mystery. The Inca┬┤s were master architects and builders and you will see all of this on your visit to Machu Picchu.

 

When you decide to go to Peru and visit Machu Picchu you will also need to decide how you are going to get there, many people take the train, around four hours from Cusco city. The train travels through the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas, you will enjoy spectacular scenery, raging rivers, pass little villages all from the comfort of your train seat. There are trains for all budgets, from economical tourist trains to the very luxurious, Hiram Bingham, what train you take will depend on your budget. The train will arrive at Aguas Caliente station, this small town is the gateway to Machu Picchu. The town itself has many nice little restaurants for all budgets. There are several small markets to buy souvenirs from, the prices are higher than in Cusco, but if you need to fill a few hours the town has a nice atmosphere. Aguas Calientes also has some hot springs not far from the center of town, so if you feel like a refreshing warm dip this is the place to do it. Hotels are also abound for those who choose to stay overnight. There is everything from backpacker hostels to five star luxury properties so you will have plenty of choice.

The train is a great way to visit Machu Picchu if you are short on time. Train tickets are available for purchase online or from the Peru rail offices in Lima or Cusco, you will have to queue but you may save money this way. Sometimes if you leave buying your tickets until when you are Cusco, the tickets will be limited. There are many agencies in Cusco on the main square who will happily buy the tickets for you for a fee. There is a limit as to what you can do independently these days at Machu Picchu. You will need to enter the ruins with a licensed guide, gone are the days when you could wander the ruins independently. Once inside the ruins take care not to walk on the ruins as this is not allowed, the security guards will catch you and you will have problems.

 

The other way to reach the site is by doing one of the many wonderful treks. The most popular trek is the Inca Trail, a four-day hike ending the final day at Machu Picchu. On any of the treks you choose to take, you will be walking up high passes and back down again, past beautiful lakes and entering marvelous cloud forests. If you decide to do a trek, you will need a reasonable amount of physical fitness, so it is a good idea to try to do some hikes before you leave home. You will need good walking shoes, which need to be professionally fitted. On your trek, you will need to take layers of clothing, as you will experience all types of climate in one day. However, please do not forget how strong the sun is at high altitude, a broad brimmed hat and sunscreen are essential.

Speaking of the altitude, Cusco is at an altitude of 11150 feet above sea level (3400 meters) meaning altitude sickness is a real possibility. If you plan on trekking to Machu Picchu, it is advisable to spend a few days acclimatizing to the altitude and Cusco is not a bad place to do so.

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