Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Incan citadel; located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru. It sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below.
The excellent preservation of this site, the quality of architecture; and the breath-taking mountain vista it occupies has made Machu Picchu one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world today. It’s recently been incorporated as one of the seven wonders of the world.
The site covers 80,000 acres (32,500 hectares). Terraced fields on the edge of the site were once used for growing crops, likely maize and potatoes.
There are different trains you can take to Machu Picchu, either the Expedition or Vistadome train, there is also the Hiram Bingham for a more luxurious trip in. All trains leave leave from just outside Cusco, Poroy station, or you can travel into Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo. Exploring inside Machu Picchu is usually a full day, we recommend being prepared with tickets before you arrive to make the most of your day there.
You can explore the site at your own leisure, usually about 4 hours is enough time to really understand the site. If you arrive late morning, arround 11am, you’ll miss all the crowds. It’s a much quieter and more leisurely time to arrive. In our view it’s a better time to explore!
This sector is closest to the entrance, covering a vast expanse running from the lowest to the highest extremes of the citadel. Accounting for a large section of the site area, you will pass through this sector at some point during the tour en route to another sector.
The area is lined by terraces whose construction drew upon abundant knowledge of agriculture and irrigation; the base is filled with fine sand, followed by stones and, on the surface, farmland. This facilitates drainage of water for planting and prevents collapse of the terraces over time.
Situated further out from the agricultural sector in the upper part, to the west of the architectural complex, this is the section that was reserved for the nobles and the clergymen.
Access to this zone is marked by a beautiful gateway fit for a palace.
In this area, you’ll discover the main square, the royal palace, the Templo del Sol (Temple of the Sun), and the Intiwatana. Here, it is important to appreciate the high degree of refinement of the main structures, where the stones seem to fit together perfectly.
Marked apart from the Imperial sector by a large central patio is the area known as the urban sector, where the remaining inhabitants of Machu Picchu lived. This zone also hosts the Templo del Condor (Temple of the Condor) and other major structures.
The order in which you tour the complex is down to your individual preference & the circuit tour you have reserved inside, and also of course the pace you’d like to go at.
For avid fans of bird-watching, the area surrounding Machu Picchu has around 400 species and is known as one of the best spots in the world for this activity.
If this appeals to you, we recommend booking a trip led by and expert guide.
Machu Picchu also is home to a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, which can be seen readily along the entire trajectory up to the citadel and in its outskirts. If you have time, the walk to Mandor is very pleasant, and is site of a water source directly from the Andean icecaps.
Of course, as you venture into the rainforest, you will appreciate more & different varieties of the flora and fauna in the area.
● Welcome show aboard with typical dances of the region
● A Bar Car with the best peruvian cocktails
● Gourmet lunch on board
● An Observatory Car to enjoy the scenery of the route
● Live music show
● VIP Lounge at Machu Picchu Station
● Upbound bus to the Machu Picchu Citadel
● Entrance ticket to the Machu Picchu Citadel
● A tour guide for a maximum group of 08 people in Spanish and/or English.
● Tea time at the Sanctuary Lodge, A Belmond Hotel.
The Hiram Bingham service runs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.