6 Best Things To Do In Machu Picchu, Peru

Exploring the mysterious Machu Picchu, known as the “lost city” of the Inca Empire, is a must-do during any trip to Peru. This fifteenth-century fortress is located among the high peaks of Andes Mountains which proves that it was built by smart and sophisticated people who lived there many centuries ago. Prepare yourself for an adventure that will enchant your soul because you will walk along its ancient paths and admire great stone buildings.

Upon arriving at Machu Picchu, you’ll be left completely awestruck by the breathtaking view that greets you. It’s an iconic sight that will captivate your senses and leave you yearning to explore further. This isn’t just a fleeting moment; it’s an open invitation to immerse yourself in the fascinating history and vibrant culture that define this legendary site.

Once you’ve captured the essence of Machu Picchu through your camera lens, it’s time to dig deeper into its mysteries. Join a guided tour of the ancient ruins where every stone has a story to tell from a long-gone era. Get lost in the winding passages, be amazed by the incredible precision of Incan stonework, and ponder the significance of the sacred temples and terraced fields that were once bustling with life.

But Machu Picchu isn’t just a marvel of human brilliance—it’s also a haven for wildlife, including the iconic llamas that wander its lush slopes. Take a moment to connect with these gentle creatures, whose presence brings a touch of whimsy to the ancient citadel. Whether they’re peacefully munching on grass or striking a pose for pictures amidst the ruins, coming across these furry residents is definitely a highlight of your visit.

And for those with a spirit of adventure, Machu Picchu offers an array of exhilarating hiking trails that promise to elevate your experience to new heights. From the challenging ascent of Huayna Picchu to the panoramic vistas of Machu Picchu Mountain, each trail offers a unique perspective on this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So, without further ado, we present our curated list of the top best things to do in Machu Picchu, Peru—an itinerary crafted to ensure that your journey to this ancient citadel is nothing short of extraordinary.

1. Marvel at the Iconic Viewpoint

As you enter Machu Picchu, don’t miss the chance to witness the breathtaking panorama from the iconic viewpoint at the Guardian’s House. This spot offers the quintessential Machu Picchu experience, with postcard-perfect views of the ruins and the majestic mountains in the backdrop. Despite occasional fog or rain, patience is rewarded as the morning mist often clears, revealing the awe-inspiring landscape. The Guardian’s House, a modest stone structure, once served as a lookout post, adding historical depth to your visit. Simply turn left upon entering Machu Picchu and follow the signs uphill for approximately 15 minutes to reach this unforgettable vantage point.

2. Immerse Yourself in the Ruins

After savoring the panoramic view, delve deeper into the mysteries of Machu Picchu by exploring its intricate ruins up close. Pass through the main gate, marveling at its deliberate framing of Huayna Picchu mountain. To truly grasp the significance of the ruins, consider hiring a guide who can provide invaluable insights into the site’s history and architecture. Among the highlights are the impeccably crafted stone walls, exemplifying Incan masonry techniques, and notable structures like the ‘Temple of the Sun’ and the ‘Temple of the Three Windows’, which offer compelling glimpses into ancient Incan civilization.

3. Encounter the Llamas

At the ancient citadel, encounter the endearing llamas that roam freely throughout Machu Picchu’s grounds. These furry companions, numbering almost two dozen, add a charming authenticity to your visit, often posing for photos against the backdrop of the ruins. With luck, you might even capture a playful photobomb from one of these gentle creatures. As symbols of Andean culture, llamas offer a delightful connection to the region’s rich heritage, reminding visitors of their historical significance in Incan society.

4. Conquer Huayna Picchu

For the adventurous souls seeking an adrenaline-fueled challenge, embark on the unforgettable Huayna Picchu hike. This exhilarating ascent to the summit of the iconic mountain behind Machu Picchu promises awe-inspiring vistas and encounters with original Inca structures. Despite its daunting moniker, the “Machu Picchu Stairs of Death,” the hike is surprisingly safe, with minimal accidents reported over the years. However, due to its popularity, securing one of the limited 400 daily permits requires advance booking months in advance, making it a coveted experience for intrepid travelers.

5. Ascend Machu Picchu Mountain

For a more strenuous endeavor, tackle the ascent of Machu Picchu Mountain, the highest peak in the vicinity. With its challenging 3-hour hike and significant elevation gain, this trek offers a rewarding test of endurance and determination. The summit, standing at 3,082 meters (10,111 feet), grants unparalleled vistas of the Machu Picchu landscape, making the arduous journey well worth the effort for those seeking a truly memorable adventure.

6. Embark on the Huchuy Picchu Trek

For a scenic alternative to the popular Huayna Picchu hike, consider the newly opened Huchuy Picchu trek. This relatively easier trail leads to the summit of Huchuy Picchu, offering breathtaking views of Machu Picchu from a different perspective. With its 15th-century Inca stone staircase and captivating vistas, this hike provides a delightful excursion for travelers seeking a less crowded but equally rewarding experience.

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