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Machu Pichu Peru

Machu Picchu Tours

Our Best Machu Picchu Tours

The Inca Trail

Machu Picchu
8 Days from USD 2,700

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Follow in the footsteps of the Peruvian Incas

Walking & Trekking
New

Essential Inca Trail

Machu Picchu
7 Days from USD 1,710
USD 1,645

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Join our express trip to the once-lost Inca city of Machu Picchu: fewer days, the same New Wonder of the World

Walking & Trekking

Essential Peru

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru
15 Days from USD 3,592
USD 3,520

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Southern Peru's archaeological and natural wonders

Culture

Essential Peru – Inti Raymi Festival Departure

APDA
16 Days from USD 4,645

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Wonders of southern Peru and attend a festival in Cuzco

Culture

Inca Trail, Titicaca & Nazca

Lake Titicaca
15 Days from USD 4,500

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Peru's deserts and high Andes and follow a classic trekking route

Walking & Trekking

Inca Trail & the Amazon Rainforest

TPJ
15 Days from USD 6,000

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Trekking, jungle and indigenous culture – the best Peru has to offer

Walking & Trekking

The Salkantay Trek

TPS
14 Days from USD 4,048
USD 3,855

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Peru's Cordillera Vilcabamba, join the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Walking & Trekking

The Inca Trail in Comfort

Machu Picchu
8 Days from USD 3,898
USD 3,750

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

Follow in the footsteps of the Peruvian Incas in extra comfort

Walking & Trekking

Peru Explorer

APX
20 Days from USD 7,050

Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)

A discovery of southern Peru from the Andes to the Amazon

Culture

I booked The Inca Trail with extensions to the Amazon and Lake Titicaca, my only regret, not having done it sooner in my life!

Melissa Morris The Inca Trail

I spent the last year trying to decide what I wanted to do for my 50th birthday. I wanted to go someplace “different” and nothing lit a spark. I thought it might be fun to do Galapagos and Machu Picchu and I happened up on Exodus Travels while trying to find that exact trip, but after stumbling upon the Premium Peru itinerary I was hit with that spark I was looking for. This was a last-minute decision for us as we booked barely two months before departure and the Exodus folks and website were so easy to work. I was able to book it in a snap. The trip was perfectly planned with great hotels, food, transportation and experiences. We were spoiled from Day 1. We didn’t have to worry about anything other than making sure we didn’t leave anything behind, that our water bottles were filled, and we were on time for our next day’s adventure. From the ocean to the mountains to the rainforest, we saw and learned about the rich history and culture of the Peruvian land and peoples. The itinerary was filled with fascinating stops, such as Arequipa, Lake Titicaca and Pun, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, the rain forest. We learned about the ancient peoples and how their traditions continue today despite the European influences that have taken hold since the 1600s. The Peruvian culture is a beautiful blend of both. William, our phenomenal group leader, imbued us with his vast knowledge of the ancient and modern cultures all while ensuring our trip was all we had hoped for.

Kelly Ann Markowitz Best of Peru – Premium Adventure

Just to reaffirm how much we enjoyed it. We have so many wonderful memories!

David M Best of Peru – Premium Adventure

Our Guide to Machu Picchu

The Secret City

What makes Machu Picchu so compelling that it draws thousands of tourists here is that it stood forgotten for centuries until Hiram Bingham brought it to the world’s attention in 1911. The Incas kept the secret of its existence closely guarded from the Spanish invaders and no written records exist. To this day, nobody truly knows why it was built.

Theories abound; Machu Picchu is thought to have been constructed perhaps as a site of astronomical significance, an observatory, an important agricultural station, a military fortress, a place of learning, an important ceremonial centre, a royal Inca retreat or perhaps just to celebrate the unspeakable greatness of the natural beauty around it. It is certainly successful at the last.

The site was only inhabited for approximately 100 years before being abandoned. There is no evidence that the Spanish ever reached Machu Picchu, and it is not known what prompted the inhabitants to leave the city. There are still lots of mysteries surrounding this world wonder, but archaeological research continues in search of answers.

 

The Inca Trail and Sun Gate

While it is possible to reach Machu Picchu by train, most adventure travellers strive to reach these dizzy heights by the power of their own two feet on the Inca Trail. Once you’ve scaled Dead Woman’s Pass, pushed yourself to your limits on the ancient Inca pathways, passed through the mystic cloud forest and countless Inca ruins en route, you’ll be rewarded at the Sun Gate – Intipunku – by the panorama of Machu Picchu laid out before you. Truly one of the world’s most thrilling viewpoints and the only way to see Machu Picchu in its full glory.

 

Inside Machu Picchu

Those hiking to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail will get their first glimpse of the ruins at the Sun Gate however the ancient main entrance is closer to the citadel, where most of the buildings and other points of interest are located. It’s worth taking a closer look at the stones in order to appreciate the exquisite technique of Incan masonry. You’ll see that all rocks have been precisely cut to fit to one another without the use of mortar, so that the walls would stay up like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle.

One of the best places where this can be seen is the Principal Temple, the largest building in the entire Machu Picchu citadel, facing the main plaza. Another is the torreon or Temple of the Sun, an elliptical-shaped tower once used for astronomical observations. It is believed to be a sacred place where only high priests and dignitaries were allowed to enter.

Inside the temple there is a rock, which was probably used as an altar. During the summer solstice, the sunrise shines through the temple window on the rock. This is only one of many places around Machu Picchu that were built in accordance with the movements of the sun and the stars, giving further evidence to the Inca’s advanced knowledge of astronomy.

The most mysterious location within Machu Picchu is probably Intihuatana, a huge carved slab of rock found on the highest point of the citadel. Intihuatana means “the sun’s hitching post,” and it is believed that the Inca thought that the stone was what kept the sun in its place in the sky. The rock casts no shadow at all during the two equinoxes. It was probably used as a location for ceremonies to honour the sun and give thanks for good harvests, but not much else is known about its purpose.

Other places worth visiting within Machu Picchu include the Caretaker’s Hut, from which you can get the iconic Machu Picchu shot found on all the postcards; the Temple of the Condor, with a giant bird carved outside; and the agricultural terraces. The latter are the reason why this isolated town– which is located at high altitude and surrounded by steep mountains on all sides– was self-sufficient, and even exported food to other locations within the Inca Empire.

 

Endangered Machu Picchu

Can ancient monuments like Machu Picchu sustain the impact of 21st-century tourism? It’s a troubling question, especially as scientists have already discovered landslide threatening subsidence on its western side and UNESCO has called for restrictions on the number of visitors taking Machu Picchu tours in recent years. Currently, the international community is keeping a watchful eye on the situation and the Inca Trail already operates responsible tourism policies with restriction on numbers, licensed local guides, organised porter welfare and eco-camping regulations.

 

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

If you want to get the iconic Machu Picchu photo of the archaeological site surrounded by wispy clouds set against a clear blue sky, your best bet would be visiting during the dry season between May and October. But do be aware that early morning mist and unexpected downpours are likely to happen no matter what time of year you choose to travel.

The months of June, July and August are also the busiest in terms of mass tourism. During these peak times it will be difficult to move around the ruins freely. There are likely to be lines everywhere—on the way to Huayna Picchu, for the bathroom, and to access the best photos of Machu Picchu.

April, May, September and October are all good shoulder season months. During this time you’ll find smaller crowds and dry (but still pleasant) weather, with warm days and cool nights. They are probably the best all-round time to travel to Machu Picchu.

 

Book Your Tour to Machu Picchu Today!

Are you ready to set your sights on this sprawling Inca citadel? Whether you’re hoping to experience Machu Picchu in isolation or as part of a wider journey through Peru, our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu trips are justifiably popular. It’s a good idea to book early to secure your place on the journey of a lifetime.

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