10 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru

10 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

    Machu Picchu is a beautiful place full of ancient history and gorgeous views.  Hidden high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven new wonders of the world. 


    1.  Machu Picchu is thought to be a religious center built by the Inca people during the 1400s.  Some disagree with this theory and believe it was instead build as a royal manor.  Regardless of its origins, the site was abandoned in the late 1500s, most likely due to the Spanish colonization of South America that was occurring during this time.  It is suspected that an outbreak of smallpox, a disease brought by European Conquistadores, resulted in the death of the Incas that inhabited the area. 


    2.  The Inca site was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a historian at Yale University. 


    3.  Located nearly 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level, Machu Picchu is at a very high altitude.  It is not unusual for tourists to experience altitude sickness.  Symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, nausea, breathlessness and dizziness.  To deal with the altitude, it is recommended to adjust to the atmosphere slowly, perhaps by spending some time at more moderate altitudes before hand.  Other ways of beating altitude sickness include consuming coca, a type of leaf that can be made into a tea or candy, that has been used for centuries by native people to combat the symptoms of altitude sickness.  Coca candy and tea is readily available throughout the Andes, including areas around Machu Picchu.  


    4.  You can travel to Machu Picchu by way of train, which is about an hour ride.  You can also hike to the site, which typically takes several days.  The Inca Trail is a beautiful hike, but beware of number of areas that may frighten those who are afraid of heights.  Also remember that hiking in such a high altitude makes the trip much more strenuous than it would be closer to sea level.  


    5.  While touring Machu Picchu you will encounter several terrifying heights as well, so prepare yourself!


    6.  If you want an especially good view of Machu Picchu, and are up for a challenge, you can continue your hike up the summit of Wayna Picchu, a mountain bordering the site.  The hike is long and steep, but you earn a wonderful aerial view of the area. 


    7.  Look for the face in the landscape.  While looking out over Machu Picchu in the direction of Wayna Picchu, look for the profile of a man’s face created by the silhouettes of the mountaintops.  On a clear day the likeness is uncanny!


    8.  The rainy season in southern Peru runs from October to April.  It’s best to visit between May and September, but it is possible to tour the site during the rainy season.  If you visit during this time, be sure to bring a rain jacket with a hood, and water resistant shoes. 


    9.  The concessions stand at the site is grossly overpriced, in the hopes of confusing tourists who don’t understand the exchange rate.  Be prepared to pack your own snacks and bottled water, or spend a good bit of money. 


    10.  While visiting Machu Picchu, remember that there are many more beautiful and amazing areas in Peru that aren’t as famous, but are worth being seen.  The closest big city is Cuzco, which may be one of the most stunning cities you will ever visit.


    Machu Picchu is a beautiful Inca site that lives up to its name as a wonder of the world.  Enjoy your trip!

Leave a Reply