Machu Picchu – Frequently asked questions
Essential information for travel to Machu Picchu
What is Machu Picchu? The city was built by the Inca civilization during the 15th century. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and is South America’s most spectacular travel destination and archaeological site.
Where is Machu Picchu? Machu Picchu is situated less than 80 kilometers from the city of Cusco. Together, Machu Picchu and Cusco are the most popular tourist destinations in South America. Located at the base of Machu Picchu mountain, Aguas Calientes is the nearest town to the famous Inca ruins. The town can be accessed by train from Cusco or via the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
How to get to Machu Picchu? The best ways to reach Machu Picchu from Cusco are by train or by hiking the Inca Trail. There are several daily flights from the Peruvian capital Lima to Cusco. From the town of Aguas Calientes, there are regular shuttle buses to and from Machu Picchu. Cusco tour operators offer Machu Picchu package deals.
When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu? The dry season runs from June to August, which is also the high season for tourism in Peru. Another good time to visit Machu Picchu is in April or May, or September and October, when there is little rain and fewer tourists visit Peru.
How to get Machu Picchu tickets? You should plan to buy your Machu Picchu entrance ticket as far in advance as possible before your Peru trip. Tickets for Machu Picchu are sold on the official government-run website. Tickets are not available at the entrance to Machu Picchu ruins.
How high is Machu Picchu? Machu Picchu is situated in a tropical cloud forest environment at 2430 meters above sea level (7970 feet). It is much lower than the highland city of Cusco, the altitude of which is 3400 meters (11,150 feet).
When was Machu Picchu discovered? The existence of Machu Picchu was revealed to the outside world in 1911, in the publications of the American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham, who visited the ruins on July 24th 1911. Subsequently, with support from the National Geographic Society, Bingham led the first professional archaeological expeditions to the site in 1912, 1914 and 1915, taking with him a multidisciplinary team of experts.