1. English
  2. 中文 (中国)
Updated Machu Picchu Information 2023 - Incatrailhikeperu
Machu picchu Tours

Updated Machu Picchu Information 2024 – 2025

Written by: Incatrailhikeperu May 7, 2022

Voted one of the modern 7 wonders of the world in 2007 Machu Picchu is a must see location for many travelers. The sheer amount of people visiting Machu Picchu every year makes managing and protecting the site a seriously difficult endeavor. With all of the new visitors every year comes new strategies on how to better manage the site and preserve it for the future. The information regarding Machu Picchu changes from year to year, regulations are amended, schedules changed, and different areas are opened and closed. Many websites and travel agencies have old information from years past. It’s important to have current up to date information so you have the smoothest most enjoyable experience of Machu Picchu.

In order to get to Machu Picchu you must first make it to Cusco. You can take a bus or plane from lima to Cusco. If you take a plane it’s a short 2 hour ride, taking a bus on the other hand can be anywhere from 21 to 30 hours depending on the bus company and road conditions. Buses are usually much cheaper, however, there are times when the flights are around the same price, if you don’t bring a checked bag that is.

If you want to get to Cusco as fast as possible then flying is the safer and faster way to go. If you have a lot of time on you hands and want to see as much of Peru as possible then taking the bus and exploring the various regions along the way is a very rewarding adventure. There are various beaches along the Peruvian coast as well as pre Incan ruins, such as the The City of Caral-Supe, the oldest civilization in all of the Americas dating back approximately 4500 to 5000 years ago.

Pro Tip!

We’ve done the research! Read our best rated tour operators guide to find the most reliable info and find the perfect guide for your trip!

Where is Machu Picchu Located?

Machu Picchu is nestled in the Andean Cloud Forest high in Andean mountains and calls the department of Cusco home. In order to get to Machu Picchu you must first arrive in Cusco and continue to Aguas Calientes. There are various different ways to get to Aguas Calientes including train, combination of bus and walking, or hiking. Machu Picchu lies in the mountains above Aguas Calientes, you will need to either hike or take a bus to get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes.

Cusco to Aguas Calientes

There are 3 methods to get to Aguas Calientes

  • Train: The most common way to arrive in Aguas Calientes, most people take a day tour with a tour operator.
  • Hiking: The most difficult but, also the most rewarding. You can reach Aguas Calientes by hiking one of the various trails including, The Inca Trail, the Salkantay Trek, or Lares Trek.
  • Bus: There is also the option of taking a bus to Aguas Calientes this is the budget option however, and is not necessarily recommended. Due to the long drive and road conditions it can be dangerous especially in the rainy season.

Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

There are two ways to get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes

  • Walk: If you want to get the exercise this option is for you. Keep in mind it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour walk up almost all stairs
  • Bus: A popular option however relatively expensive for a bus costing $12 there and back

It’s a good idea to take the bus up to Machu Picchu and walk on the way back down. Walking up to Machu Picchu can be difficult and unpleasant. You will have to cross the road multiple times climb up many stairs all the while being covered in road dust.


Most tour operators will provide and organize all the transportation on the way to Machu Picchu whether it’s by train or by trail.


The only way to enter Machu Picchu is by having an entrance ticket purchased before arriving. There are no tickets sold at the entrance of Machu Picchu. Nearly all tour operators offer tickets with their tours and treks to Machu Picchu. There are a limited amount of entry tickets per day so make sure to get your ticket in advance. It’s recommended to book your ticket at least 6 months in advance or as soon as there is availability. Generally speaking, it’s safer and easier to buy your ticket to through a licensed tour operator. Getting all the necessary transportation can be more difficult than expected. Additionally, you will need a tour guide in order to entry Machu Picchu anway. Choose your tour guide with care, there are many scams out there. A good rule of thumb, if the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

*In order to enter Machu Picchu you must have a ticket purchased before arriving at the entry. There are no tickets sold at the door!

The following tour companies are highly recommended and trusted tour operators with over 250,000 customers:

Treks to Machu Picchu

The Classic Inca Trail

  • The most popular way to trek to Machu Picchu
  • Book at least 6 months in advance
  • Difficult trek
  • Closed every February for maintenance
  • Prices can range from $700-$1000
  • Various different Incan Ruins along the way
  • A 4 day trek camping every night
Inca Trail to machu picchu 1 day - Incatrailhikeperu
The Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu 3 and 4 days - Incatrailhikeperu

Inka Jungle Trek

  • A less popular alternative to the Inca Trail
  • Moderate difficulty
  • Both 3 and 4 day treks available
  • Open all year
  • Price range $350-$750
  • Usually doesn’t sell out
  • The 4 day trek Includes part of the Inca Trail

Salkantay Trek

  • Most popular alternative to Machu Picchu
  • Multi day trek 4 or 5 days
  • DIfficult rating harder than Inca Trail
  • Scenic views of the Vilcanota Mountain range
  • Prince range from $480 to $750
  • Book a couple of weeks in advance
The Salkantay Trek 4 and 5 days - Incatrailhikerperu

Lares Trek

  • Remote Andean Villages
  • Free roaming llamas and alpacas
  • Hot springs, mountain views, alpine lakes and the Andean Cloud Forest
  • Price range from $550 to $900
  • Villages relatively unchanged for hundreds of years
  • Book at your convenience
  • Departures every few days

Hikes Inside Machu Picchu

After conquering The Inca Trail, or one of its alternatives, why not continue your adventure by climbing one of the mountains at Machu Picchu? There are two options, Huayna Picchu Mountain, or Machu Picchu Mountain.

Huayna Picchu Mountain

  • North of Machu Picchu
  • Altitude 2,720m (8,923ft)
  • Various different Incan ruins including The Moon Temple
  • Difficult steep hike
  • Round trip 1.5 to 2.5 hours
  • Total distance 4 km 2.4 miles
  • 200 tickets per day

*PLEASE NOTE: The amount of Huayna Picchu Mountain tickets has been reduced from 400 to 200

Machu Picchu Mountain (Called Mountaña)

  • Southwest of Machu Picchu
  • Tallest Mountain of Machu Picchu altitude 3,082m (10,111ft)
  • Round trip 2 to 3 hours
  • Not as crowded as Huayna Picchu
  • Highest views of Machu Picchu
  • 400 tickets per day

Important note

Make sure you book your hike to Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain in advance. There is limited availability for both hikes.

Machu Picchu By Train (Optional Hike)

2-Day Inca Trail Train and Hike

  • Hike through the last third of the Inca Trail hike (12 km in total)
  • Visit the most important parts of the Inca Trail
  • Walk on the same stone steps as the Inca
  • Journey through lush andean valleys, high mountain passes, and mystic cloud forests
  • Pass through the famous Sun Gate (Inti Punku)
  • Visit Machu Picchu twice in one day, the morning of the first day and in the afternoon of the 2nd day of the hike

1-Day Tour by Train Only

  • Great views of the Sacred Andean Valley
  • Tour of the sacred valley with English speaking guide
  • Pass by Andean villages, Incan ruins, and picturesque landscapes
  • Price range is from $300-$600 depending on the train
  • Enjoy The Wonder that is the Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu!

Find our detailed itinerary here!

Machu Picchu Things to Know

  • Machu Picchu means “old mountain” in Quechua while Huayna Picchu means “young mountain”
  • You can get a Machu Picchu passport stamp at the entrance
  • The famous stone work of the Incas called “ashlar” uses no mortar. Stones fit snugly so that even a piece of paper cannot pass between
  • Machu Picchu is thought to have been an astronomical observatory. Multiple sites are seemingly dedicated to the stars including the mysterious Intihuatana stone, and the water Mirrors
  • In order to preserve The Inca Trail a maximum of 500 hikers are allowed per day. This includes all trail staff, porters, cooks, and guides

Machu Picchu Packlist

  • Original passport entry without it is impossible!
  • Tickets for Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain
  • Money for souvenirs, bathroom, and lunch or dinner
  • Good footwear with good tread
  • Reusable water bottle, plastic is not allowed inside Machu Picchu
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent (especially in the rainy season)

Prohibited Items

  • Walking sticks/trekking poles must be stored away or strapped to a bag. Unless they’re necessary
  • Large bags are not allowed, please bring a smaller day bag
  • Tripods cannot be brought into Machu Picchu
  • Large umbrellas are not allowed please bring a small foldable umbrella instead
  • Professional camera equipment for commercials/movies are not allowed, digital cameras are okay

Machu Picchu safety tips

  • When traveling to Machu Picchu by bus be aware that road conditions can be dangerous. Accidents happen especially at night or during the rainy season. Try to avoid this method of travel if possible.
  • Certified tour operators need two seperate documents, one from the city and one from the tourist board
  • Be aware of your belongs at all times

Machu Picchu Frequently Asked Questions

How high is Machu Picchu?

The elevation of machu Picchu is 2,430m (7,970 ft) which is actually lower than that of cusco 3,400m.

How to get Machu Picchu Tickets?

In order to ensure your tickets availability please book your tickets at least 6 months in advance. Tickets are sold on the official government website and through any certified tour operator.

What is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

The dry season is widely considered the best time to visit machu Picchu because of the great weather conditions. The dry season ranges from April to October and brings the biggest crowds. If you want a balance of good weather and smaller crowds then going in between seasons is best, April to May, and September through October.

PLEASE NOTE: The inca trail is closed during February for maintenance and repair.

When was Machu Picchu discovered?

Technically never discovered because local peoples always new of its existence, the first person to “rediscover” Machu Picchu was in 1902 by a Peruvian explorer and farmer named Agustin Lizárraga. In 1911 American explorer Hiram Bingham became the official “scientific” discoverer of Machu Picchu because of his popularization of the site. However, it’s written in Bingham´s journal, after finding Lizárraga´s signature, “Agustín Lizárraga is discoverer of Machu Picchu and lives at San Miguel Bridge just before passing”. Lizárraga´s signature was found on the walls of the Temple of the Three Windows in 1902.

Machu Picchu Rules 2024

For Future Generations: 

In order to preserve this wonder for generations to come visitors must stay on designated pathways. Do not touch or lean on structures or sites of interest. Please respect the cordoned off areas.

Plastics such as disposable water bottles are not allowed inside the complex.


Get your highly sought after pictures of Machu Picchu but, do so with respect. Tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed because they obstruct views and pathways of other visitors.

Noise levels:

Once a place of religious significance, many Incan pilgrims considered Machu Picchu a sacred place. Please respect the historical and cultural significance of this unique place by maintaining a respectful volume.

Pack it in Pack it Out & Waste Management:

Everyone that visits Machu Picchu should practice the “pack it in pack it out” philosophy. Make sure you collect any trash you may bring along, and refrain from marking or taking any parts of the structures or stones. Additionally, there are waste bins situated throughout the site for you to dispose of any waste. Remember, take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Dress Suggestions and CUltural Respect:

It’s recommended and highly appreciated if you dress modestly, especially if you plan to enter any of the temples or spiritual. Remember this is a sacred area for many people who still live in the region so please treat the site with the utmost respect.

Guided Adventures

Self-made blog

All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.


Local Information

Everything in this blog has been doublé checked by a local, we made the effort on gathering all this information for you, to make your trip easier and cheaper.


Personal experience

99% of the information has been lived by a traveler like you, me, I wanted to compile all the information I had to make every traveler life easier.


Best and only the best

We gathered the best information for you. All this has been investigated and visited only to bring you the best CSelf-made blog. All the information is free and precise. I don't get paid for publishing any agency or tour, and everything has been verified and experienced.