Hiking Machu Picchu is arguably one of the most popular activities to do in Peru, but it’s definitely not the easiest! Make sure you’re prepared to make the trek by checking out these 4 things you should know about hiking to Machu Picchu!
So, you’re about to embark on one of the most exciting and world-famous hikes in the world?
Before you strap on those hiking boots, there are a few key things you’ll want to know before starting your journey.
We’ve made it simple for you with the top 4 things to know before hiking Machu Picchu.
1. Machu Picchu is Famous–Not Cheap
The actual attraction of Machu Picchu is about 1.5 to 2 hours away from the nearest city of Cusco. Once you arrive to the scene of the hike, the price for anything is hugely inflated.
This means: plan ahead.
Be sure to purchase any water, snacks, maps, or other supplies in the city of Cusco. Otherwise, you’ll be paying way more than they are worth.
Your best bet for tickets and saving on Machu Picchu tour costs is to purchase them online beforehand.
Even bathroom breaks will cost you, so come ready with a few extra soles and plan on relieving yourself before or after the hike.
You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram; the amazing photos of Machu Picchu hikers with natives dressed in colorful garments.
Well, if taking a similar photo is in your trip itinerary, be prepared to pay up!
These folks dressed in the indigenous attire are not walking about dressed that way simply for your photo-taking pleasure. Oh no, this is how many of them make a living.
So, don’t plan on hopping in a photo with them unless it’s worth about 5+ soles to you.
2. Obey the “Rules”
If you’re like any normal person, having a whistle blown at you isn’t exactly your idea of an enjoyable experience.
Well, if that’s the case, then you best obey the rules. There are guards all over Machu Picchu and they are ready to let you know loud and clear that you are doing something you shouldn’t.
Some such shenanigans could include any of the following whistle-inducing activities:
- Taking the right of way before a roaming llama
- Dangling your feet over the edge
- Posing for a photo in a non-designated area
3. Hiking at Machu Picchu Altitude
Just like most athletic endeavors, this hike requires some preparation beforehand.
Machu Picchu is sitting at 7,972′ elevation. This means altitude sickness is a real possibility.
The best way to avoid this is to acclimate yourself to the altitude by spending a few days in Cusco before beginning the hike. Cusco is actually at a higher elevation, 11,152′, so by the time you’ve become comfortable there, doing the hike should be a bit easier.
If you’re still deciding whether you should visit, be sure to take into account the time of year you are thinking of hiking Machu Picchu.
There is a rainy season that begins in December and extends through March. Sometimes, this can surprise tourists as this also coincides with Peruvian summer.
Just be sure that if you do plan to visit during this time, you bring a sturdy poncho with you that does well in a little wind.
Things to know when traveling to peru
Hiking Machu Picchu is absolutely an experience of a lifetime, but there are also thousands of other wonderful experiences Peru has to offer.
Check out our blog for awesome events happening in Peru that you won’t want to miss.
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