Find a place to stay nearby  🏨

Travel Guide of Machu Picchu in Peru by Influencers

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre mountain ridge.

Welcome to the Hatlas Travel's Guide of Machu Picchu !

Discover our travel guide of Machu Picchu in Peru made of pictures from travel influencers and photographers.

Travel Tips for visiting Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, a must-see in Peru

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city of the XVth century in Peru,

The city is perched on a rocky promontory connecting the mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu on the eastern slope of the central Andes. Its name would have been Pikchu or Picho.

According to documents of the XVIth century, found by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, assistant professor of Latin American history at the University of Yale, Machu Picchu would have been one of the residences of the emperor Pachacútec.

However, some of the larger buildings and the ceremonial character of the main access road to the llaqta would show that the place was used as a religious sanctuary. The two uses are not necessarily mutually exclusive. On the other hand, experts have rejected the idea of military work.

Abandoned during the collapse of the Inca empire and before the end of its construction

Machu Picchu, a sacred city forgotten for centuries, is considered a masterpiece of Inca architecture.

It was introduced by Bingham in a reference work on this subject. Its architectural characteristics and the veil of mystery that the literature has woven around the site have made it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. Since 1983, the site is registered on the list of the world heritage of UNESCO. On July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was designated as one of the seven new wonders of the world by the NewOpenWorld Foundation, an unofficial and commercial organization. Finally, the site is part of a cultural and natural complex known as the "Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu."

The site is located in the eastern cordillera of the Andes, on the edge of the Amazon jungle located in Peru (province of Urubamba), one hundred thirty kilometers from Cuzco.
To 2 438 meters of altitude, the ruins straddle the crest between two summits: Huayna Picchu, which means "young mountain", and Machu Picchu, which means "old mountain". It is the Huayna Picchu that dominates the site and that one sees on most of the photographs of the city. According to certain angles of view, it is possible to imagine the profile of a human face looking towards the sky, of which Huayna Picchu is the nose. Unlike Huayna Picchu, Macchu Picchu gave its name to the archaeological site. Around Huayna Picchu and on both sides of the city flows the Vilcanota-Urubamba river that describes a great arch under a 600 meters cliff.

The 172 buildings measure about 530 meters long and 200 meters wide. They have been included in the National System of Protected Natural Areas (SINANPE) called "Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu" which covers 32,592 hectares to protect both biological species in danger of extinction and Inca sites like Machu Picchu which is the most important.

The region of Machu Picchu, located at the margins of the Andes and the Amazonian forest, was populated by highlanders of the regions of Vilcabamba and Cusco, always in search of new arable land. The archaeologists indicate that agriculture was already practiced in the region in the VIIIth century B.C. In 900, one attends a demographic explosion of the groups related to the ethnic group " Tampu " of Urubamba.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Machu Picchu

How to go to Machu Picchu?

To go from Lima to Machu Picchu

To go from Lima to Machu Picchu you must first go to Cusco.
There are two ways to get there directly: by bus or by plane

  • By bus

Lima to Cusco by bus takes about 22h
This is the cheapest option (between 100 and 220 soles)
It is very important to take a serious and recognized company like Cruz del Sur, Moviltours, Tessa, Ormeño, and Civa
The road is quite winding because of the mountains so it is possible to feel nausea

  • By plane

The plane from Lima to Cusco takes 1h15. There are departures every 30 minutes from the airport 

It is the less touristic option, also the less expensive and the longest.

Here is a summary of the route that combines bus and walks, from Cusco to Aguas Calientes via Hydroelectric.

  • Option 1

Cusco to Santa Maria: 5h by Colectivo from the terminal Santiago (15 soles or by bus 30 soles)
Santa Maria to Santa Teresa: 2h by Colectivo (6 soles or 10 soles for shared cab)
Cab Santa Teresa to Hydroelectric: 20 min (6 soles)
Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes (10 km): by train 40 min (31$usd) or by foot (about 2h30) following the railway tracks. Walking is worth it as the landscape is really pretty and the path is easy, with a simple climb at the beginning. It's not like trekking at all.
The total journey is long (about 9-10 hours) from Cusco, so if you see the night coming, don't hesitate to spend the night in Santa Teresa to take the path the next day.

  • Option 2 
Cusco - Hydroelectric (7 h - 70 soles in Colectivo): we advise you to buy the return ticket with the same company. The return is around 2 pm (time to be confirmed with the company)
Hydroelectrica - Aguas Calientes (10 km): train 40 min or on foot 2h30
The Hydroelectric train to Aguas Calientes: departures are at 14:17, 14:50, and 17:10. The ticket can only be bought at Hydroelectric

Inca Trail Trek
The Inca Trail is the only trek that allows you to reach Machu Picchu directly!
In addition to being the most touristic trek, it is subject to limited quotas: it is therefore very important to book it several months in advance to have a place!
We find it in a version of 4 days and 3 nights with camping, or a short version of 2 days and 1 night with 1 night in Aguas Calientes.
To know: every year, it closes for the whole month of February.

   Book Tours and Activities in Machu Picchu

Discover the best tours and activities around Machu Picchu, Peru and book your travel experience today with our booking partners

   Our 20 Best Travel Pictures of Machu Picchu

Taken and shared by travel photographers and influencers who have traveled to Machu Picchu in Peru such as Jeremiah Berman, Alan Hurt Jr., Scott Umstattd. Click on the pictures to read their stories

   Book Flights to Machu Picchu, Peru

   Book the best Hotels and Stays in Machu Picchu

   Travel spots to explore around Machu Picchu

Click on the pictures to learn more about the places and to get directions

Discover more travel spots to explore around Machu Picchu

  🗼 Landmark spots     ⛰️ Hill station spots     🐾 Wildlife spots     🏰 Ruins spots     ⛰️ Hill spots     🏰 Historic site spots     🌲 Nature reserve spots     🌉 Suspension bridge spots     ⛰️ Cliff spots     Adventure spots     ⛰️ Mountain range spots  

  Travel map of Machu Picchu

Explore 11 popular touristic places around Machu Picchu with pictures shared by travelers, influencers and photographers... Click on the photos to read the travel guide of the destination

Mountain Machu Picchu

  1.0 km (0.6 miles) away from Machu Picchu

  Travel guide of Mountain Machu Picchu

Salt Pans

  44.8 km (27.8 miles) away from Machu Picchu

  Travel guide of Salt Pans
  • Share This Travel Guide

Book a hotel near Machu Picchu