Cusco Machu Picchu

(Cusco / Cuzco, Peru)

View of the world-famous Inca ruins of Machu PicchuThe world-famous lost city of Machu Picchu and its exceptional Inca Trail is the main reason why so many tourists visit Peru each year, and is conveniently just 80 km / 50 miles to the north-west of Cusco. Machu Picchu is connected to Cusco by train, tour bus and even helicopter, and amongst the most remarkable archaeological sites in the whole of Latin America, enjoying a particularly spectacular mountain situation.

Machu Picchu has a very interesting history and tourists from Cusco will learn that it was built more than 500 years ago in the mid-15th century for the rulers of the Inca Empire, but completely abandoned just 100 years later, when the Spanish conquest took place. The Spaniards never actually learned of the existence of Machu Picchu and the city remained here completely intact, quite undiscovered, until 1911, when an American historian literally stumbled upon it.

Further photo of the Machu Picchu ruins

General Information

Machu Picchu has earned itself the prestigious title of being a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also ranks as one of the world's New Seven Wonders. Constructed with dry-stone walls, Machu Picchu comprises a number of steep terraced areas and between May and September (the high season), is visited by some 2,500 tourists each day, many of which arrive from nearby Cusco.

The ruins of Machu Picchu are open each day between dawn and dusk, and tend to be at their very busiest from 10:00 until 14:00. Therefore, either arrive early or late to avoid the largest crowds, particularly midweek. Tickets for Machu Picchu should always be purchased well in advance, and with the popularity of the Inca Trail being so overwhelming, tickets for this trek will also need to be bought many weeks ahead.

Photo taken from a different angle of Machu PicchuThose arriving at Machu Picchu can expect to find acclaimed attractions such as: