Visiting South America has been so exciting for me because this is my 6th continent. I’ve also had Machu Picchu on my bucket list for awhile now, so it’s still so mind-blowing to cross this off my list. I felt so blessed to have such beautiful weather that day with perfect visibility, because the next day was extremely foggy and it rained pretty heavily out of no where in the afternoon. Machu Picchu was fairly empty from 10-11am on a Sunday, and the Tinkuy Restaurant right by Machu Picchu was so worth the money ($36 for the buffet). The bus line back to the Aguas Calientes train station was known to be over an hour long, but at around 2pm, after having lunch, it was only a short 5 minute wait. Make sure to check out the hot springs after the journey back to Aguas Calientes (20 soles for foreigners).
6 Things to be aware of when hiking Machu Picchu
- Altitude Sickness: Machu Picchu sits high in the Andes Mountains at 7,900 feet, so it is recommended that you start in Sacred Valley so you can acclimate to the elevation. Chewing on coca leaves, or coca tea helps as well.
- Sun-rays: I cannot stress having good sun protection enough. At such a high altitude, even in overcast or foggy skies, the sun-rays will burn right through and get you. I recommend wearing a hat as well to avoid sunburn on your scalp.
- Bug bites: The sand flies here are ruthless in Machu Picchu, but luckily I was able to stay bite-free my whole trip with adequate insect repellent and covered up any exposed skin.
- Bathrooms: They are only available before the entrance of Machu Picchu (1 soles).
- Weather: Bring water-resistant bag packs or jackets as the weather can change from being a beautiful sunny day to heavy rain just like that.
- Water: Stay hydrated to combat any effects of dehydration and altitude sickness.
Ways to get to Machu Picchu
- Hiking trails – Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain, Sun Gate, and Inca Bridge
- Take the train from Aguas Calientes
The easiest way to get to Machu Picchu is taking the train from Aguas Calientes. Depending on the train you take, it will take around 1.5-2 hours to reach the bus station to Machu Picchu. The bus took about 30 minutes to get to Machu Picchu.