Backpacking Peru | Why you should consider exploring Machu Picchu

 

It’s almost unfathomable that Machu Picchu, considered one of the new seven wonders of the world, was virtually forgotten until the early 20th century. Now recognized globally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in peak season from May to September nearly 2,500 people visit the ancient city daily. Also known as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu offers a unique experience for all travelers.

 

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Prepping for your adventure

Rainy season in Peru is from October to April. This makes early summer through to late fall the best time to visit. Make sure you buy your ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. They only offer so many passes per day and they often sell out.

Don’t forget you need to be prepared for the physical effects of traveling and hiking.

Nestled in the Andes Mountain range, the elevation of Machu Picchu, 7,972 ft above sea level, is no joke. Altitude sickness can ruin any trip. The best way to prepare is to take things slow so you can acclimatize to the elevation.

Choose comfortable, breathable clothing and a lightweight bag so you can explore the site easily. You’ll definitely want to have your phone charged up and don’t forget your camera. You will want it to capture the beauty and mystery of the tropical mountain forest.

There’s nothing like it as the clouds float in the distance and the rounded edges of the mountains show the age of the place.

Make the experience your own

Being such a beautiful destination it attracts a lot of tourists. They come in droves, and the busiest day is Sunday because locals in the Cuzco province receive free admittance. This may impact whether or not you decide to hire a tour guide. Many locals are available for hire as you arrive, or you can choose to skip the tour and explore on your own.

It’s a cheaper option if you’re on a budget. Plus navigating the city on your own could be just as enlightening.

Walk in Incan shoes

Trekking up the mountainside and weaving through the stone-carved buildings, will inspire you to empathize with the Incans, who built the city. Carrying the massive stones up the steep cliffs and carving them into buildings, temples, baths, and terraces. A simpler time, it forces you to reflect on all the technology we rely on each day.

At Machu Picchu, each structure was constructed with intention. The Temple of the Sun was built to honor the Incan deity, “Inti.” So when the sun shines through the center window, it falls directly on the large ceremonial stone in the winter solstice. You can’t go into the temple, but the exterior shows the artistry of the early Peruvians.

The whole experience is spectacular. At times it feels a little surreal. If you have a chance to go to Machu Picchu, take it. You won’t forget it.

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For a detailed guide to hiking Machu Picchu check out this great post from A Nomad on the Loose.

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This post was proofread by Grammarly

 

 

Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

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