To top off our summary of the top destinations of 2018, we’re revealing the #1 most popular destination on our traveler’s custom Peru itineraries in 2018. It should come as no surprise that it was the one and only Machu Picchu! The stunning hilltop citadel in the clouds is a destination that absolutely cannot be missed when traveling in Peru. Whether you trek to it or hop on the scenic train to its doorstep, it’s an entirely unforgettable experience to lay eyes on Machu Picchu for the first time. In this blog post, we share some of the ways our Kuoda travelers made the most of their visit to Machu Picchu last year.
Sunrise at Machu Picchu
Getting to Machu Picchu early has its rewards, including thinner crowds, perfect light, and the chance to see the sun ascend over the lush surrounding peaks. The gates open at 6am giving you plenty of time to get up the mountain via shuttle and inside the citadel well before the sun rises.
Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate
Inca Trail trekkers have the well-earned luxury of arriving at Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate, or Inti Punku. This historic entrance was once the main entrance to Machu Picchu during the time of the Incas. Imperial guards stood watch, granting access to only those who were invited. The views are incredible.
Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain Hikes
The Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain hikes within the Machu Picchu complex each offer a unique bird’s eye view perspective of the ruins. Both hikes require a special ticket that can be purchased along with your general admission ticket. Get yours well in advance if this is a must-do for your Machu Picchu tour, as tickets are limited and tend to sell out quickly.
Bird and Wildlife Spotting
Machu Picchu’s location in the Andean cloud forest means there will be plenty of birds and wildlife to observe during your private tour. Some of the most spectacular Machu Picchu area residents include the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the Andean condor, the spectacled bear, ocelot, and puma, while over 700 bird species and 400 butterfly species have been registered to date.
The hilltop location of Machu Picchu makes for quite the workout while exploring it. What better way to take care of your aching muscles than to sink into a thermal spring? There are two within the vicinity of Machu Picchu: one in Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) and another is in Santa Teresa. Pencil in a visit to the thermal springs during your Machu Picchu visit.
Is a Machu Picchu vacation in order for your 2019?
We hope so! For more Peru trip inspiration, check out the rest of this series on our blog and get in touch with a Kuoda Travel Designer today to begin planning your personalized Peru holiday.