Iconic Machu Picchu is the most famous and best preserved Inca site of the Andean region. It sits on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley near Cusco, some 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. In 1983 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the biggest tourist attraction in Peru. It has become so popular that the Peruvian government has had to limit visitors to 2,500 per day in order to help preserve the site.
The nearest town to Machu Picchu is officially called Machu Picchu Pueblo but is more commonly known as Aguas Calientes. This town grew from the tourism industry and is overpriced but most people spend a few hours or a few nights here on their way to and from Machu Picchu. Our Machu Picchu Travel Guide has all the information on how to get to Machu Picchu, how to buy your tickets and our favourite hotels, restaurants and things to do while in town.
For more in depth information on everything Machu Picchu DOWNLOAD OUR FREE TWO PART MACHU PICCHU GUIDE.
Machu Picchu is probably one of the main reasons you came to Peru and no trip is complete without a visit to this iconic World Heritage Site. Perched on the top of a mountain peak in the Andes this archaeological site will take your breath away. Plan your visit well to make the most of your visit and book your tickets for the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain hikes well in advance.
This charming little museum has a series of colourful and interactive displays of information about Machu Picchu. It also houses a collection of artefacts discovered at the site as well as an original copy of the National Geographic magazine that unveiled Hiram Bingham’s discovery in 1911. Next door they have a botanical garden with over 400 species of plants and orchids from the area.
Butterfly House is a butterfly farm located a twenty minute walk outside Aguas Calientes. It is a conservation project to preserve the eight species of butterfly found in the Machu Picchu area. It’s not a fancy centre but it does have its charm and is a great activity for the kids.
This tropical oasis is a forty minute walk from town and is a lovely place to spend a few hours cooling off in the waterfall or wandering through their tropical gardens.