Top Ten Machu Picchu Facts to Know Before You Visit

Located in the northwest of Peru, Machu Picchu is an important historic site that stretches about 5 miles and has over 3,000 stone steps all linking to different levels. The site is thought to have been the royal estate for the Inca Empire which was destroyed by Spanish invaders during the 16th century.


Ten Interesting Machu Picchu facts you should know

Machu Picchu

1. Approaching Machu Picchu

If you are a fan of long distance walks and seeker of special emotions, there is a four-day route called the Inca Trail trek that reaches an incredible height of 4,214 meters. For those who can’t or don’t want to go on a long route, an acceptable option will be a one- or two-day trek. And for a one-day route, tourists can receive admission to a self-guided or group excursion and can travel to the place by bus.

To reach Machu Picchu faster you can take a ride from the Peruvian city Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Aguas Calientes offers restaurants for any gastronomic taste, market, bus and train stations, hot springs, where you can refresh yourself after a hike. From Aguas Calientes, you can take a bus or walk to the Lost City of the Incas.

2. Film location

Enthiran (one of the most expensive Bollywood films ever made) was partly shot at Machu Picchu. Released in 2010, the film is among the few films to be allowed to film in the site. Other includes:

  •  The Secret of the Incas(1954)
  •  The Motorcycle Diaries(2004)
  •  The Art of Travel (2008)

3. Annual race

Each year, there’s a 26-mile race held along the incredible Inca Trail (the race is more of a marathon given the distance covered). The current record is 3 hours and 26 minutes.

4. Men at work

Most of the stones used to build the destroyed city weighed over 50 pounds and were pushed by men up the mountain side.

5. Unique architecture

Houses, palaces and other structures were built using a technique known as “ashlar”. It involved cutting stones to fit together without using mortar.

6. Construction

Machu Picchu is believed to have been built in the mid-15th century.

7. Rules of entrance

At the ruins, there are strict rules of the entrance. One of the rules is that you cannot enter naked and the only authorized bags are backpacks or small bags. Also, walking sticks is prohibited unless you are an elderly or handicapped person.

8. Discovery

This city is full of secrets and the tourist center of Peru. In translation, the name of the city sounds like “Old Mountain” this city was built it in the XV century. Machu Picchu located 100km away from the capital of Cuzco. Machu Picchu is well hidden in the Andes that the Spanish colonialists could not get to it. But a scientist from America, Hiram Bingham managed to open the Machu Picchu to the outside world in 1911. Hiram Bingham who was on an expedition to find the Vilcabamba site when he noticed the ruins in 1911. All the locals knew about Machu Picchu, but they reluctantly discovered such secrets to strangers.

9. One of the wonders of the world

The ruins are one of the new 7 wonders of the world and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.10. Lost city
Machu Picchu is also known as the “lost city” since it had been completely swallowed by the jungle(vegetation) when Hiram Bingham III, a Yale explorer, “rediscovered” it in 1911.


10. Entering Machu Picchu

A one-day stay in Machu Picchu costs 152 Peruvian soles (about $ 47 USD at the time of publication of this article). Those who are going to visit Machu Picchu on their own can purchase admission tickets online on the website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru or in the office at Avenida de la Cultura in Cusco. The Ministry also has a satellite office in the city of Aguas Calientes.

At the top of the mountain Huayna-Picchu, there is a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu. To climb to the top, you need to overcome 4000 steps. The ascent, depending on the physical form of the tourist, can take 1,5-2 hours. Machu Picchu has the status of the World Heritage of the International Organization of UNESCO. In 2011, rules were developed to limit the number of visitors. The historical complex during the day can visit no more than 2500 people; Go up the mountain – only 400.


Tickets for Huayna-Picchu can be purchased at the above-mentioned website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru for an additional fee (around $ 10). They are sold separately, purchased in advance. Tickets are immediately sold out during the influx of visitors. The site accepts only a Visa card and often lagging during operations in the English version of the site. For a better experience, we recommend using the Spanish version of the site.

The first wave of visitors to Huayna-Picchu arrives from 7:00 to 8:00 am, and the second – from 9:00 to 10:00 am. It is preferable to begin your climb by the end of the allowed time for the second wave. This is the time when the mainstream of people has already left, and the clouds will be minimal and will reveal the ruins.

Ascent to Huayna-Picchu is not recommended for those who suffer from fear of heights, dizziness, shortness of breath, cardiovascular disorders, pregnant women. In addition, if there are clouds, it will be impossible to see Machu Picchu.

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