Machu Picchu is the holy grail for many travelers and is sure to top the list of anyone making their way to Peru. However, what is the best way to visit Machu Picchu? Well, traditionally that depended on your stamina, travel goals and level of fitness. However, recent changes to the entry times and duration of stay within the park have tipped the scales in favor of some routes into the park. Here we check out the best way to visit Machu Picchu, the sacred site of the Inca in Peru.
Availability on the Inca Trail
The Inca trail is one of the most popular tourist destinations and activities on earth. New regulations allow only 500 people on the Inca trail daily, many of which are guides that carry cargo. In reality, there are around 300-400 permits per day, and spaces on the trail are snapped up in advance, so plan to hike the famous Inca trail in advance. You’ll want to plan at least six months in advance. If you you’re late to the game planning, the 2 day trek is usually available 1 month before arrival.
Travel by train or make the trek?
Of course you can reach Machu Picchu by train, exploring for the day and returning on the same. There’s also an option to spend the night in Aguas Calientes seeing the ruins again the following day. In addition, there are two Inca trail options – a short option, and a more extended option. The short option, in our opinion, is the best way to visit Machu Picchu. Why? Well, several reasons make it preferable. First off, the hike takes only two days – one day hiking there, the next exploring the ruins. Which might be preferable for many people as opposed to the extended four-day hike. Fewer people visit the site during the afternoon slot, which is when people on the shorter trail will be arriving. Whether by train or trek, Machu Picchu is simply breathtaking, we can customize any trip to make it just perfect.
Keep in mind, new regulations were introduced in 2017, after 2016 saw the most significant number of visitors ever recorded enter the park. A whopping 1.4 million people in one year! In an attempt to limit the number of people, and to conserve the natural state of the park, the government set new entrance times. Visitors can enter between 5.30am and noon, as they flock to the park to watch the sun lift off the ruins over the verdant, misty peaks of the mountain. However, this is also the busiest time in the park, so if you would like to have a little more peace and quiet, go during the second entrance time, which is between noon and 5.30pm.