Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu and the surrounding ruins are the star attraction in this Andean region. Quaint Machu Picchu Pueblo, located at the base of the mountain, is the nearest town – after that, the second most popular gateway city is Cusco, located 74 miles to the southeast. Although it’s far, many people do choose to stay in Cusco and make the 4-hour train ride to the Incan city for either a day trip or, preferably, a long weekend.

Machu Picchu Cities and Regions

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (Old Mountain in Quechua) is the name for both the ruins and the mountain within the ruin complex, which is nestled high among the Andes Mountains at 7,710 feet. The entire area is regularly swathed in pockets of fog, keeping it completely hidden from the Urubamba Valley below.

Machu Picchu Pueblo

Originally known as Aguas Calientes, or “hot water” for its thermal baths, this tiny frontier town thrives on tourism, welcoming visitors its hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants, most of which are clustered along the town’s two main streets: Avenida Imperio de Los Incas and Avenida Pachacutec.

Cusco

At 11,150 feet above sea level, this former Inca capital is typically remembered as the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the lost city of Machu Picchu – yet this cobbled city built upon two once clashing civilizations is an attraction in its own right, buzzing with outdoor markets and museums, ancient ruins, exquisite cuisine and nightlife that lasts until dawn. See our Cusco Travel Guide

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