Machu Picchu

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In addition to the ruins of Machu Picchu, there are several other historical sites worth uncovering around the sacred citadel and the Machu Picchu Pueblo. One of the most memorable ways to experience the region is on a luxury train trip from Cuzco to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Baños Thermales

Walk 15 minutes up Avenue Pachacútec, away from Machu Picchu's main square, to find these five volcanic rock baths (the hottest of which averages 100 degrees). Although some might shy away from the cloudy water at first sight, the baths are perfect for relaxing sore, post-trek muscles, with a drink in hand (poolside bar service is available).

Tags: things to do | outdoors | bar menu

Citadel Tours

The citadel – best appreciated with a guide – holds Machu Picchu’s most inspiring sites, including the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Tomb, Intihuatana (a sundial rock believed to be an astronomical and agricultural calendar), and the Sacred Rock, which is believed to emit an energy force. Guides can be hired for $20 at the gate or, for a bit more, at the nearby Sanctuary Lodge. Op

Sanctuary Lodge, Base of Machu Picchu ruins, 011-51-84-246-419,
Tags: luxury | expensive | views | things to do | liquor

Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain)

The iconic backdrop for many classic Machu Picchu snapshots, this grandiose peak towers 8,858 feet above sea level. The intense, one-hour ascent, which requires zigzagging up finely carved stone stairs, is well worth the sweat for the spectacular views over the complex. Open 9am to 5pm (enter by 1pm and exit by 4pm).

Tags: hiking | views | things to do | outdoors

Huinay Huayna or Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young) and Intipunku (Sun Gate)

For those still seeking more physical activity (or who have not trekked the Inca Trail), head in the opposite direction of Huayna Picchu to see “Forever Young”, the last set of ruins before Machu Picchu; and the doorway known as the “Sun Gate”, which overlooks Machu Picchu. Both spots are at the end of the Incan trail and neither requires reservations to access.

Tags: hiking | historic | things to do | outdoors

Inca Trail

Machu Picchu - Peru's top attraction - is only accessible by train or trek from Cusco. While you could make the 3-hour journey by rail, it's far more stimulating to hoof it along the Inca trail. Sign up for a guided 2-5 day excursion (hikers must be accompanied a licensed escort) to follow the popular footpath as it winds its way through cloud-covered forest, dense

, 800-930-4319,
Tags: family | hiking | things to do | outdoors | culture | history

Mandorpampa (Mandor Ravine)

Pining for a less-exhausting trek than Putukusi? Hiking the short Mandorpampa path (an unofficial bird sanctuary) will bring you face-to-face with a lush waterfall surrounded by rich fauna like spectacled bears and wildcats – the perfect place for a breather. Ask the locals for directions.

about 1 ¾ miles past the old train station in Machu Picchu Pueblo,
Tags: family | hiking | things to do | outdoors | wildlife

Peru Rail

This Orient-Express company offers several train services to accommodate all travel tastes and wallets on their way from Cusco to Machu Picchu, from the budget Backpacker to the classy Vistadome, which offers panoramic views through clear ceiling windows, to the luxe Hiram Bingham, which pampers travelers with meals, wine, entertainment, and afternoon tea.

, 011-51-84-238-722 ext 336,
Tags: things to do

Puente Inca (Inca Bridge)

Suspended on the opposite side of the Machu Picchu mountain is this San Miguel Bridge, carved out of the protruding mountainside, serving once as protection of the citadel. Nearby, find the Manuel Chavez Ballón Museum, home to excellent maps, displays and artifacts related to the archaeological site.

Puente de Ruinas, 1 mile from Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu,
Tags: historic | things to do | outdoors | museum

Putukusi (Happy Mountain)

The Incans held this 7,874-foot mountain facing the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge to be sacred. A 75-minute ascent up a trail of vertically inclined ladders earns you commanding views over the historic, picturesque city.

Tags: hiking | views | things to do | outdoors

Temple of the Moon

If you reach Huayna Picchu's peaks early enough in the day, take the two-hour detour to the Temple of the Moon, known for its mysterious caverns, niches, and portals. The carved thrones and altar here were likely used for worshipping the mountain's spirit.

Tags: family | hiking | historic | things to do | culture

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