Hundreds of visitors hike the trails around Machu Picchu each year. Many come to see the former home of the great Incan empire. It has been named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Traveling to Machu Picchu can be a life-changing experience. Visitors must also be prepared for the strenuous hike into the clouds.
When is the best time to go?
Wintertime in South America is considered the driest season. The high tourist season will begin around July and August. That means the trails will be packed with other explorers and visitors. May through October weather is consistently good. These months are still considered the peak times to visit Machu Picchu. Offseason does thin out the crowds, but there is a chance of very heavy rainfall. Hikers will need to decide whether they want to fight the crowds or the weather to see the trails.
What items should be packed?
The weather on Machu Picchu can change at a moment’s notice. Hikers should pack for any type of weather. Ponchos are ideal for the trip. As with any hike, steady shoes are a must for the trails. Long sleeve shirts and pants are recommended. Additional items such as water, bug repellant, hat, and sunglass can make the trek a bit easier. The high altitude can make the nights a little cold. Visitors should bring a warm jacket as well.
Are permits required?
Since July 1, 2017, permits are now required to enter Machu Picchu. This is an attempt to control the crowds that enter the heritage site. Visitors are now required to enter and exit at a specific time. It is also required to enter with an official guide and a valid passport.
Which trails are open?
The Inca Trail is the most famous hike. This trail leads visitors throughout the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. The highlight is passing through the Sun Gate into the heritage site. For those who want to experience the trail, reservations must be booked six months in advance. A trail guide is also required. The Salkantay Trek is gaining in popularity. This route does not require a permit or guide to travel on the trail. It is slightly more difficult than the Inca Trail.
Machu Picchu is a destination spot for many travelers. There are a few rules and regulations that must be followed to visit the location. Hikers from all over the world hit the trail to experience the beauty of Machu Picchu.