Machu Picchu is the most famous Inca site, one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries in all the world, and one of the best touristic destinations you can pick. Situated on a ridge above a spectacular valley, the Lost City of the Incas, as it is often called, will definitely give you a vacation to remember your whole lifetime; we’re talking (probably) an extremely long trip ahead of you, which means the ticket won’t be cheap, and numerous logistical difficulties you will probably have to face. Hopefully, I will be able to clarify what you should do.
See also: Machu Picchu On The Cheap
First of all, you have to bear in mind the fact that Machu Picchu is not a cheap holiday, by most standards. You have to get to Lima, the capital of Peru first, and from there the road gets kind of complicated and crowded. Once you get close, probably in the city of Agua Calientes, there are three ways to reach the ruins themselves. First of all, you can follow the multiple day Inca Trail, which is the cheapest (free actually) and will give you a remarkable spiritual experience, but it’s definitely not for the lazy or unprepared. Second, you can walk on a shorter road, and last, if you are really lazy or don’t have a long vacation, take the bus. Buses are very frequent, and they cost about 7$, so it’s not really a lot of money. You have to be careful when traveling by bus, or the train, because you will probably be asked to pay about 10 times more than a local…
However, once you get to the ruins, things start to change; as I told you, visiting Machu Picchu isn’t cheap. The entry fee alone can go up to 100$, and a two hour guided tour will be about 20$; however, if you do find a group that’s already formed, you can mingle for just a few dollars. There are no vehicles allowed inside however, so no matter how lazy or short your vacation is, you have to take a comfortable pair of shoes and some adequate clothing and prepare yourself for a walk in the ruins; don’t be too scared however, because the main walks are quite accessible.
Accommodation in Machu Picchu is also something you have to consider; the only hotel close to the ruins is the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, but it will cost you about 750$ per night. The sunrise is definitely something you will take with you for a lifetime, but at 750 greenies, so is the cost. What most people do if they want a cheap accommodation near Machu Picchu is go to the nearby town of Aguas Caliente. You will likely pass through it anyway; it’s not really an interesting city, quite the opposite actually, but it’s the nearest access point for the Incan ruins. The food is good however, and the prices are not so bad; but there is a good chance people will try to rip you off, so keep an eye open anyway.
All in all, for what it has to offer, Machu Picchu is not expensive at all, but you shouldn’t think that going there is just like visiting any other ruins. You need to first of all get there, by plane and train/bus, and walk; you need to pay an entrance fee, and either get a cheap accommodation in the nearby city of Aguas Caliente, or an expensive one near the ruins. But the reward is priceless.