Agua Calientes Map
Set high above the sacred valley at an elevation of 8040ft, the entire site is protected by steep cliffs and lush green mountains, with dreamlike vistas of the snowcapped Andes off in the distance. Generally accepted as the most important and captivating archaeological remnant of the Incan Empire, Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983 and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. But awards aside, this extraordinary place simply cannot be adequately described in words or even pictures. Like the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu can only be truly apreciated in three dimensions.
The central structures of the citadel are constructed with huge polished blocks of dry-stone that were pieced together without the use of mortar, and the joints are said to fit so tightly together that not even a blade of grass can fit between them. Both the construction and the transportation of the stones remain unsolved mysteries attesting to the Incas mastery of architectural design and construction. The urban area is comprised of more than 140 structures highlited by fountains, residences, thousands of stone steps, and spectacular temples including the iconic "Temple of the Sun".
Most travelers reach Machu Picchu by train from Cuzco (75 miles 3.5 hours), or Ollantaytambo (46 Miles 2 hours), and you can choose from three different types of service in the booking process: Click here for train details.
Physically fit travelers may want to consider hiking the Inca Trail. This unforgettable four day trek covers more than 34 Inca ruins in the magnificence of the Andes, and culminates at the Lost City. It is a breathtaking experience.
So whether you opt for accommodations in nearby town of Aqua Calientes, the Sanctuary Lodge adjacent to the citadel itself, come on a daytrip from Cuzco, or immerse yourself in the history and natural beauty of the Inca Trail, you will be inspired by the ingenuity, determination, and mastery of the Inca people, and bear witness to the wonder of the human spirit. Machu Picchu Itineraries.