Hike to Breathless Views in Machu Picchu  

Located atop the Andes Mountains in Cusco, Peru is Machu Picchu, one of the great wonders of the world. Here is your collective guide to hiking the beautiful terrain in this mountainous region.

First things first, start packing. I suggest packing the following items for your vacation.

  • A Rain Jacket – needed between April through November.
  • Water
  • Comfortable hiking shoes and pants.
  • Cocoa leaves and tea are good for the altitude.
  • Snacks rich in protein, grab a bag of nuts from the local grocery store.

Now let’s get going on a hiking adventure!

Large sign that reads "Machu Picchu" in big white letters.

For hiking beginners, I recommend taking the bus up to Machu Picchu and hiking your way back down.  It is much easier to enjoy the views while you are casually descending the mountain. Outside of Machi Picchu, there is the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge where you can enjoy a nice relax and enjoy a nice meal.

ruins in Machu Picchu

For the intermediate hiker in your group, I suggest hiking your way up to Machu Picchu from Hidroelectrica. The train will drop you off there and you walk about two hours depending on how fast you walk to reach Agua Caliente. You’ll be hiking between trees, roads, train tracks and stairs made of stone. Book a two or four-day hiking tour to test your outdoor skills. These tours require staying at a campsite at night after you hiking as far as the natural light will let you. Be sure to plan your tour with a professional company, over-night hikers need to obtain a hiking permit.  Tour guides will help you through the Inca Trail where you will see a variety of foliage and great views. Be sure to stay on the trails it is very easy to get lost.

Snow-capped mountains surrounding a blue lake

Humantay Lake
For the daredevil in your group, I recommend visiting Humantay Lake. This is an expert level hike due to the steep incline of the mountain. If you would like to explore the lake, you can also schedule a horseback riding tour. Most locals mostly speak in their native language which is Quechua. The tour guide will speak English and Quechua so he will be the one translating for both.

Although it may be tempting to take a swim in the lake, it is prohibited. The locals who live underneath the mountain use the water from the lake for drinking, bathing, and cooking. They hold this land with high regard and their respect for Mother Nature is endearing. During your hike, you might see rocks stacked on top of each other, this is a local tradition where hikers stack the smooth rocks and make a wish.

Girl hiking in a grey sweatshirt and black hat

Rainbow Mountain
Rainbow Mountain is a tough hike but the view is one-of-a-kind. The mountain has minerals in the stones that reflect rainbow colors from the sun. Try to plan this hike on a sunny day to enjoy the beautiful colors. You will feel encompassed by light and color on Rainbow Mountain. The layers up layers of sediment created a great backdrop for photo ops. Insider’s tip, try to visit early in the year, October is the rainy season, making it very muggy and hard to experience the scenery.

Be sure to take a moment to enjoy your surroundings while you are visiting Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in the local traditions, find solitude in Mother Nature, and relish in visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Girl wearing a hat and sweatshirt, going for a hike.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Bertha C. Are you interested in traveling to Machu Picchu? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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