Unfolded Travels curates itineraries you can’t find online for honeymoons, destination weddings, family getaways, and bucket list trips worldwide.

BON VOYAGE

Unfolded Travels curates itineraries you can’t find online for honeymoons, destination weddings, family getaways, and bucket list trips worldwide.

BON VOYAGE
I'm Brittany!

This blog is a curated space sharing bits of everything I love. As you browse, you’ll find travel advice, style edits, and reflections on life as an American living & raising a family in Italy. 

I hope this space is an endless source of inspiration, insights, and insider knowledge that elevate your travel experiences and day-to-day lifestyle.

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Machu Picchu Citadel, Peru

If Machu Picchu is on your travel bucket list, you’re in for an experience of a lifetime! This world-renowned archaeological site is perched high in the Andes, and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We were lucky enough to witness the beauty of this ancient Incan citadel last month on our trip with Belmond to Peru — now we’re here to tell you all the insider info! Keep reading to learn how to make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu.

What is Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu, often called the Lost City of the Incas, is an ancient city located at an elevation of approx. 7,970 feet in the Peruvian Andes. Built in the 15th century, it is believed to have been a royal estate or a sacred religious site. This remarkable citadel remained unknown to the outside world until American explorer Hiram Bingham’s discovery in 1911. It showcases the advanced engineering and architectural skills of the Incas in astronomy, agriculture, and water management. Today it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins are surrounded by lush mountains, overlooking the Urubamba River below.

Preparing for Your Machu Picchu Adventure

To ensure your visit is both enjoyable and comfortable, here’s a rundown of what you should bring and expect:

What to Bring

  1. Appropriate Clothing: The weather at Machu Picchu can be quite variable, so it’s important to dress in layers. The best time to visit is during the dry season from April to October. During these months, you’ll experience more stable weather, with warm midday temperatures and cooler mornings and evenings. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are ideal for daytime. A fleece or light jacket is perfect for the early and late hours when it can be chilly.
  2. Sturdy Footwear: Whether you’re trekking or exploring, comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support and a non-slip sole are essential. The paths can be uneven and steep, so solid footwear is key.
  3. Daypack Essentials: Pack a small backpack with water, snacks, a rain jacket, and sun protection. A reusable water bottle is crucial to stay hydrated. Keep a hat and sunglasses to protect you from the intense Andean sun. Rain is quite common here, so an umbrella is definitely recommended too.
  4. Camera Gear: Capture the stunning vistas and ancient structures with a good camera or smartphone. A portable charger or power bank will keep your devices running all day.
  5. Travel Documents: Don’t forget your passport and entry ticket to Machu Picchu. It’s also helpful to carry a copy of any booking confirmations for transport and accommodation.

The Journey to Machu Picchu

Most visitors start their journey in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. From Cusco, you can choose from several routes to reach Machu Picchu:

  1. The Train Ride: The most popular and comfortable option is to take a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu. We highly recommend the Belmond’s Hiram Bingham train — offering a luxurious experience with panoramic views of the stunning landscape. You’ll enjoy a multi-course dinner aboard a stunning train, along with plenty of drinks and dancing to keep the vibes high.
  2. The Inca Trail: For those seeking adventure, the multi-day hike along the Inca Trail is a rewarding journey. This trek requires a good level of fitness and advance booking.

Exploring Machu Picchu

Here are some key areas to explore:

  1. The Agricultural Terraces: These step-like structures were used by the Incas for farming and to prevent soil erosion. They offer stunning views and a glimpse into the agricultural practices of the Inca people.
  2. The Temple of the Sun: An important religious site, this semi-circular structure was dedicated to Inti, the Incan sun god. It’s aligned with astronomical events, demonstrating the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of the cosmos.
  3. The Inca Bridge and Huayna Picchu: For the adventurous visitors! Hike to the Inca Bridge, a stone path carved into a cliff. Or, climb Huayna Picchu, the steep mountain behind the citadel, for panoramic views and a closer look at additional ruins. Keep in mind that you need to reserve in advance for hiking Huayana Picchu because the trail only allows a limited amount of visitors per day. Trust us, the views are well worth it!

Why Plan with Us?

A trip to Machu Picchu is more than just a visit — it’s a journey that requires thoughtful planning. Here’s why Unfolded Travels is your ideal partner for this adventure:

  • Tailored Itineraries: We craft personalized travel plans that match your interests, whether you’re looking for luxury, adventure, or a mix of both. When we say custom, we do mean it. We’ve had clients hike the Inca Trail and have their tents setup for them in advance, along with hot water showers. You dream it, we make it happen!
  • Expert Guidance: Our team has extensive knowledge of Machu Picchu and the surrounding regions in Peru. We provide insider tips and detailed information to ensure you get the most out of your visit. This means hidden gems that you often can’t find on Google and that only locals would know about.
  • Luxurious Comfort: From first-class train rides to exclusive guided tours and luxury accommodations, we ensure your journey is comfortable and enriching. We’ll secure all of your hotels with VIP perks such as free breakfast, hotel credits, and top of the list for a room upgrade.
  • Support: The logistics of getting around Peru can be tricky to navigate. It involves domestic plane rides, trains, and a lot of driving between towns. We’ll take care of all of this so you can enjoy your travel without worries. Plus, our in-destination partners provide 24/7 on-ground support, so you always have someone available should you run into any issues.

Ready to Discover Peru?

Reach out to us to start planning your unforgettable adventure to Machu Picchu. With our expertise, we’ll help you navigate the complexities of this remarkable destination, ensuring a seamless and enriching journey. Whether you’re exploring the terraces or marveling at the Inca engineering, Machu Picchu offers an experience unlike any other. Let us help you turn your Peruvian travel dreams into reality!

Destination Inspiration

Machu Picchu: A Visitor’s Guide

Destination Inspiration

Machu Picchu: A Visitor’s Guide

WANDER ON

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The Blog by Unfolded Travels

Meet Brittany.

Your travel-obsessed friend who’s been everywhere (yes, with her kids, too), thinks of everything, and is always willing to share heartfelt support & guidance.

This blog is a curated space sharing bits of everything I love. As you browse, you’ll find travel advice, style edits, and reflections on life as an American living & raising a family in Italy. 

I hope this space is an endless source of inspiration, insights, and insider knowledge that elevate your travel experiences and day-to-day lifestyle. 

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