Story by: Awele Ugboko
Date: 18 August 2020
Image by: Unsplash | Willian Justen de Vasconcellos
5 minutes reading time Peru
One of the greatest tourist attractions in South America, Machu Picchu in Peru sees millions of visitors every year. Known as the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu has a rich history, spiritual importance as well as great archaeological heritage which makes it one of the most stunning destinations in the world.
A beautiful representation of the Incan culture, Machu Picchu is situated high in the Andean hills overlooking a lot of large valleys below. There are a lot of eyecatching locations in Machu Picchu which you should see.
Places to Visit in Machu Picchu
There are a good number of sacred spots to visit in Machu Picchu and we have come up with a list of the best places to visit. These places are highlighted below:
Inti Punku: Inti Punku also known as The Sun Gate is one of the most significant structures of Machu Picchu. In years past, The Sun Gate served as the main point of entry and departure for the locals. Asides from the historical significance, viewing the sunrise from The Sun Gate is a truly enchanting sight which every tourist must experience.
The Torreon: The Torreon which is also called The Temple of the Sun is a site in Machu Picchu with spiritual importance. A revered temple, The Torreon was built for worship of the sun, as the sun is the main deity of the Incas. The Torroen was the temple where they brought offerings to pay tribute to the sun. This temple is one of the must-see places in Machu Picchu.
The Principal Temple: Made up of one real wall and two lateral walls, the Principal Temple is a three-sided building that stands out as the best piece of architecture which Machu Picchu has to offer. In fact, it is a fine show of the world-class masonry of the Inca people as it is made in its entirety with stone. Built on the Sacred Plaza, the Principal Temple gets its name from its sheer size.
The Agricultural Terraces: Asides religion, agriculture is another activity which is sacred to all of mankind. Despite, the mountainous nature of Machu Picchu, the Inca people found a way to cultivate crops. The Incas cultivated on terraces with thousands of such terraces still present today. In addition to being a breathtaking sight, it is also a cool spot for some peace and quiet.
Manuel Chavez Ballon Site Museum: One of the best parts of a trip to a new destination is learning about the history and heritage of such place. At Machu Picchu, you can learn all you wish to know about the ancient settlement, at the Manuel Chavez Ballon Site Museum. This museum is home to artefacts and other forms of historical materials that will provide you with vital information about Machu Picchu. Do not end your trip until you have learnt a bit about the history of this place.
Best Time to Visit
It is important that you visit Machu Picchu at a time with perfect weather and a relatively small crowd, to enjoy the best experience. While the weather is good in the months of June, July, and August, this is the busiest period in Machu Picchu as a lot of tourists travel down. The best period to visit when considering the weather and population, is in March, April, and May. The months of September, October and November are perfect for a visit too. There is little chance of rainfall during this period, as it usually temperate. It is best to step out In the morning at 6:00 or 15:00 in the afternoon.
Things to do in Machu Picchu
Below are some activities you should engage in to make your trip to Machu Picchu a wholesome experience.
Hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain: Your Machu Picchu experience is not complete if you do not look at the city from atop the Huayna Picchu mountain. Situated behind the Machu Picchu; you get a full view of the city from the Huayna Picchu. You do not have to worry about your safety, as it is an easy climb which requires no special hiking skills.
Visit the Caretaker’s Hut: If photography is your thing, the Caretaker’s Hut is somewhere you want to visit. It is a spot with the best background for taking pictures at Machu Picchu. Climb up to the Caretaker’s Hut to take amazing pictures that will serve as souvenirs from your trip to Peru.
Hike the Machu Picchu Mountain: Named after the city, the Machu Picchu mountain is a good alternative if you cannot climb the Huayna Picchu. It offers a great view of the city and has the added advantage of being less visited. So, you can climb up this mountain and look down at the ruins in solitude.
Tips to Enjoy Your Trip to Machu Picchu
There are certain tips that will help you make the best of your visit to Machu Picchu, Peru.
Go with protective gear. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and even an umbrella should be part of your luggage. You do not want to burn your skin.
Go along with a bottle of water, as portable water is not available inside the site.
Wear clothing that covers your skin as there are biting bugs in the site. A pair of sneakers is preferable.
Make sure you relieve yourself before going in, as there are no toilets inside the site.
Ensure to get the Machu Picchu stamp on your passport before you visit the site. The stamp office is very easy to locate, outside the entrance.
Visiting these places, partaking in these activities, and following the tips all discussed above, will guarantee you an unforgettable experience in Machu Picchu. Make sure to appreciate the culture, make beautiful memories and get the most out of your visit to this beautiful place.