How much time does it take to visit Machu Picchu?
One of the most frequent questions among travelers planning to visit Machu Picchu is how much time is needed to explore this iconic sanctuary. As a tour guide with years of experience in Machu Picchu, below are some alternatives to make the most of your visit, taking into account different travel styles and personal preferences:
Types of Visits to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary
Half-day basic visit
If you have limited time and want to focus solely on the ruins of Machu Picchu, a half-day visit might be enough. This option will allow you to tour the main points of interest of the archaeological site, such as the Guardian's House, the Temple of the Sun, the Main Square, and the Intihuatana. In this case, it is recommended to take the first bus from Aguas Calientes (around 5:30 a.m.) and plan at least 2-3 hours to explore the site. Keep in mind that this option does not include additional time for climbing nearby mountains or visiting other points of interest.
For those who wish to immerse themselves in the Machu Picchu experience and have enough time to tour the site at a leisurely pace, it is recommended to plan a full day for the visit. This option will allow you to enjoy the ruins, as well as undertake some additional hikes, such as the Intipunku (Sun Gate) or the Inca Bridge. Additionally, you can take time to rest, take photographs, and simply soak up the energy and mysticism of the place.
Visit with Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain climb
If you want to add a trekking experience to your visit and enjoy spectacular panoramic views, you can choose to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In this case, it is advisable to book a combined ticket and plan a full day for your visit. Climbing Huayna Picchu takes approximately 2 hours (round trip), while Machu Picchu Mountain can take between 3 and 4 hours in total. Keep in mind that spaces for these mountains are limited and must be booked in advance.
Visit with multi-day hike
For adventurous travelers who wish to combine their visit to Machu Picchu with an unforgettable trekking experience, there are several multi-day hike options, such as the classic 4-day, 3-night Inca Trail, the Salkantay trek, or the Lares route. These hikes will allow you to discover other archaeological sites, stunning landscapes, and rich Andean culture before arriving at Machu Picchu.
In summary, the time needed to visit Machu Picchu can vary depending on your personal preferences and the type of experience you want to have. From a basic half-day visit to a multi-day hike, there are alternatives for all tastes and levels of adventure at this incredible Inca sanctuary. And of course, always consider Casa del Sol Machu Picchu Hotel for unique and unbeatable accommodation.