Machu Picchu – When to Go, How to Get There, and Where to Stay

Machu Picchu pic
Machu Picchu
Image: travel.usnews.com

Entrepreneur Barry Grummer is the president of K Restoration and Roofing Corp. (KR&R), a New York-based preventive maintenance and leak detection company. Away from his professional responsibilities, Barry Grummer enjoys traveling the world. One of his most recent trips was to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Recognized around the world as an important and complex archaeological site, Machu Picchu is a popular tourist attraction. However, taking a trip to the area requires a fair bit of planning. Machu Picchu is open all year, but trips can vary greatly depending on when you visit. Between May and October, the site is very dry. Crowds are larger, but the weather is nice and the Inca Trail is open. Meanwhile, from November through April, the area sees a great deal of rain. Crowds are lower, mudslides are occasionally a problem, and the Inca Trail is closed for maintenance during February.

Beyond deciding on when to visit, you’ll want to put some thought into where to stay and how to get to the site. There are two options for getting to Machu Picchu: by foot and by train. Hiking the Inca Trail is a great experience, but it normally takes four days to complete the classic path. Meanwhile, trains depart from Ollantaytambo and Poroy. It is wise to buy train tickets early and admission to Machu Picchu is only available with a pre-purchased ticket. In terms of lodgings, if there are plenty of places to stay in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, and Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes is often the best place to stay because it has a bus that runs to Machu Picchu, allowing you to explore the ruins for much longer without having to worry about catching a train back.