Machu Picchu Travel Hacks
Before going on any trip you always try and do your best to make sure you have everything checked off your list. Sometimes you can not help it though because when going to a new place, unexpected things may come up. Below are the best Machu Picchu travel hacks that are based on my experience. I luckily went with a friend to Machu Picchu who had been there before so she told me everything I needed to make sure to bring. Below are the list of Machu Picchu travel hacks that I came up with:
- Altitude Sickness: Altitude sickness is no joke. I talked to several friends who were not prepared for the altitude before going to Machu Picchu. I know some people even stay in Cusco for a few days before heading to Machu Picchu just to get used to the altitude. We took Diamox pills that we got from a grocery store in Lima. We took them every 8 hours a day before going to Machu Picchu until we boarded the plane in Cusco. I heard you can also take Ibuprofen, but these pills worked wonders for me. Also drink Coca tea before heading out for the day. This is supposed to help as well. I drank tea and took pills and could not tell any difference in altitude.
- Bug Spray: You want to be sure your not itching away the whole trip. Also with the Zika virus that is spreading now, you want to make sure you have a spray that will protect you on your hike. My favorite is on my Machu Picchu Packing Guide here. There are not that many mosquitos in the ruins area, but more so on the hike to Huayna Picchu. The whole trek up Huayana is covered in trees and bushes. I luckily only came back with one mosquito bite.
- Passport: Usually when you go on a trip somewhere international, the first thing you do is leave your passport in your safe of the hotel. Not when you go to Machu Picchu. You will need your passport everywhere. From the time you land, checking in with the tour company, boarding the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo, and getting into Machu Picchu, you will need to show your passport. This is one of the most important Machu Picchu Travel Hacks. Not bringing your passport will ruin your trip.
- Snacks and Water: I noticed on some other blogs they claim you can not bring bottles of water, but I had no problem. I walked in and out of the entrance several times with mine. If you do not want to chance it, then I suggest bringing a container for your water. As far as snacks go, there is a really cool snack bar/restaurant that is right outside of the entrance. I would suggest bringing a little something in your backpack as well so you do not have to run out. I ended up staying at Machu Picchu for about 8 hours and the hike up to Huayna really made me hungry.
- Restrooms: Unfortunately there is only one restroom and it is outside of the Machu Picchu entrance. It is nice that they do not want to make the location too touristy, but it was a pain to run out several times. I obviously drank too much water. Also, like the rest of the region, it costs 1 Soles to use the restrooms. And this is for each time, so make sure to bring some cash with you.
- Different Hikes on Machu Picchu: Know the different hikes before you go to Machu Picchu since they have to be booked in advance. We hiked Huayna Picchu which is the tall peak you see in all of the famous photos of Machu Picchu. They only have two time slots per day, 8am or 10am, and only allow a certain amount of people. This can be booked with your Tour Company.
- Train to Machu Picchu Pueblo: This is something that needs to be specially coordinated with your flight and shuttle to the train station. There are only several trains that leave per day to go to Machu Picchu Pueblo therefore you do not want to miss it! Check the PeruRail train schedule here.
- Showers and Luggage Storage: Different hotels back at Machu Picchu Pueblo cater to travelers by letting them shower or store their luggage. It is pretty cheap to store luggage at around 10 Soles. If you are catching the train at 4pm then you may need this depending on how long you stay at Machu Picchu. I really wanted to shower, and had two hours to kill, so showering for a fee was nothing to me.
I hope my Machu Picchu Travel Hacks will help make your trip less stressful. If you have any questions feel free to comment below! Happy Traveling.