ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Machu Picchu For the First Time

Updated on June 5, 2018
Iammattdoran profile image

Matt is an avid traveller and self-confessed 'man of the world'. He is passionate about his home city, Manchester, & travelling the world.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu pics: As the clouds lift....
Machu Picchu pics: As the clouds lift.... | Source

When is the Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

When planning a visit to Machu Picchu you need to be aware of the seasonal variations that affect the weather in this part of Peru. I visited Machu Picchu in February and I was very lucky with the weather. I had clear blue skies and warm/hot sunshine. However, it is not generally recommended to visit Machu Picchu in February as this is traditionally when the area is hot by heavy rains and storms.

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between April and October when the the weather is warm and dry.

Machu Picchu in February

Making our way to get our first glimpse of the view over Machu Picchu city in February
Making our way to get our first glimpse of the view over Machu Picchu city in February | Source

Seeing Machu Picchu for the First Time

We arrived at the entrance to Machu Picchu at around 6:15am after hiking up as opposed to taking the bus. Already the sun was making its presence felt and we were already soaked through with sweat from the hike up. We met up with our guide and then headed along the path to gain our first glimpse of this historic city. Ahead of us was a wall of bodies all crammed in between a wall on one side and the side of a building on the other.

We couldn’t see over them but guessed that this was the first vantage point of the city and they were all grabbing a quick photo before shuffling on. We joined the melee with our cameras at the ready and then…just as we got to the front and got what should have been a clear view a huge cloud swept up from the valley below and covered everything in its mist! We literally couldn’t see a thing. Not letting this stop us, we waited until the cloud, and lots and lots of people passed by.

After only a couple of minutes, the cloud lifted and we got our first view of Machu Picchu. I was blown away by it. It was simply incredible! We stood and stared at it for a few minutes but then were forced to move on as the next cloud blew up from the valley and again hid the city from view.

Where is Machu Picchu?

machu picchu:
Machu Picchu, Santuario Historico Machu Picchu, Peru

get directions

Llama at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu pics: Llama
Machu Picchu pics: Llama | Source

Machu Picchu Tour

We had a fascinating tour around the Machu Picchu city but as our group had now joined up with several other groups to share this one guide it was sometimes difficult to hear, or understand, what he was saying about the Machu Picchu facts. Nevertheless we walked around behind him in amazement and wonderment at all the many houses, temples, shrines, observatories and much more. There were also several llamas and Alpacas wondering around the city which I hadn’t expected. One of these was an infant llama of only 3 weeks old.

Machu Picchu Passport Stamp

My Machu Picchu Passprt Stamp
My Machu Picchu Passprt Stamp | Source

Michu Picchu Passport Stamp

When our time with the guide was up it was our free time to do whatever we wanted. First thing we wanted to do was to head back towards the entrance area and get the official Machu Picchu stamp in our passports. It doesn’t cost anything and it doesn’t officially mean anything but it’s still a pretty cool stamp to have in your passport.

Machu Picchu in February

View from the top of Huayna Picchu
View from the top of Huayna Picchu | Source

Huayna Picchu

After a brief rest we headed towards the entrance point to Huayna Picchu mountain for which we had tickets for the 10am hike. Huayna Picchu is the conical shaped peak that you see in most image of Machu Picchu city. It was really quite hot by 10am and we hadn’t fully recovered from our earlier hike but we were being driven by adrenaline and excitement at this point so we started our hike up Huayna Picchu in high spirits. It takes about as long as it takes to hike up Machu Picchu but the climb up Huayna Picchu is possibly a bit steeper and a bit harder if I’m honest.

The Sacred Valley

View over the surrounding landscape, thick with jungle
View over the surrounding landscape, thick with jungle | Source

Hiking Huayna Picchu

Once you get to the top though, you forget about all the hard work it took in hiking up – the views over the city and over the surrounding landscapes are unbelievably spectacular. I sat there on the ledge at the top of Huayna Picchu over-looking Machu Picchu thinking about how fortunate it was that the Spanish never found the site. And it’s easy to see why when you look around. The jungle covering all sides of all the surrounding mountains is so dense that within a few years of the city being vacated it would surely have been buried within a thick layer of green.

Machu Picchu

View over Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate
View over Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate | Source

Hiking Huayna Picchu (Continued)

After descending Huayna Picchu and stopping to eat the sandwiches we’d made earlier that morning we debated about whether or not we wanted to put our bodies through some more pain and trek up to the Gate of the Sun. Unfortunately two members of our group had to leave at this point in order to make their train back to Cusco. After dispensing with the goodbyes the remaining members of our group set off along the ‘Classic ‘ Inca Trail towards the Gate of the Sun. It only takes just under an hour to walk to but after the recent treks we’d just completed this one felt especially tortuous. Again though, we were rewarded by the awesome views from the top and we could now also claim to have walked along (if only a small part of it) the classic Inca Trail.

Machu Picchu Quiz

view quiz statistics

As if we hadn’t walked enough we all simply started to walk back down towards the town of Aguas Calientes without even considering taking the bus. We got back to the town at around 3.30pm after a long day spent up in the clouds, and went off to the train station to wait for our train to our next destination of Ollantaytambo and to say goodbye to our companions who were heading back to Cusco.

You can read all about my experience of getting to Machu Picchu via the 4 day / 3 night Inca Jungle Trek in part 1 of this hub. Thanks for reading!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Iammattdoran profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt Doran 

      5 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Thanks very much Mike! I had an amazing time and would gladly recommend all of it to anyone. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      5 years ago from London

      You had quite an experience my friend! That was a very interesting travel log, especially the Inca jungle trail adventure. The photography is also very beautiful. Many thanks ... voted and shared!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)