Peru is famously scenic. There are many Peru Machu Picchu trips that offer great opportunities for sightseers and photographers to enjoy or capture stunning views. However, many of them require permits, so make sure to plan ahead. We’ve also discovered a few that are more easily accessible. Here’s a round-up of the best:
Peru Machu Picchu Trips Include Beautiful Views
The iconic 4-day hike to Machu Picchu follows the ancient Inca Trail for pilgrims (much of it paved with hand-hewn stone steps and pathways). One of the advantages of hiking is spending time at the sites and vistas along the way. Two ruins that afford great cliff-side views and archeological interest are Runcuraccay and Sayacmarca. Runcraccay features two amazing waterfalls cascading down into the valley. Plus, you’ll see Sayacmarca: an incredible Inca village.
Taking the train is the classic alternative to hiking into Machu Picchu. Ride the train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo into Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). The journey is a comfortable three and a half hours. Additionally, it offers spectacular views as it traverses the Sacred Valley. Book well in advance to sit on the scenic side of the train (there are dome ceiling windows as well).
Our Favorite Vistas in Machu Picchu
- The view from Huayna Picchu is the steep, thin mountain peak featured in many of the classic photographs of the site. Daily permits are limited and it take about 2 hours to reach the summit. While climbing you’ll see a breathtaking view of the Machu Picchu archeological site in all its sprawling complexity.
- If you’re not lucky enough to score a pass to climb Huayna Picchu, consider the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain a great, less grueling alternative. The payoff of this hour and a half hike up to the top is another heart-stopping view of the entire site. The lower elevations of the mountain make for a more intimate vista and photo opportunity.
- The view from the Sun Gate doesn’t require planning or permits and is free to all in the area of Machu Picchu. A smooth walk uphill from the center of the site, it is the old Inca entrance and offers sweeping views. Those who are hiking the Inca Trail will pass through it on their way to site, a 60-minute hike down. The views available here aren’t as picturesque as some of the other areas, but it is symbolically important nonetheless.
Contact us today to learn more about our scenic Peru Machu Picchu trips.