Renowned as one of the Seven Wonders of the World since 2007 and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Machu Picchu is undoubtedly a must-visit attraction, especially for travelers, as it never ceases to impress people the moment they arrive. It is a detailed example of the Inca’s meticulous constructions and masonry artistry. It is symbolically placed deep into the magnificent mountain range of the Andes at 2,430 meters above sea level. Even though it is well-known, it remains one of the world’s least-understood historical sites. As a result, listed below are the ten things to know from past visitors to the majestic site of Machu Picchu:

10 The Location

The archaeological site is surrounded by Peru's cloud forest, which always fascinates visitors with its beauty and lush greenery. The forest is home to more than 300 orchid species, as well as fauna and other vegetation. In order to go, visitors must take the Inca Trail, which must be scheduled 4 to 6 months in advance as tickets sell quickly. Depending on the trail chosen by visitors, this is also one of the greatest methods to discover Peru's vegetation.

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9 A “No-Fly” Zone

In the 1970s and 1980s, Peru’s government removed a single large block of stone to allow a helicopter to land at the site; one was when the Spanish King and Queen visited the landmark, and the other was when the leaders of Latin America met. However, the stone was irreversibly damaged, and it was permanently removed. As a result, the Peruvian government has made it prohibited for aircraft to fly over Machu Picchu.

8 Wildlife

Visitors to the location may see a variety of creatures wandering the site, including spectacled bears, also known as Andean Bears, who are the only species of bear found in the southern region of America. They are frequently seen from 4:00 PM onwards when the place is quieter and less busy. Furthermore, the most popular animals seen here are llamas, who are domesticated animals kept in good condition to entertain visitors. Other species to see include Vizcacha, Gallito de las Rocas, and Giant hummingbird.

7 Housed Over 1,000 People

During the 1400s, archaeologists and experts assume that around 1,000 people lived on the site. However, evidence has been uncovered that the land the site was erected on was used as a cultivation area as early as 760 B.C with the population mainly being in the high-ranking class. Furthermore, over 200 remains have been uncovered, with women being interestingly disproportionately lower. Later studies refute that statement as advanced technologies found the population was equally composed of both sexes.

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6 Hiking Options

An alternative hiking choice to Machu Picchu, besides the Inca Trail, is the Quarry Trail. The trek is a beautiful Andean ascent that takes four days to complete and starts and concludes in Cusco. However, this trek does not take hikers directly to Machu Picchu; only the Short and Classic Inca Trails take hikers straight to the site. These treks can last from two days and one night to four days and three nights respectively.

5 Time Of Entry

Visitors should be aware that there are a limited number of tickets available within a specific entrance time, which is every after hour between 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Only 400 people are allowed to enter and are nominally limited to four hours but this rule is not verified, so it is not really enforced. The rule aims to regulate the number of people to avoid crowding.

4 There Are Designated Circuit

To minimize overcrowding, Machu Picchu is divided into four official circuits. The first circle begins on Inka Llaqta's access road, at the summit of the famous mountain. Alternatively, the second hand is a long and high route that allows tourists to enjoy the Inca citadel's beauty. Finally, the third and fourth circuits are short and long routes with agricultural terraces on the former and an ascent to the Sacred Plaza on the latter.

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3 Rules

Before the pandemic happened, Machu Picchu had already been implementing strict regulations of rules, and policies in order to take extra care of the archaeological site. Visitors with luggage larger than 40x35x20 cm are not permitted to enter, which is why there are lockers for heavy bags near the entrance gate. Visitors are also prohibited from bringing food, utensils, umbrellas, selfie sticks, illegal substances, and more. Visitors must not feed the animals that roam around nor use drones without prior permission.

2 There Are No Bathrooms Beyond The Main Entrance

Visitors will initially come across various structures holding restaurants, a snack bar, and the only bathroom in the area before entering Machu Picchu's main gate. Using the bathroom costs less than a dollar or 2 soles for each individual so guests should be prepared. Additionally, visitors are only permitted to leave the premises once, which is ideal for a restroom break or buying refreshments. However, visitors who purchased a morning ticket and returned after 12:00 p.m. are already not permitted to re-enter.

1 Visitors Can Take A Train

Apart from trekking, visitors can also reach Machu Picchu by train, which allows them to travel faster while still viewing the lush wilderness. Visitors must purchase rail tickets online and then proceed to the railway station of their choice once they arrive in Cusco, and passengers must arrive 30 minutes prior to the departure time. Additionally, the Machu Picchu Pueblo is the final stop on all railway tours, where guests can ride a bus to the archaeological site.

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