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Travel guide to visit Machu Picchu in 1 day

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Machu Picchu is considered one of the best dream destinations that every adventurer should do, personally come to this beautiful archaeological site is to learn more about their culture, feel that magic, energy that keeps this place and with this guide we will know the most outstanding sites of this city.

Travel Guide to visit Machu Picchu for 1 day

If you are thinking of visiting Machu Picchu, but don't know what you can do in one day, here is a guide to spend a day in this magical place; few places visited. If you are going to do a full day, then use my guide and if you come with an agency, organise your trip with them;

Why visit Machu Picchu in 1 day?

The village of Machu Picchu or sometimes referred to as Aguas Calientes is one of the must-visit sites if you are interested in visiting the Inca citadel.

It is a tourist village where most visitors stay overnight, some recreate, others take a tour of the small village because before going up to the archaeological site you always reach this village.

It is difficult to get bored in this small town, you have everything and you can relax while you wait for the entrance time to Machu Picchu, below I explain the things you can do in Machu Picchu town and the archaeological site, so read on.

When is the best time to plan my trip to Machu Picchu?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is in the dry season and this is between April and October, between these months you can see the historic sanctuary without any problems, the days are sunnier and you will capture the best views of the jungle ridge.

But if you go during the rainy season from November to March, you may not see the marvellous citadel of Machu Picchu, it is a matter of luck because some days are sunny and others are rainy.

Day 1: Full day in Machu Picchu

It is true that most tourists go to Machu Picchu to see one of the seven wonders of Machu Picchu, a city that could never be found by the Spaniards and therefore keeps too many secrets and its Inca constructions are still intact although with time some of the buildings are deteriorating.

The village of Machu Picchu is really charming because it has a warm climate, is surrounded by huge green mountains, the Urubambina river, the singing of the birds and its other attractions.

There are some places that many do not visit and are little known, since they almost always go straight to the archaeological site and miss out on the other attractions that this small place has to offer.

Without further ado, here are some of the things you can do in Machu Picch.

  • To rest in Aguas Calientes, surely like me you will arrive tired, because the trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu is really tiring, I was lucky enough to come a day earlier, to have the whole day in this town and wait quietly for my entrance to the Inca city that is at the top of the mountains.

As there were still a couple of hours to go, I went to relax a bit in the thermal pool of Aguas Calientes, as the water has a temperature of between 38° C and 46° C.

The place has 4 thermal water wells and they are perfect to take a dip and relax your muscles, you can stay as long as you want, but don't stay underwater for too long.

To enter you have to pay an entrance ticket, if you are a foreign tourist you have to pay the sum of 20 Peruvian soles, for national tourists the entrance fee is 10 soles and for locals it is 5 soles. The opening hours are from 5:30 am to 28 hours.

Before entering the hot springs you have to go to the dressing room, change into your swimming costume, shower and then enter the pool. One thing to keep in mind is to take care of your towel, sandals and other clothing, as they may not be in place.

In case you haven't brought your own swimwear you can buy or rent it beforehand, there are a number of shops that sell suits and so on.

  • Visit the Alcamayo waterfall, another little visited attraction, you may be wondering if there is a waterfall in Machu Picchu town, well, let me tell you that there is and very few people go to this beautiful place.

When I heard this I was also surprised and I did not hesitate to go up to the waterfall, I asked in the village where it was and they told me that I had to enter through the entrance to the thermal baths, I went and there is an entrance door that takes you to the Alcamayo waterfall.

This waterfall is approximately 30 metres high and is surrounded by trees, orchids (the most representative species of flora in Cusco), birds and a number of butterflies;

The place is very beautiful, I was amazed by so many wonders found in just one place, I recommend you to visit it as soon as you are in Aguas Calientes.

  • Be amazed by the butterfly farm of Machu Picchu.

This is another of the attractions that Machu Picchu village has, it is about 20 minutes walk from the village itself taking the bus route to Machu Picchu.

Then you just have to come walking, the entrance has an additional cost of 10 soles in general, once inside you will see something wonderful and fantastic; the variety of species of butterflies that inhabit, we are told that at least 400 species fast.

You can see that there are several laboratories, where you will see eggs that are growing up to butterflies that are about to fly, there is a greenhouse where the birds are already mature and ready to survive on their own.

The entrance ticket also includes a personalised guide in each of the laboratories, explaining their size, shape and which ones are poisonous and which ones are friendly, practically giving you everything you need to know. The visit lasts 20 minutes, which is enough time to learn about the butterflies.

  • View Machu Picchu for free from Putucusi Mountain

This is another destination to visit, well, whether you go to this place will depend on whether you can make it, I say so because it is one of the mountains that is in front of the citadel and to get there you have to climb all the way to the top.

The ascent is free, but you must take into account that the paths are not restored and to climb to the top you must go with a professional and knowledgeable guide, you may get lost or suffer some damage if you don't go with a guide.

So far I have not had the opportunity to go, as I am told it is quite a challenge to climb that hill. But from photos you can see that it has a beautiful view of the big city.

  • Visit the handicraft market in the village of Machu Picchu.

The handicraft market is another place you have to visit, where you will find several ladies offering clothes, ornaments, souvenirs, paintings and other objects.

It is located a few steps from the train station, you will find it easily because the town is very small. If you are interested in a product, I recommend you to look for it in some shops and make costs for that garment or object.

  • Walk through the various passages of the village.

If you have a little more time, I recommend you to walk through the various streets of Machu Picchu, some of them have Inca sculptures that give that Inca aspect, apart from that there is not much to see, as we are talking about a purely tourist town.

Tourists usually go to this place just to see the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, but they don't stay overnight here. However, there are some sites to see such as its streets, churches and more.

As I told you, you can pass by the main square Manco Capac and take the classic photos, a few steps away is the church of the Virgen del Carmen and a few steps further is the market of this town where you can go to eat, have breakfast, but visiting these places is a unique experience.

Getting to know the wonder of the world Machu Picchu

This is one of the best moments of my life, to be in Machu Picchu, considered a wonder of the world and to see every stone construction, its perfection, its magic, practically everything here is wonderful.

This citadel is spectacular, it has a beautiful view from where you can see the jungle and the snow-capped mountains that surround this magical destination, the roads and if you go early you can see the sunrise, which is quite a spectacle.

To enter the citadel you have to show your entrance ticket and your passport or identity card, once inside you will be guided to the circuit you bought, I bought circuit 4 and I have to climb for about 20 to 30 minutes uphill and see the citadel, this direction takes me to the classic photo or the Guardian's House.

Then we go down to the sanctuary city itself and we can see from above that it is divided, in the upper part lived only the nobility, priests and in the lower part lived the villagers.

You can appreciate the constructions of the houses, temples and sacred sites, which at that time were very important, one of them is the Intihuatana, the Sacred Square, the Three Gates, the Sacred Rock.

In the latter you can put the Kintus or coca leaves, in gratitude for everything, then continue walking and you will find the Temple of the Condor, the hall of mirrors, among other places to see.

Our visit to the citadel is only two hours, and you must walk only through the circuits you booked, now to get to know the site better hire the services of a guide or travel with a specialised agency, they will explain everything about this wonderful archaeological zone.

After the visit time is over, it is now time to go down to the village, you can do it by bus or on foot, both are good choices. From there you can go to the butterfly farm.

Where to eat?

There are several places to eat, as I told you before this is a tourist town so you will find a variety of restaurants with different dishes and prices. Now, I will mention some of the places where you can eat:

  • Indio Feliz, this restaurant is among the most popular places in Peru, as it offers a variety and unique experience in its menu; it was also one of the places with more recognitions.
  • Boulangerie de Paris, if you want to try where to have a good breakfast you can do it in this place, because many tourists prefer it, as it offers desserts, cakes, croissants and more.
  • Casa de Árbol, another must-visit destination, specialises in international and national cuisine with fresh ingredients, accompanied by wines, craft beers and cocktails.
  • Café Inkaterra, which is most notable for its lush garden and the Inkaterra hotel, which offers Peruvian food, vegetarian and gluten-free menus.
  • Mapacho Café Beer & Peruvian Cuisine, if you're a craft beer lover then this is the place for you, as well as offering delicious Peruvian dishes. If you want to try something exotic like the famous baked guinea pig or alpaca steak.

If you would like to try some Peruvian dishes you can do so here, as they are the best references of Peruvian cuisine. If you want to eat in one of them, preferably book in advance, as they are very popular places.

My Recommendations

  • Bring your identity documents or passport to enter the citadel of Machu Picchu, travel by train.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, windbreaker, hats, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, trekking shoes.
  • Organise your itinerary of the places you are going to travel, if you are travelling with an agency, organise it with your travel consultant.
  • Make your reservation to visit Machu Picchu, trains, and more.
  • Charge your camera or mobile phone to capture every site you visit.
  • Find the best options to stay in Machu Picchu village.
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