Activities to do while touring Machu Picchu

Here is a small guide to have some ideas and options when making the tour to Machu Picchu. The options that we will leave will serve so that you can have everything ready before starting the tour. Likewise, we will start with some recommendations that will allow you to have a more productive tour and why not, knowing more details. Although the activities in Machu Picchu are not usually taken into account, not everything can be summarized in the circuit. We are sure that what we have mentioned in this blog will at least provoke a greater attention when touring the beautiful citadel of Machu Picchu. Let’s start.

Full view of the Wonder of the World
Full view of the Wonder of the World

The classic Machu Picchu postcard picture

Tourist in Machu Picchu - Classic Photo
Tourist in Machu Picchu – Classic Photo

Many tourists come to Machu Picchu with the sole purpose of having the view and also to be part of the postcard photo of Machu Picchu. To have this privileged view you have to reach the upper platforms.

From this place you can appreciate the classic view of Machu Picchu. We are talking about the most famous views and surely the image that reached most countries around the world.

We refer to the view that you can have of all of Machu Picchu and the mountains behind them. These mountains are nothing more than the Huayna Picchu. These mountains also seem to generate the image of an Inca face looking at the sky.

How to have a postcard photo of Machu Picchu?

It is important to know that in Machu Picchu the tours are done following a circuit. The circuit through Machu Picchu can only be done in one direction and respecting it. That is to say, it is not possible to go back. In this sense we detail below how to get the postcard photo of Machu Picchu:

  • The first step is to purchase the entrance tickets to Llaqta Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu + Inca Bridge.
  • Both tickets allow the ascent to the upper platforms.
  • A second option is to arrive at Machu Picchu, doing the Inca Trail, in any of its variations.
  • This second option will also allow you to have an exclusive view from Inti Punku.
  • When arriving by Inti Punku you can also appreciate other Inca constructions on the descent route.
  • Arriving on the 4-day Inca Trail, you can see the sunrise at Machu Picchu.
  • While, when arriving after doing the Short Inca Trail, you can appreciate the sunset and when the sun hides between the mountains.
An important point
Before planning any activity in Machu Picchu, it is important to reserve the entrance tickets. In any of its options. Only in this way, you will be able to do these activities. Also, remember that reservations can be made virtually and with total security. Do not hesitate and start with the reservation to have everything ready and planned for your next trip to Machu Picchu.

Trying to decipher the Intihuatana

Intihuatana - Machu Picchu
Intihuatana – Machu Picchu

To get to this place it is important to take the schedules of the first hours of the day. This because it has a time limit to do so. You can access the Intihuata from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.

In this sense you can only visit this enigmatic place, if you access in the first hours of visit to Machu Picchu. That is, between 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning. In this way, you will be able to calculate your time and previous tour to gain access.

Another determining factor will be the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu. It will be necessary to look, for example, in the circuits that these develop. There are some circuits that do not include the entrance to the Intihuatana. As we will see later on.

It is important to emphasize that the intihuatana is a little known and much studied piece. To date, its function is not known with precision; there are only a few theories about its functionality and purpose. We hope that, if you get to the Intihuatana, you can find the mysteries hidden in this carved stone of unique shapes.

What do I need to get to the Intihuatana of Machu Picchu?

  • The tickets that will serve and lead to the Intihuatana are Llaqta Machu Picchu and Inca Bridge + Machu Picchu.
  • It is important to consider that it can only be reached by following Circuit 2.
  • The Intihuatana is one of the mysteries of Machu Picchu. It is still not possible to know the exact function they had.
  • For many it is a solar calendar, ideal to know the dates of sowing.
  • Visits to the Intihuatana were limited because part of the site is suffering slight displacements in its soils.
  • The Intihuatana also seems to have a sacred function, just like the next activity you should do when visiting Machu Picchu.

Feeling the spirituality of the Sacred Stone

Sacred Rock - Machu Picchu
Sacred Rock – Machu Picchu

Another activity that you cannot miss or at least experience is to visit the Sacred Stone. This particular stone has a large size. In addition, it has shapes that resemble the mountains in front of it. Making its presence much more imposing.

It is one of the attractions of Machu Picchu that can be visited with most of the entrance tickets. The only ticket that would not allow entry is the Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain. In this sense, there are not many excuses for not approaching the Sacred Stone.

The Sacred Stone of Machu Picchu is located near the control area to access the routes that connect to Huchuy Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Nearby you can also find a wayrana.

It is said that this stone is a huaca or sacred stone because in ancient times it was the place where some offerings could be left in respect, surely, of the mountain that resembles it. Likewise, there are theories that good omens were also requested there in long trips or important projects.

Many tourists come to this place only with the intention of touching the stone. They mention that the spiritual power of the rock grants vital energies for the spirit and soul of the place.

How to feel the spirituality of the Sacred Rock?

  • Usually the guides try to explain it as a process of spirituality.
  • It is ideal to trust the activity and approach the Sacred Rock with respect.
  • It is important to keep your eyes closed when touching the Sacred Rock.
  • Achieving the connection is very rewarding, they say.
  • Try not to take too long and above all respect the security fences.
  • Before continuing with the tour, it is recommended to have a short rest.
  • Also, if possible, you can meditate to capture the essence of everything that happened.

Doing one of the hiking trails near Machu Picchu

Top of Machu Picchu Mountain
Top of Machu Picchu Mountain

One of the activities that may be disconnected with the tour of Machu Picchu itself, is to do the hiking trails through the surrounding mountains. These routes do not last more than 3 hours, this being the duration of the longest section.

There are 4 hiking trails. All of them are easy to do and very safe. Although two of them require a greater effort, but in general they do not represent a problem, even for people who have little experience in this type of activities.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that these routes are included in the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu. For this reason, they can be an excellent option to do something different when visiting the wonder of the world.

A positive factor of doing these activities is that it allows you to have little known views of Machu Picchu. Also, with a little luck it is possible to meet some local birds and also appreciate the flora of the area, where orchids stand out.

How to make trekking routes near Machu Picchu?

  • It is important to know that most of these routes can only be done by acquiring the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.
  • The entrances that allow this tour are:

    • Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu.
    • Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu.
    • Machu Picchu + Inca Bridge.
    • Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • The shortest routes include the Inca Bridge and Huchuy Picchu.
  • While the longest and most demanding routes are the ones that continue to Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • If you decide to do one of these routes, bring a camera, water and snacks.
  • From these four points you can appreciate beautiful and unique views of Machu Picchu.

Take pictures in the places you like the most

Tourist photographing the ruins of Machu Picchu
Tourist photographing the ruins of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is truly a marvel. The stone constructions are a delight for the eyes. That’s not all, the panoramic views of the place are truly a feat of engineering in harmony with nature.

Only when you get to Machu Picchu Pueblo, you can find beautiful views and even some sculptures that deserve a photograph. If we go further back even in Cusco you can find beautiful details of all that once were the imposing stones of Tahuantinsuyo.

Remember that, to take a picture in Machu Picchu, there are places where you can take as much time as you want, as in the case of the Guardian’s House. Precisely the place where you can take the postcard photo.

Photographs in other places may cause some delays in the route or obstruct the route of other people. The best thing to do is to take pictures as you pass by or record a short video. Of course, we are sure that any photograph you take will be a source of pleasant memories. However, here are some recommendations.

Where can I get good photographs in Machu Picchu?

  • The main place is the Guardian’s House or Upper Platforms.
  • The staircases that connect with the main temples.
  • The Pisonay Square.
  • The Temple of the Sun.
  • The Sacred Rock.
  • From the top of the mountains. You will have panoramic views.
  • Sometimes the flames lend themselves to photographs. Although it is advisable not to disturb them.
  • You will also find beautiful views near the Intihuatana.
  • During the short trekking routes, it is possible to find some birds and the beauty of orchids.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, May 21, 2024

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