Today there are different concepts about entrances when you want to visit Machu Picchu that oft lead to some confusion to our travelers, here we explain you the differences:
Citadel or Sanctuary (LLaqta):
The Citadel or Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, are the Inca ruins itself, this is what we see in all pictures, that have made this Peruvian attraction so famous. There are buses from Machu Picchu Pueblo that take you to the entrance of the Sanctuary, where you will check your entrance ticket according to your booked schedule.
The citadel is located to 2.490 meters high and takes the name of the “Mountain” where it is located; in other words, the name of the “citadel itself“ still unknown.
Huayna Picchu Peak:
The famous Huayna Picchu peak is one of the mountains that is located in front of Machu Picchu citadel, and which can be climbed using a path that departs from the Citadel itself.
At the top there are some ruins and you will have an amazing view of the citadel and the area and if you want more, there is also another trail up to the temple of the moon.
This mountain is located to 2,720 mts and is only allows the entry of 400 people per day, in two groups of 200 persons (07:00 AM and 10:00 AM). For this reason the tickets must be bought in advance. The ascent takes approximately two hours, and the trail to the temple of the moon, or the Great Cavern, are about 4 hours.
- It is known as the ‘Young Mountain’. Walking along its trails is recognized as one of the most incredible short walks on the planet.
- The trails are steep and narrow. They were built on one side of the mountain. They can be terrifying for people afraid of heights.
- If you suffer from vertigo or acrophobia, it’s best to avoid to walk to this mountain.
Machu Picchu Mountain:
Now you know that the “Inca city” is located on the mountain of Machu Picchu at 2,490 meters; but the mountain has an altitude of 3.061 meters. So now you have the possibility to walk to the TOP of the Mountain “Machu Picchu”.
From there the view is also spectacular and has the big advantage that allow 600 persons per day in 2 time schedule 09:00AM and 10:00AM, still not so popular as Huayna Picchu peak so the tickets do not run out so fast; but an incredible view is guaranteed.
¿Aguas Calientes = Machu Picchu Pueblo?
Aguas Calientes, currently known as Machu Picchu Pueblo; It is the nearest town to the ruins. This town can only be reached by train or by walking. This is the town where the trains arrive from Cusco or Ollantaytambo for the tour to Machu Picchu, there are hotels for visitors, restaurants and you can do some shopping.
Now! From Machu Picchu Pueblo are the departures of the buses that drive up to Citadel, This drive takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Machu Picchu Pueblo is located at 2,040 meters and its name before (Aguas Calientes = Hot water) comes from the hot springs that are close to the town.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is maybe the main reason that thousands of visitor travel to Peru and also appears in the top destinations list by U.S. News.
It is ranked as the eighth best place to visit. Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, the ruins are today part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and since 2007 is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.