With more than 400,000 tourists visiting the site annually, with the majority of such visits occurring from May through September, Machu Picchu is currently recognized as one of the most popular tourist destinations that has experienced explosion in popularity shortly after its rediscovery in 1911. The ruins usually remain open from dawn to dusk, with the first visitors entering as early as 6am and leaving by 6pm. All guests are provided with the official Institute of National Culture map of the ruins, giving names of some individual sections, however lacking detailed explanations.
After entering the ruins, you'll go along a short path that will take you to the place above the ruins, close to the Funerary Rock and the Caretaker's Hut, offering classic postcard views of the Machu Picchu attractions. From this point you have a wonderful opportunity to observe the full layout of the destination with its clearly defined urban and agricultural zones. Heading down into the major section of the ruins, you'll see the Temple of the Sun, regarded as one of the most renowned Inca constructions. Below it in a cave carved from rock is another of the Machu Picchu attractions - the Royal Tomb; though no human remains have ever been found here. To its north there is the Royal Sector, a small water canal and a few interconnected fountains.
Up the stairs to the ruins' high section visitors can observe the main ceremonial area, home to a range of the Machu Picchu attractions. One of these, the Temple of the Three Windows, each cut with views of bold Andes in distance across the Urubamba gorge, fronts one side of the Sacred Plaza. To the left visitors are offered the view of the Principal Temple with the masterful stonework in its high walls. Opposite is the House of the Priest, and behind the Principal Temple is another popular attraction - a small cell, known as the Sacristy. It is the ideal place to explore how amazingly such many-angled stones were fitted together.
Speaking about the Machu Picchu attractions, we should definitely mention the Intihuatana, frequently referred to as the hitching post of the sun. Indeed, it resembles a ritualistic carved rock, with the stone functioning as an agricultural and astronomical calendar. Following a trail down past a small plaza, you are sure to enjoy a massive Sacred Rock, whose sacred peak looms across the valley. Many locals believe this area has served as a communal area for performances and meetings, and the Rock itself transmits a force of energy.
To the left of the magnificent Sacred Rock is the getaway to Huayna Picchu, a tremendous outcrop serving as a backdrop to Machu Picchu. While the steep path takes the majority of visitors more than an hour, some manage to ascend the peak in twenty minutes or so. Ascending Huayna Picchu is recognized as one of the most popular activities here, and is advisable for energetic sorts of any age.
Whenever looking for best value accommodations for your stay in the town, take advantage of extremely convenient and affordable Machu Picchu hostels, the most widely reputed of these being Hostal Don Guiller, Hostal la Cabana, Hostal Ima Sumac, Hospedaje El Mirador and Hostal Pachacutec among others.