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Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, Peru

Photographs and blog post by Susan Gan, Australia

Why is photographing Machu Picchu, Peru on the Snap Spotz: photographer’s bucket list?

Photographing Machu Picchu is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience and a major photography bucket list item!

When you stand there looking at the buildings perched high up in the mountains it is just mind boggling to imagine how it was achieved so long ago. Whether you are interested in taking photos of historical monuments or engineering marvels this is one that you cannot miss.

Machu Picchu - Susan Gan
Machu Picchu – Susan Gan

When is the best time to snap a photo Machu Picchu?

If you are staying in Aguas Calientes, you should aim to arrive at Machu Picchu at opening time to avoid the mid-day crowds. A lot of people do a day trip from Cusco so it gets very busy around lunch time (up to 2500 people can visit the Inca City each day).

You are restricted with taking sunrise/sunset photos because you can only be onsite from 6am to 5pm.

Machu Picchu in the mist- Susan Gan
Machu Picchu in the mist- Susan Gan

Where is the best spot to snap a photo of Machu Picchu?

The iconic photo is of the Inca City with Huayna Picchu in the background can be achieved by climbing up on the terraces and having your back towards Montana Machu Picchu.

How do you get to Machu Picchu?

Cusco to Aguas Calientes:

At the time of our visit (just after rainy season) they were using a bi-modal method of transport. There was a 90-minute bus ride from Wanchaq station to Pachar station and then a 2-hour train ride in a glass top train to Aguas Calientes.

Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu:

I recommend you catch the bus to the entrance of Machu Picchu rather than walking. The whole site is on the side of a mountain and you spend a lot of the day climbing stairs.

Get there early to catch the bus. We joined the queue at 5:30am to catch the first bus of the day and there was already 20+ people in front of us.

Tips or recommendations for Machu Picchu

Entry tickets start from USD$70 per adult. If you are thinking about hiking up Montana Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu then I recommend you buy the tickets in advance. There are limited numbers for these two hikes and they sell out quickly. Montana Machu Picchu is the easier of the two and will take you about 3 hours.

Take an umbrella as there is nowhere to escape from either the sun or the rain.

Hire a guide for a few hours as they will give you a history of the site plus show you some great places to take photos. It cost about USD$50 for two hours back in 2014. The guides can all be found waiting near the front entrance.

If you have the time I recommend that you buy tickets for two days. You don’t actually need that long to view the site but you do need it to allow for bad weather and to avoid the crowds in the middle of the day.

Ease of access for Machu Picchu

Accessibility rating between 1 and 10. 1 being wheelchair accessible. 10 being a difficult (and possibly dangerous) hike requiring rock climbing experience!

Rating = 6 -7

I give this an accessibility rating of 6-7 as it isn’t the most convenient location to visit. Once you finally arrive at Machu Picchu you then have a lot of stairs to climb.


Susan Gan |Thrifty after 50 and Snap Spotz

Susan Gan | Australia
Susan Gan | Australia

Camera Settings

CameraCanon 650D
LensCanon ESF 18-200mm
Camera Settings1/13 sec at f/22, ISO 100
Tripod, filters, wireless remoteNone
Photo editing toolAdobe Lightroom
Resources / Apps for preparationNone

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Snap Spotz Pin - Machu Picchu - Susan Gan

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