When it comes to wish list travel spots, Peru's Machu Picchu is a favorite, and is now open again to travelers. A guided tour can be arranged with Globe Aware when booking your Peru volunteer vacation, as a separate excursion.
Why Machu Picchu, Peru, should be on every traveller's wishlist
14 May, 2022
By Sara Bunny
After a string of closures due to Covid precautions, Peru's ancient Inca trails are again open to visitors.
When it comes to wishlist travel spots, Peru's Machu Picchu is a perennial favourite. The jewel in the crown of the Inca Empire, it's a crumbling citadel of more than 100 buildings and a network of walkways and terraces, dating back to about 1450. Perched on a dramatic mountain range where the Peruvian Andes meet the Amazon Basin, the lack of tourists has made it unusually quiet of late. But recently, the Peruvian Government reopened most of the area's famous trails.
If you're planning a trip, book in with a tour guide to help navigate the various circuits and their opening times, as well as logistics with connecting buses and trains. New rules are in place for 2022, including limits on the numbers of visitors allowed on tracks at any one time and time restrictions at some of the more popular attractions.
Regardless of what route you choose, here are a few of the many highlights along the way:
Temple of the Sun
Thought to be the spot where the Incas worshipped their sun god, Inti, it's likely that only priests and high-ranking community members were allowed inside. As Machu Picchu's only round building, its windows were carefully designed for observing the sun at the summer and winter solstice. Visitors are not permitted inside due to the temple's delicate structure, and it's best viewed from the lookout above.
A popular backdrop for tourist photos, the sacred mountain features a series of steps carved into the cliff face. Some researchers believe it was used as a surveillance centre against attacks on the citadel below, while another theory is that is served as the seat of the high priest. You need to be fit to hike to the summit, but walkers are rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime views over the ancient city and surrounding lush mountains.
Temple of the Condor
Displaying the Incas' incredible skill at stonework, the temple was carved to resemble the open wings of an Andean condor. With an altar inside, it's thought the temple was used to make sacrifices to the gods, and there's also evidence it served as a prison. Find the temple in the Hurin area of Machu Picchu, near the city's main square.
Travellers to Peru must present an International Travel Vaccination Certificate, or a Covid-19 RT-PCR Report for a negative test taken at most 24 hours before departure. Check with your travel agent or airline for details.