Machu Picchu is not exactly famous for being the easiest spot to reach. Hovering at a height of 7,000 feet above sea level among the Andean Mountain range, this amazing “Lost City” has the reputation as being a destination only for people who are true outdoor adventurists. But in recent years, the incredible Machu Picchu has become one of the most visited tourist spots in South America. Because of this, you will find a great number of tour companies who will do an excellent job of guiding you to, through, and from this enchanting destination. These tour companies do a great job of allowing the trip up 7,000 feet to be as easy, or as challenging, as you would like.

One of the most classic and physically challenging ways to explore Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca Trail. If you wish to complete this world famous and great hike, you should definitely plan ahead. The Peruvian government must give you permission to do so, and they have strict limits as to the number of people who are permitted on the trail at any given time. Hiking the Inca trail is a thrilling experience that takes 4 days, with approximately 5 hours of walking and climbing per day. A certain level of physical fitness is required in order to complete the high passes and steep climbs. Essentially, this is the most physically demanding way to travel to Machu Picchu. If this does not sound like your cup of tea, there are other options available to you.

If a mountain trek is not a good option for you, how about the less strenuous option of traveling to Machu Picchu by train? The Backpacker Cerrojo train runs twice daily from the city of Cusco, and provides a convenient and quick ride to Machu Picchu. (Cusco is the only city that is actually connected to Machu Picchu.) The first train departs early in the morning, which put you at your destination by mid-morning. The train then departs at 4:00 pm, leaving you with plenty of time to explore the Lost City and its amazing sights and secrets, including the gentle llamas that roam freely there. The train is reasonably priced at less than $100 round trip, and is also a great way to admire all of the glorious scenery along the way.

Now, how about if you would like a totally non-strenuous way to enjoy the city of Machu Picchu? Well, then the coolest way for you to go would be with a helicopter ride. Earlier this year, helicopter rides to Machu Picchu were temporarily suspended by the Peruvian government due to concerns about the noise disturbing local wildlife, and vibrations from the helicopter causing possible destruction to the ruins. Recently, helicopter rides have once again resumed by a company called Heli-Cusco. They take care to not fly directly over the ruins, and because of the think vegetation of the surrounding area, the noise and wind of the helicopter are not disturbing or destructive to the area. Today, you can take a helicopter trip to Machu Picchu from the airport in Cusco. The cost is $280 one way, or $480 round trip. A private helicopter ride is definitely a way to travel in style!

Stuart