Machu Picchu, an everlasting symbol of the Incan Empire, is a treasured relic and source of national pride in Peru. Constructed in the 15th century, the former site of Incan Rulers escaped the conquering throes of the Spanish forces even when the Incan Empire fell to European colonialism. Machu Picchu was an afterthought in worldview until American historian Hiram Bingham “re-discovered” the ruins in 1911. 

Bingham wrote about his travels in “Lost City of the Incas: The Story of Machu Picchu and Its Builders”, and Machu Picchu's presence is felt in passages throughout the canon of Latin American literature, as well. Pablo Neruda and Ernesto “Che” Guevara have both penned odes to the Incans and their mind-blowing structures in poems and autobiographical accounts. 

Included as a “Seven Wonders” of the Modern World by historians, archaeologists and travel writers, and named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Machu Picchu flights continue to draw curious onlookers from around the world who are eager to step in the footsteps of the Incas for breathtaking views of the Urabamba Valley.

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Machu Picchu climate

With its mountainous terrain and high altitude, Machu Picchu experiences two distinct seasons: rainy and dry. Rainy season takes place in between the months of November and March, while the dry season starts in April and lasts until the end of October. The dry season provides better conditions for walking around Machu Picchu, which in turn makes this the busiest time of year to book flights to Machu Picchu. The temperature in Machu Picchu on average rests around 55 degrees F during the wet season and can reach highs up around 80 degrees F during dry season.

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Best Time to Fly to Machu Picchu

Whether you’re joining the ambitious backpackers eager to reach the summit during the dry season or you’re braving the chilly rains in exchange for a seat on a cheap flight to Machu Picchu, there’s no wrong time to travel to Peru’s most sought after attraction. 

Peak Season: 

The dry season is the busiest travel time in Machu Picchu, so flights to Machu Picchu should be made months in advance in order to secure a seat. 

Off-peak Season

Tourists tend to avoid the Inca Trail between the months of November and March due to the inclement weather, making cheap flights to Machu Picchu widely available thanks to the lull in tourism.

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Getting around Machu Picchu

Once your flight to Machu Picchu lands in Cuzco, take a taxi or hop on the colectivo, or bus, which will take you to the center of town. Machu Picchu is 50 miles away from Cuzco. Arrive at your final destination by way of train to Aguas Calientes, where you can then travel by buses, which depart hourly between 5:30 am and 5:30 pm. When it comes to actually hiking the Inca Trail, there are two trails that can be taken and both require reservations with officially sanctioned trek guides.

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Machu Picchu Travel Information

  • Machu Picchu, the nearly 600 year-old Incan ruins of the Urabamba Valley, is the driving force behind Peruvian tourism as the feet of hundreds of thousands of visitors traverse its steep trails each year. Machu Picchu is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and concerns regarding the wear and tear of the ruins have been raised and have initiated laws creating a no fly zone over the area and stipulating strict codes when it comes to building hotels and bridges that could affect the well-being of the structure. 
  • Take a detour after your flight to Machu Picchu lands and explore Cuzco as soon as you clear customs. Historically celebrated as the capital of the Incan Empire, Cuzco is home to Coricancha, the Incan temple to Inti, the Sun God, and Inca Wasi, which at over 13,000 is the Incan ruin with the highest elevation. 
  • Looking for something to watch while you’re packing for your flight to Machu Picchu? Rent “The Motorcycle Diaries” –the major motion picture adaptation of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s diary from his epic journey through Latin America. Machu Picchu is prominently featured in the film and was a life-changing point of inspiration for Guevara, and Gael García Bernal excellently portrays this as the man whose face would later become a symbol for revolution and Latin American pride. 
  • Lima, the Peruvian capital, is most likely where the first leg of your flight to Machu Picchu will land. Spend a day or two before your return Machu Picchu flight exploring Lima’s crowded streets, which are home to treasure-trove museums and gorgeous 18th century churches.

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Machu Picchu airports

Aeropuerto Alejandro Velasco Astete (CUZ): Cuzco’s Aeropuerto Velasco Astete is the closest airport to Machu Picchu and will most likely receive your Machu Picchu flight. The airport is located 2.5 miles from the city center.

Jorge Chávez Lima-Callao International Airport (LIM): Most international flights to Machu Picchu first land in Lima, as Jorge Chávez International Airport receives most foreign flights landing in Peru before redirecting them to Cuzco. The airport is located 10 miles northwest of downtown Lima.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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