Machu Picchu hotels are the first practical detail to tackle once you've read all the exciting descriptions of the Lost City of the Incas and are ready to start planning your journey. The ruins are relatively isolated, but as they're a tremendous tourist draw, there are a few different options for places to stay. While some travelers take the train from Cusco themselves or join a tour group and then return on the same day, there is definitely enough to see here to warrant an overnight stay and a few days spent exploring. One of the most appealing things about choosing Machu Picchu lodges is the ability to see Machu Picchu at sunrise. The tour buses won't have arrived this early, and you will have the opportunity to see this sacred Incan site at its most serene.
The most popular-and perhaps most luxurious-accommodation choice for a hotel is the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. This luxury option is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient site. If you want to experience Machu Picchu in all of its glory, from sunrise to moonlit evenings, this is the best place to be. Located in the shadow of the lost city, as they say, this hotel also offers authentic Peruvian cuisine and tours of Machu Picchu and other lesser known sites in the region. Operated by Orient-Express, this hotel has been praised by many major newspapers and travel magazines.
Although the Sanctuary Lodge is the most famous of the Machu Picchu lodges, there are other options for luxury Machu Picchu hotels, including Inkaterra, which is locate in Aguas Calientes just a few miles away from the archaeological site. While it doesn't offer the same proximity as the Sanctuary, this hotel does offer a boutique experience where whitewashed bungalows are nestled into the hills. A first-class restaurant here is the perfect way to end a day of hiking in and around Machu Picchu. Families are also welcome at this hotel, which is worth keeping in mind if you're planning an adventure to Peru with your kids.
Not all Machu Picchu hotels are luxury choices. If you're traveling on a budget, there are many affordable options too. Those travelers who are looking to spend as little money as possible will want to consider hostels in Aguas Calientes, while those with a few extra dollars to spend will want to check out mid-range hotels. Examples of hostels or bed and breakfasts include Hostal Continental, Hostal Plaza, or Machu Picchu Hostal. For a few extra dollars, you could make a reservation at Hotel Rupa Wasi Lodge, Santuario Hotel, or La Cabana Boutique Hotel.
Depending on the season you're visiting, it might be important to make reservations for Machu Picchu lodges well ahead of time. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the most popular attraction in Peru, and it can become quite busy at times. Many of these visitors are day-trippers, but if you have specific accommodation requests, you will definitely want to secure a room in advance. Other things to do before you go to Machu Picchu include reading up on the local history, looking into a hiking tour, and considering purchasing travel insurance. With all these practicalities out of the way, you can thoroughly enjoy your trip to the lost city of the Incas.