Different angles of Machu Picchu – a Photographers guide.

By Ariana Svenson,  Originally published as a “BlueList”

The complete guide to getting that perfect, different or enigmatic glimpse of these famous ruins!  An insiders look at many different angles of this fabulous city!

The Classic shot

The Classic Shot of Machu Picchu. Photo by Michael Mossop.

The Classic Shot of Machu Picchu. Photo by Michael Mossop.

It is said that travellers in Incan times had to undergo cleansing rituals at the Caretakers cottage before being allowed into the Sacred City. Things aren’t so stringent these days – this is the classic Machu Picchu photograph taken by thousands.

View from Inti Punku, arriving at Machu Picchu in the afternoon, on the Short Inca Trail.

View from Inti Punku, arriving at Machu Picchu in the afternoon, on the Short Inca Trail.

Inti Punku (The Sun Gate)

Doing the last stretch of the Inca Trail in the dark to be at the Sun Gate for sunrise is memorable.  As the ancient city is in the cloud forest it is sometimes difficult to see sunrise through the clouds – but you still remember it though!

The spectacular view from Huayna Picchu is well worth the climb. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

The spectacular view from Huayna Picchu is well worth the climb. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

Huayna Picchu (Young Peak)

This peak dominates pictures of Machu Picchu – and if you climb it, is likely to be your highlight of your visit to the Lost City. It’s a tough couple of hours up on narrow stairs – but you will never ever forget the impressive view of the ruins.

View from Huchuy Picchu, with the author Ariana Svenson in 2005.

View from Huchuy Picchu, with the author Ariana Svenson in 2005.

Huchuy Picchu (Small Peak)

Full of gung-ho (they will need it) to get up Huayna Picchu people tend to race past the unassuming Huchuy Picchu.  However it is well worth a look for its close up overview of the ruins – with a lot less climbing than for the bigger peak behind it!

Everywhere you look are fantastic opportunities to get another perspective of Machu Picchu.  Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

Everywhere you look are fantastic opportunities to get another perspective of Machu Picchu. Photo by Isaiah Brookshire.

Hiking up and down to Machu Picchu

For those that like a relatively easy climb/ or descent it takes about an hour. Not only do you feel somehow superior to those in the tourist buses, you get an appreciation of what an awesome feat it was to build a city there!

Hiking along the railway tracks from the Hydroelectric

Since Peru Rail have increased prices for this short ride, more people are hiking for 2 hours along the train track. The lower ruins of Machu Picchu tower above you – perched with breathtaking audacity over a gorge – and tourists seem like ants.

View of Machu Picchu from Llactapata.

View of Machu Picchu from Llactapata.

Llactapata (High Town)

These ruins were rediscovered in 2002 and their position on a ridgeline across a valley from Machu Picchu helps us to understand the complexity of the network of Inca cities. It’s great to camp here and see the ruins of Machu Picchu from your tent.

Mandor Pampa

A stop on the Hydroelectric train ride or a hike from Aguas Calientes, visit the botanical garden and waterfall here as a nice day trip. Far away from the crowds you get in touch with the cloud forest, and get a good look at Huayna Picchu..

Putu Cusi

View of Machu Picchu from Putucusi.

View of Machu Picchu from Putucusi.

Not for the faint hearted, this is the mountain opposite Machu Picchu. Climbing up rickety ladders and steep slopes, this is for adrenaline junkies and those that really want to get a different perspective on the famous city.  Highly recommended!

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