Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour: Best Way to See the Famous Ruins

While there are many different ways to experience Machu Picchu, the best way to do so is probably by waking up early in the morning for the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour. Machu Picchu, the legendary ruins in Peru are known across the world for it’s beauty, grandeur and mystique. Don’t you want to have the optimal visit?

Why Choose the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour?

Many travelers choose to take the Full Day Tour of Machu Picchu, they leave early from Cusco arriving at Machu Picchu in the afternoon to a more congested site. While full day Machu Picchu Tours are great if you are on a schedule, you really want to optimize your time at the site and visit when there are less people. The Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour offers this unique experience.

The Sun rises over the Andes surrounding Machu Picchu

Is Going up for Sunrise Worth it?

If you don’t have time for a multi day trek to Machu Picchu, hiking up to the entrance can be just as rewarding. This 2 hour hike up to the entrance of Machu Picchu starts at about 4AM. You arrive at the ruins right before the site opens at 6AM. You’ll have the bragging rights to say you hiked to the ruins.

Sunrise also happens to be the time when there are very few travelers, allowing you to enjoy Machu Picchu all by yourself. The Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour ensures that you get to have the best of the site, without having to roast in the Andean sun or bear the touristy crowds a little later in the day.

machu picchu sunrise tour
Incredible views on the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour

What is the Best Time of Year for Sunrise?

Machu Picchu is essential in the middle of a larger mountain range that surround the site on all sides. This can make the suns first rays over the site vary for different times of the year. For optimal viewing we recommend the dry season of May to August as the suns rays touch the site on clear mornings at around 6:45AM. During the Rainy season from December to April sunrise is about an hour earlier but there is a high chance of fog or cloudy viewing.

If you decide not to hike up then be ready to still wake up early and get in line for the buses that depart from Aguas Calientes and take the 30 minute drive up to the Entrance. You won’t be the only one trying to get in for Sunrise but it beats the midday crowds. Be ready to start queuing in line at around 5AM. You want to get to the entrance before 6AM.

See So Much More to See then Just Sunrise

The Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour is more then just Machu Picchu. On the first day, you reach Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley. You stop by the town of Pisac, which is a colonial town where you can purchase souvenirs and explore the quaint streets.

The suns rays over the terraces of Machu Picchu

Later, you will be taken to the town of Ollantaytambo, which is known for its fortress that could repel Spanish attacks against the Incas. From here, you take a train to Aguas Calientes where you overnight. The extra time has you you arrive well in advance to hike up to Machu Picchu. You can explore the small town of Aguas Calientes underneath the ruins as well as its hot springs. At the end of the tour you take your train/bus back to Cusco.

Tips for Your Visit to Machu Picchu

In the past couple of years Machu Picchu has seen more regulations at the site regarding amount of time that can be spent there and freedom to explore the site. There are now different circuits you can choose inside the site and schedules to book your admissions. Make sure you purchase your Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour well in advance as the early Sunrise Admissions are the ones that sell out first.

If you want to hike the optional Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountains, these are optional hikes inside Machu Picchu, these have their own admissions as well and are limited per day. Unfortunately these admissions need to be purchased months in advance. For a comfortable visit to Machu Picchu, check out my post on What to Wear in Machu Picchu.


If you have the time we strongly recommend the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour. It even includes a Lunch Buffet in the Sacred Valley with a wide assortment of delicious Peruvian food. What more could you ask for? If you want to experience Machu Picchu in all its splendor, book the Machu Picchu Sunrise Tour here. Can’t get enough? here is a full documentary on Sunrise at Machu Picchu. Have you seen this famous sunrise? tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities in India. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

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