Our Official Guide to a Mystical Machu Picchu Honeymoon
A Peru honeymoon is the perfect option for those couples looking for a little bit of everything. You can go from experiencing city life and art in Lima to exploring wildlife in Paracas. There is, of course, the Andes Mountains and Machu Picchu near Cusco. With all of that to explore in just one country, it's easy to go on about suggestions, but a Machu Picchu honeymoon is worthy of its own getaway. The archaeological site located deep in the Andes Mountains is a Wonder of the Modern World, and it should be on your bucket list.
Once there, you can explore the ancient ruins that were once part of the Inca empire. These large stones and ruins left behind were once part of palaces, temples, and monuments, holding so much history. Once you explore these sites in person, you'll quickly realize that the many photos seen of Machu Picchu simply don't do it justice.
Is Machu Picchu Good for a Honeymoon?
Pros of a Machu Picchu Honeymoon
A Machu Picchu adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you and your new spouse can share together. Exploring Cusco, trying new foods, and making your way to one of the Wonders of the World is an unforgettable way to embark on a wonderful marriage.
Cons of a Machu Picchu Honeymoon
It's not the most relaxing, or necessarily romantic, honeymoon option. It's a relatively long flight from the states, camping along the way is rustic and dirty, and there's a risk as to how you and your new spouse will adjust to the altitude change, potentially impacting plans. When traveling to Cusco to experience Machu Picchu, there are a few things to keep in mind. It's just under an 11-hour flight from New York City to Cusco, but what's nice is you won't have to deal with a time change, so jet lag won't hit you if you're coming from New York. Take note of the change in elevation. Most people feel altitude sickness within the first 12 to 24 hours of arrival. Cusco is settled into the Peruvian Andes at 11,152 feet above sea level. For Machu Picchu, you'll actually be going down in elevation (roughly 7,900 feet).
With less oxygen, you'll need to take things slower and acclimate before heading to Machu Picchu. You can always talk to your doctor about medication for altitude sickness if you're worried that it might affect you, but there are other natural ways to prevent it too. Drink a ton of water to help with symptoms, and generally try to avoid alcohol.
The Best Times of Year to Go on a Machu Picchu Honeymoon for Good Weather
The best time to visit Machu Picchu for chances of clear skies and decent weather is between May and October. The area is prone to rain during the other months, and May-October is technically considered the country's dry season.
Things to Do During a Machu Picchu Honeymoon
Take the Peru Rail
There are quite a few ways to explore Cusco and Machu Picchu, depending on the type of adventure you'd like to have. You can easily take a train from the city of Cusco to Machu Picchu with Peru Rail. Along the way, you can just relax, sip on some tea, enjoy the view, and even watch a fashion show and traditional cultural dances on the train ride home.
Follow the Inca Trail
Another option if you want to trek to Machu Picchu, and probably the most popular option, is following the Inca Trail. This follows the trail that the Incas took all the way from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. Be sure to book your camping accommodations ahead of time, especially if you're planning to go during peak season because this trek usually takes about three nights and four days to complete. There are three main campsites to explore, which are Wiñayhuayna, Huayllabamba, and Pacaymayo.
Hike the Salkantay Trail
Another amazing hike is the Salkantay Trail which generally takes a little longer, usually four nights and five days, but has incredible landscapes along the way. The Inca Jungle Trail is perfect for the couple looking for a little extra thrill, in addition to just hiking. This trail includes downhill cycling, hiking, zip lining, and river rafting for an epic adventure.
Adjust to the Altitude in Gorgeous Cusco
Explore the city of Cusco while nearby. Visit Saqsaywaman just north of the city to see the 15th-century Inca ruins. Try local cuisine like alpaca and cuy (guinea pig) from street vendors and city markets like the San Pedro Market. Don't forget to grab some local salts from nearby salt mines in Cusco to take home, along with some chocolate and fresh fruit to enjoy. Try chicha morada, a drink made from purple corn, while in town and look for the chicha morada ice pops at the market on a hot day. Explore handmade crafts and goods, like hat wraps made from alpaca fur.
The Best Hotels and Resorts in Machu Picchu for a Honeymoon
The Tambo del Inka property is truly something special. Each room is incredibly unique, comfortable, and spacious. The hotel has activities for guests like the "Pago a la tierra'' ceremony which pays tribute to the earth through a traditional Incan ritual led by a spiritual Shaman as he collects the gifts and prayers for the Pachamama, also known as Mother Earth. Staff can create dining experiences for guests, featuring local dishes like fresh fish, alpaca, perfectly cooked lamb chops, giant corn, fresh grilled vegetables, and local potatoes while overlooking the river.
The Hotel Palacio del Inka is considered a historic landmark, holding nearly 500 years of Incan history inside what was once in Incan Palace. The Hotel Palacio del Inka is set up almost like a museum, where guests of the hotel can appreciate the gallery of art, artifacts, and the history within the walls.
As the first boutique hotel in Cusco, Inkaterra La Casona offers beautiful luxury accommodations in the heart of Cusco. Surrounded by entertainment and bustling cobblestone blocks, the property that dates back to the 16th century is filled with Incan history.
The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco's design was inspired by the neighboring Andes Mountain Range. Immersed in luxury amenities, you'll be surrounded by history dating back to the 16th-century when these walls once held a convent in the middle of Cusco. The hotel holds 2 exhibition halls with displays and ancient Peruvian artifacts for guests to explore and embrace the culture.
What to Pack for a Machu Picchu Honeymoon
Be ready for a variety of temperatures, especially if you're going to trek Machu Picchu for a couple of days. You'll want to bring a ton of water, so having multiple water bottles helps. Have cash for the lockers if you're taking the train and just want to trek to Machu Picchu for the afternoon or use the bathroom (they charge a small amount for this). Have plenty of snacks to make sure you're energized and sunscreen and a hat for the harsh sun during the warmer months. Definitely have layers, so you're ready for the hot sun or a crisp breeze that could come about abruptly during the evening, or if rain blows in.
Machu Picchu Honeymoon Tour Packages
In Machu Picchu, there are incredible packaged options for honeymooners looking to experience one of the Wonders of the Modern World. Inca Experts craft private luxury tours, perfect for newlyweds looking to splurge on a unique experience. Whether you're looking to trek Machu Picchu, explore and try the local dishes in Cusco City, or a little bit of both, there are plenty of tours to choose from, among options to customize your own.