Sunrise at Machu Picchu
Sunrise at Machu Picchu–The highlight of nearly everybody’s Peru trip is Machu Picchu. The crown jewel of Incan civilization is perched high above the Urubamba mountains surrounded by the Urubamba river, this river was sacred for the Incas since the name in Quechua means sacred river.
Past and present intertwine at Machu Picchu beautifully, dramatically, the Incas were world-class builders and thinkers, this fact can be experienced at Machu Picchu where they built some constructions according to the alignment of the sunrise and sunset.
Sunrise at Machu Picchu draws many travellers and it’s a must-do activity almost for everybody, but is it really worth doing it? Find out here before taking your decision.
Is it worth waking up early to witness it?
Yes, besides, you can see Machu Picchu with fewer people early in the morning. Witnessing sunrise depends on the weather, if you are lucky you will get the perfect weather, then the experience is an amazing magical experience
Machu Picchu is located in the cloud forest or high jungle, where the natural behaviour of the jungle is to emanate mist early in the mornings and keep this forest very humid, this happens even in the dry season. So, this mist may affect your experience.
Best months to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu
The best months to experience the sunrise at Machu Picchu are from May through August, there can still be some fogs in the morning but it’s not as bad as in shoulder season and rainy season. Expect some mists, fogs, and right-down downpours in the shoulder season from mid-September, October, November, and April. The rainy season is not a good idea to see the sunrise, so expect the whole area foggy, downpours at any time a day.
What time does it happen?
In reality, the sun does not rise from behind the horizon as you can see in other places, Machu Picchu is located in the middle of the tall mountains, so, first of all, the sun rays light up over the tall mountains, next, the sunrays will reveal everything on its path as it rises higher and higher, as well as, you will see the sunrays gradually lighting up Machu Picchu Inca ruins.
The sunrise differs by about an hour according to the season of the year.
- November: The beginning of the rainy season, the sunrise starts at 5:10 am, as said, the first sunrays are seen atop the tall mountains only, after 35 minutes later the sunlights start to hit gradually the actual ruins of Machu Picchu.
- July: The dry season, the sunrise starts at 6:15 am, as said, the first sunrays are seen atop the tall mountains only, after 35 minutes later the sunlights start to hit gradually the actual ruins of Machu Picchu.
How to get it on time to witness?
Machu Picchu is opened at 6:00 am, the bus service is able to drop you off at the checkpoint some minutes before this time if you take one of the first buses from Aguas Calientes town. So, you will have time to enter in Machu Picchu ruins on time and experience this beautiful natural event.
The bus ride from Aguas Calientes town is about 25 minutes, the first bus leaves at 5:30 am, even so, you will have a great chance to witness the sunrise if you are planning to see it potentially, plan this with your Peru Summit Adventures private guide to get further recommendations the night before in Aguas Calientes town (this applies only to Peru Summit Adventures groups), if travelling independently then make sure to go to the bus station by 4:30 am to catch one of the first buses and make sure to purchase your bus tickets the night before upon your arrival in Aguas Calientes town.
If planning to get Machu Picchu ruins by hiking from Aguas Calientes town, then you need start by 4:00 am, after walking for about 30 minutes, you will get a bridge, where there is a gate, this gate is opened at 5:00 am, the idea is to get this bridge before than 5:00 am since you will see a lot of people on the queue. From the bridge, the trail starts going up on very steep hill up to the Machu Picchu checkpoint. The total walking time is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
See the sequence of sunrise pictures below
All the pictures were taken on June 14.
At 5:55 am: When the first sun rays start to paint the clouds upon the tall mountains.
At 7:10 am: The sun comes up from behind the mountain, Machu Picchu does not get any sun rays yet at this time.
At 7:12 am: The sun rays hit the top of Huayna Picchu Mountain
At 7:15 am: The sun rays start to light up some parts of Machu Picchu
At 7:20 am: The sun rays start to light up Machu Picchu
Experiencing the sunrise at Machu Picchu is definitely breathtaking, just make sure to bring your warm jacket, camera, and documents to gaze out this unique moment, and enhance your experience taking to the next level with a private guide of Peru Summit Adventures at your side.
Contact us for a free quote today, for any day tour we have in Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. All tours are personally designed for you by one of our local experts here at Peru Summit Adventures.