The road to Machu Picchu is pure adventure
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site at an elevation of 2.430m (7,970ft) above the sea level, located in the Urubamba Province of southern Peru.
Can you drive to Machu Picchu?
The road to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is totally unpaved. It’s called Carretera a Machu Picchu, also known as Hiram Bingham Highway. The road is dedicated to Hiram Bingham (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956), who was an academic, explorer, treasure hunter and politician from the United States. The zigzag road, which carries tourist buses to the site from the Urubamba River, is only authorized for allowed vehicles.
How long is the road to Machu Picchu?
Set high in the Eastern Cordillera of Peru, the road is is 8,9km (5.53 miles) long starting at Aguas Calientes (Spanish for "hot water" or "hot springs"), sometimes referred to as Machupicchu Town. There are many hotels and restaurants for tourists, as well as natural hot baths, which give the town its name. The baths were destroyed by floods several years ago, but have been rebuilt.
Is the road to Machu Picchu challenging?
The road is pretty challenging made up entirely of switchbacks, very narrow and steep hitting a 27% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Not for the faint of heart. At some points, when 2 buses meet, they have to stop and reverse partway up the hill (on the ‘outside lane’ to get to a spot wide enough for the two buses to pass (barely) one another. The hairy road will make you give a sigh of relief for having survived the drive when you get to the road end.