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30 Machu Picchu Pictures That Will Make You Want to Get On A Plane to Peru

Machu Picchu Photos: Iconic Machu Picchu image featuring Huayna Picchu
Pictures of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, were what inspired us to visit Peru in the first place. A picture is worth 1000 words and I hope our images of Machu Picchu will ignite your wanderlust and lead you to the Sacred Valley of Peru to experience the remains of a remarkable civilization. Here are 30 of my favorite photos of Machu Picchu for your viewing pleasure.

Machu Picchu Picture Gallery

I simply couldn't stop myself from taking Machu Pichhu photos at every turn during our visit to Peru's most famous UNESCO Heritage Site. The 30 Machu Picchu images below are grouped by theme. 

Photos of the first rays of light at sunrise at Machu Picchu

A permit to visit Machu Picchu typically covers half a day. We were up at 4 am to make it up to and into Machu Picchu in time for the sunrise.We traveled to Machu Picchu before 6 am, taking a winding bus ride up the mountain from Aguas Calientes; just in time for a Peruvian sunrise. Sun rays cut across the mountains giving a mystical air to the ancient home of the Inca empire. 






1.  Sunrise over the Andes
Machu Picchu pictures: Sunrise over the Andes at Machu Picchu






2. Rays of light over terraced farms
Machu Picchu Images: Picture of the sun rising over the terraced farms at Machu Picchu






3. Sunlight dancing off the buildings of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Picture gallery: Sun rays lighting up the buildings of Machu Picchu

Photogenic llamas mowing the lawn at Machu Picchu

I never really thought about it before visiting Machu Picchu, but I suppose bringing in lawn mowers would ruin the ambiance of this glorious Incan city rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Why lose the feeling that you are stepping back in time with modern machinery when you can mow the lawn the natural way: with llamas! This next set of pictures of Machu Picchu captures the local lawn-munching residents.






4. Llama admiring Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu beyond.
Pictures of Machu Picchu: Llama mowing the lawn with the iconic city of Machu Picchu in the distance



5. Baby llama in the sunlight at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Pictures: Close up of a young llama at Machu Picchu

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that in addition to great photo opportunities, Peru is known for great food? From ceviche to pisco sours, and even guinea pig, your taste buds definitely won't be bored on a trip to Peru!

Iconic Machu Picchu images

Machu Picchu sits at more than 8500 feet above sea level so make sure to acclimate to the altitude for a few days before your journey to the home of the Incas. By being smart about how you adjust to the altitude, you'll make the trip uphill with ease to see in real life some of the most iconic images of Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu in the distance.









6. Machu Picchu viewed from a distance.
Image of Machu Picchu viewed from a distance







7. Smooth stone temple and Huayna Picchu beyond.
Machu Picchu Picture gallery: Smooth stone temple and mountain behind Machu Picchu

Photographing the trapezoidal doors and windows of Machu Picchu

Incan architecture is characterized by trapezoidal doors and windows which lend stability to the stone structures at Machu Picchu. We took plenty of pictures of Machu Picchu that included doors and windows featuring a not-quite-square shape. We especially enjoyed watching the light and shadow play off the openings.





8. Trapezoidal door at Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Images: Trapezoidal door






9. Sun rays coming through the trapezoidal windows at Machu Picchu.
Iconic Machu Picchu Images: Sun rays coming through the trapezoidal windows at Machu Picchu






10. Buildings of Machu Picchu viewed through a trapezoidal window.
Machu Picchu pictures: Buildings of Machu Picchu viewed through a trapezoidal window






11. Two trapezoidal doors at Machu Picchu with views of the Andes beyond.
Machu Picchu Photos: Two trapezoidal doors at Machu Picchu with views of the Andes beyond.






12. Temple of the Three Windows in Machu Picchu viewed from below
Photos of Machu Picchu: Temple of the Three Windows in Machu Picchu viewed from below

Pictures of Machu Picchu's terraced farms

Outside the ancient gates of Machu Picchu there are terraced farms. The sun and greenery make for memorable images of Machu Picchu.









13. Steep terraced farm at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Photos: a terraced farm







14. Terraced farm with dramatic mountain backdrop
Machu Picchu Images: Picture of a terraced farm at Machu Picchu in Peru

Machu Picchu images of rocks carved to mirror the landscape

The Incans placed cermonial rocks in the city of Machu Picchu that mirrored the shape of the Peruvian Andes. The resemblance is uncanny.









15. Rock that mirrors the mountains.
Machu Picchu images: Rock that mirrors the mountains beyond







16. Ceremonial rocks that resemble the Andes in the distance.
Images of Machu Picchu: Ceremonial rocks that resemble the Andes in the distance at Machu Picchu

Photos of Machu Picchu from a distance

Our favorite photos from Machu Picchu were taken at a distance, outside the ancient walls of this city of the Incas in Peru. From a distance, you really get perspective on the layout and planning that went into developing the royal city.









17. The ruins of Machu Picchu with mountain backdrop.
Pictures of Machu Picchu viewed from a distance







18. Ruins of Machu Picchu spilling over the grassy terraces.
Machu Picchu Pictures: The ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru

Photos of the birds and flowers of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu isn't just about Incan ruins. You'll also find great images of flora and fauna in the center of Peru's cultural heritage. Look out for birds of prey and flowers like you'll see nowhere else in the world.









19. Bird of prey at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Images: Bird of Prey







20. Giant red flowers clinging to a cliff on the trail to the Inca Bridge.
Machu Picchu Images: Giant red flowers clinging to a cliff at Machu Picchu

Pictures of Machu Picchu on the trail to the Inca Bridge

There is a lot of ground to cover in Machu Picchu and with the new rules regarding entry permits, you'll have even less time to see it all. After an initial guided group tour through Machu Picchu, we considered what to do next. We thought about hiking up Machu Picchu Mountain but decided that it would be too strenuous and opted to hike to Inca Bridge instead. The path clung to the side of the mountain as we snaked our way along. We could see a wooden bridge in the distance although for safety and preservation reasons we weren't allowed to cross.









21. Trail to the Inca Bridge.
Machu Picchu Photos: Trail to the Inca Bridge







22. Precarious Inca Bridge.
Classic Machu Picchu Images: Inca Bridge

Photos of Machu Picchu ruins close-up

Pretend to be a member of Incan royalty as you walk among the ruins of Machu Picchu. Images of Machu Picchu dance through my mind as I think about the engineering and craftsmanship that went into this ancient structure.







23. Up close and personal with the stone ruins at Machu Picchu
Photos of Machu Picchu: Close-up picture of the UNESCO Heritage ruins

Machu Picchu Images of changing skies

I adore pictures of Machu Picchu that incorporate the constantly changing sky. We started our day in Machu Picchu with blue skies over the Andes. As the morning progressed, fluffy white clouds created patterns in the Peruvian sky. In late morning, the cloud rolled in over the mountains to completely change the atmosphere at the city of the Incas.









24. Ribbons of white fluffy clouds over the ruins of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu picture gallery: Ribbons of white fluffy clouds over Machu Picchu







25. Clouds over the Andes beyond Huayna Picchu.
Pictures of Machu Picchu Peru: Clouds over Machu Picchu









26. Clouds streaming in over Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu images: Clouds rolling in







27. Low-hanging clouds over the Andes.
Machu Picchu Pictures: Low hanging clouds over the Andes at Machu Picchu









28. Llamas in front of the ruins of Machu Picchu with clouds over the Andes in the distance.
Machu Picchu Pics: Llamas in front of the ruins of Machu Picchu with clouds over the Andes in the distance







29. Trapezoidal niches with low hanging clouds over the Andes at Machu Picchu.
Pictures of Machu Picchu: Trapezoidal niches with low hanging clouds over the Andes at Machu Picchu






30. Stormy skies behind a stone wall at Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Pictures: Fluffy clouds over the Andes

We hope you've enjoyed our Machu Picchu picture gallery. I hope our images of the mystical city of the Incas inspire you to want to visit! 

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? That may not be surprising to you, but did you also know that Cusco is UNESCO Heritage rated. Why not spend 3 days in Cusco after your visit to Machu Picchu and see how native and colonial cultures collided.

Getting to Machu Picchu

Take your time getting to Machu Picchu. Fly from Lima to Cusco and then spend a few days acclimating to the altitude in Ollantaytambo. You can either take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes or hike the Inca Trail which originates near Ollantaytambo.

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Pictures of Machu Picchu
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 30 Machu Picchu Pictures That Will Make You Want to Get On A Plane to Peru
30 Machu Picchu Pictures That Will Make You Want to Get On A Plane to Peru
Explore Machu Picchu images. See Pictures of Machu Picchu. Check out our Machu Picchu picture gallery and be inspired to visit the Incan ruins of Peru.
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