This travel tip should help you with infos about food and accommodation at the famous Machu Picchu.
Food at the Machu Picchu:
It's officially not allowed to bring food into the archeological site. But if you're planning to stay the whole day, bring some snacks or sandwiches and plenty of water (just be sure not to litter). Your ticket will tell you that you cannot bring food or water bottles into the site, although many people do take them anyway. Buying them at the site is expensive, and plastic bottles are not offered (glass only). Purchase food and plenty of water and bring it with you.
The concession stand near the entrance of the site is pitiful in its offerings and gets very busy at lunchtime. Once in the site, it's not possible to buy food or drinks.
There is a cafeteria near the site, where the locals who work there eat. Ask one of them and if you're lucky, you'll be rewarded with a cheap, filling, and unique alternative to the expensive tourist snack-stand.
- Tinkuy Buffet Restaurant, Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, +51 84 21 1039/38. 11:30AM-3:00PM. Casual lunch buffet with nice picture windows. Expensive: About $33 for buffet lunch, approximately four times that of area restaurants.
- Tampu Restaurant Bar (Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge guests only). 5:30AM-9:00AM, Noon-3:00PM, 6:30PM-9:30PM. Expensive, but it's at the ruins site.
Better food choices can be found by taking one of the regular buses to Aguas Calientes (the small town on the train stop to Cuzco) where there are numerous restaurants. These restaurants are not up to the standards of those in Cuzco or Lima, but are generally satisfactory. They tend to be moderately high priced.
Some guidebooks report an unusually high incidence of food poisoning in the area, possibly attributable to the fairly common power outages (with loss of refrigeration). Cooked pizza and bottled beer or soft drinks are safe bets, salads and Pisco sours (made with raw egg whites) are best avoided here.
Accommodation at the Machu Picchu:
Rather than returning from the ruins the same day, a traveller can stay overnight near the ruins. There are many hotels at nearby Aguas Calientes, but only one hotel at Machu Picchu itself. Machu Picchu is not a regular town, but a protected sanctuary where new construction is not allowed. That is why all of the places to sleep, with a single exception, are in nearby Aguas Calientes. This lively town offers a wide assortment of lodging options with choices that range from no-frills hostels for backpackers, to very sophisticated hotels. It is recommended to do a thorough hotel research before committing.
The only hotel in Machu Picchu is the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, +51 84 21 1039/38, mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org www.machupicchu.orient-express.com.
Guests of this hotel can visit the ruins with the same schedule of travellers who sleep in Aguas Calientes, but can enjoy the magnificent isolation of the sanctuary. The hotel also allows guests to cut out all transfer times from the citadel to their accommodation, allowing for a longer, more relaxing time at Machu Picchu.