Secluded on a peak in the Andes mountains, the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu is a structural masterpiece worthy of its shining reputation. The massive ruins and terraced mountainsides are instantly recognizable. Their story still a mystery, but that only increases the appeal of this UNESCO World Heritage Site to visitors from all over the world. There are a few things to know before arranging your reservations to this Peruvian landmark. From transportation restrictions to reliable travel hacks, knowledge will get you far on this long journey.

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01Getting There is Half of the Adventure

The train and hiking trail to Machu Picchu cut through the lush forests of Peru. Jekaterina Sahmanova / Getty Images

A Machu Picchu excursion embodies the notion of the journey being just as much fun as the destination. You'll first fly into the city of Cusco, and from there travel to Aguas Calientes to access the ruins. You can't drive there, but you can take a train from Poroy for a moderate price and be there in four hours. A cheaper option is to board a Colectivo, a small minibus, to take you to the smaller archaeological town of Ollantaytambo. Spend some time at the ruins before getting on the train to Aguas Calientes. More experienced travelers may wish to hike the Inca Trail over a few days to a week. This trek through mountainous terrain and cloud forests channels ancient Incan life in the most authentic way.