Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

Imagine Watching a lost kingdom appearing out of darkness on a top of a mountain, a scene that we only see in movies. What If you knew that you can see it in real life ? isn’t this amazing ?. This scene is the same as watching Machu Picchu Sunrise. An experience that takes your breath away while watching the first rays of sun coming from behind the Cloud Forest Mountains to illuminate one of the world wounders creating a vivid scene you can say : I lived to see it.

Combining the beauty of sunrise with the beauty of Machu Picchu is memory that will ever last with you. However it can be difficult to arrange your plans to catch the Machu Picchu Sunrise.

In this post we tell you everything you need to do to in order to make a good plan that will make you able to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu from booking suitable tickets, taking bus and getting in the best spot to enjoy Machu Picchu Sunrise.

Beautiful Sunrise Quote :

” Cherish the times you can watch the sunrise, there’s only so many in a lifetime. “

Best Months to Witness Machu Picchu Sunrise :

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

The Dry Season is the best time to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu where the months from May to August contain the least chances of fog throughout the year. So the opportunity to catch the sunrise is better than being in shoulder season or rainy season.

Can I experience the sunrise at Machu Picchu during shoulder season ?

Shoulder season which is during months of Mid-September, October , November and April can still gives you some chances to experience the sunrise but you should expect to see fogs , mists and downpouring sometimes.

Machu Picchu Sunrise during rainy season :

Planning to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu during the rainy season is not a good idea since you will have to expect fog covering the whole place and downpouring at anytime during the rainy season .

What Time is the sunrise at Machu Picchu?

What time is sunrise at Machu Picchu ?

The sunrise at Machu Picchu varies by approximately one hour throughout the year.

Important Note:

Since Machu Picchu is between mountains, the first rays of the sun start to illuminate the place around 30 minutes after the sunrise time of the day.

During the dry season, the time of sunrise at Machu Picchu is around 6 am, while in the rainy season, the time of sunrise is around 5:15 am and increases gradually.

Here is a breakdown of the time of sunrise at Machu Picchu in different Months:

  • Jan: 5:25 to 5:45
  • Feb: 5:45
  • March: 5:52
  • April: Around 6:00 AM
  • MayAugust: 6:00 AM
  • Sept: 5:55 to 5:30
  • Oct: 5:30 to 5:15
  • Nov: 5:15
  • Dec: 5:15 to 5:30

Is it worth to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu?

In short answer, it is definitely worth watching the sunrise at Machu Picchu as you will be able to watch it at the most beautiful time of the day and with the least amount of crowd there visiting Machu Picchu. But read on to know more why it is worth to watch Machu Picchu sunrise.

1- Sunrise Beauty:

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?


Every sunrise is a chance to capture beauty.”

The sunrise is the most glorious moment of the day. As the world awakens, the sky fills with gorgeous hues of orange, pink, and gold. It is a very beautiful moment to watch, isn’t it? So imagine watching this at Machu Picchu, which is already very beautiful with awe-inspiring cloud forests around it. Watching the heavenly sun rising slowly above the mountains and hitting the citadel is an experience you will never forget.

2- The least crowded time during the day at Machu Picchu:

Not all people love waking up early, especially if it is at 3 or 4 am, making the site empty to experience.

Although you may find the tickets to the sunrise sold out, it still means that the site is not crowded. The reason behind that is the sunrise time slot is the first slot in the day so only the people who got these tickets are inside not like other time slots, for example, in the afternoon, you will find afternoon ticket holders and the visitors who got inside the site in the time slots before afternoon.

If you get a sunrise ticket, you will be the first group of people allowed into the site, and no one else will enter the Machu Picchu site for a further hour (the next time slot).

3- You can get a little bit of the Machu Picchu to yourself.

Sounds like a dream, isn’t it? All the people with the Machu Picchu Sunrise tickets head for the upper viewpoints, but if you stayed on a lower level, you can be the only one there enjoying the place to yourself for some time.

We wrote about the best spots to watch Machu Picchu sunrise later in the guide.

How to Plan visiting Machu Picchu site at sunrise?

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

First of all, Machu Picchu Site opens its gates at 6 am.

Step 1: Booking Machu Picchu Sunrise Tickets

Booking tickets that give access to the site is the most important step. We are mentioning here tickets and hacks to catch the sunrise even if you didn’t catch it.

1- Machu Picchu Classic Ticket: Classic Sunrise Ticket

Book the first time slot of the day: 6 am to catch the sunrise at Machu Picchu.

Since the demand for this ticket is very high, it’s better to book the ticket online in advance up to 6 months ahead.

2- Hacks if You Missed Sunrise Tickets

Since the tickets for Machu Picchu Sunrise always sell out first, here’s where the hack comes into play.

Ticket types such as:

  • Machu Picchu + Inca Bridge
  • Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu
  • Machu Picchu + Mountain
  • Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu

The first spot of these tickets is at 7 am, but the trailhead for these places doesn’t begin at the entry gate but deeper in the site and so the start time of the tickets. So, these tickets allow access to Machu Picchu 1 hour before their mentioned time. They give access to people who bought these tickets to enter Machu Picchu site at 6 am.

This hack will allow you to catch the sunrise if you missed the classic sunrise tickets.

Note: Only Machu Picchu + Inca bridge is the same price as the classic one, but the rest of the tickets are more expensive, so if it’s the only ticket available for sunrise, they still worth the money whether you are planning to walk the trail or not.

Step 2: Going to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes

In order to get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu before sunrise, you need to plan your transportation well.

1-Bus :

Buses take 20 – 25 minutes to arrive at Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. The first bus leaves at 5:30 am in the morning, then every 5 minutes, another bus leaves.

Booking the bus:

People queue in the morning to catch the bus, so it is advisable to book the tickets for the bus in advance. You can book them at the bus station the night before when you arrive in Aguas Calientes. Here are the location coordinates of the ticket office:

Av. Hermanos Ayar S/N, before the Puente Ruinas.

Another new option is that you can book them online in advance. This option we strongly recommend so you avoid the chaos that happens there.


Note: Please double-check the information on the ground because they tend to change on a regular basis.


The route on foot to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu from the town of Aguas Calientes is around 8 kilometers, it can take up to 1 and a half hours.

3-Taking a taxi from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu:

If you are thinking if it is possible to go to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes by a taxi or a private car, it’s indeed a good idea to avoid the crowd of the us but unfortunately no taxis or any other private cars are allowed in the town.

Check out our Machu Picchu Full guide for more information about the transportation

How To Reach Machu Picchu on time?

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

Booking Machu Picchu sunrise Tickets and transportation is only a part of the game.

We are giving you some practical tips to make sure you reach the Machu Picchu site on time so you can witness the sunrise:

1- Arrive at Aguas Calientes a day before:

To make it for the sunrise at Machu Picchu, you need to arrive at Aguas Calientes the day before your ticket time and spend the night there as you are going to know that you will wake up early at night to start your journey.

– Lost On A Road Recommendations for Accommodation in Aguas Calientes, Our Top Choices:

Arranged from cheapest to more expensive

  • El MAPI

2- Wake up very early:

A- If you are planning to go to Machu Picchu before sunrise you will be surprised that you have to be at the bus station no later than 4 am. People start forming lines around 3:30 am.

So make sure everything is ready the night before (you can check our guide on Packing for Machu Picchu).

Set your alarm for 3 am so you can have a quick breakfast and your nice coffee then head for the station.

B- If you are hiking so you need to do your math and start moving around 4 am to catch Machu Picchu Sunrise.

How is the Machu Picchu looks like At Sunrise ?

Machu Picchu Sunrise : How To Make It For Sunrise?

Imagine standing at Machu Picchu as the first rays of the sun begin to paint the ancient stones with a golden hue. A beautiful moment that takes your breath away. You can see the shadow of Huayna Picchu as the sun’s rays peek over the horizon, creating a piece of Art.

As the sunlight gradually spreads, Machu Picchu awakens from the shadows, revealing its beauty in full. But before this magical transformation, the entire place is shrouded in darkness, and there’s a sense of anticipation in the air. It’s as if the world is holding its breath, waiting for that first ray of sunlight to touch the ancient ruins and bring them to life.

Best Spots for watching sunrise at Machu Picchu:

The good spot is one of the big parts of the game there, so finding a good spot would really enhance your experience a lot.

Tip: You can choose lower level spots so you can be away from your tourists.


  • Classic Shot: Guardian House

Overlooking Machu Picchu, this small hut was ideally located for the guardians to watch over the access points. It’s where most people go but still gives the best view over the Machu Pichu.


  • Terraces:

The view of Machu Picchu from the terraces, just a few steps from the Guardian House but with fewer tourists giving you more privacy and quiet vibes.


  • The Sun Gate:

Situated along the Inca Trail, the Sun Gate provides a breathtaking vantage point to witness the sunrise at Machu Picchu.


  • Huayna Picchu Summit:

The Summit of Huayna Picchu offers a privileged perspective of the sunrise giving you a full view of the site.


  • Machu Picchu Mountain Summit:

For hiking lovers, this is the best for you. With an elevation of over 3000 meters above sea level, the summit of Machu Picchu offers a unique view.


  • Intihuatana Stone                 


  • Temple of the Sun

What to expect about sunrise at Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu Sunrise

The Reality is that you won’t see a true sunrise as you see normally.

What we mean here is that due to the nature of Machu Picchu and its location in cloud forests and between tall mountains, the sun does not rise from behind the horizon as in other places. Instead, the sun rays light up the mountains then it reveals everything on its path so gradually lighting up Machu Picchu ruins.


It is not rare that clouds cover Machu Picchu site early in the morning. Since the nature of the weather there that changes immediately so expect that you may see clouds in the morning for some minutes and then it disappears for the sun to show up in the sky.

This place never fails to show off its magic, even with clouds. The clouds start to break and disappear then the Machu Picchu site appears from the dark as a lost world which is a very unique experience.

Tips on How to enjoy it:

For you to enjoy the beauty of Sunrise At Machu Picchu:

1- Try to stay away from crowds and be silent.

2- When you are there let your phone away and try to appreciate the beauty of nature in the place.

3- Take a moment to appreciate how the Inca people built that amazing city on top of a very big mountain with an elevation of 2430 meters.

Watching Machu Picchu Sunrise is an experience that you have to do in your life at least once. Plan your trip very well to be able to catch a memorable sunrise at Machu Picchu.


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