Lost City or Machu Picchu: The eternal debate

landscape of Machu Picchu and Lost City

This post is also available in: Español

South America has countless landscapes and tourist destinations to visit, among them the ruins of Lost City or Machu Picchu, for which there is the eternal debate about which one is better.

And although there is no one better than the other, as there is no comparison between them, you can always choose the one that best suits your travel plan.

Therefore, we are going to tell you some details so that you can decide for yourself if you prefer to do an excursion to Machu Picchu.

Although we warn you, you will want to visit both!

Travelling to Colombia or Peru?

Lost City and Machu Picchu are more than 2000 km apart and are located in two completely different countries, so you may not plan to visit both during the same trip.

If you are planning to travel to Peru, Machu Picchu will have to be your mandatory stop.  And if you are planning to travel to Colombia, your compulsory visit will be to Lost City.

If you happen to be lucky enough to visit both countries, don’t miss the opportunity to visit both places. We recommend that if you are there, don’t miss them!

lost city of santa marta in a sunny day

How to get there

Although there are several ways to get to both places, it is true that the options for getting to Machu Picchu are more original and varied.

From routes that reach the ruins, such as the famous excursion Salkantay Trek, to even doing part of the route by bicycle during the Inca Jungle excursion. Although you can also get there by bus or train, there are alternatives for all tastes.

As for how to get to Lost City, the options are a little more limited as only guided tours are available. Although these excursions are a good option for the more adventurous as they are usually combined treks with 4×4 off-road vehicles.

people walking along the railroad track in inca jungle

Duration of excursions

The choice between the two destinations may also depend on the number of days you want to spend on these excursions.

While to visit Lost City the excursions usually last several days, and you can even do a 5-day excursion to Lost City. Machu Picchu tours are usually shorter, and you can even visit Machu Picchu in one day.

Simply choose how much time you want to spend on each part of your trip and go for the option that suits you best.

people trekking in Lost City

Other factors to consider

Other factors to bear in mind if you are debating whether to visit Lost City or Machu Picchu:

Altitude sickness

If you suffer from altitude sickness, bear in mind that while travelling to Machu Picchu you can reach up to 4215m above sea level, while the Lost City is only 900m above sea level.


Machu Picchu receives around 3000 visitors a day as it is a place well prepared for tourism (trains, hotels…). Although it is not surprising knowing that it is one of the current wonders of the world.

On the other hand, Lost City is not as well known and therefore does not usually get even 20 visits a day, which makes it a more adventurous and the perfect option if you want to escape from the world and take a break.

man jumping in machu picchu with views to huayna picchu

Now you know a bit more about Ciudad Perdida and Machu Picchu, do you know which one you are going to visit of the two? We don’t want to miss either of them! Will you join us?


Celia loves animals and traveling, and if she can combine both and escape anywhere with her dog, her happiness is assured.

She loves nature in general, and the mountains in particular, so it is normal to find her on her days off with her trekking poles on her back. In Howlanders blog he gives us tips and recommendations that he has learned in each of his trips.

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