How to get to Machu Picchu 2023-2024

How to get to Machu Picchu 2023-2024

To get to Machu Picchu, you must first arrive in the city of Cusco, which is the gateway to any trip to the Inca Citadel. Here is an extensive guide to all the different methods on how to get to Machu Picchu covering everything from hiking to taking the train.

Where is Machu Picchu located?

Newly discovered a century ago, the citadel of Machu Picchu is located just above Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu City) in the Cusco region, at just 2,430 meters above sea level. Thousands of travelers and locals flock daily to one of the Seven Wonders of the World to witness scenery like no other. And for that reason, there are different ways to get to Machu Picchu for all tastes, from multiple hikes to taking the train, all of which will be mentioned in this post.

How to get from Lima to Machu Picchu?

Most people start their trip to Machu Picchu by first arriving in Lima. Actually, there are only 2 ways to get from Lima to Cusco and then to Machu Picchu, which are plane and bus.

Option 1: Flight to Cusco

Flying from Lima airport to Cusco is the fastest option in terms of distance, but it is still not the most used method. Flying can be expensive, there are inherent dangers of flying to higher regions due to altitude sickness, and it causes travelers to miss out on many of the amazing things besides Machu Picchu that Peru has to offer.

If you are short on time or simply prefer to fly over the bus trip, we recommend using LATAM airlines. They have daily flights, close to minimal cancellations/delays (mainly due to weather) and their overall service is above the rest.

Option 2: Bus to Cusco

Traveling from Lima to Cusco by bus is by far the most popular way of how to get to Machu Picchu from Lima. Although traveling this way takes longer than flying, it can be an unforgettable experience with breathtaking sites along the route. There are two main routes to Cusco by bus and both head south from Lima to Nazca:

Route 1: begins its ascent through the Andes mountain range once in Nazca, passing Abancay before arriving in Cusco approximately 23 hours later. This is the fastest way from Lima to Cusco by bus, however, it has a bad reputation. There have been many reports in the past of bus accidents along this route. The winding roads are curvy and steep and can be especially dangerous during the rainy season. It is best to avoid this direct route to Cusco.

Route 2: leads further south to Arequipa and then back to Cusco. This is the most common route travelers take in Peru and exposes visitors to the beauty of Peru’s southern coast on the way to Machu Picchu. The road is in good condition, with plenty to see along the way and without exposing any danger.Classic Inca Trail 4 Days to Machu Picchu

Getting from Cusco to Machu Picchu

Once in Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, you will have 3 options to choose from to suit all types of travelers:

  • Train: the fastest way, perfect for those with little time.
  • Trek: the most rewarding way, offering you beautiful scenery all along the way.
  • Minivan: the cheapest way, but also the most dangerous.

Machu Picchu by Train

There are two main train operators offering services to Machu Picchu; the long-established Peru Rail and the relatively new Inka Rail. There really isn’t a big difference between the two, as they both take you there and basically offer the same service.

Trekking to Machu Picchu is undoubtedly the most unforgettable way of how to get to Machu Picchu. Many people always say that the journey matters more than the arrival and I couldn’t agree more. There are many treks to choose from, with some new and undiscovered ones still popping up from time to time, and each one offers beautiful scenery and incredible views. We’ll review the 3 traveler’s favorites with all the important information!

Buses from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

To access Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes it is necessary to take a short bus ride. There is only one road in Aguas Calientes, which leads from the town to Machu Picchu. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes each way. The shuttle buses are operated by a local company called Consettur, and all are modern and air-conditioned. Shuttle buses to Machu Picchu operate throughout the day and depart from Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu when they are full.

There are no set times for departures, but you will probably never wait more than 15 minutes for a bus. Buses going up to Machu Picchu operate from 05.30 to 15.30 hours, and buses leaving Machu Picchu operate from 06.00 to 15.30 hours.

Transport to Machu Picchu 2021

Step 1: If you want to do a Machu Picchu tour in 1 day, the first thing to do is to travel by train from the Andean city of Cuzco to Machu Picchu station. The 70-mile train ride from Cuzco takes tourists along the Urubamba River, passing through lush valleys beneath rugged mountain peaks. The train service does not lead directly to Machu Picchu, but to the town of Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the mountain where the ruins are located. Travelers can choose between three different types of tourist trains from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes. The Expedition train is the slowest and least expensive option.

The trip from the city of Cuzco to Aguas Calientes takes about four hours on this train, instead of the 3.5 hours of the other two trains. The Vistadome train is a mid-range train with more comfortable seats and a faster travel time. The Hiram Bingham train is the deluxe option that includes meals, cocktails, luxury seating and a guided tour of the ruins upon arrival. The first two trains depart from Poroy station, located 15 minutes from Cuzco. The Hiram Bingham train passes through Poroy station, located 15 minutes from Cuzco. All trains arrive at Machu Picchu Pueblo station in Aguas Calientes.How to get to Machu Picchu 2023-2024

Step 2: Take the bus from the town of Aguas Calientes to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Buy bus tickets at the tourist booth located next to the market stalls in the center of town. You will see a large fleet of buses in the immediate vicinity and a constant stream of tourists getting their tickets, so it is impossible to miss. Machu Picchu’s elevated position makes it necessary to use bus transportation to reach the ruins in a timely manner.

Comfortable tour buses travel up the winding mountain road every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day. The same fleet of buses also transports passengers down at regular intervals to the nearby ruins at sunset. The trip takes about 20 minutes and offers beautiful views of the surrounding valleys.

Step 3: Trek to Machu Picchu by the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Economic. This is the more adventurous alternative to taking the train and bus. Known by locals as the Inca Trail, it takes four days to complete and offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Peru. Keep an eye out for Inca ruins along the way. Be sure to bring a pair of hiking boots or sturdy athletic shoes if you are hiking the trail. The cloud forests and steep, dense slopes of the Andes Mountains pose a significant challenge, so bring appropriate hiking gear.

The daily number of hikers who can access the trail is restricted, and the Peruvian government requires travelers to obtain a permit in advance in order to take this trip. Obtain your permit online at Cheap Machu Picchu Picchu Tours from Cusco or speak to a Machu Picchu tour operator for more information.

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