The Complete Guide On How To Get To Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful and unique locations in the world. The ancient ruins are famous across the world and are the most famous attraction located in the South American country of Peru.

The Complete Guide On How To Get To Machu Picchu

As the ruins are found on a mountain ridge near the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest, it is not an easy location to travel to. If you’re looking to visit the ruins, you will need to plan ahead and have your route decided before you travel.

In this article, we will explain how you can get to Machu Picchu (You might also be interested The Complete Guide On How To Get To Choquequirao). This is a complete guide to the route and will help you make this trip of a lifetime. We’ve suggested three different methods so please choose the best option for you.

General Overview

Unfortunately, there are no direct routes to Machu Picchu so you will have to make the journey in stages instead.

The location of Machu Picchu makes it very difficult to reach as you have to negotiate mountains and valleys in order to get there. However, there are a few routes you can choose depending on which suits you best.

The nearest town to Machu Picchu is Aguas Calientes but many visitors to Machu Picchu leave from the city of Cusco. This is easier for most people to travel to and is a bustling city with many activities and things to do.

Getting To Machu Picchu

Now let’s look at the different ways you can get to Machu Picchu.

On Foot

Machu Picchu is an Inca citadel so there’s no better way to arrive than by hiking the historic Inca Trail. If you take this route, your first view of Machu Picchu will be of the Sun Gate and this is the best first view you can possibly have.

The hike is pretty demanding so it isn’t for casual hikers. There are two different hikes you can choose from and they last either two or four days.

Whichever hike you choose you will need to be fit enough to hike for hours and be willing to sleep outdoors in a tent. There are several different tour groups you can choose from to book your hike.

Another hike you can take sees you following the train tracks. This is very straightforward as there is only one set of train tracks that you can follow from the Machu Picchu train station.

This hike will take you around four days and there are fees required. Current laws state that you must make a reservation to do this hike and have a professional tour guide accompanying you.

A third option is to hike the Inca Jungle Trail. This is less popular than the main Inca Trail despite the amazing views it offers. It’s a good option if you want to hike the Inca Trail but there are no spaces available. The hike will take you four days.

By Train

This is one of the more common ways to travel to Machu Picchu. By taking the train, you can travel to Machu Picchu, walk around the ruins, and return to Cusco on the same day.

This will be very rushed and you may not get to see all of Machu Picchu that you want to, but it is possible.

The train travels between Cusco and Puente Ruinas station and the rest of the journey is then completed by bus. This is not the same train route from Aguas Calientes that ends at Machu Picchu station and is more accessible for tourists that are aiming at a day trip.

You can book this journey at the official PeruRail website. When you book your ticket from Cusco to Machu Picchu, it will include both the train and bus that you need. It takes a few hours so if you do want to make the journey in a day you will need to start early.

By Bus

The third and final option starts from Aguas Calientes. This is a pueblo (traditional town) that is located relatively close to Machu Picchu and is the closest large settlement to the ruins.

The buses run between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu very frequently and are a far cheaper option than booking the train or hiking. However, keep in mind that you will need to get to Aguas Calientes first.

The bus takes around 35 to 40 minutes to reach its destination. It’s around five miles (eight kilometers) so this is walkable in around two hours.

If you do decide to walk, keep in mind that there are lots of stairs to climb and it is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. If you want to get to Machu Picchu before the sun rises, you should start out before 4 a.m.

Which Method Is Best?

The best method will depend on what is important to you. If you are traveling on a budget then you may want to opt for the bus from Aguas Calientes as this is the cheapest option.

We don’t recommend any of the hiking options if you’re not physically fit. All of the hikes are long and physically demanding and you may be hiking in hot conditions as well, so don’t choose this option unless you are sure you will be able to manage it.

The most scenic route is via the Inca Trail but all of the options will give you amazing views throughout the journey. The train and bus combination is also a favorite as the view you get as the bus winds through the mountains.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we looked at the various ways you can get to Machu Picchu. We listed a variety of different methods, including on foot, by train, and by bus. There are also a few different varieties of these methods as well so you can choose from a variety of options.

If you decide to visit Machu Picchu, we hope that the information in this article will be of help.

Alex Kallen
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