How to get to Machu Picchu?

There are many alternatives to get Machu Picchu if you don't have time to research these options one by one, you are likely to end up opting for an incorrect alternative that can complicate your trip.

Therefore, we will review each one so that you can make the best option according to your time, budget and travel style.


Before beginning to describe each of the alternatives, the first thing you should to know is that all of theme start in the city of Cusco.

Your first stop if or if it should be Cusco, the Inca empire capital.

Aguas Calientes

Mostly of the ways that we are going to name end in Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo as well.

This town is at the bottom of the Machu Picchu mountain.

From Aguas Calientes you can climb to the citadel walking or by bus.

By bus the cost is 24 USD per person roundtrip, and walking take for around 1 hour and 30 minutes


This is the most option used by travelers.

Its great advantage is the saving of time, it is the fastest alternative. In just three hours you go from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.

Its starting point is Poroy station, 25 minutes from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. For 40 soles a taxi can take you to the station.

The final station will be that of Machu Picchu, in Aguas Calientes.

You can also have the option of getting on the train at the Ollantaytambo town station that is an hour and a half from Cusco by car

Many travelers prefer to go to Ollantaytambo before going to Machu Picchu. Then it is more convenient to get on the train in that town.

The train has three levels of service. Expedition, Vistadome and the Hiram Bingham.

The Expedition service is the most economical, and is highly recommended as well. You do not need more than this. It is a great service.

Its price is around USD 150 round trip.

The Vistadome is a bit more expensive, but it has virtually no difference with the Expedition. Only slightly larger windows. It is not worth paying more just for that.

The windows of the Expedition are more than enough to enjoy the tour of the Sacred Valley, the price is for around USD 200 round trip.

As for Hiram Bingham I have not had the opportunity to travel. But it is the luxury train and its price does not fall below USD 300.

So if you go by train, we recommend the Expedition service.

Tickets can be purchased on the company's website, Peru Rail.

There is also the option of the Inca Rail company.their prices are a little lower, but the schedules are not usually good. In my trips to Machu Picchu they were never useful to me and I always ended up traveling with Peru Rail.

But it costs nothing to check.

Inca Trail

The second most popular option.

Reach Machu Picchu as in the old days, through the roads used by the Inca Empire.

Well ... not as in the old days.

Formerly the roads allowed the Inca Empire to move from Cusco throughout the Sacred Valley, to Machu Picchu.

Nowadays, for a tourist theme, the famous Inca Trail that the agencies sell and the one authorized by the Peruvian government, begins at km 82, close Ollantaytambo. It's about two hours of travel from Cusco by train.

So, what we call the Inca Trail, is only part of those ancient roads.

The classic tour is the one that lasts 4 days and 3 nights. Day 4 is not part of the road itself, it is the day Machu Picchu is visited.

There is another option, which instead of performing the Inca Trail in 4 days, is done in 5 days.

Doing it in a longer time helps reduce physical demand. because it is a trail through the mountains, which reaches up to 4,200 meters above sea level, with a lack of oxygen.

It is definitely not for anyone. But you don't have to prepare a year either.

Running for two or three months before is enough. Also, arrive a few days before to Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude, the better prepared you are, the less difficult it will be, and the more you will enjoy it.

The great advantage of the Inca Trail, although this advantage is a bit folkloric, is that Machu Picchu is accessed through the Puerta del Sol, the original entrance to the citadel, and not the one currently used in the rest of the options, the tourist door to put it somehow.

In case you want to book this route, you must do it several months in advance, about 6. Since the demand is high and only 500 people are allowed per day, including cooks, guides, etc.

And the cost, well, is the most expensive of all the options. Above usd 600.

Salkantay Trek

This is another that became very fashionable because sometimes the slots for the Inca Trail are off.

It is an alternate path, not regulated by the Peruvian government yet, so it has no quota limit.

It is a 5 day and 4 night road. Depend of how much you want to enjoy it

One of the main advantages that I see is that it reaches a higher altitude than the Inca Trail, up to 4,500 meters above sea level and the snowfalls that are seen are impressive.

Also, the requirement of this path is a little higher than that of the Inca.

The end of the road is in Aguas Calientes, and not through the Puerta del Sol as the Inca Trail.

The Salkantay Road ends in Hidroelectrica, and from there you will walk along the train tracks to Aguas Calientes, as well as the Alternative hike.

Lares Trek

This incredible hike become very popular in recent years.

This road starts from the Lares Town, near Cusco.

It crosses several points of the Sacred Valley in 4 days and 3 nights (option to do it in 5 days).

It ends in the town of Ollantaytambo, from where the train is approached to continue towards Aguas Calientes.

Choquequeirao- Machu Picchu

Choequequeirao is a city similar to Machu Picchu that was discovered some years ago.

And only now it is beginning to explode tourism.

They are still in the research, excavation, and weed cleaning stage.

Being a place still almost virgin, I think it is very worth going.

But yes, this path is not for anyone. It is the most difficult of all and in the world of trekking it is cataloged with Difficult Level.

That is, it requires a lot of physical demand, you have to prepare very very well.

The hike takes 8 days and 7 nights.

After visiting Choquequeirao, the road to Machu Picchu begins.

Where in the end, you will reach Santa Teresa, and like Salkantay and the Alternative, you must walk along the tracks to Aguas Calientes.


As you can see, the options to reach the mythical Inca citadel are several, if you want to visit This incredible Place send us an email and we will give more detailed information.