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How to get to Machu Picchu

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How to get to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the site of an ancient Inca city, high up in the Andes of Peru. Located at 2430m, the site is often referred to as The Lost City of the Incas. It is one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world. A world heritage site of UNESCO since 1983, Machu Picchu receives more than one million visitors per year and is one of the 7 new wonders of the world. People from all over the world meet in Peru to discover its indescribable beauty. The citadel is only accessible from Cusco, which you can only reach by air or land. Here we tell you how to get to Machu Picchu.


Access to Machu Picchu

The access point to Machu Picchu tours is through Aguas Calientes (also known as Pueblo Machu Picchu). This small town does not have access by road, being impossible to reach by car or bus. It is necessary to combine means of transport including train, car, or walk. Once there, Machu Picchu is at the top of the mountain in Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes, you have the option to take a walk or take a bus to the top. To enter the citadel, you must have an Machu Picchu tickets - which are available online or through various points of sale in Cusco. Machu Picchu tickets are NOT sold out at the entrance to the citadel and there is a limit of 2500 per day, while tickets that include Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are limited to only 400 per day. During the high season, the entrances to these additional sites are finished weeks in advance.


How to get to Machu Picchu


Choosing a Trek to Machu Picchu

Classic Inca Trail

The best known trek in all of South America and one of the most popular in the whole world. Offering 4 days of walking through paths created by the Incas, a variety of fascinating ruins and the beautiful landscape of the Machu Picchu National Park, the Inca Trail is one of the things that every person must do at some time in their life. The road is closed every year in the month of February to give you recovery time and carry out the necessary maintenance. It is recommended to book at least 5 months in advance as the permits can run out quickly. Prices range from $ 550 to $ 1550.


Inka Jungle

A 4-day inka jungle trek to Machu Picchu for the more adventurous. This action-packed tour allows you to have a breathtaking view of Machu Picchu after three days of hiking and biking through the mountains, jungle and a section of the ancient Inca Trail; do canoeing in the Vilcanota river; and fly in the air on zip lines in the canyons of Santa Teresa. One of the most popular Machu Picchu tours with daily departures and usually a large amount of availability throughout the year. Prices vary from $ 200 to $ 350.


Salkantay Trek

A true Andean crusade, this 4-day trek through the dramatic Vilcabamba Range is a wonderful alternative for those who want a less-taken but exceptionally beautiful route to Machu Picchu. Salkantay Mountain is the 2nd largest mountain in the entire area of Cusco (2nd only to Ausangate) and is said to be the guardian that stands between the mountains and jungle. Crossing over a pass in the middle of immense mountain peaks, Salkantay Mountain (6270m) and Humantay Mountain (6070m), you will see some spectacular views of the glacier and the valleys where they overpass. National Geographic magazine frequently names him as one of the 10 best treks in the world. Prices range from $ 250 to $ 450.


Lares Trek

It is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail. Taking you along less frequented roads with visits to authentic Andean communities while you are surrounded by wonderful mountains, lakes and valleys. This Lares trek tour combines amazing landscapes, glacial lagoons, valleys of cloud forests, and authentic Quechua textile communities as well as a visit to the thermal baths of Lares. Departures are frequent, but not daily since there is not as much demand as the other treks. Prices range from $ 200 to $ 400 .. For those with little time or who simply do not want to trek to Machu Picchu there are alternatives that may be the best option.


Go to Machu Picchu by train

2 day train

Take a train to Aguas Calientes and spend the night there before an early start the next day. - Climbing the mountain to the ruins or boarding the bus that leaves every couple of minutes. Taking a train back to Ollantaytambo and taking a bus to Cusco from a popular option for visitors. Prices range from $ 200 to $ 350.


1 day train

After a night in Aguas Calientes and leaving Cusco at 3 / 4am to take the first train to the city at the base of the Machu Picchu mountain. Take the bus to the entrance and explore the complex for a few hours before returning to Cusco in the same way. Prices range from $ 200 to $ 300.


How to get to Machu Picchu by your own?

2 days bus / walk

Take a bus from Cusco to Hidroeléctrica (the last stop before Aguas Calientes) via Santa María on good and bad roads. Hydroelectric is a flat 3 hours trek next to the railroad and river to Aguas Calientes. Spend the night there before an early start the next day - climbing the mountain to the ruins or boarding the bus that leaves every couple of minutes. After visiting Machu Picchu, descend the mountain and walk back by the railroad to Hidroeléctrica before taking a long trip back by bus to Cusco. This is the most economical option with daily departures. This way of Machu Picchu tours is not recommended, due to the dangers associated with the unfinished roads with precipice to the side. Prices range from $ 150 to $ 200.

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