How to get to Machu Picchu: know all the ways to visit it

train to machu picchu

This post is also available in: Español Français Deutsch

Machu Picchu is one of the 7 world wonders of today and a must-see stop for anyone visiting Peru.

In fact, there are many different combinations to visit Machu Picchu and for all tastes, from the most adventurous to the most comfortable options, excursions of several days or simply day visits…

For that reason and because we know it will be a safe stop on your trip to Peru, today we tell you how to get to Machu Picchu in all the possible ways.

Routes to reach Machu Picchu on foot

If you like hiking and you are a true adventurer, there are many well-known hiking routes to Machu Picchu. We tell you the most common ones:

Inca Trail: 2 days of trekking

One of the options to reach Machu Picchu is to do the Inca Trail, considered as the most legendary trekking route in Latin America. This is a trail more than 500 years old during which you will discover the archaeological zone of Wiñaywayna and the Sun Gate until you reach Machu Picchu.

Inca Trail hiker

Lares trek: 4 days of trekking from Cusco to Machu Picchu

Another option is to do the Lares Trek, in which you will visit the most remote places in the heart of the Andes. During the days that this trek lasts, you will have the opportunity to see the Inca citadel of Pisac, the volcanic hot springs and Ollantaytambo until finally arriving at Machu Picchu.

Inca Jungle: hiking and biking to get to Machu Picchu

And if you want even more adventure… An original option is to take the Inca Jungle tour that combines hiking and biking. It runs between mountains, valleys and rivers and you will also have the opportunity to do other adventure sports such as rafting or zip line. Here you can visit the archaeological remains in Huamanmarca, visit Santa Maria, Santa Rosa and walk the Inca Trail.

Salkantay trek: 4 days of route

Although the favorite route for backpackers to get to Machu Picchu is the Salkantay Trek. During several days you will travel through the Andean landscapes and the tropical forests and you will be able to discover the most spectacular corners of this place. During the tour you will see the Humantay Lake and the Salkantay passage, you will cross the Santa Teresa Valley and you will arrive in Aguas Calientes by train, from where your last tour to Machu Picchu will begin.

Salkantay Trek hiker

Getting to Machu Picchu by bus or train

Although it’s not a problem if you don’t have the time to do these routes or you don’t like this type of adventures, we propose other easier and faster options to get to Machu Picchu:

One option is to make the excursion to Machu Picchu in one day. You will arrive in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) by train from Cuzco and there you will be able to enjoy the Inca citadel for a couple of hours. It is the best alternative if you don’t have more than one day to visit this area but you don’t want to miss it.

If your idea is to take advantage of your visit to Machu Picchu to also see the Sacred Valley the excursion to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley is the right one for you. You will be able to see the market, the archaeological zone of Pisac and the fortress of Ollantaytambo, all without having to walk too much since you can move around by bus.

Although really, the excursion Machu Picchu by car is the most comfortable of all. It is a route by bus between mountains and in which you can choose to do the last stretch on foot or by train. You will make stops at Santa Teresa, Hidroeléctrica and Aguas Calientes, where you will be able to take a bath in their thermal baths… until you finally arrive at Machu Picchu!

How to get to Machu Picchu from Cuzco

If you are thinking of leaving from Cuzco to get to Machu Picchu you must first get to Aguas Calientes, for this it is necessary to do it by public transport since there is no road to this town.

One option is to go directly by train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, (954PEN round trip/221 Euros) and it takes about four hours. And the other would be to take a cab (145PEN/33 Euros) or a bus to Ollantaytambo (30PEN/7 Euros). And from there take a train to Aguas Calientes (780PEN/181EUR round trip) or take a walk that takes advantage of the train tracks.

Train to Machu Picchu

From Aguas Calientes, better known as Machu Picchu town, you will have to take a bus to go up to Machu Picchu(43PEN/10 Euros) or do the same route walking on the road.

Although all the excursions that we have mentioned leave from this city and usually take everything organized , so you will not have any problem to get to your destination!

How to get to Machu Picchu from Lima

On the other hand, if you want to get to Machu Picchu from Lima, you will have to take a plane to Cuzco and from there take the same route that we have just mentioned. You will have to arrive in Aguas Calientes and from this town, you will be able to reach Machu Picchu either by walking or by bus.

How to get to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes

To get to Machu Picchu from its town, Aguas Calientes, you will have the same options again. From Machu Picchu town, you can take a bus to the ruins or, another option a bit more adventurous, take a walk of about one and a half hours to reach the valley.

A good way to get to know both places is by hiking to Machu Picchu at dawn, so you can enjoy a quiet day in the village and be among the first to arrive at Machu Picchu the next day.

Sunrise in Macchu Pichu

Now that you know all the possibilities of getting to Machu Picchu, which are many, it is time to decide which one is best for you and…
start packing your bags!


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *