Today, we are embarking on an exciting journey to Visit Machu Picchu! Get ready, because we’re going to share everything you need to know about this magnificent destination. hope these travel tips to Machu Picchu will help you, this lost city of the Inca has rightfully earned its place on the world stage.
However, gathering all the necessary information to reach this magical place and have a successful trip can be a challenge. But don’t worry, because, in this ultimate travel guide, we will guide you through every step of planning your trip to Machu Picchu.
RELATED: Best Time To Visit Machu Picchu
The best way to Travel to Machu Picchu from the US
The most popular way to reach Machu Picchu is by first flying into Lima, the capital city of Peru, and then taking a 1-hour and 15-minute domestic flight to Cuzco.
First things first, to reach Machu Picchu, you’ll need to catch a flight. From any state in the USA, you’ll fly to Lima, the capital of Peru, and then connect to Cusco. The Cusco airport may be small, and you might have a layover in Lima, but fret not! There are plenty of flights from Lima to Cusco, and the flight time is approximately an hour and a half each way.
By the way, Cusco itself is a vibrant city with countless attractions, and we even have another travel article dedicated to the best time to visit Machu Picchu. Make sure to check it out for the top things to see and the must-try Peruvian foods in Cusco.
So get ready to embark on this incredible adventure to Machu Picchu, as we provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your time there. Let’s go!
Cusco City Acclimatization
Once you touch down in Cusco, you’ll find a range of transportation options at the airport. Taxis are readily available, or you can opt for the convenience and affordability of Uber. With Uber, you’ll have the advantage of knowing your fare upfront before hopping into the cab. And here’s a great tip: since Cusco sits at an elevation of over 11,000 feet, which is more than double the elevation of Denver, it’s wise to give your body a day or two to adjust before venturing to Machu Picchu.
Staying hydrated is key to avoiding altitude sickness, so drink plenty of water. And if you want to try a local remedy, consider purchasing some Coca Leaves to chew on. They’re known to help alleviate the symptoms. Get ready for an incredible adventure!
VISIT PAGE: Peru Travel Tours
Alternative Cusco Day Tour – options Before Travel Machu Picchu
Cusco serves as an amazing hub for travelers exploring Peru. Not only is it the gateway city to the incredible Machu Picchu, but it also boasts stunning landscapes, charming towns, vibrant markets, and ancient archaeological sites. This guide showcases exciting day trips from Cusco, whether you prefer to venture independently or join a group tour. Get ready for an adventure that will leave you in awe!
- Sacred Valley full day tour Tours
- Maras Salt Mines
- Sacred Valley ATV Tour
- Písac Market & Ruins
- Ollantaytambo Ruins & Markets
- Rainbow Mountains
- Day Trips to Humantay Lake
How to Travel to Machu Picchu From Cusco
Now that you’ve arrived in Cusco, it’s time to embark on your journey to Machu Picchu! To reach this magnificent destination, you’ll need to take a train from Cusco to the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Luckily, you have a few options to choose from. Two train companies operate on the same tracks: PeruRail and IncaRail. Both offer similar rides with varying levels of comfort and amenities. To make the best choice for your travel dates, it’s a good idea to do a little research and find the most affordable option.
Remember, it’s important to book your train tickets in advance as they can sell out quickly, sometimes even faster than Machu Picchu tickets! Both train companies have different tiers of train cars, ranging from luxurious to more budget-friendly options.
Get ready for an amazing journey to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu!
Experience Machu Picchu in Style: Unveiling the Budget-Friendly Machu Picchu Train Journey!
If you’re traveling on a budget, we highly recommend Peru Rail for your journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu. With round-trip tickets starting at just $130.00, it’s the most affordable option available. Please note that prices may vary from year to year and depending on the season.
To begin your adventure, you have a few departure options. The San Pedro train station, conveniently located near the vibrant San Pedro market in the historic center of Cusco, is a great choice.
Alternatively, you can depart from the Poroy train station, which is just a short 30-minute taxi ride from Cusco.
Train To Machu Picchu From Ollantaytambo Train Station
Another option is to catch a bus ride to the Ollantatambo train station and from there catch a train ride to Machu Picchu. From Cusco you can take one of the sacred valley tour buses, called a colectivo from Cusco.
Directly to Ollantaytambo and there are a couple of different spots to catch these collectivos around Cusco opting to take a collectivos may save you a little bit of time and money.
How to Take The Train To Machu Picchu
We highly recommend taking the train directly from Cusco to Aguascalientes for a simplified and enjoyable journey. The train ride offers stunning views and plays authentic Peruvian music while announcing historical and environmental landmarks along the way.
Upon arrival in Aguas Galantes, you will be dropped off in the heart of downtown. Remember to catch your return train at the train station or feel free to chat with us or contact us for more information.
NOTE: Pay close attention to the later section of this article, where we provide helpful Google Maps for your return to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu. Don’t miss your train!
Unveiling the Best hike to Machu Picchu and the Perks of Early Booking
Certainly! Another option for exploring Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail is by embarking on a four-day, three-night hike starting from KM 82, just outside of Cusco City. This route requires some additional preparation, but it promises an incredible adventure. However, if you prefer a more convenient option like most travelers, you can take the train to Aguascalientes, the charming town where you’ll stay before visiting Machu Picchu.
TOUR HERE: Inca Trail To Machu Picchu 4 Days
Alternative Hiking Tours Before Travel to Machu Picchu
- Salkantay Trek
- Lares Trek
- Choquequirao Trek
- Inca Jungle Trail Trek
- Inca Quarry Trek
- Where can I book my walking holiday in Peru? Here
Things to Do in Aguas Calientes Before Travel to Machu Picchu
Aguascalientes offers a multitude of thrilling activities to indulge in! Immerse yourself in the world’s most picturesque hot springs or proudly collect a passport stamp as a memento of your Machu Picchu expedition. This charming town exudes an incredible adventurous atmosphere that will make your experience truly unforgettable!
In our upcoming article, we’ll take you on a delightful journey, highlighting the top things you must do in Aguascalientes. We’ll provide all the essential details and tips to make your visit to Aguas Caliente absolutely perfect. Don’t miss out on that valuable resource!
To make the most of your time in Aguascalientes, we highly recommend staying at least one night in this enchanting town instead of attempting a round-trip train ride in a single day. By doing so, you’ll fully savor the magic of this little gem. Spend the night here, then head to Machu Picchu the next morning, and finally catch a train ride back to Cusco in the afternoon. This itinerary will work wonders for all travelers!
While you may anticipate Aguascalientes to be an expensive and touristy destination, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find it quite reasonable.
How to Buy Machu Picchu Entrance Tickets?
Welcome to Machu Picchu! When it comes to getting your entrance tickets, remember that Machu Picchu Park doesn’t sell any tickets at the entrance. So, it’s important to buy them online before your visit. Don’t worry, the process is pretty simple! Just head to the official site (linked here) and select a time slot that works for you.
Now, here’s the exciting part: along with the general admission ticket that grants access to all the grounds, there are options to add on private tours and additional hikes. One of the most popular hikes is Huayna Picchu MT, which offers stunning views and great photo opportunities. You’ll often see this iconic mountain in postcard pictures, and you can hike it to the top for an unforgettable experience if you prefer you can hike Machu Picchu Mountain as well.
If you choose to include the Huayna Picchu hike, the ticket price will be around $97.00 per entry, which also includes a round-trip bus ticket to reach the entrance of Machu Picchu. Don’t worry, we’ll cover more details about the bus later in this post.
So, remember to plan ahead and buy your Machu Picchu tickets online to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this incredible destination!
Machu Picchu Tickets Schedule Times
Let’s purchase these tickets! Here’s what you need to know:
To enter Machu Picchu, you’ll need to visit their website and select a specific time slot. It’s important to note that they have strict rules about arrival times. You must be at the ticket checker exactly on time for your designated slot. They won’t let you in before your time, but they’re also quite strict about not allowing entry after your designated slot.
For example, if you purchase tickets for the 6:00 AM slot, you’ll have access to Machu Picchu between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM. Don’t worry too much if you’re a little late – they usually still allow entry. However, if you’re significantly late, you’ll have to go back down to August Calientes and purchase a new ticket for a later time slot.
Our recommendation is to buy your entrance ticket for the 9:00 AM time slot. This has worked well for many visitors. Enjoy your adventure at Machu Picchu!
TOUR: Machu Picchu Tour 6 Days
How to Make the Most of Your Trip in Machu Picchu
As an experienced tour leader in Peru, I would highly recommend visiting Machu Picchu at 10 AM to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of the sun illuminating the majestic mountains. The interplay of sunlight and shadows during this time creates a truly breathtaking scene that you wouldn’t want to miss.
To ensure you don’t miss out, it’s advisable to book your Machu Picchu entrance tickets and train journey well in advance, as both of these tend to sell out months ahead of time. Planning ahead will guarantee you a seamless and unforgettable experience at this iconic destination.
When to Plan to Travel to Machu Picchu for a Good Weather?
When planning your Machu Picchu trip, there’s another crucial factor to consider: the weather. Machu Picchu remains open throughout the year, but it’s worth planning your visit during the dry season from May to October or the wet season from late November to early April.
While the wet season may bring increased cloud coverage, it also offers a unique opportunity to experience Machu Picchu with fewer crowds and capture some moody, cloudy pictures. Plus, you might even snag some great deals! On the other hand, the dry season promises beautiful weather and minimal crowds, allowing you to bask in the breathtaking views and enjoy the blue skies.
During our visit in May 2023, we were fortunate to have stunning weather with just a few clouds rolling in. It’s truly a remarkable sight when the sun peeks through. So, consider the weather and choose the season that suits your preferences for an unforgettable Machu Picchu adventure!
How is the Weather in Machu Picchu?
We were eager to witness a touch of cloudiness, adding a cool and mysterious feel to the scene. As the clouds rolled in, we couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of it all. However, to our delightful surprise, we were greeted with a stunning sunny day during our visit.
This was contrary to our expectations, as we had anticipated rain throughout the day based on our research the night before. Local experts had mentioned that mornings are usually sunny while rain tends to arrive in the afternoon, and our experience perfectly aligned with this pattern. Keep this in mind when scheduling your Machu Picchu visit.
How to Visit Machu Picchu From Aguas Calientes
Hike To Machu Picchu
Alright! When it comes to the How to Visit Machu Picchu adventure, you’ve got two fantastic options to reach the Entry of Machu Picchu. The first option is to embark on a thrilling hike up the mountain via the Camino Inca Hiking Trail. This trail is adorned with a hundred stairs, adding an extra dose of excitement to your journey. With an elevation gain of 1279 feet, it usually takes about one hour 30mns to conquer this trail.
If you have an early morning ticket, get ready to start this hike before the sun rises, ensuring a truly magical experience. Now, let’s talk about the more popular option that most tourists opt for – taking a bus! This convenient mode of transportation will whisk you away to the top, allowing you to soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of Machu Picchu.
Take the Sutle to Visit Machu Picchu
Hop on this convenient bus ride that takes you directly to the entrance of Manchu! You have the option to purchase bus tickets in Aguas Calientes, but we highly recommend securing them online in advance from Cosetour Machu Pichcu. It’s even more convenient because you can purchase them from the same website where you bought your Machu Picchu tickets.
Streamlining the process, right? To be on the safe side, we suggest printing out paper copies of your tickets in addition to having them on your phone. While most tourists have no problem using digital tickets, a few have encountered difficulties without a paper ticket. So let’s play it safe when it’s time to board the bus. Remember to arrive at the bus stop a little earlier to ensure a seamless journey. Let’s get going!
Bus To Machu Picchu
Bus lines may appear long at times, but fear not! They actually move quite swiftly, and you’ll find yourself boarding within just 20 minutes. The buses operate from 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM, so remember to factor this in when planning your visit to Machu Picchu.
Speaking of which, the bus ride to Machu Picchu takes approximately 25 minutes. Once you arrive, simply join the line at the bus station to have your tickets and passports checked. Exciting adventures await!
Line Up For Machu Picchu and Use The Bathroom before to Visit
Once you reach the top, hop off at the main gate of Machu Picchu. There will be another line you need to stand in to enter the site. But before you jump into the line, take a moment to consider if you need to use the bathroom. Keep in mind that there are no bathrooms inside the ruins of Machu Picchu. If you think you’ll need to go, don’t worry! There are bathrooms available by the snack bar outside, and it only costs 2 soles to use them. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Another important thing to keep in mind before entering Machu Picchu is to fuel up with a big meal beforehand. Most hotels in Aguas Calientes offer free breakfast, so make sure to indulge and eat as much as possible before starting your day of exploration.
Some Rules for Visiting Inka City of Machu Picchu
Let’s dive into some important guidelines for entering Machu Picchu! There are a few items that are not allowed inside, such as umbrellas, selfie sticks, strollers, tripods, drones, and food. While we strongly advise following the rules, you might notice some visitors with water bottles and sneaky granola bars, giving you a sense of how strictly the food and drink regulations are enforced.
Now, here’s a crucial requirement: your passport. It’s a simple yet essential item that you must have with you to enter Machu Picchu. Plus, it’s always a good idea to keep your passport handy at all times. You may have heard about getting your passport stamped with the Machu Picchu seal.
But please note that this souvenir option is no longer available at the site. Instead, you can get your passport stamped at the delightful restaurants in Aguas Calientes, located downhill from Machu Picchu.
Checklist Guide for Machu Picchu
Another important point to keep in mind is that technically, it is recommended to hire a tour guide when visiting Machu Picchu for a more enriching experience.
However, this rule is not strictly enforced. As locals, we opted not to hire a guide and enjoyed the freedom to explore at our own pace. That being said, we did notice many people accompanied by knowledgeable guides who provided valuable information and assistance throughout their visit.
Additionally, it is highly advisable to bring bug spray when visiting Machu Picchu. I brought some with me, but I must admit that I may have applied it a little too late, as I ended up with some bothersome sandfly bites that took quite a while to heal. We have also heard that mosquitoes can be quite bothersome during certain hikes. So, if you tend to get bitten by bugs easily like me, make sure to take this precaution and apply bug spray generously. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to deal with those itchy bites!
10 Essential Items You Must Pack for Your Trip to Machu Picchu
- Money in Peruvian Soles or Credit Cart
- Sun Protection
- Thin Clothes
- Comfortable hiking Shoes
- Light Waterproof Gear
Why You Should Hire a Tour Guide In Machu Picchu?
Once you’ve stepped foot inside Machu Picchu, get ready to make some exciting decisions! The walking tracks of Machu Picchu are one-way, so you can’t backtrack. With numerous trails leading to different parts of the ruins, it’s essential to do some research and choose the route that best suits you.
Remember, there’s no turning back to see the sights or explore missed paths. It’s like embarking on your own adventure, but to ensure a seamless experience, we highly recommend hiring a tour guide.
Machu Picchu Tour Circuits
When exploring a new place, it’s important to do your research and choose the right path. Make sure to plan ahead and visit all the sites you want to see. Don’t forget, that once you descend into the ruins, you won’t have those amazing viewpoints and backdrops, so take your time and enjoy the city from above while you can.
And remember, no walking backward! Following this rule will ensure you don’t miss any hidden gems. So keep an eye out for llamas and stay mindful of your surroundings. Let’s make the most of this adventure without breaking any rules!
RELATED: New Rules in Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Ticket is valid for How long?
Technically, your Machu Picchu ticket is valid for four hours from the start of your time slot. But let me tell you, they don’t really enforce this rule. Once you’re inside, you won’t see anyone checking your ticket. Most tourists end up staying from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and trust me, 4 hours is the perfect amount of time.
We took our sweet time exploring those magnificent ruins. When it’s time to leave Machu Picchu, you have two options: you can either take the same trail we discussed earlier or hop on the bus. Enjoy your visit!
How to get Back down to Aguas Calientes to Catch the Train to Cusco
At the top, a line will form for the bus. Simply join the line to secure your spot and anticipate around 10 minutes of waiting before boarding the bus back down. It’s ideal to have your tickets in advance, but don’t worry if you don’t because there is a ticket office at the top where you can purchase them.
Once you’re back in Aguas Calientes, make sure to stop by the train station to catch your train. We have two favorite food spots there: a restaurant with amazing lasagna and a pizza place that serves delicious vegetarian pizza. Lucky for you, the pizza place is conveniently located near the train station. We highly recommend filling your bellies before heading out.
Speaking of the train station, you can find it just on the other side of the artisanal market in Aguascalientes. This market is quite massive, so if you’re short on time, we suggest scoping out the location of the departing train station ahead of time. So be sure to plan accordingly and enjoy your trip!
We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’re planning a visit to Machu Picchu or if you’ve already been. Got any other questions? We’re here to help! Your comments mean a lot to us and we appreciate your input.
Don’t forget to share this post and give us more ideas for our upcoming adventures at the Best Machu Picchu Hiking Trails in Peru. We have some incredibly exciting news to share in our vlog, so stay tuned! See you in the next one!