It is a global trend to visit the best places in the world forgetting the agencies and organized tours, and if this is the way you chose to travel, it will be very important that you know how to get to Machu Picchu. Although there are several ways to get to the Inca city we will teach you how to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu by train; This form combines buses and trains, and is the fastest and easiest way to get to Machu Picchu.
How to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu?
The train ride to Machu Picchu is an incredible experience, the route through the Sacred Valley of the Incas is considered one of the most amazing short train journeys in the world, but if you want to do it on your own, the first thing you should do is get the Machu Picchu tickets.
Book Machu Picchu tickets
The enormous demand of this destination has made it necessary to restrict the number of visitors that can enter the Inca city. There are 2,500 Machu Picchu tickets available for each day; however, tickets that include the mountains are even more limited. It has 4 types of ticket and each one offers a different experience in Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu Ticket
- Machu Picchu Ticket + Huayna Picchu
- Machu Picchu + mountain ticket
- Machu Picchu ticket + museum
All Machu Picchu tickets must be reserved weeks in advance to have the necessary time to organize the rest of the trip; however, the Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu ticket must be reserved 4 months before, otherwise it is almost impossible to get one of these tickets for the date you want.
Book train tickets
If you have already purchased the Machu Picchu tickets and have little time before the day of your visit, book the train tickets; What’s more, we recommend reserving them immediately after knowing the day you will enter Machu Picchu, many of the services usually run out weeks before.
Bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
You will need to board a vehicle from the street in Cusco to get to Ollantaytambo; if you stay a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas you can walk. Once in pouffes you will find buses, taxis and minivans whose drivers will try to convince you to board your vehicle, then you will hear them screaming to attract more passengers, they are interested in filling them as soon as possible so as not to wait for those who are already inside, once full will be launched. The price varies from 15 (US $ 5) to 30 soles (US $ 10) depending on the vehicle and how fast you want to get to Ollantaytambo, taxis are more expensive but obviously faster.
The route crosses the winding roads of the Sacred Valley with different shades of green, unique landscapes of Andean mountains and the raging Urubamba River accompanying it all the way to the town of Ollantaytambo
Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town)
Once in Ollantaytambo do not miss the opportunity to visit this ancient Inca town, still populated; It is known as the «living Inca people», one of the best places you can visit in South America and one of the best previews of what you will see in Machu Picchu. Its inhabitants have customs that come from the time of the Incas and its streets retain their original name also from that time, but you will also see Inca water channels used today.
Train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village)
To board the train at the Ollantaytambo station you must have previously booked train tickets. One of the black parts of the trip is that the train to Machu Picchu is one of the most expensive in the world; however, booking them in advance will allow you to access the most economical services, which usually run out weeks before.
As we already told you, this short train route is considered one of the best in the world and it goes without saying that each landscape is a gift for the eyes. From time to time you will see humble villages, Andean communities and their fields of sowing.
Visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo
If you want to visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo you will need to buy the tourist ticket of Cusco; The integral ticket includes all the most important museums and archaeological sites in Cusco, you can buy it for 130 soles (US $ 45), in half if you have a student card. But you can also purchase partial tickets, these include:
- Circuit 1: includes the Regional Historical Museum, Qoricancha Site Museum, Museum of the American Institute of Art, Pachacuteq Inca Museum, Santa Catalina Convent, Qosqo Native Art Center.
- Circuit 2: Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay.
- Circuit 3: The most important ruins in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero).
The price of the partial ticket is 70 nuevos soles (US $ 25). Circuits 1 and 2 are valid for one day and circuit 3 is valid for two days. The rate is the same for students
Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Once in Aguas Calientes look for a hotel. Unless you are traveling in high season (June, July, August) you will not find it difficult to find one; prices vary from 60 soles (US $ 20) per night (the cheapest), up to USD 800 per night in 5-star hotels. After securing your hotel, get bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, it’s the simplest and fastest way to get there. You will find the ticket office next to the train station, before the ruins bridge and just in front of the station where you can board them.
You can also walk up and down, although we believe you should get on bus to have all your energy in the Inca city, especially if your Machu Picchu tickets include the mountains.
The Hiram Bingham road to Machu Picchu
The road of Hiram Bingham winds from Aguas Calientes to the entrance gate of the Historic and Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The climb already anticipates where you are going, and even with fog you can enjoy the immensity of the mountains. Once at the entrance you must present your printed Machu Picchu tickets. You can join a group guided by 30 soles (US $ 10). What you will see inside the Inca city of Machu Picchu is simply amazing and will be one of the best experiences of your life