Machu Picchu is one of the most visited tourism destinations in the world, and is a must-visit for any traveller exploring South America. We suggest spending a night or two in Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu to acclimatise first. But, how to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu?
You’ve several options – some easy, some not-so-easy, but all promising incredible scenery…
How To Get From Cusco To Machu Picchu
1. Take The Train From Cusco to Machu Picchu
Keep in mind that the train station is actually one hour’s drive from the centre of Cusco, in the town of Poroy. There are three train companies you can choose from: Inca Rail, Peru Rail, and the Belmond Hiram Bingham train.
Arrive to Machu Picchu in style on the 360° Train that will bring you through the Peruvian countryside to the ‘lost city’. The wide, panoramic windows are perfect for soaking up the view, plus they serve Pisco Sours on board.
2. If Train Tickets Are Sold Out, Go From Aguas Calientes
In High Season (July through September), train tickets to Machu Picchu can often sell out. Don’t stress – you can usually get a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and get a minivan or taxi from here. Or, try get a taxi to Ollantaytambo or Urubamba stations along the route and hop onto the train there.
3. Book in Advance with Bookaway
Use Bookaway to reserve your tickets in advance for a number of transport options, including standard tourist trains, panoramic trains, and VIP trains. Not only can you be assured that you have a guaranteed ticket, you can also make use of the handy filters for finding the best transport option.
4. Hike the Inca Trail With a Tour
A famous way to get to the Lost City is to hike as part of a multi-day Machu Picchu tour. You will trek for hours each day and set up camp overnight, arriving at the ruins. The most popular is the classic Inca Trail, a four-day trek of 42km. This usually sells out six months in advance so plan ahead to get your spot.
The Salkantay Trek or the Inca Jungle Trek are other potential trails.
5. Get a Bus to Hidroelectrica
Hidroelectrica is a six hour drive from Cusco, and is the last town before Machu Picchu that’s accessible by road. You can take a bus or minivan here and then you have two options: walk three hours along the side of the train tracks, or buy a train ticket to Aquas Calientes. From here you can get a bus or walk to the ruins themselves.