The Top 3 Ways to Get to Machu Picchu

December 2, 2018

by Rocio


Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful places in this world and not only said by me, but also it is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world placed on the Andes Mountains and surrounded by the Urubamba River it was the home of the ancient Incas. Nowadays, Machu Picchu is one of the high destinies around the world and receives more than a million tourist a year. However, getting there it is not so easy, but there are lots of ways available to choose from, each of one has its magic, and the election will depend on your budget, the time you have and your physical state. In this article, I am describing the main three.

The easiest way: by train

Undoubtedly, taking the train the best option for those who don’t have too much time and also want to enjoy the magnificent views from the comfort of these beautiful trains which offer an excellent service no matter which type of ticket you pay for. There are two train companies, and they offer more or less the same kind of journey, from luxury ones to economic. On the other hand, the train’s departure is from two main stations, the Poroy station, and the Ollantaytambo station. It is essential to consider the season of the year you will travel to visit Machu Picchu because the cost of the tickets will depend on how early you booked them and from which station you take the train.

The most famous way: The Inca Trek

There are a few types of treks to choose from, and each of one offers different ways to enjoy the beautifulness of the journey, and the scenarios will change according to what trek you want to do, but definitely, it will be the most unforgettable way to get to Machu Picchu.

Inca Trek to Machu Picchu

The Classic Inca Trail

Also, the most famous trek to reach to Machu Picchu because of it is the only way to get there on foot enjoying all the magnificent views from beginning to end in a four day trip with the company of an authorized guide tour. There are limited available places per day so you should book your place in advance with a minimum of 6 months and the level of difficulty is moderate could be great for those who do some exercise regularly. In term of cost, it is the most expensive with an average price of USD 600-700, but it will include all you need such as accommodation, Machu Picchu tickets, meals, etc.

Salkantay Trek

The Salkantay Trek is a more challenge trek but also a real experience which offers the opportunity to visit local communities, walk the jungle and pass through the highest mountain of Peru. The cost of the Salkantay Trek is USD 250-350 and is not necessary to book it in advance, with a couple of days will be enough. However, it is always better to be proactive in planning your trip well.

Inca Jungle Trek

The Inca Jungle Trek is the most suitable for those who like the adrenaline activities and want to enjoy an adventurous journey surrounded by the most magnificent views. The Inca Trek lasts around 3-4 days, depending on which one you have chosen and includes trekking, cycling downhill, river rafting, and zip-lining. The price rate is between USD 150 and 300, and it is not mandatory to book it in advance.

The cheapest way: walking the railway path

If you are super tight budget but do not want to stay without visiting this gem of nature, and you are adventurer enough with plenty of time probably you will want to try getting to Machu Picchu by this way. This is an explanation of the journey you can follow; however, you might pick some of this advice and tailor your trip according to your preferences.

Walking the railway path

The first stop of this journey will be Santa Maria which is located to 5-6 hours by bus from Cusco City, the cost would depend on the company you choose, there are a lot of them out there, but you can think of an average price of USD 5-6.
Once you get to Santa Maria you have two options, and both include taking a taxi; however, the total length of the journey will vary:
• Taking a taxi to Santa Teresa where you can enjoy the hot springs and also you would have to stay a night in this village which is indeed highly recommended by lots of backpackers,
• Taking a taxi straight to the Hydroelectric Station, and the average price would be USD 5.
If you have decided to pass the night in Santa Teresa, the next day you can walk 1 to 2 hours to the Hydroelectric Station or take a taxi, and once there the most beautiful part of this trek will start. Walking the railway path, you can live the magic passing through the jungle, taking pictures and enjoying flora and fauna the mountain has to offer which is incredible and is for free and you might walk approximately for 4 hours but of course it will depend on you, the best part of this version is that you can manage your schedule.
After the exhausting trek, you will reach Aguas Calientes which is the nearest village to Machu Picchu Citadel. In this little and magic village, you can find lots of accommodation options from luxury hotels ones to very cheap hostels, local markets to buy Peruvian crafts and many restaurants to eat a delicious traditional dish, because of Peruvian cuisine is considered as one of the best in the world and the natives will always remember it to you.

Finally, this advice is for all of the three ways to reach Machu Picchu because no matter the way you have chosen it applies for all of them. Take a bus (the price from a one-way ticket is USD 12) to get to the citadel is essential because the journey by foot could be exhausting. Machu Picchu is placed more than 2000 meters above sea level because of this, is vital to keep your full energy to visit the most beautiful part of the trip and the reason why this started.

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