6 Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

Routes to Machu Picchu
Índice de contenidos

Do you know how to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco, did you know that several alternative routes to get to Machu Picchu that promises an extraordinary adventure?

Machu Picchu is and always will be one of the most visited tourist attractions in Peru for being the most impressive Inca citadel in the world. For this reason, Machu Picchu Peru Tours brings you all the Routes to Get to Machu Picchu.

Do not stop reading! In Machu Picchu Peru Tours we will tell you a little about each of them, and everything you need to know to undertake this new adventure.

We anticipate that the only way to access the Inca citadel is by land since there are no airports in Machu Picchu.

What things should you keep in mind when visiting Machu Picchu?

Before you think about how to get to Machu Picchu, you have to take into account several aspects that can either stop your trip or delay it, what are we talking about?

Easy: the budget you have, if you are accompanied or not, the transportation you will choose if you will leave with your children, how many days you have to make the journey, and last but not least: where you will stay.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

Once you have all this clear, you can decide how to get to Machu Picchu and turn your trip into an adventure worthy of collective envy.

Don’t just take the first option! Dare to visit the Inca citadel without following the usual patterns. Machu Picchu is waiting for you, don’t make it wait.

Your trip to Machu Picchu starts in Cusco

We still have something to tell you before we start mentioning all those wonderful routes that exist to reach the Inca architectural citadel of Machu Picchu.

First, you must get to the city of Cusco, since all the routes we can describe start there, so your first stop is the navel of the world, that is, Cusco. Once you get there, you will only have to choose how to get to Machu Picchu.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

The best Routes to get to Machu Picchu on foot

To reach the world wonder, there are several routes, here we summarize them for you:

Routes Walking time Kilometers to walk
Hydroelectric 4 hours approx 13 km approx
By train 3 hours approx
Inca Trail 4 days 45 km approx
Salkantay 4 days 60 km approx
Lares 4 days 30 km approx
Torontoy 7 hours approx 28 km approx

1.- Route to reach Machu Picchu by Aguas Calientes / Hydroelectric

Aguas Calientes is the closest town to Machu Picchu, so it is also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. From here, it is much closer to reach the imposing wonder.

To get to Aguas Calientes, your route starts in the city of Cusco, towards Santa Teresa, then you must go to the Hydroelectric Station which will be an average of 6 hours to Hidroelectrica from Cusco.

Once at the Hidroelectrica station, you can get to Aguas Calientes walking a couple of hours or you can take a train that will take you to Machu Picchu town in 20 minutes. Whichever option you choose, you will be accompanied by beautiful scenery and vegetation along the way.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

On the way to the citadel of Machu Picchu, you can observe orchid gardens, birds, spectacled bears, and the Butterfly House, one of the sites you must see on the way to Machu Picchu. Despite being one of the longest routes to Machu Picchu, it is the best economic option to choose.

2.- Route to reach Machu Picchu by train

This is the most popular option used by travelers to get to Machu Picchu, because it has a huge advantage: you save a lot of time, as it is the fastest way to get there.

In three hours or less you will go from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, and its starting point is at the Poroy station, which is located half an hour from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.

If before arriving at Machu Picchu you want to visit the town of Ollantaytambo, you only have to take a detour and then you can return to the Inca citadel by boarding the train at the station of this town.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

This fantastic form of travel offers you three levels of service: Expedition, Vistadome, and the Hiram Brigham.

  • The first (Expedition), which is the cheapest and most economical, is described by many users as extraordinary because of the beautiful views that its windows offer.
  • The Vistadome, which is second, is somewhat more expensive and only offers slightly larger windows, which makes many users claim that it is not worth it.
  • The last one, Hiram Bingham is the most expensive and you will have the opportunity to go in the luxury car.

After arriving at the Aguas Calientes train station, you must take one of the buses that will take you to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. This last trip takes only 30 minutes to reach your long awaited destination, the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Train stations to get to Machu Picchu
Ollantaytambo Poroy San Pedro
Train Schedule 6:00 to 19:45 5:00 to 10:00 7:00 to 14:00
Availability of trains all the year mayo – dic. all the year
Time from Cusco 1.30 hours 1/2 hour 10 min. walk
Weather in Aguas Calientes 2 hours 3 hours 4-5 hours
Price from Cusco Bus 10 soles Taxi 30 soles

3.- Route to get to Machu Picchu by the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is the route that allows you to go through the experience of reaching the ancient city of Machu Picchu as in the Inca times where neither technology nor civilization invaded our lives.

This incredible hike is ranked among the top 5 most impressive trekking routes on the planet. It was built by the Incas hundreds of years ago to link Machu Picchu with Cusco. Usually, the tour has a duration of 4 days and 3 nights.

What will make this whole trip worthwhile is how to get to Machu Picchu, as you will access this archaeological relic through the Sun Gate, which happens to be the original entrance to the city, and is not the typical entrance for tourists using other routes. Do you dare to go to Machu Picchu on this incredible route?

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

4.- Route to reach Machu Picchu by the Salkantay Trail

The Salkantay trek became popular because it does not have a limited number of quotas, unlike the Inca Trail, which means that it is not regulated in any way by the Peruvian government.

Its duration is five days and four nights, but there is the option of doing it in six days.

Its great advantage is that it reaches a higher altitude than the Inca Trail and the snow-capped mountains are seen in a unique and incomparable perspective from it. The trek is approximately 70 kilometers and you will reach an altitude of 4650 meters above sea level. Before doing this trek, we recommend you to be acclimatized in the city of Cusco so that the route does not make you feel bad.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

5.- Route to Machu Picchu through Lares

The town of Lares, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas is the starting point of this route that covers 34 kilometers, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The final section follows the Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes train route and, from there, ascends by bus to Machu Picchu. It is an intermediate route in difficulty, ideal for families.

Routes to Get to Machu Picchu

6.- Route to get to Machu Picchu Ollantaytambo via Torontoy

Little is known about this route that was released less than 3 years ago. If you are looking for an alternative to enjoy the solitude of the mountain and go through an enchanting cloud forest, this is your perfect alternative. In this route of almost virgin terrain, we will be able to enjoy incredible attractions.

This trek crosses Ollantaytambo, starting at kilometer 82 of the Inca Trail for approximately 3 hours to the archaeological complex of Torontoy (14 km approx.). Then, after crossing this archaeological complex, always following the railway line, after a few hours, we will arrive at Aguas Calientes.

embed google map


Some recommendations to go to Machu Picchu on your own

  • If you travel by the Hidroeléctrica route, you can take one of the buses that leave from Antonio Lorena Avenue in Cusco.
  • You should arrive at the train station 30 minutes before your departure, if you arrive late you are not entitled to a refund.
  • Bring cash, documents, a passport, and plenty of water.
  • Whichever route you choose, travel with warm and light clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and appropriate footwear for trekking.
  • Remember to have the contact information of Mincetur and IPeru at hand in case you have any problems on your trip.

Explore many more tourist destinations and facts about Peru in our travel blog and plan your next trip with us!

Leave a Reply

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

Shopping cart
Start typing to see products you are looking for.