How to get to Machu Picchu…
In 2007 this beautiful Inca Citadel was nominated as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Each year one million visitors come to Cusco to visit the colonial city but their main purpose is to travel to their final destination of Machu Picchu, the highlight of many travellers time in Peru. Still, there are plenty of options for every budget how to reach the citadel during your Machu Picchu Cusco Tour…
Classic Inca Trail
On Peru’s most sought-after trek you’ll hike in the footsteps of the Incas by following an ancient stone path from Chica all the way to Machu Picchu. During this 4-day Machu Picchu trekking tour you’ll enjoy breath-taking panoramas, pass by ancient, well-maintained arqueological sites and experience different ecological areas from the Andean Highlands to the subtropical Cloud Forest. Your Machu Picchu Cusco Tour ends by hiking through the famous Sun Gate where you’ll have an excellent view on Machu Picchu which is lying below you.
Keep in mind that entrances are restricted by the Peruvian Ministery of Culture and therefore for this Machu Picchu trekking tour you need to reserve your spaces tour well ahead of time especially in the high season between May and August.
Short Inca Trail
The 2-Day version of the Classic Inca Trail is the perfect option for everybody who doesn’t want to challenge themselves for a four day trek but still wants to catch the first glimpse on Machu Picchu at Inti Punku, the famous Sungate. After a night spent in Aguas Calientes you’ll visit the famous citadel on the second day of your Machu Picchu trekking tour.
Also entrances to the Short Inca Trail are limited by the Ministry of Culture, however, they don’t sell out as quickly as its longer version.
Full Day Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
You want to visit Machu Picchu in one day and enter through the Sungate? The Full Day Short Inca Trail is exactly the same as its 2-day version with the small difference that Machu Picchu will be visited on the same day as the travelers are hiking through the Sungate. After a guided tour through the stunning ruins of the old Inca Empire, visitors take the bus down to Aguas Calientes from where they will return in train and bus to Cusco.
Machu Picchu by Train
This is the most comfortable Machu Picchu Cusco tour although switching from your private transportation to the train in Ollantaytambo or Poroy normally is necessary. After the departure of the train you can experience the change from to the cold Highland to sub-tropical climate the closer you get to your destination Aguas Calientes. From the train station Machu Picchu is only a 20-minute bus ride away.
Machu Picchu by Bus
This is the Backpacker version of visiting the world-famous citadel. For this Machu Picchu Cusco Tour you’ll be picked up by your transportation around 7 a.m. in the morning, then leave Cusco and first drive through the Sacred Valley, stop in Ollantaytambo and continue to Hidroelectria where you’ll spend the night. Early next morning you’ll start hiking along the rails and then up to Machu Picchu. After visiting the arqueological city and eventually hiring a guide who will explain you more about the history of this important complex and the ancient culture of the Incas, you’ll hike back to Hidroelectrica from where your bus departs in the early afternoon.
After an Alternative Trek
A more authentic option is visiting Machu Picchu directly after some of the various treks in the region of Cusco. The advantage of travelling to Machu Picchu this way is that you’ll also see the non-touristic, more off-the-beaten path side of Peru and experience the beautiful Andean Landscapes without the crowds. Join the Lares, Salkantay, Huchuy Qosqo or Quillatambo trek and arrange your visit to Machu Picchu directly after your hike.
Difficulty: Salkantay (+++), Quillatambo (+++), Lares (++), Huchuy Qosqo (+)
Price: $ – $$