How to get to machu picchu from cusco the cheapest way to go and visit

From Cusco to Machu Picchu by train

One of the most common doubts is how to go to Machu Picchu, the alternative or traditional option to get to Machu Picchu is by train, whether you board it in Poroy, a town near the city of Cusco or in Ollantaytambo, a town located at 1:45 (one hour and forty-five minutes) from the city of Cusco, Ollantaytambo is practically halfway through Cusco and Machu Picchu.

There are 2 companies that make this trip by train:

  • PeruRail
  • IncaRail

Train prices from Cusco to Machu Picchu

Depending on the train (IncaRail or PeruRail) and the point of departure (Cusco or Ollantaytambo), the prices are from 50 to 140 dollars per person (one way). Trains leave almost every hour from 5am until the last one that is at 10pm.

The rates for each service can be found in their main pages of both Perurail and IncaRail

Trekking to Machu Picchu – Alternative Inca Trail

Can you get to Machu Pichu without using the train?

It is exclusive for adventure people because it takes about 5 days to make use of the “alternative Inca trail” , you do not need a guide but you have to be prepared to walk a lot or sleep in tents, many people make use of it today. so it has become quite full and you can walk without fear of being robbed.

It is not necessary to pay more than 10 soles to make use of this route, you will visit many archaeological centers and much more flora than the main Inca trail, you will run into the true resident of Peru, the one who works hard to bring something to eat at home.

Machu Picchu by bus from Cusco to Hydroelectric and walking from Hidroeléctrica to Machupicchu

This is the most economical option that does not need too much effort

Technically there are no roads between the city of Cusco and Machu Pícchu but there are trails (partly asphalted and part of land) that access the last train station before reaching Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes): “Hidroeléctrica”.

Years ago, this route was a bit tedious and especially risky, since there were several stops to be made by public transport, it was necessary to reach the towns of Santa Teresa and Santa María, before arriving to Hidroeléctrica.

Currently there are a lot of direct buses that go from Cusco to Hidroeléctrica and viceversa, the buses are comfortable and allow to observe the impressive landscapes that can not necessarily be seen from the train.

The time for this route is approximately 7 hours, because it is not in very good condition. For this reason, it is not recommended to use this route in the rainy season to reach Machu Picchu because there are risks of landslides, floods and other natural phenomena that could leave us stranded for days.

Once arrived at the hydroelectric train station, you should walk for about 2 hours (the time may be longer or shorter depending on your pace) until you reach Machupicchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), where you can also buy tickets to Machu Picchu for the next day and then we will look for accommodation for the night.

Where to buy buses tickets to get from Hidroeléctrica to Machu Picchu, prices and schedules

The process of buying the tickets to go from Cusco to Hydroelectric is relatively easy, just walk around the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, you can find an infinity of tour operators offering to sell this service.

The prices of this service are in a line of 20, 25 and 30 dollars one way or 40 dollars round trip. Regarding the departure time of the Cusco – Hydroelectric route, it is very early in the morning, or you will be informed by the operator that sold you the service, it is usually at 7 am, so you will be arriving at Hidroeléctrica at approximately 2 pm to start the trek towards Machu Picchu village.

On the other hand, the time to return from Hidroeléctrica to Cusco (the day after your departure) is approximately 3 pm, which will make you arrive in Cusco at 10 or 11 pm. It is advisable that you evaluate if it suits you to buy round trip, since you could stay longer in the town of Aguas Calientes or make the return trip by parts in order to know more or maybe by train.

Trikking by the Inca Trail

It’s a expensive alternative, but one that deserves to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. For this journey it is required at least 7 days, 2 days to make visits to the surroundings of the city of Cusco while our body is acclimated, the following 4 days you will be walking from the 82 kilometer of the train track through the old stone path in the mountains and jungle of Cusco, built by the Incas more than 500 years ago, in which case the sixth day you will return very late at night to rest. On the seventh and last day you can leave the city on your way to home.

Timetable to make the Inca Trail, prices

The prices for the Inca Trail can vary a lot according to the agency you hire, Approximately the costs are around 600 dollars for the 4 days with everything included, the equipment, guide, tents and everything you need. You will only have to worry about walking.

To make the Inca Trail, it is necessary to buy the service with an authorized travel agency, since you will not be able to buy the ticket on your own.

Finally: Due to the large number of travelers who want to make this tour, you must book your ticket very well in advance, at least 6 to 9 months before.

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