The road to Machu Picchu is a unique experience that you can experience in different ways: from a comfortable train trip through the Andes to an exciting walk of several days through snow-capped mountains, lagoons, waterfalls and many more.
It depends on your budget, the time you have to arrive and the type of trip you are looking for, you can choose between three different ways to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
The train is the most common and fastest way to reach the Inca citadel. Inca Rail and Peru Rail are the two companies that offer this service to foreign and national tourists, but Peruvians and residents in Peru also have the option of doing this tour on the local train, much cheaper.
The trains to Machu Picchu depart from the Poroy and Ollantayambo stations, which can be reached by bus from the city of Cusco. The destination is Machu Picchu Pueblo, also known as Aguas Calientes. Once here, you have two options: take a bus to get to the citadel or do the last stretch, 1.8 km, by walking.
The price of the tourist trains goes from the 55 dollars (one way), whereas the local train costs S/ 20 (around 6 dollars) round trip.
One of the great challenges of the most adventurous tourists is to reach Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail, a route that goes back to the times of the Empire, when it was used to connect all the regions of Tahuantinsuyo.
You will have to make this route with a tourist agency, who offer different options: from the best known of two and four days to alternative roads through the Salkantay or areas of the Peruvian jungle.
To carry out the Inca Trail you will have to be well prepared physically, since all the routes have large climbs and descents and pass through high-altitude points above sea level.
Also, if you are thinking about doing this trek, you have to bear in mind that during February the Inca Trail remains closed due to the rains and to carry out maintenance works.
Compared to the train, this option is much more expensive, since prices range between 300 and 600 dollars.
Contrary to what many people think, the trip to Machu Picchu does not have to mean a large outlay of money. If you want an unforgettable adventure at an economical price, you have to take the alternative route, a trek that is done on your own and in which you will find very few tourists.
To make this route, you will have to travel bby bus or taxi from Cusco to Santa Teresa and once there, you will have to take another bus that will take you to Hidroelectrica, where the walk begins.
It is simple to know which is the path that takes you from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, since you only have to follow the train tracks and you will reach your destination in two and a half hours. Once in Machu Picchu Pueblo, we recommend you to find a place to stay and recharge energy for the next day to visit Machu Picchu.
As we said before, the last section that leads from Machu Picchu Pueblo to the citadel can be done walking or by bus. If you feel strongly, we encourage you to do it on foot, the landscapes are exciting!
The price of this route does not usually exceed $50 round trip, much cheaper than the other ones!
As you can see, the trip to Machu Picchu has options for all types of trevelers but all of them with the same goal: discover one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
To accompany you in this adventure, in Tierra Viva we have hotels both in Cusco and in Machu Picchu Pueblo, as well as in the Sacred Valley. If you want to know them and make a reservation, just go to www.tierravivahoteles.com. We will be very happy to be part of your trip!