Visiting the citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the goals of many travelers in the world. Although some people believe that you need to save a lot of money to get to this Wonder of the World, there are ways to get to know this place by reducing expenses.
One way is to do it walking, an adventure that besides being much cheaper will allow you to connect thoroughly with nature and enjoy the most of the great landscapes of the Andes.
We started with the least economic method: the Inca Trail. This is one of the best-known ways to get to Machu Picchu by walk but also the one that requires the most investment since you have to obligatory do it with a travel agency.
Depending on the days you have and your physical condition, you will choose the route that suits you (more or fewer days) and, after that, you will know what your starting point is. The most common is to make the road in two to four days, but there are options to do it in even more than a week.
The beauty of the Inca Trail is that you will go through unique places built by this civilization and also you will meet more adventurers for sharing the trip. In addition, the agencies take care of everything: they carry the food, the water, the backpack of the travelers so that they do not have to carry it off…
To make the Inca Trail, you will have to book in advance with one of the agencies that provide this service, since the places are limited and usually they end several months in advance. In addition, you have to bear in mind that the Inca Trail closes during the month of February for maintenance.
The Inca Trail costs approximately US$ 300 with everything included (guide, food, tents, etc.), a budget that can vary depending on the days.
Road by Hidroelectrica
One of the ways that are getting famous among the backpackers that want to arrive at Machu Picchu by foot is the road by Hidroelectrica.
How to do it? To start you will have to get from Cusco to Santa Teresa by bus or taxi and from here you have to take a van to Hidroelectrica. To make this travel, we recommend you to leave at dawn from the imperial city and you can make the most of the day.
Once in Hidroelectrica, you must start the walk following the train tracks, which will take you to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, the perfect place to spend the night.
This path is surrounded by amazing landscapes such as large mountains, lagoons, and waterfalls.
The next day, if you still have the energy to continue walking, you can reach the citadel of Machu Picchu on foot, a journey that lasts an hour and a half. If you prefer, you can take one of the buses that depart from Aguas Calientes and it takes around 20 minutes to the citadel.
This route is the favorite among backpackers due to its price: you will spend only around USD 60, compared to the 300 of the Inca Trail and the 160 that cost to take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
From Choquequirao to Machu Picchu
Perhaps the least known route is this one that takes you from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu. Choquequirao is an Inca citadel, as impressive as Machu Picchu, which is not completely discovered and that receives only about 20 people per day, due to its difficult access.
To get to Choquequirao, you have to travel to San Pedro de Cachora, in Abancay, and start a two days trek. After two days going up and down the Andes you will arrive at this impressive citadel that has a camping area so you can spend the night here.
For some people, getting here is enough, but there are others who dare with more and make the way from this point to Machu Picchu, a route that lasts about a week.
You can do the way to Choquequirao or from here to Machu Picchu both with an agency or by your own since it is perfectly signposted and there is no complexity to get from one place to another.
Without a doubt, getting to Machu Picchu on foot is a unique experience. If you have time and you like adventure, you have to do it!
Are you planning your trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu? In Tierra Viva, we have hotels both in the imperial city and in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu Pueblo. Book on them on our website!