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How to get to Machu Picchu? Your trip from home to the Inca Citadel

How to get to Machu Picchu? Your trip from home to the Inca Citadel

Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven World Wonders and you are craving a big trip. The main route to get to the world wonder is first by plane from your country, then one more flight to Cusco and finally, a van and a train that will take you to Machu Picchu. There are some other options you can explore. Are you ready to go Machu Picchu in your next vacations?

How to Get to Peru

Lima International Airport view

Are you ready for your flight to Peru?

By 2017, Peru has one international airport located in the capital city, Lima. Before landing, you will see some beaches and the greatest seaport of Peru, Callao. Our staff will pick you up to take you to the hotel in case you rest one day or have one of our tours in Lima. International flights are scheduled during all day, however if yours is a connecting flight to Cusco then it is very likely to arrive Lima during the very early hours of the morning.

Once in Lima, your next destination is Cusco. You have two options: a bus trip or a direct flight.

During your trip in Peru, you can use US dollars and euros in most touristic business establishments. However, we recommend you to exchange money to soles (local currency) to be able to pay any item or service you require. Use authorized money exchange stores in the main cities (Lima, Cusco or Arequipa) or banks.

Arriving Cusco

The trip by bus from Lima to Cusco takes around 20 hours. It might sound long, but is a nice chance to watch the landscapes of the coast region and some of the mountain side. It is cheaper than a flight. Contact TOUR IN PERU staff for bus transport companies recommendation.

Inside Cusco Airport -  How to get to Machu Picchu

Cusco Airport


The other option is to travel to Cusco by plane. Lima to Cusco flights are set from 4 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. Your flight will take around 1 hour.

Once in Cusco

Cusco is a region with cold wheather. The city itself has a average temperature of 64°F/18°C at noon and it can drop below 32°F/0°C at midnight. Thus, be prepared once the bus starts going up from the coast to the mountain side or when your get out from your plane. Our staff will wait for you either in the bus station or the airport.

The city of Cusco is located at 11 150ft/3400m above sea level. This means that you and your group should be aware of altitude sickness. Check our article about how to deal with altitude sickness.

Time in Peru is GMT-5 in all the country.

The final destination: Machu Picchu

There is no direct way to go from Cusco to Machu Picchu. There is a small village near to the Inca citadel, Aguas Calientes. Most travellers will have to pass this cozy and busy village before taking the bus to the ruins.

Visit Machu Picchu in the Vistadome Train in a One Day Tour

Panoramic windows in the Vistadome Train

Your way from Cusco to Aguas Calientes will have a combination of vehicles or even your feet. These are your options:

  • Train trips. You will have to go from Cusco City to Ollantaytambo train station in a car. Then, take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. (The train station is one hour away from Cusco.)

  • Luxury train trip. The Hiram Bingham Luxury Train departs from Poroy Train Station (10 minutes away from Cusco City) to the Aguas Calientes village.

  • Van Trip. You will take the van from Cusco to Hydroelectric (8.5 hours approximately) and then a one hour trek to the Aguas Calientes village.

There is another way to get to the Inca world wonder, that is by your own feet. The Inca Trail is the ancient path that Inca people used to walk to get anywhere in their kingdom. Nowadays, it is the most famous hiking route in South America.

Inca Trail Travel Package in 8 days including the Sacred Valley and Cusco City Tour

Inca Trail in 4 days

  • Classic Inca Trail. This adventure tour starts in Piscacucho, in the kilometer 82 of the railroad. Once you get from Cusco in a van, you will have a 3-day hiking adventure. The arrival point is the Inti Punku or Sun Gate. You will directly enter Machu Picchu and have a rest after the guided tour by the ruins in the Aguas Calientes village.

  • Short Inca Trail. You will be taken from Cusco to the Ollantaytambo Train Station in a private van. The train trip will not stop in Aguas Calientes but in the Kilometer 104. This is the starting point of the 6-hour hike to the ruins. You will also go by the Sun Gate, Inti Punku, however you will go to Aguas Calientes to take a rest and visit Machu Picchu during the morning of the second day of this trail.

About the Machu Picchu Tours by TOUR IN PERU

The journey to Machu Picchu can seem long and complicated. TOUR IN PERU wants to ensure you a great experience so we will take care of the formalities, pick up and transfers, vehicles, bookings, tickets and more.

Just contact us and tell us about your dream trip and our travel experts will send you a personalized itinerary. Lots of travelers around the world recommend us for Machu Picchu tours. We have more than 8 years of experience making the Peru trip dream come true.