Alternatives routes to go to Machu Picchu - Anguro Canguro

jueves, 16 de marzo de 2017

Alternatives routes to go to Machu Picchu

How to spend less money going to Machu Picchu? If you are an adventure lover, you have no problem getting out of your comfort zone or you consider yourself an excellent traveler, here you have the answer to get to Machu Picchu with an unforgettable and cheap trip!

* It is recommended to go in dry season (May-October) *

Basically there are two routes: "with agency" and "by yoursef"

Route "with agency"
Total cost: 100 soles (30 dollars) go and back.

This route consists of 2 steps. The first step is to take a bus from the city of Cusco to the "Hydroelectric Station". And from the Hydroelectric Station, take a walk of approx. 2 hours to Aguas Calientes Town.

To take the bus of this route you can contact any agency in El Sol Avenue in Cusco City. Agencies will usually sell a go and back package, but it depends on your time.

The itinerary:

Departure from Cusco 7:00 am - Arrival at Hidroelectrica 2:00 pm - hike - You arrive at Aguas Calientes 4:00 pm and spend the night there and the next day in the morning go to see Machu Picchu - spend another night in Aguas Calientes And the next morning in the morning walk to the hydroelectric to take the bus from the tourist agency that awaits you and leaves at 2:00 pm - arrival in Cusco at 9:00 pm.

1. Bus from Cusco City to Hydroelectric.
 This first part of the bus route (shown in green below). Has a duration of approximately 5 hours. It crosses incredible landscapes and villages, but the trip can be heavy for some, since the bus or Van crosses roads that are not asphalted, there is a lot of movement or it passes through some precipices (the drivers are experts) although that does not avoid some scares and much adrenalin.

2. Hike from the Hydroelectric to the town of Aguas Calientes.
The duration of the walk is 1 hour and a half or two hours (the time depends on how fast are you) and is basically walking next to the train tracks, so getting lost following that route is impossible. You cross an incredible landscape, a very famous bridge, some tunnel and experience a great connection with nature.

The walk (which on the image below is red) is very quiet, flat and with a more tropical climate. Also the height is already much smaller and one feels very normal (2040 msnm) unlike Cusco that has 3399 msnm so the soroche here is not a problem.
Below you can see a video in which you can appreciate a bit of the walk from the Hydroelectric to the town of Aguas Calientes:

Route "By myself"
Total Cost: 70-100 soles (21 dollars)

This route is the same that the agencies do (explained above), only 3 stops must be made because there is no direct public transportation from Cusco to La Estación Hidroeléctrica. The advantages? You are not depending on arriving at punctual time to catch the tour bus and you have more freedom to decide your departure or return time.

An example of itinerary would be the following:

Departure from Cusco to Santa Maria 7 am - arrival to Santa Maria 1 pm - Take Bus to Santa Teresa - Arrival to Santa Teresa 2 pm - Take Taxi to the Hydroelectric - Arrival to the Hydroelectric 2:30 pm - hike - arrival to Aguas Calientes 4:30 p.m.

For the return it is the same route in reverse and you are free to decide at what time or which day to return.
1. Bus from Cusco to Santa Maria
Every day buses from Cusco City leaves to the town of Santa María. The trip has an average duration of 6 hours, which is why it is best to plan to leave at an hour when you can reach Santa Teresa by day, (maybe 7am to arrive at 1pm). The price of the bus varies between 15 and 30 soles (5 and 9 dollars). The buses to Santa Teresa leave from the Terrestrial Terminal of the street "Antonio Lorena" in the city of Cusco.

2. Bus from Santa María to Santa Teresa
The journey from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa lasts only 1 hour and costs on average 10 soles. From Santa Maria there are many transportation options that you will find just arriving so finding transportation will be no problem.

There are some people who decide to stay that night in Santa Teresa. There you can enjoy thermal baths at 5 soles (1.5 dollars), lodging is available from 15 soles (5 dollars) and food 15 soles (5 dollars).

3. Taxi from Santa Teresa to Hidroeléctrica
It does not matter if you decide to stay overnight in Santa Teresa or you want to continue the same day with the tour, from this point you will find taxis 20-25 soles (7 dollars) and the duration of the trip is only 30 min. If you want to walk that route, it would take you 1 to 2 hours depending on your pace. The recommended thing for those who are doing the trip in the same day is to definitely take the taxi to save time and make the final walk while it is during the day.

4. Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes.
Once you are in the famous Hidroeléctrica you will find the beginning of the walk very easy and it will take between 1 hour and a half or 2 depending on your pace. The path is the same that is done on the route "with agency".
Aguas Calientes
This little town, is actually very small but very impressive. You feel submerged in a unique atmosphere and being there you feel very remote from the routine, the problems and stress.
Most of the visitors decides arrive one day before their visit to Machu Pucchu and spend the night in this town so next day in the morning go up to Machu Picchu and have enough time for admire and know the wonder of the world. The price for hotels in this place goes from 25 soles per night (8 dollars) to 1000 dollars per night. 

Due to it's size and because everybody have to be there before going up to Machu Piccchu, it is highly recommended reserve the hotels with much anticipation. There are a lot of pages for make reservations with free cancelation, so why not to do it? 

Going up to Machu Picchu:

Once that you are in Aguas Calientes, climb to Machu Picchu is very easy. You can go up ith the official buses (25 min) or you can hike up for an hour if you have the physical condition.
The town is so small that it woul be impossible for you not to see the bus stop and the sell tickets point. Those are located besides the river and the bridge in the middle of the town. This are the ticket prices for the bus:

Bus Prices


It's much better if you buy your bus tickets by the time you arrive to Aguas Calientes, so next day you only go straight to the bus. 
A lot of people buy the bus tickets the same morning they want to reach Machu Picchu and they ended up making big lines. (Buying the bus tickets is personal and you would need to present your passport or national ID.
Guides in Machu Picchu

On the entrance of Machu Picchu you can find a lot of guides offering their services. A guide for a group of 5 people cost around 20 soles per person (6 dollars) and a private guide cost 100 soles (30 dollars).

¿How much time does it takes to know Machu Picchu?

Visiting only the city of Machu Picchu takes 3 to 4 hours. 

If you decide to make also Huayna Picchu Mountain or The Sun Gate or Machu Big Mountain  or go to  The Inca Bridge, the visit could be extended 6-7 hours. If you decide to go to all those places together in one day, is impossible. 
For the people who only have tickets for Machu Picchu:
You can visit for free the Inca Bridge or The Sun Gate. (Duration: 5-6 hours if you visit the 3 of them).

For the people who have Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain ticket:
You can also visit the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate. In this case, I would recommend you to go to The Inca Bridge because The Sun Gate offers you a very similar view to Machu Picchu Mountain just from another angle.  (Duration: 5-6 hours if you visit for example Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain + Inca Bridge).

For the people who have Huayna Picchu ticket + Machu Picchu
You can also visit the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate. In this case, I would recommend you to go to The Inca Bridge if you still have time (duration: 5-7 hours).

Weather in Cusco - Machu Picchu

Dry Season (May-October)
Dry most of the time, specially in the months of June, July and August. During this season you can find clear sky and sunny days, even the nights are cold. 

During the day the weather is warm with an average temperature of 17° C. Nights are colder during the dry season and is not weird in the months of June and July, the temperatures drop to 0° C.during the night. 

Dry season is considered the best moment to travel, but also a time with many visitors.

Raining Season (November-April)
Stadistical data reveals that January and February are the months with strongers rains, lightning and thunder. During this season it can rain all day but In Nov-Dec or March rain  comes strong but usually lasts a short period of time.

Temperatures are slightly higher than in the dry season and the average is 18 ° C. During the night temperatures average is 8 ° C.

The abundance of rains in this time makes the region much more lush and green, compared to the dry season, where the vegetation usually looks brown / gray. The landscape is completely covered with grass, flowers and seasonal fruits. In addition, there are less people and the prices are lower.

Inka trail?

*There are many people that decided to reach Machu Picchu doing the Inca Trail. That usually lasts between 1 to 5 days of trekking/hiking. However, not all the people have the preparation, physical conditions or time. To carry out this type of adventure is mandatory to do it with an agency that has a guide and special equipment. If you are interested in the inka trail you can find information about it here:

Never forget for Machu Picchu:

-Mosquito repellent
-Sun screen
-Wearing comfortable shoes
-Bring water and some snacks

If you have any other doubt, just make a comment below. And if you think the article was helpfull to you, don't forget to give it a "like" or sharing with your friend. 
¡Have a Nice trip!

1 comentario:

  1. I did this plan to Machu Picchu via Hydroelectric with Machu Picchu Bus Packers