How to travel to Machu Picchu? ALL EXPLAINED - Anguro Canguro

viernes, 10 de febrero de 2017

How to travel to Machu Picchu? ALL EXPLAINED

How much does it cost to go to Machu Picchu? Which routes can you take to get to Machu Picchu? What is the best route? How can you get there cheaply?... Those are some of the frequently questions that come to mind when we are thinking to go to Machu Picchu.
I've been fortunate to go three times to this magical place and I know getting to Machu Picchu can be challenging due to its remote location (that's why this wonder has been hidden for a long time). Sometimes it might seem easer to take an all-inclusive tour, but that would mean spending a lot of money. 

If you want memorable experiencies and don't want to be tricked and ripped off by companies, you have come to the right place. Below, I've compiled in a simple way, all the information you need to know regarding visiting  Machu Picchu.

1. Buy the tickets (ahead of time)
No matter how you reach Machu Picchu (bus, train, hiking, teleportation), you will need to pass a security control checkpoint where you'll have to show your ticket and passport.

Prices 2017
In dollars:

In Soles (local currency):
The only official website for tickets is:

You can buy the tickets after arriving in Lima or Cusco, but may difficult and in high season (June - August) the tickets for Machu Picchu sold out days ahead of time. Tickets for Huayna Picchu sell out months in advance. That's why I recommend that you buy the tickets online and at least one month ahead of time if you only plan to visit Machu Picchu and if you want to do Huayna Picchu too, 3 months in advance. 

If you wait until the last minute to buy your tickets, with luck, there may be 5-10 tickets remaining for only Machu Picchu. It all depends on the season or your luck.

1. Arrive in Lima
This part is simple. For getting cheap flights I recommend these pages: 

Both pages search all the airlines for you and you'll see the cheapest flight available. With that information, you can go to the airline website where you found the cheapest flight and buy your ticket. 

2. From Lima to Cusco
I recommend that you use the same strategy to search for flights as I mentioned before. An airplane ticket is between 60 dollars and 160 dollars (round-trip). However, most of sales or promotions are just for Peruvian residents. But, if you are foreigner the cheapest flights are found on "Peruvian Airlines".

3. It is important that you know where Machu Picchu is located. 

The city of Machu Picchu that we see in all the pictures on Internet is situated on a mountain adjacent to the town Aguas Calientes. This is a very small town in the middle of huge mountains. (Aguas Calientes is at the base of the Mountains and Machu Picchu is on the top of one of them).

Time from Cusco to Aguas calientes by train: 3 hours 30 min.
Time from Cusco to Aguas calientes by bus: 5 hours 30 min + 2 hours of hiking.

To get to spot from which that famous photos of Machu Picchu are taken, you should take this route:

4. ¿How do you get to Aguas Calientes?

If you are planning to go to Machu Picchu, your first goal will be getting to the town of Aguas Calientesalso know as Machu Picchu Town (a mandatory stop for anyone). Once there, you can go up to the City of Machu Picchu in official buses (takes 25 minutes to get to the top) or hiking (1 hour).
This little town, is actually very small but very impressive. You feel submerged in a unique atmosphere and being there you feel like you can escape the stress of daily life.

Most of the visitors decide to arrive one day before their visit to Machu Picchu and spend the night in this town so that the next day in the morning, they can go up to Machu Picchu and have enough time to admire and explore this wonder of the world. The price for hotels in this town ranges from 25 soles per night (8 dollars) to 1000 dollars per night. 

Due to the town small size and because everybody has to stay over night there before going up to Machu Piccchu, it is highly recommended that you reserve a hotel in advance. There are a lot of different websites through which you can make reservations with free cancellation, so why not do it? 

5. Transportation options to get to Aguas Calientes:

a) Train
(faster, very comfortable, expensive)
b) Adventurous route
(a bit slower, less comfortable, but much cheaper)

6. Finally, going up to Machu Picchu:

Once that you are in Aguas Calientes, getting to Machu Picchu is very easy. You can go up in the official buses (25 minutes) or you can hike up for an hour if you are in good shape.
The town is so small that it would be impossible for you not to see the bus stop and the bus ticket booth. They are located beside the river and the bridge in the middle of the town. These are the ticket prices for the bus:
It's much better if you buy your bus tickets when you arrive in Aguas Calientes, so next day you can go straight to the bus. 
A lot of people buy the bus tickets in the morning of the day that they want to go to Machu Picchu and they ended waiting in big lines. (When buying a bus ticket, you need to present your passport or national ID)

¿How much time does it takes to explore all of Machu Picchu?

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

If you decide to do also Huayna Picchu Mountain or The Sun Gate or Machu Big Mountain  or go to  The Inca Bridge, the visit could be extended by 6-7 hours. It is impossible to visit all of these places in one day. 

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 that you 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 that you go to The Inca Bridge if you still have time (duration: 5-7 hours).

Guides in Machu Picchu

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

Weather in Cusco - Machu Picchu

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

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

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

Rainy Season (November-April)
Statisticts show that January and February are the months with stronger rains, lightning and thunder. During this season it can rain all day but in Nov-Dec or March the rain may be strong but usually only lasts a short period of time.

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

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

Inka trail?

*There are many people that decide to get to Machu Picchu doing the Inca Trail. Hiking the trail usually lasts between 1 to 5 days. However, not all the people are prepared physically or have sufficient time. If you would like to do this hike, it 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 the following for Machu Picchu:

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

If you have any other questions, just comment below. And if you think the article was helpful to you, don't forget to give it a "like" or share it with your friends. 
¡Have a nice trip!

4 comentarios:

  1. hi will i still get the world famous view of the ruins from Machu Pichu Mountain? the one that is all over the internet?

    1. Hi, even if you just buy just "machu picchu ticket" and not "machu picchu + machu picchu mountain" you will still get the famous view. Machu Picchu Mountain is not the famous view of Internet, is to see Machu Picchu from a highest mountain.

  2. Which of these two would you recomend?
    Huayna Picchu ticket + Machu Picchu or Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain ticket. Also where was your picture of the Llama taken?

    1. I recommend you Huayna Picchu ticket + Machu Picchu. Huaynna Picchu is really amazing. The picture of the llama is in Macchu Picchu ruins :)