Methods to get to Machu Picchu

The far-flung ruins of Machu Picchu, a former Inca empire, sit atop a Peruvian mountain bathed in fog. These unbelievable ruins are a well-liked vacationer attraction however not as simple to succeed in as you would possibly assume.

In case you’re hoping to go to this spectacular website, it is going to take a while to reach — and also you would possibly must take a set of planes, buses and trains to make it there. Know, too, that some masks and vaccination necessities are nonetheless in place for visiting Machu Picchu, so you may wish to verify the most recent steering and put together accordingly.

An aerial view of the well-known Machu Picchu ruins. MATHESS/GETTY IMAGES

That can assist you map out your journey to the “Misplaced Metropolis of the Incas,” this is a step-by-step information with all you’ll want to learn about attending to Machu Picchu, together with learn how to use your factors and miles for the journey.

Associated: The most effective instances to journey to Machu Picchu

Methods to get to Lima, Peru, from the US

Machu Picchu sits just a few hundred miles southeast of Lima, Peru’s capital, excessive up within the Andes Mountains. Since attending to Machu Picchu itself takes a number of steps, a nonstop flight from the U.S. to this bustling metropolis is usually the popular approach to go, although you possibly can additionally attain Peru from one other Latin or Central American hub.

Do you have to resolve to fly immediately from the U.S., you may discover that there are numerous choices for flying to Lima nonstop.

The Armas Sq. in Lima, Peru. JOHN COLETTI/GETTY IMAGES

American Airways flies nonstop to Lima’s Jorge Chávez Worldwide Airport (LIM) from Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA) and Dallas Fort Value Worldwide Airport (DFW). LATAM Airways gives service to town from MIA, John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX), whereas SkyTeam companion Delta Air Strains flies from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Worldwide Airport (ATL). United Airways additionally flies to Lima from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and Florida dwellers have much more choices from MIA because of JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airways, each of which fly nonstop to Lima.

Since Delta and United use dynamic pricing, you may should attempt your luck on the subject of getting strong award fares. Nonetheless, you need to use bank card rewards that can assist you accrue sufficient miles to cowl the price of flights. Chase Final Rewards switch to United, whereas American Specific Membership Rewards switch to Delta. These with Delta elite standing might wish to fly with LATAM since Medallion standing and advantages are acknowledged because of a reciprocal partnership between the 2 airways.

Associated: The entire information to incomes and redeeming with LATAM Go

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If you’ll want to fill up on LATAM Go miles, you possibly can switch Marriott Bonvoy factors to LATAM Go at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-point bonus for each 60,000 factors you switch. If LATAM is your best choice and also you wish to use miles, think about getting a Marriott cobranded bank card to earn a degree bonus that’ll switch to the airline to your Machu Picchu journey. Different choices for incomes LATAM Go miles embody opening one of many airline’s cobranded bank cards or reserving accommodations utilizing Rocketmiles.

Oneword flyers ought to think about flying American. The airline does publish an award chart, although it is uncommon to seek out costs as little as specified resulting from dynamic pricing. Nonetheless, in case you’re fortunate (and touring on off-peak dates), you would possibly discover a one-way MileSAAver Off Peak award ticket for 17,500 AAdvantage miles in economic system or a one-way MilesSAAver award ticket for 30,000 miles in enterprise class.

For these sans factors and miles, tickets on Spirit from Miami to Lima can typically value lower than $300 spherical journey. Simply know that every thing out of your carry-on bag to seat choice and past will value further on Spirit.

Associated: Every little thing it’s best to know earlier than flying Spirit Airways

Methods to get to Cusco, Peru, and the Sacred Valley from Lima

No, you are not on the base of the Andes simply but. The following step in your Peruvian journey needs to be to get from Lima to Cusco. Probably the most direct approach to arrive is by aircraft, which takes about an hour from Lima. There are different choices just like the bus, however contemplating it could actually take round 25 hours (or extra), flying is the quickest selection.

LATAM flights from Lima to Cusco utilizing LATAM Go miles. LATAMAIRLINES.COM

The best possibility (particularly for Delta elite flyers) is LATAM, which gives one-way award tickets for somewhat greater than 5,000 LATAM miles, plus charges. However you might not wish to trouble with miles, as tickets value round $50 every method. These able to courageous a low-cost provider would possibly be capable to shave $10 or $15 off LATAM’s value by flying with a provider like Sky Airline, JetSmart Airways or Viva Air Colombia.


As soon as in Cusco, you may wish to spend at the least one night time within the metropolis itself or the encompassing Sacred Valley, as attending to Machu Picchu will nonetheless take a substantial period of time after arriving.

Methods to get from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, Peru

That is the place the enjoyable actually begins. The quickest approach to arrive on the gateway to Machu Picchu, the city of Aguas Calientes, from Cusco is by prepare, which takes round three hours. There’s additionally a two-hour prepare journey you possibly can take from Ollantaytambo, Peru, to the location, must you resolve to remain within the Sacred Valley earlier than persevering with your journey. Different choices, together with a bus and mountaineering, can be found as effectively.


Probably the most luxurious prepare to Machu Picchu is the Hiram Bingham, a Belmond-operated prepare that prices round $500 one-way. Other than this splurge, the principle trains — often known as the Expedition and the Vistadome — are operated by PeruRail. The Expedition trains value about $60 every method, whereas the Vistadome trains value round $75 per one-way journey. The latter offers an enhanced expertise that features snacks and even a vogue present the place vacationers can view and buy objects produced from alpaca wool.

A PeruRail prepare on its approach to Aguas Calientes. PHOTON-PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

Inca Rail is one other prepare firm that gives numerous choices for vacationers between Cusco and Aguas Calientes by way of its Voyager and 360 trains. Costs are akin to the PeruRail trains, and, like PeruRail, Inca Rail additionally gives an unique prepare expertise. Inca Rail’s Non-public prepare offers you and your group a complete prepare automotive to yourselves, the place you may take pleasure in a three-course meal, Champagne and a Peruvian cooking class as you journey. This explicit service even gives a personal bus to Machu Picchu from the prepare station.

If you cannot resolve between Inca Rail and PeruRail, use price range and timing to resolve. Choose a prepare that is the appropriate value at a time that is most handy for you, because the providers are comparatively comparable. LATAM Go frequent flyers might wish to choose Inca Rail trains, as you possibly can join your account and earn one LATAM Go mile for each greenback spent on Inca Rail.

Trains to Machu Picchu depart from the Poroy prepare station, which is situated 11 miles outdoors of Cusco. In case you’re staying in or exploring the Sacred Valley, you possibly can catch the prepare from the Ollantaytambo prepare station, which is lower than 40 miles northwest of Cusco. The final cease on every route is the Aguas Calientes station.

Bus and strolling

Price range vacationers (or anybody up for a novel, scenic expertise) ought to think about the shuttle and strolling path possibility often known as the Hidroeléctrica. Since there are not any precise roads that lead into the city of Aguas Calientes, you possibly can’t drive all the best way, so whilst you’ll take a bus the vast majority of the best way, a three-hour trek is required on the finish.

To partake on this possibility, you may must e book a spot in a bunch shuttle (your resort or any tour operator will help you e book one) that departs from both Cusco or Ollantaytambo. The journey will value anyplace between $10 and $25 per individual, relying on the bus and the way many individuals are in your group. You will weave by way of the Andes as you method Aguas Calientes, stopping for lunch in a city referred to as Santa María. As soon as the shuttle drops you off at a location that appears to be in the midst of nowhere — the Hidroeléctrica — you’ll take pleasure in a peaceable stroll alongside prepare tracks for about three hours till you arrive at Aguas Calientes.

For this journey, you should definitely pack gentle, as you may be carrying your belongings in your again. Some Cusco accommodations allow you to depart bigger suitcases or baggage of their storage rooms in case you plan on returning to Cusco once more for an evening after your Machu Picchu go to, so think about considered one of these properties in case you do not wish to convey your entire belongings in the course of the stroll.



There are numerous guided treks that finish in Machu Picchu. Relying on the choice you select, you may discover that they final anyplace from just a few days to weeks.

Climbing the Inca Path — essentially the most well-known route — begins from a base close to Cusco. Moreover, there are different treks that depart from different bases in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, together with the Lares Trek and the Salkantay Trek. These treks are guided and sometimes embody meals and porters. It is best to e book by way of a web-based journey supplier or company.


In some situations, vacationers have been in a position to stroll your entire route alongside the prepare tracks from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Nonetheless, this free, eight-hour stroll will be unsafe at instances resulting from prepare tunnels. It is extremely monitored by observe guards, so we do not suggest this feature.

Associated: 9 errors vacationers make when visiting Machu Picchu

The ultimate step: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes is named the gateway to Machu Picchu. ELOJOTORPE/GETTY IMAGES

By this level, you are so shut, but to this point. Aguas Calientes is the gateway to Machu Picchu, however you aren’t on the ruins simply but. You continue to should make the vertical ascent to the citadel itself, which is a grueling trek that can take you about 4,000 toes uphill.

Anybody planning to hike Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain might not wish to embark on this stroll, as it may be exhausting (although you possibly can all the time stroll again down, which is simpler). In case you do wish to stroll, observe the Camino Peatonal Path. Go away early since this stroll will take you just a few hours to finish.

The bus route as much as Machu Picchu. VILLAMILK/GETTY IMAGES

An alternate approach to attain Machu Picchu is to take the bus. Buses depart each 10 to fifteen minutes from Aguas Calientes, beginning at 5:30 a.m. and operating till 3:30 p.m. Take into account that folks line as much as catch the primary bus, so it is best to reach on the bus cease early. The journey up takes 20 to half-hour, and the final bus returns to Aguas Calientes at 5:30 p.m.

You should buy bus tickets upfront or on the day of your go to beginning at 5 a.m. Bus tickets value $12 per one-way journey or $24 spherical journey. Purchase your tickets on the bus station in Aguas Calientes or one other licensed spot in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. Some companies will help you e book them on-line forward of time, too, although you may must pay a further payment. In case you’ve booked your Machu Picchu tickets by way of a tour company, ask about bus tickets, as some will embody them.

Keep in mind that you could all the time e book your individual Machu Picchu tickets on-line by way of the official web site. Remember to additionally convey your passport. You will want to indicate it to enter the ruins.

Backside line

If it looks like Machu Picchu is difficult to get to, you are proper. The method requires a number of steps because of its distant location atop a mountain.

Machu Picchu takes some time to succeed in, nevertheless it’s greater than definitely worth the trek. ANGELO ANTONIO CHIARIELLO/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

Know, although, that you do not have to do the journey multi function go. Take just a few days in Lima, a while in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and even a few nights in Aguas Calientes to organize to your trek. Or, think about staying put in considered one of these locations after your Machu Picchu journey to unwind.

Peru is a magical place to discover with many distinctive sights past Machu Picchu, so taking your journey gradual and discovering different highlights could make the lengthy journey value it.

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