14 Ways to Get to Machu Picchu [2024] Entrance Fees, Rules + Routes

Machu Picchu in Peru

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Machu Picchu in Peru features high on many travellers’ bucket lists, and rightfully so. One of the new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu is hailed as an archaeologist’s dream.

Believed to have been built by hand in the 15th century by Peru’s Inca civilisation, this South American icon is hard to miss and is often referred to as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’.

The gateway to this mesmerising abandoned city in the south-eastern city of Cusco/Cuzco, and there are many ways to get to Machu Picchu from there.

So whether you are looking to go independently or via Machu Picchu tours, have ample time or are restricted, have holiday cash to burn or are on a tight budget, this guide will advise you how to get to Machu Picchu in 14 different ways.

Planning a trip to Machu Picchu just got easier! We’ll also discuss the new rules and Machu Picchu prices for 2024.

You may also like our guide to 2 weeks in Peru itinerary for transport, tips, and tours.

Machu Picchu Rules 2024

Due to the bizarre desire for tourists to get their chebs out and the mass demand to see this wonder, visiting Machu Picchu is now restricted by the Peruvian government. Changes started in 2017, and they are pretty strict.

Firstly, the rules state you can not visit the Inca Citadel without an official guide, but the good news is that you can hire a guide at the gates.

Our friends did bypass having a guide, so it is not impossible. Please tell us what the situation is for you in the comments below.

Secondly, there are set circuits for you to follow.

Thirdly, most tickets have time slots.

Finally, time limits may be set at certain points to help with the flow of traffic, which is probably a benefit to all.

Tickets are available through GetYourGuide, see table, for most options in 2024. Let’s take a look at the Machu Picchu prices.

Machu Picchu Entrance Fees 2024

The following Machu Picchu price list is the official fees for 2022. There are several options, some of which you can choose a time slot.

*Warning: Some online services advertise advanced online tickets for cheaper, but when you go through the ticket, it is for the Andean community nations, not foreigners.

How to get to Machu Picchu 

Inca Trail

The highlight of any backpacking trip across South America is the hike to Machu Picchu.

There are many ways to get to the site, which is rightly accounted as one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world.

Most people opt for the classic way to Machu Picchu: a train ride to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) and then an early morning bus all the way to the entrance.

Others, though, dream of actually walking along the sacred way of the Incas and thus seeing the sunrise over Machu Picchu.

The only way that guarantees this – regardless of the season and the sunrise time – is via the official Inca Trail.

All other hikes finish in Aguas Calientes and then require you to either walk or take the bus to the entrance of the site, which opens at 6am, and – provided the sun hasn’t risen already – rush all the way to the Inti Punku sun gate.

This is not necessary with the traditional Inca Trail trek.

However, the Inca Trail has to be booked well in advance, so your visit to Machu Picchu has to be planned well.

The Peruvian government issues the passes/permits (only 180-200 persons per day are allowed on the trail) at the beginning of January, and they are usually sold out for the year within a couple of weeks.

Hiking the Inca Trail is an incredible, exhilarating and exhausting experience.

During the hike, it is possible to visit some otherwise inaccessible sites. The trek’s landscape is breathtaking – and not just caused by the altitude (make sure you are properly insured; see below for what we mean by ‘properly’!)

The trekking consists of long hikes, cold temperatures during the night, rain during the day, and meals in the kitchen tent.

The companionship with the rest of the group, the disgusting toilets in the base camps, and the fact that it is virtually impossible to shower for the four days of the hike all add to this unforgettable experience.

And then, the cherry on the cake: a 3am wake-up call to start walking in the dark and reach the Inti Punku in time for sunrise.

At that stage of the night, there is still the uncertainty that the day’s weather will have mercy on you and that the sun will show up, but then it happens; it’s there, Machu Picchu in all its glory.

  • Walking Distance: 43km/26 miles
  • Duration:  4 days/3 nights
  • Highlights: Machu Picchu Inca Trail is the most famous Peruvian trail
  • Downside: Pre-book 6 months in advance / restricted numbers/expense
  • Tip: The Inca Trail closes for the month of February
  • Recommendation: Claudia from My Adventures Across the World
Stunning light over Machu Picchu in Peru

One-Day Inca Trail / KM 104 Trail / Short Inca

Getting to Machu Picchu via the one-day Inca Trail consists of a beautiful train journey.

To access the one-day Inca Trail hike, you take the Peru Rail Vistadome train (see below) from Cusco, heading towards Aguas Calientes, the town that Machu Picchu is located in.

However, you will disembark the train around 30 minutes before Aguas Calientes at what will appear to be the middle of nowhere, the stop KM 104. 

The Vistadome train has windows that scale to the roof, allowing you to fully absorb the beauty of it, curving through the crevices of the Andes Mountains.

Don’t get too lost in the beauty of the landscape, as you’ll have to hop off of the train at this no man’s land, KM 104.

From KM 104, the hike will take you into the Andes Mountains and scale you up, down, and around this mind-blowing mountain range.

It is an intermediate hike that can take anywhere from 5-8 hours.

There are plenty of steep climbs and tight curves, but they are all worth the stunning views from the top of the world in Peru.

Make sure to take at least 2 litres of water per person for this hike and plenty of snacks.

There will be a few overhangs and places to stop and enjoy a rest and refuel. Also, make sure to pack a poncho in case you encounter rain on the trail.

Once you’ve finished the hike and explored the magnificent Machu Picchu, you can take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, a town where you can spend the night, or take the Peru Rail train back to Cusco.

  • Walking Distance: 15km / 9 miles
  • Duration: 1 or 2 days (2 days more realistic)
  • Train from Sacred Valley: 1.5 hours/Train from Cusco: 3 hours
  • Trek: 5-8 hours
  • Tip: 1-day hike – take the earliest train (before 9am) as the gates close at stages
  • Tip: The Inca Trail closes for the month of February
  • Highlights: Train views, quick
  • Downside: Inca Trail requires a pre-booked permit (6 months in advance)
  • Recommendation: by Scott & Collette from Roamaroo

Although the most sought-after, do not stress if you cannot plan as far ahead as the Inca Trail dictates. There are other options.

One-Day Inca Trail - KM 104 Trail - Short Inca | How to get to Machu Picchu Peru | Roamaroo

Here’s How to Reach Machu Picchu Without the Inca Trail

Machu Picchu by Train

The easiest and quickest way to get from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu, is by taking the Machu Picchu train.

There are three types of train services that reach Aguas Calientes: Expedition, Vistadom, and Belmond Hiram Bingham.

The journey takes about 3.5 hours, and the price varies throughout the year for each option.

The Expedition train is for budget travellers.

As this is the most affordable option, you have to book way in advance. It sells out.

The Vistadom train, which is a more expensive panoramic train, offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. You can see birds flying above the train through the large windows on the ceiling.

This experience allows visitors to connect with nature.

It is an air-conditioned train with comfortable chairs. It costs only a bit more than the cheaper Expedition train ($105+ one way), and it is worth the money.

The Belmond Hiram Bingham is the most luxurious option (images below).

These trains are painted blue, and inside, they are decorated in the style of the 1920s Pullman trains.

If you want to feel like you are on the Orient Express, try this transport option to the Machu Picchu.

This price includes dinner and a tour of Machu Picchu.

If you want to continue with luxury, check out this review of Belmond Sanctuary Review.

  • Booking Information: Book via Perurail
  • Duration: 3.5-4 hours
  • Highlights: Budget-friendly option, quick, no hike, good views
  • Downside: No hike, lower-class train envy
  • Recommendation: by Barbara from Jet Settera
  • Images via Belmond Hiram Bingham
Machu Picchu llama lying down

Lares Trek

The Inca Trail is closed, but I want to hike to Machu Picchu!

Don’t panic!

The Lares Trek to Machu Picchu is a 4-day/3-night trek that involves camping for two nights and a hotel stay on the night before Machu Picchu.

The Lares Trek starts with a bus journey, then breakfast at Lares Hot Springs, where you can take a dip in the warm waters.

The day one hike ends at Cuncani, where hikers meet with local children before dining then an early bedtime.

Day 2 kicks off with a 5:00 wake-up call, breakfast, and then a day of hiking.

This is the hardest day as the trek involves a climb to 4650m (15255ft) above sea level at Condor’s Pass.

Day 3 is relatively easy: hiking to Pumahuacuanca for lunch, a bus ride to Ollantaytambo, and then the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo (also called Aguas Calientes).

Dinner is in a restaurant tonight, and hikers have the chance to shower and sleep in a hotel bed.

Day 4 is another early rise for Machu Picchu day.

Remember your passport, or you will not gain entry.

Buses leave from Aguas Calientes all day (see below for more details); the earlier you can take the bus, the better to avoid the crowds at Machu Picchu.

Be warned, there are hidden costs of trekking to Machu Picchu – the tips.

This will differ depending on who is in the trek team but averages out at around 65 soles (£14) per person.

We trekked to Machu Picchu with Alpaca Expeditions, which is regarded as the best Machu Picchu company online and by word of mouth, hence the expense of the trip.

They promote ethical working conditions for their staff, which is an important factor of sustainable travel (many companies say they do this but do not). Choose your company wisely.

  • Walking Distance: 33 km/20.5miles
  • Duration: 4 days/3 nights
  • Highlights: Hike, meet locals, camp + hotel, no 6-month pre-booking required
  • Downside: Early rises, camping, very high altitude
  • Recommendation: by us, Gemma and Craig from Two Scots Abroad
  • More details: Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

» Check competitive prices and reviews of Lares Trek here «

Stone crater with water on Lares Trail in Peru

Inca Jungle Trek

Of all of the possible ways to get to Machu Picchu in Peru, the most adventurous option is the Inca Jungle Trek, which includes a wide variety of different adrenaline-filled activities.

The most usual form of the Inca Jungle Trek has a 4-day/3 night itinerary, but it is also possible to do so in this shorter version, which takes only 3 days/2 nights.

During these four days, travellers have the chance to test themselves in downhill mountain biking, river rafting, and even zip-lining.

Hostels are the main form of accommodation used during the Inca Jungle Trek, but like the Lares Trek, the last night before the visit to Machu Picchu, you stay in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

On day one, the trek starts with a 3-hour drive to Abra Malaga Pass at 4,316 m altitude, from where you will descend by bicycle to 1,196m in less than 60 km.

The downhill is very steep at certain points, so you have to be careful. In the afternoon, there is optional rafting in Santa Maria (grades 3 and 4).

On day two, it is time to hike in the jungle from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa.

The trek takes around 7 hours, and you will have the chance to enjoy the beauty of the jungle in the Cusco region.

On day 3, those who are not tired of adventure can try the tallest zip-lining in South America, and the day is finished with a 3-hour trek from “Hidroelectrica” to Aguas Calientes. Day 4 is fully dedicated to visiting Machu Picchu.

  • Duration: 3 days/2 nights or 4 days/3 nights
  • Highlights: Adrenaline rush/hostels, no 6-month pre-booking required
  • Downside: Not for the faint-hearted or unfit
  • Recommendation: by Rachele and Gábor from Surfing the Planet

> Check availability for Jungle Treks here <

Green landscape of Peru Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu

Salkantay Trek

Trek for 3, 4, or 5 days through remote mountain passes and verdant tropical Andean forest.

Optional activities along the Salkantay Trek include hot springs (pack mosquito repellent), zip-lining, a train ride, and horseback riding up to the steepest point of the trek. On the final day, you visit Machu Picchu. The amazing Salkantay Trek is a lifetime experience.

  • Walking Distance: 60km/37 miles
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Highlights: No six-month pre-booking required, excellent scenery
  • Downside: Altitude, long hike
  • Recommendation: by Jessica from Longest Bus Ride

> Check availability and rates of Salkantay here <

Cloudy day on the Salkantay Trek Peru

Choquequirao Trek

The Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu is an adventure in the truest sense. While the end goal of this 8-9 day trek may be Machu Picchu, the true highlight is hiking in solitude and passing through the expansive yet vacant Choquequirao ruins along the way.

The Incan complex of Choquequirao may very well be the next Machu Picchu, sprawling more than 18km. Now is really the chance to go before they build a teleferico lift.

The Choquequirao Trek begins from just outside of Cachora. Days 1-2 are tough, as hikers make a steep descent into the Apurimac Canyon and an even sharper ascent up the other side.

The difficult dip is worth all the effort as the Choquequirao ruins soon come into view! Days 3-5 are spent passing over high-altitude ridges, retired Inca Trails, and challenging switchbacks in near isolation.

Finally, on days 6-8, hikers will join up with the better travelled Salkantay Trail and finish on their way to Hydroelectric.

From there, it’s just a train ride to Aguas Calientes and a bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu.

 The Choquequirao trek is rugged and tough at times but truly worth the experience.

  • Distance:  64 km / 40 miles
  • Duration: 8-9 days
  • Highlights: Choquequirao ruins, satisfaction
  • Downside: Intense hike, high altitude
  • Recommendation: by Taylor and Daniel from Travel Outlandish

High-altitude travel insurance is essential; check out our backpacking insurance guide for tips.

Deep green landscape of the Choquequirao Trek in Peru

Lesser-Known Treks to Machu Picchu

Vilcabamba Trail/Trek

Vilcabamba Trail/Trek is very much one of the lesser-known hikes to Machu Picchu. It is common for hikers not to see any other tourists until they reach Santa Theresa. The route takes you along the royal roads that the Incas used and past snow-capped mountains. It is very remote.

  • Distance: 48 km/30 miles
  • Duration: 5 days/4 nights (8-hour bus journey to start)
  • Highlights: Remote
  • Downside: Physically hard / not available from December to March

The Lodge Trek

Hey, flashpackers! The Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu is for you. Like some high-class monkey swinging from tree to tree, you bounce from hotel to hotel each night, taking in the highlights of the journey to Machu Picchu, including a trip to the Sacred Valley (below), without having to touch a sleeping bag. The Lodge Trek does include short hikes (3-4 hours) but often ends the day at the Jacuzzi!

  • Duration: 9 days/8 nights (Cusco included)
  • Highlights: Luxury
  • Downside: Expensive / Length

The Chaski (or Cachicata) Trail

One of the newest treks to hit the Peru scene is the Chaski Trail, which is also known as the Cachicata Trail. It is less demanding than other treks, so an ideal trail for less experienced trekkers.

The bus from Cusco takes you through the Sacred Valley to the town of Socma (near Ollantaytambo, below), where you hike past waterfalls and meet with the local community to learn about traditional Andean life. The second day is the longest hike, which lasts around four hours and ends at Cachicata.

Day 3, the group makes their way to Ollantaytambo to take the Machu Picchu train to Aguas Calientes. Like the Lares Trek, day four is spent at Machu Picchu.

  • Walking Distance: 25 km / 15.5 miles
  • Duration: 4 days/3 nights
  • Highlights: Perfect for new hikers
  • Downside: Fewer companies offer this new trek

Huchuy Qosqo (Small/Little Cusco) Trek

The shortest of all the treks, the Huchuy Qosqo Trek, is a mere three day/2 night trip which involves camping for one night and a stay at a hotel in Aguas Calientes (below) the night before visiting Machu Picchu.

The hike, which can be completed without a tour of Machu Picchu, starts just 15 minutes outside of Cusco, which keeps costs down.

  • Walking Distance: 18km/11 miles
  • Duration:  2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 night (with Machu Picchu extension)
  • Highlights: Budget-friendly / starts close to Cusco
  • Downside: Fewer companies offer this trek

How to See Machu Picchu on the Cheap

Warning: these two options are not for everyone and may involve skill to avoid walking into the train guards around Ollantaytambo (at the start, follow the tracks but not on the tracks) and lying (say you have lost your hiking group) to execute. Intrigued? You should be…

DIY Machu Picchu Trek

If you want to spend less but get the same experience, you don’t have to sign up with a tour agency to get to Machu Picchu.

Here’s how you can do it yourself.

From Cusco, take a shared Colectivo found at Plaza de Armas to Ollantaytambo.

You will also have the opportunity to stay in this town for a while, take some pictures and enjoy the view.

From Ollantaytambo, hop in another shared taxi/van ride to KM 82.

Nope, you are not going to take the train ride, but you will be walking its tracks to go up.

Depending on your speed, the 28km walk duration is 7-8 hours.

I was with a group of Argentines who walked really fast so we did it for 5 hours, but I was dead by the time we reached Aguas Calientes!

It was so hard to keep up with a fast group, so make sure you are physically fit if you are to do this.

You will probably have to spend the night in Aguas Calientes to prepare for the hike the following day.

There are numerous hostels in this town, but please do not expect a good one as this is a ‘come and go’ area where people only sleep and carry on the hike.

The next day, start the hike up around 3:30 to see the sunrise.

If you do not want to wake up early or are too tired to hike up, you can catch a bus that will take you all the way up to Machu Picchu.

  • Walking Distance: 28km + 390 metres/1280 feet
  • Duration:  2 days
  • Highlights: Budget-friendly, cheapest way to Machu Picchu
  • Downside: Level of fitness required / safety / have to avoid train guards
  • Recommendation: by Trisha at P.S I’m On My Way

Walking From Ollantaytambo

To travel to Machu Picchu on a tight budget, take a local bus (from Plaza de Armas) hitchhike from Cusco then take a minivan taxi to Ollantaytambo.

This should be a two-hour trip.

At Ollantaytambo, you can visit the ruins and then the market, which is a good place to buy some snacks for the trip.

From Ollantaytambo, walk to Aguas Calientes by the railway path area (being mindful of the train guards).

The walk is 32km and well signposted.

It is very easy to navigate!

Locals and other tourists can be seen walking the railway path, too.

This walk can be a little hardcore, 7 hours in total.

Part of the route is an amazing walk next to the river, where you can hear the sounds of the river flowing, with a picturesque view.

Be aware of your surroundings; sometimes, there is a need to move away from the noisy yet slow oncoming trains.

This walk is one of the cheapest ways to go to Machu Picchu and one of the best, especially for those who love trekking and hiking.

It is highly recommended to take food and water, a flashlight for when it starts to get dark and to wear decent trekking shoes. From here, hike to Machu Picchu (see above) or take the bus (see below).

This route can be hiked to Aguas Calientes and back to Ollantaytambo.

  • Walking Distance: 32km
  • Duration: 9-10 hours one-way
  • Highlights: Hike, meet locals, budget-friendly, cheapest way to Machu Picchu
  • Downside: Hitchhiking, intense hike, safety / have to avoid train guards
  • Recommendation: Ruben from Gamin Travel

Machu Picchu Escorted Tours

There are many companies who will create tailor-made tours to Machu Picchu, and of course, that comes with a heftier price tag than organising a trip independently.

However, you have the satisfaction that all aspects of the trip to Machu Picchu will be covered, from transport to entrance fees, with the added bonus of knowledgeable tour guides who can discuss Machu Picchu’s history with you.

Hikes at Machu Picchu
Huayna Picchu/Wayna Picchu

Due to popularity, only 200 climbers per day are allocated slots to climb Wayna Picchu ‘Young Mountain’ (Huayna Picchu).

The ascent takes around one hour and involves some scrambling using hands and feet.

The path may be wet to hike, so carefully creating a good distance from the climbers in front is recommended.

The Machu Picchu with Huchuy Picchu tickets are available in hourly slots from 6am to 12pm.

  • Duration:  1 hour 45 mins (although some sites claim 3-4 hours)/ final ascent 2 hours before closing time
  • Highlights: Views of the Citadel
  • Downside: Steep but no technical ability required

Read more: Where to stay in Cusco before/after your tour.

Machu Picchu Mountain

Machu Picchu Mountain (Cerro Machu Picchu) Peru’s ‘Old Mountain’ is less touched by tourists, so easier to buy tickets.

The mountain trek is open from 7-8am and then 9-10am but an early start is advisable to avoid the midday heat.

This may mean that you are tackling the thousands of steps through the morning mist, but it appears to be worth it to watch the Machu Picchu ruins appear through the clouds. 

Climbers must exit by 3pm.

  • Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours (although some sites say the average is 4 hours)
  • Maximum 400 climbers per day
  • Highlights: Seeing Machu Picchu ruins from another angle
  • Downside: Often misty first thing

Overall Tips – Machu Picchu Information

Machu Picchu Tickets 2024

You must pre-pay for your tickets to Machu Picchu before you arrive, and you must take your passport with you to Machu Picchu. Do not do as Craig did and leave it in the hotel!

Remember to collect your cool Machu Picchu stamp at the entrance.

Booking Machu Picchu tickets (and above hikes) can be done online at the official government website (price quoted in Peruvian Sol). It is not the most straightforward, though, so please read the next paragraph.

Machu Picchu Entrance Fees 2024

The following Machu Picchu price list is the official fees for 2022. There are several options, some of which you can choose a time slot.

*Warning: Some online services advertise advanced online tickets for cheaper, but when you go through the ticket, it is for the Andean community nations, not foreigners.

Machu Picchu Opening Times

The new opening times for Machu Picchu come in time slots

The site opens at 6am and closes at 5:30pm with four-hour ticketed slots running throughout the day. 

Aguas Caliente to Machu Picchu

Buses from Aguas Caliente start from 5am and run every 10-20 minutes until 15:30. The last entry for Machu Picchu is 16:00.

The bus takes around 30 minutes and can be purchased on the day or pre-booked in Aguas Caliente or in Cusco at the Consettur Machupicchu SAC office (Avenida Pardo) the day before.

We took the bus from Aguas Caliente and then walked back after the morning at Machu Picchu. The well-signposted walk took around 1 hour and was relatively easy.

There are frequent buses from Machu Picchu to Aguas Caliente directly outside of the entrance.

Aguas Calientes Accommodation

Aguas Calientes Hotels

There are over 100 hotels in Aguas Calientes, so you are not stumped for choice! All cater to visitors getting up early and/or arriving late. Hotels start at around $30-$2000.

The Belmond Luxury Lodge is the most sought-after luxury accommodation in Machu Picchu.

The lodge has stunning views of  Huayna Picchu Mountain and is located in a serene setting. Rooms are fully equipped, and some have private patios. The Tampu Restaurant boasts panoramic views of the jungle. Rooms start at £900 but sell out very fast.

Check the best deals on Machu Picchu hotels here.

Aguas Calientes waters in Peru

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a thing, and it can hit anyone hard.

You must acclimatise before setting off on your desired Machu Picchu hike or trip. Spend a couple of days in Cusco, especially if you are arriving straight from the capital, Lima.

Craig and I were both OK after spending 1.5 weeks travelling from Lima via the hop-on/off bus, Peru Hop, experiencing many of Peru’s tourist attractions, such as sandboarding at Huachachina and a boat ride at Isla Ballestas.

However, two members of our trek were hit badly by the altitude.

One rode by donkey for most of the trek, and the other required gas. It is also worth purchasing coca leaves before your trek.

This local energy boost remedy is placed inside the cheeks and sucked. Make sure you have acceptable travel insurance coverage. What do you mean by acceptable?

Check if your insurer covers you at high altitudes like ours, True Traveller, does.

I shopped around extensively, and many do not cover you at this height.

Two members of our party were very sick; take your health seriously before you fly. Check out if True Traveller is right for you here.

Best Time to visit Machu Picchu

May through to September, Peruvian winter (dry season) is the best time to visit Machu Picchu, with May being the optimum month.

However, we hiked in April and were told that our weather (drizzle) was not ‘normal’ for that time of year, with El Niño being blamed by locals in Cusco.

October to April is the wet season. February is the rainiest month and also when the Inca trail is closed, so consider one of the other Machu Picchu tours (or Machu Picchu tour packages) during this month.

How to Get to Machu Picchu from Lima

So now that you have all of the Machu Picchu information that you need and you are buzzing about your trip to one of South America’s most popular tourist attractions, you probably should work out how to get from Peru’s capital to Lima to the Cusco/Cuzco.

The most efficient yet expensive way is by internal flight.

There are several airlines, such as Star Peru and Aviana, which make this trip.

Lima to Machu Picchu is a common journey, but please read for guidance on altitude sickness before you book the trip.

Many backpackers who are travelling around Peru use the safe and fun hop-on/off bus service, Peru Hop.

This was how we backpacked around Peru; you can read our honest review of the tour.

We loved it so much that we used the sister company, Bolivia Hop, to get us out of Peru and over to La Paz.

The alternative is to use public buses from Lima to Cusco, which is the cheapest option but is also a long 20+ hour journey.

I’d recommend splitting up the journey by stopping at Arequipa or one of the other smaller towns mentioned above on the way.

Inca Trail Packing List (+ Other hikes)

Trekking to Machu Picchu can mean hiking in all four seasons. We experienced rain, shine, and even snow!

The number one priority for your Machu Picchu packing list must be footwear.

It is recommended that you have well-worn trekking boots or shoes as well as a good raincoat or strong poncho.

The trekking company often provides the latter.

Your Machu Picchu trek company will most likely provide a small bag for you to store clothes and toiletries, which is carried by the porters and donkeys who trek with you, leaving your rucksack stored in your Cusco hostel; this is common.

You may also like our hiking packing lists for the Inca, Jungle, Salkantay and Lares treks.

Your Machu Picchu day pack should include a poncho or raincoat, suntan lotion, money, water, a camera, and, of course, your passport <— do not forget this!

Whether you decide to train, hike or bike, there is an option for every type of traveller who wants to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu.

Nearly one million people see this Inca wonder; the big question is how will you get to Machu Picchu?!

Oh, and don’t forget that travel insurance for a tranquilo trip.

Couple smiling at camera with Machu Picchu in backgroun in Peru

48 thoughts on “14 Ways to Get to Machu Picchu [2024] Entrance Fees, Rules + Routes

  1. Mike says:

    I found out the hotel we had stayed at about 30 years ago (about $150) and again about 12 years ago (about $350) was owned by country of Peru. It was sold to an UPscale hotel chain. Rooms now start at about $1800!!!
    Sanctuary Lodge, A Belmond Hotel, Machu Picchu

    • Two Scots Abroad says:

      Whoah! What a cool experience you got before it went fully luxury! Thanks so much for coming back to us.

  2. mike thaler says:

    What happened to the hotel WITHIN Machupichu? We stayed in it about 10 years ago. It had been there for years. My parents stayed there about 20-30 years before that. Expensive – but you got to see both sunset and sunrise without hordes of tourists.

  3. Jules says:

    Hi Gemma!

    My name is Julie and I saw your blog of Machu Picchu and was hoping you can give me some pointers!

    I’m traveling to Peru in August just for 3 days and landing in Lima the first day. I want to go to Machu Picchu a day then the Oasis on another day. I know they are all in separate places so I’m hoping you can give me any pointers that you got on your trip there. I want to go to Machu Picchu with the least amount of wait time as possible. If that means we have to hike a bit I’m okay with that. I have only one day there and I want to get to the most famous part of it. I think it’s the Huayna Picchu but correct me if I’m wrong it’s the famous IG one. 🙂 Also I’m clueless on the booking tickets etc so any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Two Scots Abroad says:

      Hi Jules.

      Peru is a great choice! Things to consider:

      1. You’ll need to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco – everything you need to know is in this article.
      2. You may suffer from altitude sickness

      We have heaps of Peru content to help plan you trip, starting here.

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