Cusco is the main access point for Machu Picchu. From Cusco, you need to reach Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes can be reached via train, trek, or else a combination of bus and walking. Once you get to Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu lies at the top of the mountain above the small town.
Getting from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
There are 3 options for you to choose from –
- Trekking from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
- Taking the Train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
- Taking the Bus from Cusco to Aguas Calientes(Not recommended)
Getting From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Walk up the steep hill (around 2 hours, semi-difficult)
- Take a bus (quite expensive for a short journey)
Note: If you book a tour to Machu Picchu (via a trek or train), most companies will have a local guide assisting you with getting from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and then up to Machu Picchu.
Important: To access Machu Picchu, you MUST have an entrance ticket purchased in advance…they are NOT sold at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Tickets are usually included as part of any tour or trek to Machu Picchu. Tickets are limited, so it is recommended to book a tour or trek at least a week in advance.
It is NOT recommended to buy your own ticket and make your own way to Machu Picchu, as it will end up probably costing more money and being a lot of hassle. You cannot enter Machu Picchu without hiring a local guide, and figuring out the transport can be a pain. For this reason we recommend a tour or trek.
Be careful with the company you choose for a tour or trek. There have been hundreds of tourists scammed in the past. Usually if a price seems too cheap to be true, it usually is.
We recommend the following formal companies who have years of experience and good feedback from our 250,000 customers:
- 1 Day Tour by Train: Haku Travel
- 2 Day Tour by Train: Machu Picchu Experiences
- 4 Day Inka Jungle Trek: Haku Travel
- 4 Day Salkantay Trek: Sam Travel Peru
Visit our guide to Machu Picchu tickets for more information about how to get your tickets.