The so-called “Lost City of the Incas”,hidden from people’s view, overgrown in the dense jungle on the peaks of the Peruvian Andes. The city was rediscovered in 1911.
Today it is one of the most sought-after attractions in Peru. It is located near Cusco, a starting point city. From there you can get to Aguas Calientes, a town directly below Machu Picchu.
The town of the Incas is placed at an altitude of 2430 meters with many stone buildings, sidewalks, parks. The bases are terraces with a lot of stairs, so you’ll be walking most of the time.
The most famous buildings include the Temple of the Sun, Intihuatana, Sun Gate, Stone Bridge.
ADVICE! The number of visitors is limited, tickets cannot be bought on the spot, so it is necessary to buy tickets in advance via the official website:
Plan your trip well.
Time is limited and the ticket will cost you about 41 EUR / 45 USD.
Machu Picchu – Perspectives
In addition to the complex itself, which offers incredible views of the city’s ruins and surrounding Andes valleys, you have two options to enjoy the unique views of Machu Picchu and the Andes peaks.
Huayna (Wayna) Picchu and Montana (Machu) Picchu
Two mountains rising at opposite ends of the Incas city. You will need good shape and extra energy to climb here, but the whole trip will be worth it.
Entries here are also limited, in addition, they are limited by time. You can buy a ticket for a specific time and the last entry is at 10:00. It is because the ascent to the top will take few more hours.
Huayna Picchu is 2720 meters above sea level and Montaña (Machu) Picchu is 3061 meters above sea level.
You will pay 13 EUR / 15 USD for entering here.
Mahu Picchu – Transportation
There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu. Most tourists choose the route Cusco – Aguas Calientes and from there you get to The Lost City of the Incas.
Probably the most famous, but also the most expensive way of transport, is by train. A return trip in a panoramic car will cost you at least $100 and the trains are operated by two companies: PeruRail and IncaRail.
Undoubtedly it is very comfortable, with panoramic views, but without enjoying the real feeling of the atmosphere. You will also have to travel to the train station in Poroy or Ollantaytambo.
For those who like hiking and fitness, there is the Inca Trail. A few days of hiking through the Andes will get you straight from the mountains to the heart of Machu Picchu. You can choose from different difficulties and durations of the whole trip. This option is popular, however very limited by the daily maximum of people. Also, it is necessary to have a reservation in advance.
For this reason, there are other alternative routes for hiking, which you can book at one of the travel agencies directly in Cusco.
Travel by minibus from Cusco, through Santa Maria and Santa Teresa to the water station “Central Hidroelectrica” and from there on foot. This form of transport will get you many experiences in the form of crossing two alpine passes over 4000 m above sea level, adrenaline ride from Santa Teresa on a narrow unpaved road, full of deep slopes and old wooden bridges over the valley and the river, but also a stop in one of the many huts along the road where you will have the opportunity to refresh yourself and have one of the best burgers in your life.
You can choose from two transport options:
- If you choose the public transport option, you will head from the station towards Santa Maria. There you will most likely have to get a minibus to Santa Teresa. If you are lucky, you will get to the hydroelectric power station, otherwise, you will have to get a taxi or hitchhike.
- The second option we recommend is to book the entire Cusco-Hidroelectrica route through one of the many agencies right in the center of Cusco.
Both options are very similar in price, about 22 EUR / 25 USD.
Trek to Aquas Calientes
Once you reach Central Hidroelectrica, you will have about 11 kilometers to get to Aguas Calientes.
From here, you also have two options to choose from:
- The first, more expensive and boring, is the by train. This way of transport is enormously expensive for tourists (two-way ticket about 60 USD).
- Or use the second option. It will take a 2.5 to 3-hour long walk along the railway line at the Urubamba riverbed. The road basically leads through the forest and the peaks of the Andes will rise above you.
When you leave the hydroelectric station, you will soon have to cross the railway bridge (there is a pedestrian walkway), look at the top right behind the bridge and you will see the top of Huayna Picchu above you. And a view of Machu Picchu below.
Along the way, you may come across a few local businessmen who will offer smaller snacks or one of the cabins that are along the track. However, we recommend taking a smaller bottle of Pisca and Inca Cola with you 🙂
At the end of the road, you will have to cross the railway tunnel two times. They are not very long and even if the train passes through, you will know when it’s coming by its honking. From there, it is just a short walk to the Aguas Calientes destination.