How to Visit Machu Picchu. A detailed guide. - Yaba Travellers
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-2672,single-format-standard,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1400,qode_popup_menu_text_scaledown,footer_responsive_adv,transparent_content,qode-theme-ver-16.0,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.7,vc_responsive

How to Visit Machu Picchu. A detailed guide.

How to Visit Machu Picchu. A detailed guide.

Machu Picchu is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A city of the Incas, a representative sample of their culture that is still shrouded in mystery. If you add the “special” location of the city, somewhere between the Andes Mountains, hidden in the clouds then you have in front of you a must-visit place once in your lifetime! Now the most important question is how to visit Machu Picchu? To solve this important question we gathered as much useful information as we could on our visit and we quote it below.

So, keep reading!

An amazing experience is about to begin!


Useful information about Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters while the nearest town with airplane access is Cusco. It is included in the seven modern wonders of the world and in recent years is a very hot tourist destination. The city was brought to the surface in 1911 by Professor Hiram Bingham. However, its existence was already known to the locals as when Hiram “found” Machu Picchu, there were two families living there! The entrance fee for 2019 is $ 70 per person (adult). The cost, if you want to visit the opposite mountain (Huayna Picchu) goes to $ 86 total. Tickets can be purchased electronically from the not so friendly official site –, or from a tour agency, or of course from the ministry office at Cusco (Calle Garcilaso Street). If you intend to travel high season, June – August make sure you book your tickets earlier because there is a possibility that you will not find availability!


By what means can you reach?

How to Visit Machu Picchu? There are several ways to get there. However, the four main ones are: By train, following a trek only with a tour and not by yourself, on foot and by bus! The question is, how to visit Machu Pichu to enjoy it more. And the truth is that it depends on what you are looking for in this journey. Another important factor that you will need to take into account when choosing the way of your visit, is of course the budget. But do not worry, we will analyze everything later.

SOS Tip: Whichever way you go, be sure to have your passport to enter Machu Picchu.


How to Visit Machu Picchu by Train


The easiest and fastest way to get to Machu Picchu is by train. The cities from which the trains start to the city of Aguas Calientes (the closest to Machu Picchu) are Cusco and Ollantaytambo. The companies that serve the visitors are PeruRail and Inca Rail. There is of course another train that serves only the locals. PeruRail has three different trains, which as you rightly suspect differ in price and services. The most economical is the Expedition Train, which we also took on our return from Machu Pichu after the trek (we will talk about this below). The cost for one way was $ 61 per person. The train is really nice with big windows even on the roof that offers great views. So to be honest we do not find much reason to give more money to other trains.



However, if you have some extra dollars to spend there is the Vistadome Train and the Belmond Hiram Bingham. The first will cost you $ 20 more than the Expedition and the essential difference is that the roof also has glass offering even more panoramic views. Belmond Hiram Bingham is another accusation! Luxury at its best! Of course, the cost is completely out of the question (around $ 400 one way). The 2nd company, Inca Rail is newer and essentially has a train with two categories of seats. The executive and the first. The executive costs about the same as the Expedition Train and offers the same service.

Extra tips if you choose the train.

  • The train is convenient if you want to visit Machu Picchu on the same day.
  • The train will take you to Aguas Calientes. From there to reach your final destination, you will need to take a bus that takes about 25 minutes.
  • It is a good idea to book train tickets in advance, either electronically or through an agency.
  • You can arrange your visit yourself, or book a tour with a guide and the office can arrange everything for you but at an extra cost. Cusco which is the largest city near Machu Pichu has many offices to arrange it.


Useful web addresses

For PeruRail:

For the Inca Rail:

How to visit Machu Picchu following the classic Inca Trail.

We basically mean how to get to Machu Picchu following a trek. The same one as Incas did. This way is aimed at those who love adventure, have more time to devote, and want to walk of course! (a lot!!) We chose this way and the truth is that the experience was unique. In addition to Machu Picchu which is the highlight, you can explore other Inca cities as well as incredible Andean landscapes. The trek we did was the classic Inca Trail, which lasts 4 days / 3 nights (you are camping)! However, there are other treks. The shortest and easiest is the one that lasts 2 days / 1 night, while there is also the Lares Trek and the Salkantay trek, the most difficult which usually lasts 4 nights / 5 days.

Watch this unique experience through our video



As for the classic Inca Trail that we did (but also all the treks) you can only do it through an agency as you need a special permit from the state. A maximum of 500 licenses issued per day, which include the licenses of porters, drivers, and visitors. So basically 200 tourists a day can get permission for the trail. That’s why it’s a good idea to book it early. Along the way, there are checkpoints where documents and permits are checked. These treks usually include everything in the price. The entrance fee for Machu Picchu, the food, the services of tour guides and porters as well as return tickets by train and bus. We did the trek with the company Alpaca Expeditions and we were completely happy.



Extra tips if you choose the classic Inca Trail.

  • The cost is about $ 650 per person (all-in).
  • It lasts 4 days / 3 nights and the distance you will need to travel is 42 kilometers. The highest passage is 4200 meters.
  • You should definitely have your passport with you for the checkpoints and you need it to enter Machu Picchu.
  • The biggest part of the trail is ascent – descent on stairs. So it is good to be prepared with your physical condition.
  • You will need trekking shoes, waterproof
  • The Inca Trail is closed in February.

How to visit Machu Picchu alone (by bus & on foot).

The cheapest way to visit Machu Picchu is DIY! You will also need to be patient and adventurous. Your pocket, however, will be happy! In Plaza de Armas, the main square of Cusco you will find some mini-van, the collectivo. You have to board on someone heading to Ollantaytambo. The cost is about $ 3. From there you have two options. Either you take a taxi to the 82nd kilometer where from there you continue in parallel on the train tracks (5 hours walk), or you start from the beginning following the rails (7 hours walk). Your final destination in both cases is the city of Aguas Calientes (the closest to Machu Picchu) where you will need to spend the night. The next day if you have the courage you can start early in the morning and walk to Machu Picchu, following a fairly steep road, or alternatively take a bus that takes just 25 minutes and costs about $ 9.


Extra tips if you choose to do it yourself with an extra low budget.

  • You will have to walk about 30 kilometers.
  • You will need to spend 2 days, as you will need to spend a night in Aguas Calientes.
  • It’s definitely the most economical way to visit Machu Picchu, however, you have to be extra careful.
  • There are guards on the train tracks (at the beginning) just because you are not allowed to walk parallel to the rails. You will need to either say a very good excuse or skip them by discovering a hidden alley (yes, there are).


How much it will cost you to visit Machu Picchu?

Although we gave you an idea about the costs, we will try to make your travel dream come true. In this paragraph, we’ve gathered all the costs so that you have a clearer picture.

So if you choose the train:

  • The most economical train (the Expedition), $ 140 roundtrip
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (roundtrip) $ 18
  • Admission to Machu Picchu (only) $ 70

In total its  about $ 230 (this price, of course, can exceed a thousand if you choose the most expensive train)

If you choose Inca Trail:

  • 4 days / 3 nights $ 650, all-in – they arrange it all (including the Machu Picchu ticket as well as the return train).

If you choose to do it very economically by foot and bus:

  • From Cusco to Ollantaytambo with a $ 3 mini-van
  • Walk to Aguas Calientes (7-8 hours)
  • Overnight at a hostel in Aguas Calientes $ 15
  • Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu (roundtrip) $ 18
  • Admission to Machu Picchu (only) $ 70

In total it’s around $ 110.


The truth is that for us the Inca Trail experience, although it was most expensive, for sure was an amazing experience. Its journey within a journey! Also, you have the opportunity to see so much beauty on this trail, that Machu Picchu itself is just the icing on the cake. The most popular and most relaxing way is the train all the way through and finally the most economical is with improvisation. We believe we gave you all the options on How to Visit Machu Picchu but whichever way you choose just remember to enjoy it with your heart!

See more about our trip on Instagram (highlights stories #Incatrail).