Arriving at Machu Picchu’s Main Gate from Aguas Calientes: To reach Machu Picchu’s main gate from Aguas Calientes, you have two options. You can either embark on a scenic 1.5-hour hike or take a convenient bus ride that costs $12. The choice is yours, and you can even decide on the same day you plan to visit Machu Picchu. Regardless of the option you choose, your day will begin bright and early at 4 am with a delicious breakfast at your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
If you choose to WALK from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, your journey will begin at around 4:30 am. You’ll start by walking from your hotel in Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Puente Ruinas serves as the first checkpoint, where you’ll need to present your Machu Picchu tickets and original passports to gain entry. Once you’ve passed the Puente Ruinas checkpoint, you’ll embark on an uphill hike to Machu Picchu, climbing approximately 1,700 steps. This ascent typically takes between one hour to one hour and 20 minutes. Upon reaching the main gate of Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide to enter the site and begin your unforgettable exploration of this ancient Inca citadel.
If you opt to take the BUS from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, you’ll need to purchase a bus ticket in town, either the night before or on the same morning. Each one-way bus ticket costs $12. Once you have your ticket, join the queue to board the first buses, which depart from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am. The bus ride takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Machu Picchu. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you’ll meet up with your group and guide around 6 am to enter the site and begin exploring the remarkable ancient Inca city together.
MACHU PICCHU GUIDED TOUR:
Our program includes a Machu Picchu ticket, with the primary circuit options being either circuit 01 or 02. If there is no availability for the first choice, we will include circuit 03 or 04. Ticket availability depends on the time of booking, so if you prefer the primary circuit options, we recommend booking well in advance. For more information about the different circuits and ticket details, please visit our website or contact us directly. Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, our experienced tour guide will lead you on a 2.5-hour guided exploration of the Inca city, following the circuit outlined in your ticket. The guide will share insights about the history and significance of Machu Picchu while allowing time for photographs and taking in the breathtaking views. You’ll visit the most iconic locations within the site during the tour.
At the conclusion of the guided tour, you will have some leisure time to explore and relax on your own. If you have arranged to hike Huayna Picchu (which must be booked ahead of time, as it is a popular option that sells out quickly and costs $60 per person), your guide will direct you to the starting point. The hike will take no more than 2 hours to complete, with a round-trip time.
Alternatively, you may choose to hike Machu Picchu Mountain instead of Huayna Picchu. This hike is more challenging and takes a minimum of three hours for the round-trip (at an additional cost of $60 per person).
For those considering either of the mountain climbs, we recommend opting for the train return to Cusco to allow more time to explore the mountains. If you prefer to return by car, we suggest spending an additional night in Aguas Calientes and departing by car on the sixth day from the Hydroelectric station. This will give you ample time to fully experience the beauty of the mountains and make the most of your journey.
After immersing yourself in the wonders of Machu Picchu and exploring its surroundings, it’s time to make your way back to Cusco. We offer two convenient options for your return journey: by car or by train. Both options ensure a smooth and comfortable trip to Cusco.
If you choose to return BY CAR, you will need to begin your walk from Machu Picchu to Hidroelectrica around 10:30 am. This trek typically takes 3 to 3.5 hours to complete. It is essential to reach Hidroelectrica by 2:00 pm in order to board the car, which is scheduled to depart at 2:30 pm. The car journey from Hidroelectrica to Cusco takes approximately 6 hours, and you can expect to arrive in Cusco around 9:30 pm. Upon arrival, you will be dropped off in the city center of Cusco.
If you opt to return BY TRAIN to Cusco after visiting Machu Picchu, you have two options for getting to the town of Aguas Calientes. You can either walk down for 1.5 hours, or take a bus that takes just 30 minutes but costs 12 dollars. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you’ll have time to explore the town and have lunch before returning to your hotel to gather your belongings and head to the train station. The train to Ollantaytambo is available at either 2:30 pm or 2:55 pm, depending on availability, and the journey takes 1.5 hours, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, a transfer arranged by Machu Picchu Reservations or with your name on it will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, a 2-hour journey, arriving around 6:30 pm and dropping you off in the city center.