How to get to Machu Picchu
Visitors to Machu Picchu usually leave Cuzco, either on a day trip or spend the night in Aguas Calientes, which allows you to visit the park early or late in the day and avoid the worst of the crowds.
Buses on arrival at Machu PicchuBuses on arrival at Machu Picchu
From Aguas Calientes, there are frequent buses that drop you off at the ruins ($7 each way) from 5:30 in the morning. There is often a queue of people, so if you are determined to be on the first bus, you should arrive at least 90 minutes early. The journey takes about half an hour to the park.
Walking the Inca Trail is a great way for you to get to see the city through the Puerta del Sol (instead of coming from below as you do from Aguas Calientes). Travelers should be fit enough to walk for days and sleep in tents.
From Aguas Calientes, it’s also possible to walk along a similar 8km trail where the buses run, which will take about 1-2 hours, and about an hour back. This route is mainly stairs, which connect the zigzag that the buses take. It’s an exhausting and long walk, but it’s very rewarding; we recommend starting at 4 am to get to the top before sunrise. The descent is quite easy, just be careful when the steps are wet. Keep an eye on the buses, as drivers rarely use the brakes with pedestrians.
Fees / Permits
Visiting Machu Picchu is not cheap. The entrance fee is S/126.00 at present and is constantly increasing, students with ISIC card pay S/64.
Make sure you bring your passport, as it can be requested at the entrance and, most importantly, there is a booth where you can get stamped on your way out and show your friends that you have been there.
Only small containers are allowed in the park (no more than 20 liters), but there is a luggage locker at the entrance that is used by Inca Trailers. If your package is marked, any food you carry can be confiscated.
There are no vehicles of any kind in the park, so bring comfortable walking shoes, especially if you plan to do any of the tours like Wayna Picchu. No sticks or poles are allowed. The main ruins are quite compact and can be walked easily.