How To Get From Lima To Machu Picchu
Lima to Cusco
Fly from Lima (LIM) to Cusco (CUZ). I recommend using LATAM Airlines as they are the most reliable. That said, you can also choose from Peruvian Airlines, Star Peru, or LCPeru.
Cusco to Aguas Calientes
Once you're in Cusco there are only 3 ways to get to Machu Picchu: trek, train, or auto / train from Santa Teresa:
Trek. The world-famous Inca Trail sells out months in advance and needs to be booked through an accredited trekking company (like us!).
Train. You can purchase a round-trip train ticket from PeruRail or Inca Rail. Your journey via train will start either in Poroy (30 minutes outside of Cusco) or Ollantaytambo (the heart of the Sacred Valley, 2 hours outside of Cusco).
Auto / Train. This option is usually only for backpackers who are trying to get to Machu Picchu while spending the least amount possible. You need to arrange for transfer via bus or car from Cusco to Santa Teresa (approximately a 6 hour ride). At that point you either purchase a one-way train from the Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes, or hike approximately 2 hours along the tracks to get to the base of Machu Picchu.
Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Buses circulate between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu every day between the hours of 5:30AM and 3:30PM. Buses return all the way until 5:45PM.
If you would prefer to hike to the entrance of Machu Picchu, you start with a 20 minute walk from Aguas Calientes to the Bridge known as Puente Ruinas where the road crosses the Urubamba River towards Machu Picchu. At this point you go straight up the mountainside a la Hiram Bingham for approximately 1 - 1.5 hours. This is a steep trail and will test your physical limits, but is well marked and well used.
Making Your Entrance
Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu often sell out. The park is limited to 2,500 visitors daily which includes 400 permits to hike the world famous Huayna Picchu hike. I recommend using a tour company (like us!) to make arrangements for your visit, as each permit is tied to a specific passport and to a specific date.
*Machu Picchu is open from 6:00AM - 5:00PM. Walking sticks or backpacks over 20 L are not permitted.