When we started planning a trip to Machu Picchu, we find a key question … How to get to Machu Picchu?
In the search for that answer appears things like Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Alternative Road, Km 82, Aguas Calientes, walk along the railroad tracks, etc.
Many alternatives can lead to significant confusion. And if you do not have time to research the options one by one, you may end up choosing a wrong alternative that can complicate your trip.
Therefore, we will conduct a review of each one so that you manage to make the best decision based on your time, budget and travel style.
First thing’s first
Before starting to describe each of the alternatives, the first thing to know is that all begin in the city of Cusco.
Your first stop if or if, should be the navel of the world … Cusco, the Inca Capital.
The majority of the roads that we will name ending in Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo.
This village lies at the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu Sanctuary is located.
From Aguas Calientes you can climb to the citadel on foot or by bus.
This is the option commonly used travelers.
Its great advantage is saving time is the fastest alternative. In just four hours going from Cusco to Aguas Calientes.
Its starting point is the Poroy station, 25 minutes from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. For 40 soles a taxi can take you to the station.
The final season will be to Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes.
You also have the option of boarding the train at the station of the town of Ollantaytambo which is two hours from Cusco by car
Many travelers prefer to know Ollantaytambo before going to Machu Picchu. Then it is more convenient boarding the train in this town.
The train has three levels of service. Expedition, Vistadome and Hiram Bingham.
The Expedition service is the most economical, and is highly recommended. You do not need more than this. It is a great service.
Its price is around USD $ 150 round trip.
The Vistadome is a bit more expensive, but virtually no difference with the Expedition. Only slightly larger windows. Not worth paying more just for that.
The windows of the Expedition are more than enough to enjoy the tour of the Sacred Valley.
As for the Hiram Bingham I have not had the opportunity to travel. But is the luxury wagon and not lower price of USD 300.
So if you go by train, I recommend the Expedition Train.
Tickets can be purchased at the website of the company, Peru Rail.
There is also the option of Inca Rail.
Their prices are a little lower, but times are usually not good. In my trips to Machu Picchu I were never useful and always ended up traveling with Peru Rail.
But it costs nothing to check.
This is another fairly recent and very adventurous alternative.
The road begins in Ollantaytambo, and from there are 4 days of adventure.
You will have downhill biking, rafting, zip line, and of course, trekking.
With this option you also get to Santa Teresa to walk along the tracks to Aguas Calientes.
A different option and is emerging as good alternative to the alternative route of Inca Trail.