Machu Picchu Travel Guide

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Machu Picchu

Few places in the world have a magical beauty that is a breathtaking combination of nature and human labor. Machu Picchu is one of those rare magical beauties.

Machu Picchu, 80 kilometers from Peru’s city of Cusco and discovered in 1911, is one of the most beautiful and popular legacies left by the Inca Kingdom to the world. Machu Picchu, which is visited by millions of tourists every year and has a limitation in the number of visits because it actually collapses slowly, is the most important stop of a Peru trip.

In this article I will write about Machu Picchu, I will touch on all the details from the history of these city ruins to their geographical features, from the sections and structures in them, to transportation information and cost. At the end of the article, you only have to make a reservation.

Information about Machu Picchu

In addition to demonstrating the Inca Kingdom’s unique architectural skills and urban planning, Machu Picchu, popular thanks to the diversity of the ecosystem in which it is located and the beauty of the surrounding mountains, is almost a cross destination for travelers.

The historical city, located at 2,435 meters on the eastern foothills of the Andes, is in an extremely difficult place in terms of transportation. Though, after its discovery and unearthing in 1911, a railroad was built in Aguas Calientes Village, which is the closest here, but this journey is only part of it.

Although it is not known why it was built and why it is so high, archaeological studies show that the city was built by the Inca Emperor Pachacuti and that Inca aristocrats and clergy lived here.

Machu Picchu, which I will talk about in more detail in the rest of the article, divided into “agricultural land” and “city”, has historical importance in terms of shedding light on the daily life of the Inca Civilization, city planning, architectural skills and what they consider sacred. At the same time, the Urubamba River, which draws a semicircle around it, is at the center of a fascinating nature with its harsh mountainous geography and thick tropical vegetation.

Throughout the Machu Picchu travel guide articles, I tried to give very detailed information about Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. If you want to add something, please add it as a comment.

Where and How to Get Machu Picchu?

Transportation to Machu Picchu, located 80 kilometers northwest of Cusco, is a bit difficult, let me tell you right from the beginning. On the other hand, it is worth seeing this beauty that millions of tourists take the risk of it every year.

To go to Machu Picchu, you must first go to Cusco. After that, you will go to Aguas Calientes Village, which is the closest settlement to Machu Picchu. There are 4 different methods you can follow for this:

–  Trekking

Starting from Cusco, it is possible to reach Machu Picchu by walking for 4 days, staying in the towns along the way. There are two different routes for this.

Inca Trail Route; The Inca Trail route, the path used by the Incas, ends in Machu Picchu by entering through the Sun Gate Gate.

Salkantay Trek Route; It ends in Aguas Calientes Village, and from here you enter Machu Picchu either on foot or on a half-hour bus ride.

If you are going to walk with a tour group, the average price for both routes is around 500 USD. However, since the Inca Trail Route is limited in number, it is necessary to buy the tour an average of 1 year in advance. For Salkantay Trek, there is no participation or leave limit, even if you take it on the last day.

Also, it is not necessary to join a tour or group to walk the Salkantay route. If you want to walk by yourself, you can stay in the huts built for hikers on the route or in your own tent, and you will not have to pay any tour fee up to 500 USD.

If you want to do both routes with a tour, I suggest you find out what is included in the cost.

– Train Journey

You can reach Aguas Calientes Village in about 3.5 hours from Cusco with the train services organized by Peru Rail and Inca Rail companies every day.

After that, you can get to Machu Picchu by taking the Peruvian Ways Buses in half an hour or by an average of 2 hours walking.

Train tickets vary from 60 to 120 USD depending on occupancy, which class you buy tickets, and the choice of wagons without meals. Peruvian Ways bus costs 17 USD for one way.

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu Bus Ticket: You can buy the Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu round-trip ticket now by paying 36 USD per person. 

–  Bus & Train Journey

As you can see, the train journey is a bit costly. To reduce this cost, you can take a bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo Town and take the train from here. It is the same as I explained in the Post-Train Journey section. You get off the train in Aguas Calientes Village and reach Machu Picchu either on foot or by Peru Ways Buses.

The cost of bus & train travel method is 30-35% lower than the train alone. You can buy combined bus & train tickets from Inca Rail Offices, or you can buy tickets called “Biomodal” on the website.

Biomodal: Testing the entire bus & train journey at Inca Rail.

If it is difficult to organize this trip, and if you want to visit Machu Picchu with a guide, a popular tour suggestion:

Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco: The tour costs 330 USD per person; Including Cusco – Ollantaytambo round-trip bus ticket, Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes round-trip train ticket, Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu bus ticket, entrance fee to Machu Picchu and a 2-hour guided tour inside.

–  Minibus & Walk

In this option, which is the cheapest method, you take a minibus from Cusco to Hidroelectrica Town. This ride costs between 12-15 USD. From there, you arrive in Aguas Calientes Village with a 3-hour hike.

Afterwards, you can get to Machu Picchu by taking the 17 USD Peruvian Ways Buses I mentioned above, or by walking for 2 more hours.

Machu Picchu Current Entry Fees and Accomodation

Machu Picchu Current Entry Fees

Machu Picchu entrance fee is 152 PEN (around 45 USD) for adults as of 2019, and 70 PEN (21 USD) for students and under 18 years old.

Also, if you want to go to Huayna Picchu, the fee is 200 PEN for adults and 125 PEN for students and under 18 years old.

You can buy your ticket on the official website ( and you have to choose the time of your visit to the historical city while purchasing the ticket.

Machu Picchu Visiting Days and Hours:

Machu Picchu is open to visitors every day of the year, except in February. There is a one-month pause for touristic visits only in February.

The first session and tourist reception starts at 6 am. However, once inside, you can stay as long as you want. There is no time limit for staying inside.

The ideal timing is 6 and 7 in the morning when the sun rises but the sun’s rays do not shine everywhere. The most beautiful photos are usually taken at this time, keep in mind.

Hotel Recommendation Near Machu Picchu

Let me recommend hotels for the Machu Picchu. Because even if you are staying in Cusco, you will have to stay in Aguas Calientes Village 1 day before and / or after the visit due to the length and inconvenience of the road.


5 ★ Belmond Sanctuary Lodge: This luxury hotel is actually not located in Aguas Calientes, but further ahead, right at the entrance of Machu Picchu. Its most important advantage is its location, but the hotel offers a price of 700 USD per night with its luxurious rooms, restaurant and SPA.


3 ★ Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel: The score of 2,500 guests who stayed at the hotel with a price of 70 – 120 USD per night is 8.4. The hotel is located in Aguas Calientes and welcomes its guests with spacious rooms decorated with natural materials, a restaurant and a beautiful garden.


3 ★ Susanna Inn Machu Picchu Hotel: The score of 500 guests staying at the hotel with a price of 45 – 100 USD per night is 8. In fact, although not as stylish as the others, I recommend the hotel, which is a clean and comfortable option for tourists who care about their budget.


Throughout the Machu Picchu travel guide articles, I tried to give very detailed information about Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. If you want to add something, please add it as a comment.

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