How to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu

The imperial city of Cusco is a hot spot for travelers to South America. When in Cusco you will experience some of the best hotels, restaurants and nightlife anywhere on the continent and there are many things to do in Cusco. Cusco is full of wonderful ancient sites to see, including the wonderful Plaza de Armes and the surrounding churches. The city has some amazing festivals all through the year and Easter and Christmas are special times in the Inca city. You should plan to spend a few days in Cusco to acclimatize to the altitude before setting off on your Machu Picchu adventure. 

As there is no road from Cusco to Machu Picchu, you will have to take a different approach to see the amazing Machu Picchu. There are several different ways that you can make the journey.

The most popular way to reach Machu Picchu is by train. Thousands take the train journey from Cusco every year and there are different trains to choose from. If the budget is not a problem than take the Hiram Bingham luxury train to Machu Picchu from Cusco. This is one of the great train journeys in the world. Travel through the Sacred Valley in luxury while dining on fine Peruvian cuisine.

The next train which is the most popular, is the Perurail Vistadome. This train is more economical but the journey is still luxurious with glass panels in the ceiling. Enjoy a traditional show and refreshments along the way. The Vistadome train features leather seats to help you arrive into Aguas Calientes in style. The train has several departures daily and departs from Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

The next train is the Expedition, the most economical of the Perurail trains. With many departures daily, the Expedition is a firm favorite with travelers on a budget and a comfortable train experience for all to enjoy.

Alternatives on getting from Cusco to Machu Picchu are to take one of the many treks that are available. Trekking to Machu Picchu is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever encounter. The treks are hard work, walking up to high passes and back down again the feeling of achievement at the end of the trek is something all trekkers’ experience. At the end of your trek, you will have a wonderful guided tour of the ruins of Machu Picchu. 

Some of the treks available to reach the Inca citadel are the famous Inca Trail, a four-day hike that follows the path of the Inca to reach Machu Picchu. This is the most popular of all the hikes and tickets sell out in advance so you will need to reserve your spot. 

If you want to hike and do not like the idea of camping for three nights than try the two day Inca Trail. Walk from the train line up the Machu Picchu and stay overnight in a hotel. The next day visit the ruin and enjoy a wonderful private tour.

Another great trek in the Cusco area is the Salcantay trek, which also ends at Machu Picchu. The first day starts with a walk to Soroycocha, where the first campsite is located; from here, there are uninterrupted views of Mount Salcantay. On day two, a long trek awaits to the Salcantay Pass, the highest point on the trek, there are views that will take your breath away, with glaciers and the magnificent Vilcabamba Cordillera, in the afternoon you will descend to the cloud forest and the Salcantay River. On day three, the weather will change, as you will enter the jungle, following the Cochora River, the scenery will also be greener. In the afternoon you will walk to the train station at the hydroelectric plant to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, on the last day of this five-day trek you will have a tour of Machu Picchu.

Take a look at a four-day trek called Choquequirao, this trek does not finish in Machu Picchu like the other treks and hasn’t got the high passes that the other hikes have. Starting at Cachora and continuing along a zigzagging to Playa Rosalina. Then onto Choquequirao, you will return along the path you came to the beginning. On this trek, you will see the most breathtaking scenery and mountains.

There is an opportunity to take a car from Cusco to Machu Picchu, this is a cheaper alternative to the train or hikes but the road is considered very dangerous, so not recommended.

When you are in the area why not take a luxurious train ride Cusco Puno Peru and see all that the Puno area has to offer. Tour the fabulous Lake Titicaca and see the amazing floating Uros Islands that are home to the Uros People and see their amazing way of life. What are you waiting for? Book your tour today!

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