How to get to Machu Picchu
The starting point for visiting Machu Picchu is (apart from the Inca Trail) the village of Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo). Aguas Calientes was built to be a rail terminus, it then grew in an untidy manner and today has many hotels and restaurants.
How can I reach Aguas Calientes?
By train from the Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo: this is the most comfortable way to travel to Machu Picchu, we can even say this is the classical journey. From Ollaytaytambo station numerous trains depart every hour, operated by PeruRail or IncaRail, and reach Aguas Calientes after one and a half hours. Upon arrival, the entrance to Machu Picchu can be reached by bus after a 25 minutes ride. The opening hours for the Machu Picchu Sanctuary are from 6am to 4pm – latest exit from the site has to be by 5pm.
By train via Cuzco (Poroy station) : From Poroy station (15 minutes from Cuzco) it is possible to catch a direct train to Aguas Calientes. This service is operated exclusively by PeruRail and the journey is approximately 3 and a half hours.
On foot – Inca Trail: Following the Inca Trail, you will enter Machu Picchu by the Inti Punku Gate (Sun Gate). The Inca Trail is one of the world famous trekking routes that can be covered in 4 days, walking for 42 km ( ?? miles) in total.
On foot and by train: As an alternative to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu can be reached via The Salkantay Trek. In 2007 it was named amongst the 25 best treks in the World by the National Geographic magazine. The Salkantay Trek requires between 4 to 5 trekking days and it is approximately 80 km (?? miles) long. Once travellers reach a point named Hidroelectrica they will board a train to Aguas Calientes. The Machu Picchu visit will start from here the following day.
There are also other different routes to reach Machu Picchu such as the Lares Trek. This is also a journey combining trekking and a train ride from Ollantaytambo station.