How to get to Machu Picchu in the cheapest way…
I was there in 2017 so to be sure you should ask on the hostel where you will stay if the information you get from here is still valid 😉
Tickets to Macchu Pichu
You should buy a ticket in advance. Like 2-3 months in advance. Because what you want is to go to one of the mountains there. There are limits of people who can access the mountains per day. You have 2 options, one is Machu Picchu Mountain and second is Waynapicchu mountain. I did the Wayanapicchu and it was amazing. The highlight of this trip. The view from there to Macchu Pichu village was incredible. Totally worthy. Very difficult to get there, it’s very difficult hike… but you will never regret that you did it. You can choose the time 7 am or 10 am… I was at 10 am and it was perfect. The ticket you can buy here http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ – it’s not working for me in Chrome, but in Firefox it’s working good.
Here is step by step guide how to buy a ticket… You will need a visa card.
From Lima to Cuzco
You’ll probably arrive in Lima. From here you have to got Cuzco, which is the base for making a lot of trips, it’s very nice and touristic city. You can go here by bus or fly. I flew because I didn’t want to lose time by bus and it wasn’t so expensive. By bus, it supposes to be a nice ride… a lot of beautiful views I heard.
BTW From Cuzco I did one more trip to Rainbow Mountain (google it). It’s 5000 m altitude. One of the best experience in my life!!!
When you’ll arrive in Cuzco you will be at altitude 3 399 m above the sea. Lima is zero meters. So you can imagine is a big change. Some people get altitude sickness. You can avoid that by some pills. When you have this sickness you can be fucked up for 1-3 days and it can ruin your time plan. In every hostel in Cuzco they will have Coca leaves which should help with that as well by jewing or making hot tea.
From Cuzco to Aguas Calientes
In your hostel, you will ask for a bus to Machu Picchu and that you will like to go to Hydraulic Station. You should tell them, you will stay in Aguas Calientes for 2 nights. So they will book you the bus back as well. When you will arrive at the Hydraulic station there will be some guy which will enter the bus and say you that you should meet him in Aguas Calientes in some time to confirm you get there. You should ask this guy or driver about how you will recognize the bus from Hydraulic station to Cuzco two days later and in what time you should be there waiting for that bus. It’s important! There will be a lot of buses, a lot of companies, big mess, very stressful.
But back to how to get to Aguas Calientes. From Hydraulic station where you can go by train which is expensive or by foot, which is 2-3 hours walk with nice views. It’s an easy walk but sometimes is on the railways so not so comfortable. It’s good to have hiking shoes. Very often I heard that is not possible to go there by walking and the only way is by train. It’s bullshit. I didn’t use the train. From Hydraulic station, you will get to the village Aguas Calientes. Here you will have to sleep in some hostel. A good idea is to make a reservation before. For 2 nights minimum. From Cuzco to Hydraulic station and from there to Aguas Calientes it will take you a whole day.
From Aguas Calientes to Macchu Pichu
You should wake up at 4 am or sooner. You can pay for a bus which will take you up to the entrance of Macchu Pichu. It’s expensive and you will wait a long cue to get to the bus. I’m not sure but maybe you will have to buy the bus ticket day before… not sure about that. But the cheapest way is to hike up. A lot of people do that. Me too 🙂
It’s a little bit difficult, it’s just going up and up and up. It’s very steep. There are a lot of people walking with you. It’s very humid. Can be cold by morning but you will be sweating a lot. But in 1,5-2 hours you will arrive at the main entrance to Macchu Pichu. The main entrance is open from 6 am. But there is on more entrance on the beginning of this hike from Aguas Calientes, but this one is open from 4 o’clock I think. It’s just entrance to this hike, you don’t pay anything there but maybe you have to show the ticket. You should have your passport with you. In the main entrance, you will have the possibility to get a stamp to your passport from Macchu Pichu. It looks like you have a stamp from some country but it’s from here 😉 Good souvenir.
In Macchu Pichu
You will be there soon. So you have time to explore Sun Gate, you will see some signs… it’s a small hike for 0.5 hours there and then 0.5 hours back. Then you can explore the village. After that, you still will have enough time till 10 am for the Waynapicchu mountain. You can rest. At the Waynapicchu you can do some hike on the top (it’s not bad, it’s not super cool, I did it and it was just an interesting medium difficult hike). In total, this hike to this mountain will take you around 4-5 hours. After that, you can explore a little bit more the Macchu Pichu village and go to Inca Bridge. Which is interesting as well… it will take you 0.5 hours there and then 0.5 hours back. When you will be back. Suddenly all the tourists will be gone and you can enjoy the whole place just by you and a few more people. Rest, relax, just enjoying your existence in a place like this.
Hard to say… when I start, the morning was raining, then was beautiful weather with sun, then raining, then sun… So a raincoat is a good idea. But don’t worry if it’s not going to look nice, weather there is changing very fast.
Back to Cuzco
You will spend the whole day in Macchu Pichu therefor you will sleep one more day in Aguas Calientes. You need to get back to Hydraulic Station I think around 12 midday. Depend on the bus company which brings you here. But you should already know that 🙂
In Aguas Calientes are for example hot springs… but I didn’t visit them.. I didn’t have enough time and it wasn’t really cheap. But lot of people say it’s nice thing to do.