The bus trip to Machu Picchu
The bus trip is the final leg of the trip to Machu Picchu: from the town of Aguas Calientes to the Inca citadel. This section is only 10 kilometers long. The buses are ecological. They have comfortable seats and large windows to appreciate the beautiful landscapes. Tickets can be purchased in the same city of Cusco.
The trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu
From Cusco to Machu Picchu there are approximately 100 kilometers of distance. Most visitors take the following route to get there: a) from Cusco to Ollantaytambo by bus, b) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes by train and c) from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu by bus.
The other ways to do the route are through the 4-day Inca Trail and the 8-hour Hydroelectric route. The fastest, most comfortable and safest route is through the train. This trip takes about 4 hours.
The stretch from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
The train trip ends in the town of Aguas Calientes, located just 10 kilometers from the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. This distance can be completed in two ways: on foot or by bus. The vast majority of tourists prefer to take the bus. The reason? The 10 kilometers are through steep trails difficult to navigate. The walk takes 2 hours or more. The bus ride takes only 30 minutes.
The route is through the Hiram Bingham highway, named after the American explorer who made Machu Picchu known to the world in 1911. The highway is by ascending zigzag trails. During the route you can appreciate the high green mountains of the jungle of Cusco. At the end, you will arrive at the entrance gate of Machu Picchu. The return trip follows the same route as the outbound trip, only this time downhill.
What are the buses like?
The buses that complete the route from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu are ecological, comfortable and with large windows to appreciate the landscapes. They have capacity for 29 tourists. All travel seated, none standing. The seats have a seat belt.
The first bus that leaves the town of Aguas Calientes does at 5.30 in the morning (Machu Picchu opens its doors at 6 in the morning). The last bus that leaves this town does at 3.30 in the afternoon (the last time to enter the Inca city is at 4 in the afternoon).
In the morning is when most tourists queue to board the buses in Aguas Calientes. In those first hours the buses leave approximately every 5 minutes. Starting at 9 in the morning and for the rest of the day, the buses leave every 10 minutes.
In Machu Picchu the last buses that return to Aguas Calientes do so at 5.30 in the afternoon. In the Inca city the buses leave every 5 minutes, especially between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. The rest of the day the buses leave approximately every 10 minutes.
The buses have wide availability for all tourists.
Bus tickets are priced in soles (for Peruvians) and in US dollars (for foreigners). These can vary depending on the time of year and circumstance. The prices shown below were taken in 2021 by the official company: Consettur.
|Adults||17.50 soles||–||12 dólares|
|Tour guides||4.50 soles||3 soles||–|
*Costs for one-way (or return) sections.
How to buy the bus ticket
The purchase of the bus ticket can be done in several ways: on the official Consettur website (www.consettur.com), on the website of a tourism agency (with an additional price) or at the agencies authorized from the city of Cusco:
- Avenue Infancia 433 – Wanchaq, city of Cusco. The box office is open from 8 am to 12:45 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm
- Avenue El Sol 380 – Banco Interbank, city of Cusco. The box office is open from 8 am to 12:45 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm
- Avenue Hermanos Ayar S/N, before the Ruinas bridge (town of Aguas Calientes). The box office is open from 5 am to 9 pm
Bus tickets are valid for three days: one before, one after and the same day of your visit to Machu Picchu.
The buses must be boarded according to their entry time to Machu Picchu. For example, if your entry time is at 9 in the morning, you must board the bus from 8 in the morning, not before.
Many tourists choose to take the bus to Machu Picchu and return on foot. The return section is through easy downhill paths. In this way the tourist can save a few dollars on the trip to the Inca city.
Tourism agencies also usually sell bus tickets to Machu Picchu. Because they are intermediaries between the visitor and the Consettur company, these tickets have an additional cost to their real value.
The tours to Machu Picchu already include the entrance to the Inca city, the train ticket, the tour guide service and, of course, the bus tickets.
Unlike train tickets or tickets to Machu Picchu, bus tickets can be purchased the same day. The availability is wide. All visitors can board their buses without worrying about unavailability.
The buses leave every day of the year, except in exceptional cases of natural disasters or demonstrations that prevent a safe journey.
Questions and answers about the bus trip to Machu Picchu
These are some of the most frequent questions that tourists ask themselves about the bus trip to Machu Picchu:
- 1) Are the buses to Machu Picchu still running in 2022?
Yes, the buses to Machu Picchu continue to run every day from 5:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon.
- 2) Can I buy the bus ticket the same day of the trip?
Yes, bus tickets can be purchased the same day of the trip in the town of Aguas Calientes. Availability is unlimited.
- 3) Do children travel for free?
Children from 5 to 11 years old (Peruvian or foreign) pay the discounted rate. Children under 5 years of age travel for free in the same seat as their father or mother.
- 4) How long does it take to walk to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes?
The route on foot from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is 8 kilometers uphill, mostly stone steps. This walk can take from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or even more depending on the pace of each person.
- 5) ¿Los buses son seguros?
Yes, the buses are very safe. They have seat belts. In addition, the driver is a trained and constantly evaluated professional.
- 6) Do older adults have discounts?
No, unfortunately older adults do not have discounts on the price of the bus to Machu Picchu.
- 7) How much does the bus trip to Machu Picchu cost?
The bus trip to Machu Picchu costs 24 US dollars for foreign adult tourists per round trip. Adult Peruvians pay 35 soles.
- 8) Can I walk back from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes?
Yes, this route is mostly descending through stone steps, which reduces physical wear. The walk can take 1 hour 30 minutes or more depending on the pace of each visitor. It’s free.
- 9) Can I buy bus tickets online?
Yes, bus tickets can also be purchased online through the official Consettur website: www.consettur.com.
- 10) Where do you take the buses to Machu Picchu?
The buses to Machu Picchu are taken at the bus stop on Hermanos Ayar avenue in the town of Aguas Calientes.