Guide: How to get to Machu Picchu from Lima?

Getting to Machu Picchu from Lima is not as complicated as it may seem. Here you will find a complete guide and can reach the Wonder of the World without problems. We chose Lima because the largest airport in Peru is located there, and it is the place where most international flights arrive, but we will find some surprises that will make our trips easier. Get ready!

Departure of airplane

Where is Machu Picchu?

Cusco Main Square View

Machu Picchu is located in the Eastern Cordillera in southern Peru. It is estimated that it was built in the mid-15th, under the order and supervision of the Inca Pachacútec. According to some studies, this could be one of the residences of this Inca. It has all the qualities of a city and can have several access areas, it is presumed that other roads would be connected between the mountains.

Politically it belongs to the jurisdiction of the Cusco region.In this way, the first step is to arrive in Cusco and then continue the trip to Machu Picchu. PMachu Picchu has a tropical climate, with sporadic and short rains in the dry season (April – October), while more frequent. The wet season includes the months of November to March. Sometimes this can be altered by the presence of some natural phenomena. The phenomenon that most influence the climate of the entire coast and part of the mountains in Peru is the El Niño Phenomenon.

The altitude of Machu Picchu is 2453 meters above sea level. Precisely Machu Picchu is located built along the entire back of a mountain. This space is located between the Huayna Picchu and Huchuy Picchu mountains; both mountains are surrounded by the Machu Picchu mountain which gives its name to the wonder of the World. This archaeological park was also recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Travel options to get to Machu Picchu

Inside Cusco Airport

Since the beginning of the 21st century, visit to this beautiful place has become popular. Given the uncontrollable growth of visitors, new measures were adapted to allow all travelers to enjoy a proper visit to Machu Picchu. Beginning by imposing a limit on daily visitors, different access times, and improving the route circuits to avoid crowds.

Another change, was that the ways to get to Aguas Calientes and therefore to Machu Picchu were increased. The traditional walk is the one that includes a train trip from Ollantaytambo, but the other alternatives are incredible and ideal for those who want to experience continuous contact with nature or, more precisely, feel the jungle itself on their skin.The main ways to get to Machu Picchu are:

  • Hiking Routes, uone of the most adventurous options is to do this way of visiting Machu Picchu. You will find options for many days and others that involve activities than so just trekking. They are a delight because they will allow you to see and see the routes of the famous Qhapac Ñan or Inca Trail.
  • Tours to Machu Picchu, , as we mentioned above, Machu Picchu has become the point of tourism in Peru, but it is not the only place we can visit. Other tours involve more activities and visits to spectacular places such as the case of Huayna Picchu mountain where we will find the Temple of the Moon. Or also, it will be possible to know the archaeological sites near Cusco and in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
  • An economical option, this option is ideal for combining a few options. It will start with a trip by car, and then start walking along a path that will lead us to Aguas Calientes. This option is one of the cheapest to get to know Machu Picchu. Although the trip is long, you can take advantage of traveling to one of the most beautiful thermal baths in Cusco, Cocalmayo.
Aguas Calientes is the starting point to get to Machu Picchu. It is an ecological district both times houses many hotels, restaurants, entertainment spaces, thermal baths, and various sculptures. In this district, you can find people from all over the world with the same traveling spirit as yours.

A. Velasco Astete International Airport – Cusco

How to get to Machu Picchu from Lima?

Once the location and the ways to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco have been established, we can mention some steps to make your arrival in Cusco easier without much haste. We will also explain the most points about what this trip includes.Remember that before anything else, book your entrance to Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu if you want to know this place You must do it in advance to choose a suitable date for your vacation or travel plans.

a) Steps to get to Cusco from Lima:

  • Once you have planned your vacation and got to know Machu Picchu, tyou will have to buy a plane ticket to Lima.
  • The main airport in Peru is Jorge Chávez, which is located in Lima. From this place, we will have to take a flight to the Alejandro Velasco Astete airport.
  • The flight time is 1 hour and 45 minutes approx.
  • If you are from Mexico, the United States, and Chile you can find flight options to Cusco airport. It will be long flights, it will depend a lot on the state or place of origin from where you take off.
  • Another cheaper option is to travel by interprovincial bus, which is usually comfortable, but the travel time is 21 hours (Lima – Cusco).
  • These trips are long but will allow you to cross the coast and enter the Andean mountains until you reach Cusco.
  • At all times you will see incredible landscapes.
View of Machu Picchu

b) Brief recommendations on your stay in Cusco and departure to Machu Picchu

  • Once we have arrived in Cusco, a lot will have to be traveled if we travel with an agency or on our own.
  • If you have opted for a trip with an agency, it is likely that they will offer you transportation to the hotel you have reserved.
  • Otherwise, you will have to reserve a hotel or an A&B in advance, depending on your preference.
  • When leaving the airport, you will meet taxi drivers. Most are friendly and know the most popular hotels.
  • Once at your hotel, we recommend you rest and take walks to acclimatize. The altitude may cause you discomfort.
  • Cusco is 3,399 meters above sea level. . So in your first days in Cusco, it is likely that you will feel a general malaise, headache, and excitement.
  • Try not to overdo it physically to prevent the symptoms of altitude sickness from growing.
  • It is highly recommended you consume the coca leaf by chewing it or as an infusion with hot water.
  • Have your belongings ready, along with water, snacks, or fruit for your visit to Machu Picchu.
  • The departures to Machu Picchu are made early. It is located about 5 hours from Cusco (approximate time).
  • The traditional trip (5 hours) is in bimodal service:, ethe first section by bus or car and the second by train.
  • Check carefully the departure time of the train. The departures of the trains can be brought forward, try to be half an hour before the indicated time.
  • Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, it is best to go up to Machu Picchu on the ecological bus. For this too, you have the option to book in advance to avoid queuing.
  • To understand the greatness of Machu Picchu it is advisable to enter with a professional guide.

These are just some recommendations to make your trip to Machu Picchu easier. Always remember to have your identity document and cash, preferably in the currency of soles.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, February 26, 2024

Enjoy the trip to Machu Picchu with the best services

Choose one of the 5 types of tickets

The entrance to Machu Picchu offers discounts for university students, those under 18 years of age and citizens of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Children under 3 years enter free! Get your entry to 'mapi' here.

We take you wherever you want in Cusco

The private transportation service takes you to any tourist destination in Cusco. Travel with total security in a private service for you, your partner, your friends or family. Includes pick up service from the airport or transfer to Machu Picchu train station, book here!

An unforgettable train trip to Machu Picchu

In total there are four tourist train services to Machu Picchu: Expedition, Vistadome, Vistadome Observatory and the Hiram Bingham luxury train. They all belong to the prestigious Peru Rail company. Buy the tickets here! Take advantage of the discounts!

Get on the final bus to Machu Picchu

The train trip will leave you in the town of Aguas Calientes, 10 kilometers from Machu Picchu. For this last section you must get the bus to Machu Picchu, a comfortable service that takes care of the environment of the wonder of the world. Buy your bus ticket here!

Tour Machu Picchu with a professional guide

In Machu Picchu the tour guide service is not mandatory. However, most tourists decide to go accompanied by a guide. This way they will be able to fully understand the history and importance of the wonder of the Incas.

Machupicchu all inclusive 1 day

If you do not want to buy each ticket to Machu Picchu separately, it is best to hire an all-inclusive tour. Includes: transfer to the station, train ticket, tour guide, entrance fee and lunch option at the best ‘mapi’ restaurant. Book the tour here!