The journey on foot is optional on the trip to Machu Picchu. Although most visitors prefer to take the bus to complete the stretch from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, a small group of young tourists choose to walk. The advantage is that the route is free. The downside is that it takes over 2 hours and is strenuous. Are you encouraged to do it? Find out here the route and all the information about this trek, the last one before reaching Machu Picchu.
The last stretch to Machu Picchu
The last section of the trip to Machu Picchu is the one that connects the town of Aguas Calientes with the archaeological site of Machupicchu.
The town of Aguas Calientes can be reached with the classic train trip (most do it from the Ollantaytambo station) or through the long and economic route by Hydroelectric. The first option, being the safest and fastest, is the one that most visitors prefer.
In any case, it is still necessary to make the final stretch from Aguas Calientes to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. This section is only 10 kilometers long and can be done with a short bus trip or on foot. Most visitors prefer to take the bus.
Why do you choose to take the bus? Well, this trip is safe and avoids wear and tear on tourists. These will then have to walk through the archaeological site, which requires a bit of energy.
Unlike the bus trip, walking up to Machu Picchu is free. The route is 8 kilometers along steep and ascending paths. Most of it is made up of hundreds of stone stairs surrounded by high Peruvian jungle forests.
From Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu on foot
The route on foot from the town of Aguas Calientes to the entrance gate to Machu Picchu is approximately 8 ascending kilometers.
The walk is hard. It takes 2 hours or more, depending on the physical condition of each tourist. Carrying out this route on foot is free for everyone. The way is easy. You just have to follow the Hiram Bingham road (the same road the buses follow) to the Ruinas bridge. From there you have to take a short cut down hundreds and hundreds of stone steps.
The route through the steps is a shortcut that avoids the continuous zigzag of the bus route. It is also the most difficult part of the trek as significant physical effort is required to complete the trek.
This trek is not recommended if you will continue to do the arduous treks to the Huayna Picchu and Machupicchu mountains. It is also not recommended for children (from 0 to 5 years old) or for adults over 60 years old (in poor physical condition).
This walking route is mainly used by groups of young people looking to add a dose of adventure to their trip. It’s also a great option to save a few bucks on your travel budget.
From Machupicchu to Aguas Calientes on foot
The route on foot from the archaeological site of Machu Picchu to the town of Aguas Calientes is also 8 kilometers (the same path). Only that on this route the road is mostly downhill.
The walk is easy. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes or a little more, depending on the pace followed by each visitor. Taking this walk is also free for everyone. You just have to follow the shortcut through the stone stairs that shorten the journey on the road.
Then, at the height of the Ruinas bridge, continue along this road called Hiram Bingham in honor of the American explorer who made the existence of Machu Picchu known to the world in 1911. Finally, you return to the town of Aguas Calientes (there you take the train back to the city of Cusco).
This trek is recommended for tourists looking to save a few dollars on the trip to Machu Picchu. Because it is a descending route, it is highly recommended that the hike up (from Aguas Calientes to Machupicchu).
On the other hand, this hike is not recommended for people who will hike from Aguas Calientes to Hydroelectric because it requires a lot of extra energy. It is also not recommended for visitors under 5 years of age or over 65 years of age (in poor physical condition).
More information about going to Machu Picchu on foot
Climbing on foot from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is free for everyone. The only requirement to complete this route is to have the entrance to Machu Picchu in hand. At the height of the Ruinas bridge, the security guards in the area will ask you to show this ticket to continue the route on foot.
The walk is surrounded by beautiful landscapes of abundant vegetation. Along the way you can see various types of birds as well as butterflies and, with luck, some mammals such as the Andean deer.
For the walk it is advisable to wear sports clothes, good sneakers, a hat or a hat, as well as a poncho in case of rain. It is also an excellent idea to carry mosquito repellent, sunscreen, snacks, rehydrating drinks and everything inside a comfortable backpack.