The solitary journey to Machu Picchu – Details and recommendations for a personal trip

Many people wonder if it is possible to make a solo trip to Machu Picchu. We tell you that it is. Several factors make Machu Picchu a safe destination for any person. Nowadays, the number of solo trips has been increasing and Machu Picchu is no exception. In this blog, we will learn more about this alternative and at the same time, we want more people to visit the wonder of the world in Peru, making solo trips. At the same time, we will leave some other recommendations for activities before or after visiting Machu Picchu.

The tour of Machu Picchu begins, after the postcard picture

Getting to know Machu Picchu

The Guardian’s House, just one step away from starting the tour of Machu Picchu

Currently, it continues to be one of the main destinations worldwide. This is because it is one of the Inca citadels that best resisted the onslaught of time. In addition, it is an eco-friendly destination. This is thanks to the local authorities of Machu Picchu Pueblo, who managed to create adequate waste control. It is well known that any movement or tourist activity generates a large amount of waste. Today Machu Picchu is a sustainable and pollution-free destination. Since 2017, they started with the arrangements and currently, it can process more than 7 tons of plastic waste and other types of waste.

Quite apart from having precise control of the waste generated by the massive visits to Machu Picchu Pueblo. They encouraged other activities so that the intention of visiting the citadel or archaeological site of Machu Picchu is different. Various systems and services were improved to guarantee the optimal functioning of hotels, and restaurants and also a strict control of travel agencies. If you want to acquire the services of a travel agency, you must contact one that is regulated by the Ministry of Culture. In other words, they must have an operating code and be registered in the system of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture.This guarantees the sale of tickets and an optimal performance in the activities they offer.

For those who travel alone or individually, that is to say without companions. Tell them that the trip to Peru, Cusco and Machu Picchu is really easy to do. There are different agencies in charge of tours to Machu Picchu. In addition, all of them will recommend other destinations within Cusco or outside of it. Destinations that you can visit before or after visiting Machu Picchu. In case you do not want to hire a travel agency. It is possible to purchase entrance tickets to Machu Picchu independently. There are five tickets to enter Machu Picchu. One of them allows you to make a tour, practically all over the enclosure. The rest of the tickets include hikes to some mountains with really incredible natural viewpoints.

If you are a person who likes to hike, you may also be interested in hiking trails. By doing these routes, it is very likely that you will join a group of travelers and get to know them. If you wish to do the hike on your own, it will probably cost a little more than usual. On the other hand, if you do not wish to make the trek, it will be the perfect opportunity to get to know the train services that still maintain a particular essence at the time of traveling. As for train travel, there are two companies in charge of covering this trip. In both companies, you can find a diversity of services and schedules. The services are characterized by the quality they offer, so you will find standard and first-class alternatives.

Arriving in Peru and starting the trip to Cusco

Air travel is the best option

As for the requirements for immigration and entering Peru, there will not be much of a problem. The main requirement will be to have a passport with at least six months of validity. This will be the essential document to enter Peru. In the case of health cards are not necessary, unless the country of origin indicates it. On the other hand, and for the benefit of the Andean Community of Nations, it allows the inhabitants of Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia to enter only carrying the Identity Card; they will have a special discount for the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu. Likewise, other neighboring countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay will only need to show their identity documents when entering Peru, but they will not have the discounts mentioned above.

Once in Peru, most flights usually arrive in Lima, the Peruvian capital. However, some flights from Chile and Argentina can land directly in Cusco. These flights are rare and should be consulted with the airline in question. The safest and most comfortable option when arriving in Lima and embarking on the trip to Cusco will be to board a plane. There will be different airlines to make the flight Lima – Cusco, book the service that best suits you will depend on the time with which you decide to purchase the ticket.

In Cusco, you will find a variety of tourist and local services. The hotels stand out because some of them have, within their facilities, some walls and remains of Inca constructions. Very similar to those that can be seen near the main square. That is carved stone walls in a cushioned shape. For all these services, the comfort and security that Cusco has, it is possible to make the trip independently. Of course, inform regularly the activities you do to a friend or relative who is waiting for you at home.

Cusco on the way to Machu Picchu – Options

Arrival of the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes

Arriving in Cusco you can do different activities that we will see later. In the same way, you can find different options to travel to Machu Picchu. The most popular is to make the trip to Machu Picchu by train, but there are also other options such as the bus trip to Hidroeléctrica and hiking. In addition, there are trekking routes for several days. It is important to hike in a group, to take care of each other and to accompany each other. In case you decide to do a hiking route alone, it is important to take into account that you will need camps, download the map in an application and have enough experience in these activities.

The trekking routes have a minimum of 4 days of outdoor activities. The traditional route, the Inca Trail, crosses the paths left by the ancient inhabitants of the Tawantinsuyo. During this route, it is possible to find archaeological sites of great importance for the understanding of the society and urban organization of the Inca empire. It also allows you to hike along a regulated route both at the time of entering and arriving at checkpoints. It is for this reason that you can find greater security on this route.

The rest of the trekking routes do not have specific control, so it will be necessary to do it with an agency you trust. The other most popular route is the Salkantay Trek, followed by the cultural route or Lares Trek. It is also possible to make longer routes for example the one that connects Cusco – Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Although the first section is done by bus, but the route from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, has variations of 7, 8 and 9 days.

Arrival and ascent to Machu Picchu

Ehe bus trip also offers beautiful landscapes and views of Machu Picchu

Once you arrive at Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will only have to do one last stretch. This section will also be done in two ways. The first one will be making a short trip in the ecological buses. The second option will be walking. The archaeological site of Machu Picchu is located on top of a mountain, so to visit it is necessary to make an extra effort. In either option, you will find a comfortable ride if you have a solo trip. The hike can help you have a moment alone with nature, while the bus ride will allow you to get to the wonder of the world faster.

If you are thinking of making the trip for only one day, it is possible, you just have to keep in mind that you must make the reservation in advance. If you are planning to do the normal tour of Machu Picchu that does not include other routes, you can do it until the afternoon. To be more precise, the last entrance time to Machu Picchu Solo is until 15:00 hours. However, if you want to visit other attractions in Machu Picchu, it is recommended to make the trip early in the morning. Some even travel from 4:30 in the morning. On return trips, you will have to take into account the departure times of the trains to Ollantaytambo or Cusco.

In Machu Picchu Pueblo, you can find restaurants and hotels, in case you want to spend more time in this place. The climate of this district is warm and being there, it is possible to hike. You will be able to visit the Site Museum and the Butterfly Farm. It will also be feasible to seek adventure by rappelling to the top of Putucusi mountain and hiking through the forests to the different waterfalls that can be found.

Other activities before or after visiting Machu Picchu

View of Machu Picchu arriving at the Guardian House

In Cusco, you can do a variety of activities, either on your own or by acquiring the services of a travel agency. There are varied options and at different times. You can do activities during the day, afternoon and evening. For this, it will be important to be well-informed of all the options available. We will leave some alternatives that can be done without any problem individually. Also, we will talk about some details to take into account in Cusco and our recommendations.

The most popular destinations near Cusco are the same Inca constructions that made the city of Cusco popular. These attractions can be visited by making the journey of only 5 hours. The places visited during the Cusco City Tour are Sacsayhuamán, Qenqo, Tambomachay, the Qoricancha and the Cathedral of Cusco. It is also possible to make trips to the South Valley and with adequate acclimatization ascend to the Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca. On the other hand, it is also advisable to visit the Sacred Valley, either on your own or with a travel agency.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas has different places to visit, all of them associated with Inca constructions. Among these places, we can highlight the archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. As they are places that can be visited in a particular way without much problem, we place them here. This is because there are transports from Cusco to both places. In the case of Ollantaytambo, it will be a mandatory stop because there is a train station that connects with Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo. So we can talk a little more about the trains.

There are two services offered to reach Machu Picchu Pueblo by train. The first one is through the bimodal service. This service is based on making two consecutive trips or two sections, the first section will be made by bus and will cover the distance between Cusco and Ollantaytambo. This service will end very close to the train station which you will then have to board. The train trip lasts approximately 2 hours, taking into account some stops and boarding time, among other things. There is also a direct trip to Machu Picchu starting from Cusco. This trip will also pass through Ollantaytambo and will last approximately 5 hours. Doing the trip both ways can take you 5 hours in total. Remember that you can visit all these destinations before or after visiting Machu Picchu. Another option will be to dare to take trips to other destinations in Peru, such as Arequipa, Puno, Madre de Dios, and other regions.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, February 22, 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!