Tourists looking to visit Machu Picchu without a tour must purchase their ticket. There are three types of tickets: the ticket ‘Machupicchu Only’, the ticket ‘Machupicchu + Huayna Picchu’ and the ticket ‘Machupicchu + Mountain’. Prices vary for adults, college students, and under 18s. The purchase is made online or at the offices of the city of Cusco.
The train ride from Cusco to Machu Picchu
The train trip to Machu Picchu begins in the city of Cusco. From there you must travel approximately 100 kilometers until arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes.
In the town of Aguas Calientes you must board one of the buses that travel 10 kilometers to reach Machu Picchu.
The train trip can start in the same city of Cusco (at the San Pedro station). But you can also start at some of the train stations located outside of Cusco: in Poroy, in Urubamba or Ollantaytambo.
All train routes end in the town of Aguas Calientes. The return trip begins there and ends at one of the stations mentioned: Cusco (San Pedro), Poroy, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo.
These are the train stations available for the trip to Machu Picchu:
- Cusco Station (San Pedro) – It is in the same city of Cusco, in front of the famous San Pedro market. From there 3 trains leave a day. The trip to Aguas Calientes takes 3 hours 30 minutes on average.
- Poroy Station – It is 15 kilometers (20 minutes by car) from the city of Cusco. From there 4 trains depart a day. The trip to Aguas Calientes takes 3 hours on average.
- Urubamba Station – It is 53 kilometers from the city of Cusco (1 hour by car). From there 2 departures a day depart. The trip to Aguas Calientes takes 2 hours 30 minutes on average. This station only operates from April to November.
- Ollantaytambo Station – It is 61 kilometers from the city of Cusco (1 hour 40 minutes by car). From there approximately 30 daily departures depart. The trip to Aguas Calientes takes 1 hour 40 minutes on average. It is the station most used by visitors as it offers more daily departures.
- Hidroeléctrica Station – It is 215 kilometers from the city of Cusco (6 hours by car on average). From there 3 trains leave a day. However, most tourists prefer to walk the 10 kilometers to Aguas Calientes (2 hours of walking). It is the cheapest route to get to Machu Picchu.
The trip from Cusco to Poroy station
The trip from Cusco to the train station in Poroy can be done with:
- Tourist transport: Some tourism agencies offer a private trip by car or minivan to Poroy. The cost varies from $ 15 to $ 20 per group. You can request it at the tourism agency of your preference.
- Public transport: The buses of the company ‘Expreso Santiago’ charge 2 Peruvian soles to Poroy.
- Taxi: From the center of Cusco you can take a taxi to Poroy. The service is negotiable with the taxi driver but varies between 20 and 30 Peruvian soles.
The trip from Cusco to Urubamba station
The trip from Cusco to the train station in Urubamba can be done with:
- Public transport: On Pavitos street in the center of Cusco you can take the public service minivans that, for 5 Peruvian soles, take you to the town of Urubamba.
- Taxi: From anywhere in Cusco you can take a taxi to Urubamba. The service is negotiable with the taxi driver. The price varies between 70 to 100 Peruvian soles.
The trip from Cusco to Ollantaytambo station
The trip from Cusco to the train station in Ollantaytambo can be done with:
- Tourist transport: Some tourism agencies offer a private trip by car, minivan or bus to the Ollantaytambo station. The cost varies between $ 50 and $ 100 per group.
- Public transport: On Pavitos street in the center of Cusco you can take the public service minivans that, for 10 Peruvian soles, take you to the town of Ollantaytambo.
- Collective taxi: On Pavitos street there are also collective taxi services that for 15 Peruvian soles per tourist will take you to the town of Ollantaytambo.
- Taxi: The taxi service from the city of Cusco to Ollantaytambo can cost you between 80 and 120 Peruvian soles.
The trip from Cusco to the Hidroeléctrica station
The trip from Cusco to the Hidroeléctrica train station can be done with:
- Tourist transport: In the center of Cusco there are tourism agencies that offer direct trips to the Hydroelectric station. The cost of the trip is approximately 15 dollars for tourists.
- Public transport: On Antonio Lorena avenue in Cusco there is a bus stop to Quillabamba. These buses will leave you in the town of Santa María. From there you must take a collective taxi to the town of Santa Teresa. Finally, from Santa Teresa you will have to take another collective taxi to the Hydroelectric station. In total, the route by public transport costs 30 Peruvian soles on average.
More information about the trip from Cusco to the train stations
Besides the train trip, there is another way to get to Machu Picchu. It is the famous ‘4-day Inca Trail’ route. This route can only be done with a tour organized by an authorized tourism agency. The tour includes everything and is priced at approximately $ 600 per person.
Once at the train station, visitors can buy their train tickets to travel to Machu Picchu. However, it is best to purchase tickets online through the only two companies available: Peru Rail and Inca Rail.
The public transport buses in Cusco offer an orderly and clean service. The cost of the ticket, in most of the city, is only 1 Peruvian sol.
All train stations in Cusco have waiting rooms and cafeterias. It is recommended to arrive thirty minutes before the train departure time.