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How to arrive to Machu Picchu?

Walking, "The Inca trail"
For those that have about seven exclusive days for the visit to Machu Picchu and also are adventure lovers, the walk through the "Inca trail" is recommended. This route has become the favorite of many tourists and only last year, more than 15 thousand people followed these roads to arrive to Machu Picchu.

This hiking begins in the 82 kilometer of the railroad Cusco - Aguas Calientes, in Ollantaytambo. Leaded by guides and in groups not smaller than 10; you arrive to Machu Picchu after 4 days, after traveling 40 kms. (24.85 miles) by the old Inca stone road, on the edge of the Urubamba canyon. The road crosses the Inca ruins of Patallacta, Huallabamba, Runku Rakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyu Pata Marca and Wiñaywayna. Besides captivating natural landscapes, water falls, tunnels, abundant flora and fauna, amid the exuberant vegetation for being near the forest, with view to the snowy mountains, and with pure air free of any vestige of contamination; ideal for birdwatching. The service of mountain guides, includes all the equipment, feeding, tents, carriers, etc.

Exist routes for hiking of smaller duration; one that leaves from the 104 km. of the railroad crosses the ruins of Wiñaywayna and after few hours you arrive to Machu Picchu.

In all these routes lodgings of "Instituto Nacional de Cultura" (National Institute of Culture) exist where you can spend the night, and the roads are signaled, in spite of it, it is recommended to hire the services of experienced mountain guides.

By Train
The traditional and most frequent is by train from Cusco to the station of Aguas Calientes. This service offers the following categories

"Autovagón" (Main wagon) (US $55): Daily departures at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., boarding service, lunches; return at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. the trip lasts an average of 3 hours and it is direct.

The train has the "Inca car" (US$45), "Pullman" (US$34) and the "Express" (US $19). Departures Monday to Saturday, at 6:25 a.m., 8:40 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Return to Cusco at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.  The trip lasts a little more than 3 hours, and it makes stops in some intermediate towns.

When arriving to Aguas Calientes, small buses can be taken that ascend the mountain and transport you to the citadel.

The train line runs parallel to some parts of the Urubamba River, and the trip itself is a show for the beautiful landscapes that you observe.

Helicopter
Another option is a flight in a helicopter from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, ideal for those who only have little time and a better budget.


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