How to get to Machu Picchu without the Inca Trail
One of the great wonders of the world, Machu Picchu is the great dream of his life for many travelers who visit South America. For many, surviving the Inca Trail is very much part of the Machu Picchu experience.
But for anyone with limited time, Machu Picchu is not out of reach. It is easy to visit the Inca site using a combination of public transport services and effortlessly.
Machu Picchu is located in the center of the Sacred Valley in southeastern Peru and is the most important attraction in Peru. The Inca Trail is one of the most famous walks in the world; In fact, every year more than 75,000 people travel the 26-mile route to reach the Machu Picchu site. However, the walk is not for the weak; altitude, steep climbs, extreme weather and camping can represent a barrier for many who wish to visit.
In fact, those who chose to travel the Inca Trail only constitute one sixth of the tourists who were received by the old site.
It is important, especially during the peak season from May to September, that you reserve your tickets in advance. The permits to visit the Machu Picchu site are available at the Decentralized Directorate of Culture Cusco , through its website. There is a limit of 2500 permits per day and these are often sold out days in advance, so book early to avoid disappointment.
The tickets cost more than S / 150 soles. During peak season, tickets can even be sold weeks before, so plan accordingly.
To visit Wayna Picchu , there are only a couple of hundred additional permits available, the steep mountain at the end of the Inca site. These tickets are even faster and must be booked more in advance, and are only allocated for two schedules each day (tickets from 7 am to 8 am, or from 10 am to 11 am). The climb is particularly steep, so just choose this option if you think you can.
Trains depart from the nearby station of Poroy (3 and a half hours approx.) In Cusco or from Ollantaytambo (1 hour 40 minutes approx. ) Directly to the nearest city of Machu Picchu, which is Aguas Calientes.
It is advisable to book train tickets in advance with one of the operators who attend the 3½ hour route. From Cusco, trains operated by Peru Rail and Inca Rail offer a range of options that vary in price and luxury. Tickets are available online or at the offices of Peru Rail and Inca Rail both in the main square of Cuzco, Plaza de Armas. It is also located in the Plaza de Armas of Cuzco, a tourist office in Peru, (I Peru) that can help you if you have problems.
It is advisable to get to Aguas Calientes the day before your visit to Machu Picchu to spend the night and arrive at the site early in the morning to explore the ruins. If possible, getting to the site for the sunrise is a magical experience (the only problem are the crowds) and the trip in the morning twilight adds to the charm, for the afternoon shift the best thing is that there are fewer visitors which contributes to a better experience.
Buses leave from Aguas Calientes at 5:30 am and transport passengers in 25 minutes through the zig zags of the road to the site. Alternatively, you can walk 8 km down a steep mountain trail. If you choose to walk, prepare for an experience that is physically challenging, particularly with height.
Remember, regardless of whether you choose to walk or not, it is not possible to walk quickly through this part of Peru as the height forces tourists to slow down to acclimatize. Which is just as good, since Cusco is definitely a place to really visit.
Often considered a starting point for the Inca Trail, Cusco is a jewel in itself. At more than 11,000 feet above sea level, the city demands a slow pace of acclimatization. You will witness travelers and locals who congregate to acclimatise to the altitude, share travel stories, or simply enjoy the combination of colonial architecture, relaxed atmosphere and views of the valley.
It is very good to spend at least a couple of days in Cusco since the altitude can cause extreme difficulties for tourists.
Additional tips for your visit to Machu Picchu
Wear sunscreen: the sun is stronger at high altitude.
Bring snacks and drink with you, although the signs say it is forbidden, you will appreciate a bottle of water (most importantly, do not throw garbage).
If you take the road from Aguas Calientes to the site, consider getting off the bus; It is almost as difficult to go down the steps as to climb them.
Do not forget your passport when buying tickets at the office, as it is required for reservations.
If you choose to travel the Inca Trail, keep in mind that it closes every year during the month of February for trail maintenance.