Although Machu Picchu is the most popular place in Peru, you would be disappointed to learn that there is no direct route from Lima, the Peruvian capital to Machu Picchu. Once you have landed in Lima, you need to get to Cuzco, the old capital of the Inca Empire. The distance between these stretching cities is over 700 miles. You can fly from Lima, or take a bus for a long challenging journey. Once you get to Cuzco, you will need to make another trip to get to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, a famous ruin, is just a few miles from Aguas Calientes. You can get there on foot or by bus. Now let’s discuss all this more complicated.
Lima in Cusco
Most people get to Lima by international flight. If you get to Lima with enough time, you will probably be able to stay there for a night or two and move around the city. There are many cases where people reach Peru with a budget of 4/5 days. In these cases you have to fix the flight so as to get there in the morning. Most popular flights land early in the morning at Lima Airport. So you can make another flight from Lima to Cuzco in a few hours. They have 3/4 good airlines in Peru and some of them offer flights every few hours from Lima.
But you don’t have to buy tickets from the airport, and when buying an international ticket, make a flight to Cuzco that morning. Flight time from Lima to Cuzco is only one hour, so you can get to Cuzco early in the afternoon on the same day. There is another alternative way. You can take a bus to get to Cusco. This is a long way. There are several good bus companies that you can choose from, such as Ormeno or Cruz del Sur. They have posh buses plying between Lima and Cusco. If you are not in a hurry, you can choose a bus instead of a plane, as they are really very cheap. The plane will cost you about $ 100.00 for a one-way trip. While for a ride on a luxury bus to Cusco you only need 30.00 / 40.00 US dollars. But remember that the bus to Cusco takes about twenty hours.
Cusco in Aguas Calientes
When you get to Cusco, you can spend the night here or move to Machu Picchu on the same day. It depends on how many days you plan to stay in Peru. Cusco is a historic city. If you can spend some time there, you will definitely enjoy the city. But if you’re in a hurry, dine in the afternoon from Cuzco to get to Aguas Calientes. The train journey is scenic, and although you’ll have to sit on the train for over three hours (distance – 70 miles), you’ll enjoy it.
There are many hotels in Aguas Calientes. If you have a busy season, I recommend you book a room long before you get there.
Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
You can wake up very early in the morning to take a bus to get to the ruins of Machu Picchu. It is less than two miles and you need about twenty minutes to get to the ruins. Aguas Calientes is a very small town. They only have buses for transportation. you can easily cover the city on foot. They have two bus stations in the city, one is in the middle of the city, very close to where the train stops, the other – at the end of the city, towards Machu Picchu. Catching a bus from Aguas Calientes is easy, the ticket office is at bus stations, and the bus leaves the city at short intervals to the ruins of Machu Picchu. So get on the bus, enjoy a little 20-minute trip, get to Machu Picchu and enjoy the gorgeous Machu Picchu.