Transportation in Machu Picchu
by Caroline Alsop
Getting to Machu Picchu is quite as interesting as actually being in the ancient city of Machu Picchu itself. With the travel you will be exposed to the culture, locals, crafts, and absolute beauty of surrounding nature that Peru has to offer.
The start of the trip takes you from Cuzco (via a one day trip) to Aguas Calientes where you can book a hotel or hostel room and mingle with the locals and the tourists in the vicinity.
The trip to Agauas Calintes is by train, and with the improvements that the train system has undergone, you can now pass through more towns for a pleasure trip, such as Santa Teresa and Santa Maria. This alternative route may give you an adventurous experience in hiking, river crossing, and basket rides via cable over cliffs!
You have three options on how to get to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. First is through the adventurous Inca Trail where guides will take you by foot to Machu Picchu over a period of three to four days. The other two ways are by walking to the site which is two kilometres away from Aguas Calientes or by bus.
By bus, you will pay US$7 one way and trips start leaving Aguas Calientes as early as 5:30 AM. The trip is short and may only take half an hour. Taking a bus may expose you to a lot of queues and waiting just as when you get to Machu Picchu where you will be part of crowds getting in to look at structures like the Temple of the Moon or going up to Wayna Picchu. This is usually the case during peak tourist season that happens in July and August.
If you opt to go by foot you can choose the 4-day and 2-day hikes with guides, or you may even opt to take the routes that the buses take. The best part about going on foot is the appreciation of the scenery, the people, and the fantastic view that will welcome you along the way.
The hikes will require travellers to go camping in tents and need hikers who are fit and relatively in shape. Hiking a bus route may require extra caution for the pedestrian from the fast buses.
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