Getting to machu Picchu the access is Aguas Calientes, recently renamed Machu Picchu Pueblo. There are two considerations:
Hike the Inca Trail by booking at least 3 months ahead at an agency.
Benefits: see wonderful scenery and other Inca ruins; get to Machu Picchu before other travelers.
Risks, Difficulties: medium difficulty level; cannot do individually, must book from an agency.
Access to the trail is limited; certain numbers of tourists are allowed to pass during certain periods (numbers are subject to change).
Individually you are not allowed to go through, only with organized groups.
If you book for such a trip from an agency, then you will be guided by authorized English-speaking guides and will get to know other travelers as well.
You need acclimatization, must get used to height level, therefore you should stay at least 2 or 3 days in Cuzco before taking the trip. Hiking experience and a thorough medical checkup is necessary before taking on the ancient Inca Trail.
Our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hike article will give you further information and advice on getting prepared.
Take the train from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes and from there by bus or on foot all the way up to the ruins.
Risks, Difficulties: expect crowds of tourists; possible access limitation to some parts of the city.
If you are travelling with your family, then this is the only way.
Trains leave from Cuzco and arrive at Aguas Calientes. Buses go up to Machu Picchu from there.
* Cuzco to Aguas Calientes Train:
The distance between Cuzco and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) is 112 km (70 mi). The duration is approximately 4 hours and the scenery in the Sacred Valley is breathtaking.
There are 2 train stations in Cuzco: the trains to Aguas Calientes leave from the San Pedro Station (located at the Calle Cascaparo).
There are 3 trains that will take you from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes: Hiram Bingham, Vistadome and Expedition. The prices are highest on the Hiram Bingham train and lowest on the Expedition train.
Check the Machu Picchu train schedule for further details.
* Aguas Clients to Machu Picchu Buses:
The departure time of the 1st bus is at 5 AM.
The price of a single trip is approximately 7 USD.
Visiting Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience, the sounds, the smells, the colors, the people made of this great place a destination that you can’t miss, because the connection that you’re going to have change your whole way to think of ancient cultures, and for that reason the Machu Picchu Travel is your first reference to visit this place.