Inca Trail 118 results
Routes 28 results
Hydroelectric route to Machu Picchu
Click to rate article
Hidroelectrica a Machupicchu

The route by Hydroelectric to reach Machu Picchu is one of the most economical alternatives to make this trip. However, few people know about this option and, in addition, they do not know everything they can find in Hydroelectric. Hydroelectric is a small place that offers different services. Most of the services are related to tourism. This is because it is the ideal place to get to Machu Picchu in a more economical way. In addition, from there, it is also possible to make the trip by train. Although it is necessary to be attentive to the train departure times. Let’s learn more about Hydroelectric.

Alternative route to Machu Picchu

Currently there are several ways to get to Machu Picchu, most of these options are along hiking trails. These alternatives, unfortunately, tend to have high costs for all the services necessary to complete the trip. On the other hand, they require some physical preparation to achieve the walk that can last more than two days. On the other hand, you can find train trips. This service is cheaper compared to hiking routes, but in some cases the price is still very high, plus the trip does not seem attractive to some people and everything can be summarized in just taking a train trip.

This is probably why the alternative of making the trip combining both options arises. That is, taking a trip by transport and specifying the route with a walk. Additionally, the cost of the trip is considerably cheaper than the aforementioned alternatives. That is why it is an alternative that is highly requested by different tourists. The main reason is that it allows you to make an economical trip and also enjoy more adventures in the high jungle of Cusco. There are some agencies that are in charge of doing this tour, but it is also possible to do it independently. This in order to guarantee significant savings on the trip.

In this blog we will know the main details that you can find in Hydroelectric. Getting to this place is easy and you can find direct trips from Cusco to Hydroelectric. However, few know what can be found in Hydroelectric and other details that can facilitate the decision to make the trip along this route. Of course, it will be mentioned that to do this route it will take at least two days.

The first day of this route will allow you to reach Aguas Calientes, in practically an entire day. On the second day, you can tour the archaeological site of Machu Picchu and also begin the return trip. If you want to stay in Aguas Calientes longer, it is also possible. But, it would be advisable to make prior arrangements to find return transportation to Cusco. Finally, there would also be the option of returning by train, passing through Ollantaytambo.

Hike to Aguas Calientes from Hydroelectric


Hydroelectric, it is the passage to Machu Picchu through Santa Teresa and receives that name because one of the most important electrical stations in the Cusco region is located there. This station allows the distribution of electrical energy to a large part of the Cusco homes in the high jungle. If we look back in time, the construction of the power station in question dates back to the 1960s. Beginning its construction in 1958, it began its operation by generating 20 MW. Currently and after several improvements and installation of better equipment, an effective power of 168.83 MW can be produced.

Electricity production is generated by the waters of the Vilcanota River or in this place known as the Urubamba River. At kilometer 107 you can find the Machu Picchu Dam, which will belong to the province of Urubamba. Labor-wise, the company in charge of the production and supply of this service is EGEMSA or Empresa de Generación Eléctrica Machupicchu SA, which is attached to the Ministry of Energy and Mines. As we mentioned, it has been operating since 1958. In recent years it has been a mandatory step to take the economic route to Machu Picchu along the Santa Teresa – Hydroelectric – Machu Picchu route.

The way to carry out this service is quite simple. There are many transportation agencies that are responsible for covering this entire route. That is, you can make the trip from Cusco without any problem. If you make the trip on your own, you will have to take several transportation services, a detail that will probably make you make this trip longer than it is. The main destinations that you have to cross to get to Hydroelectric from Cusco are:

Distance from Cusco
Approximate travel time
Ollantaytambo61.5 Kilometers1 hour and 30 minutes
Santa María180.5 Kilometers4 hour and 10 minutes
Santa Teresa203.3 Kilometers5 hour and 10 minutes
Hydroelectric213.7 Kilometers5 hour and 40 minutes

In this sense, making a direct trip without breaks from Cusco to Hydroelectric, requires at least an approximate time of 5 hours and 40 minutes. Sometimes it can delay the trip longer due to rest stops, shopping or similar. The best option is to keep in mind that the trip can last 6 hours or more. On the other hand, you have to be prepared to have a long trip. Fortunately, after the walk it is possible to walk to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo. So we can all stretch our legs. Upon arriving at Hydroelectric we will find different services such as restaurants and even options to spend the night. As we will see below.

Services you will find at Hydroelectric

  • Restaurants – Normally when leaving Cusco heading to Hydroelectric, arrival is estimated at lunch time. For this reason, several restaurants were enabled. These restaurants have decorations that combine a rustic and country style, but that should not be an obstacle. The lunches they offer are based on dishes prepared at that moment. There, too, you can find refreshing drinks and an ideal space to rest while having lunch. Other services they offer are a buffet lunch, of course these will have a higher value than normal. It is also possible to find fruit juices in general, sandwiches and the sale of some bottled drinks and snacks.
  • Hotels – There are not many hotels, the few that exist offer an excellent option to spend the night. This service would be ideal for those who have had a delay in their trip or for taking another route. For example, leaving Santa Teresa in the afternoon or similar or visiting Cocalmayo. Some hotels offer garage service, so you can leave your car or transportation in good hands.
  • Transportation – If you have decided to travel on your own, you can find transportation services. The ideal is to purchase round-trip transportation services. If you have not done so, when you return, you may have to wait for the transportation to fill up. You will also find trips only to Santa Teresa with more availability. From there, you can purchase transportation that will take you closer to Quillabamba and from there return to Cusco. You can also find transportation to Cusco. Therefore, it is advisable to contact a tourism or transportation agency that guarantees round-trip transportation. If you travel on your own or in a private vehicle, you can find parking lots and garages that will take care of the vehicle.
  • The Hidroelectrica train station – Machu Picchu Pueblo – Finally, one last service option that you will find in Hydroelectric is the train station that receives the same name. From there it is possible to travel to Machu Picchu, but only in two schedules. The first of them is at 07:54 in the morning, while the second option is from 2:50 p.m. The travel time in both cases is only 30 minutes. Likewise, you can access the return train, that is, Machu Picchu Pueblo to hydroelectric from 06:45 and the second schedule at 1:30 p.m. The travel time will be similar to the outbound leg, that is, 30 minutes. It is important to note that whoever wants to make any train trip must be at the train station 30 minutes before.
Food stalls at Hidroelectrica

What is the route through Hydroelectric to Machu Picchu from Cusco?

The hydroelectric route to Machu Picchu, starting from Cusco, is really economical compared to the rest of the services. The cost of travel can only reach 200 PEN, while in the other services you can travel minimally with a cost of approximately 120 USD and 150 USD. Although the travel time is shorter, the cost of the service often tips the balance. Of course, to save more it is mandatory to do the section on foot.

The walk from hydroelectric to Machu Picchu is really easy to do. The road has no slopes and the climate is warm. This makes the walk more pleasant to do and, in addition, you can do the entire route in comfortable clothing. Something to keep in mind is that you should use sunscreen and especially mosquito repellent. Only in this way will you be able to have an adequate route. Mosquitoes are abundant due to the presence of humidity and the warmth of the climate.

If you want to make the trip on your own, remember to take travel times into account and preferably predict the travel time accurately. On the other hand, emphasize that this travel option requires a minimum of two days. It is also important to purchase entry tickets to Machu Picchu in advance. If you like hiking, among these tickets you can find some options for short walks very close to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.

Train heading to Machu Picchu town from Hydroelectric


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 20-02-2024

Interested in the Inca Trail? Know more about Routes!