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Easy route to Machu Picchu
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Train trip

To get to Machu Picchu currently has many hiking trails and also with comfortable travel by train. The trekking routes are dedicated to people who love nature and in a certain way to people who have more than 2 days to make the trekking routes. On the other hand, there is another group of people who do not have much time and have to find the best way to discover Machu Picchu, often leaving aside contact with nature. That is why, during this blog, we will put some options and routes so that you can realize a (short) trekking route in Machu Picchu. Below, we want to show you some alternatives that will not take much time but will guarantee you short hikes with incredible views.

The easiest route to Machu Picchu

Many people make the trip to Machu Picchu to achieve a connection with the mysticism, almost sacred, of Machu Picchu and the nature that surrounds it. To increase this perception, many of these people choose to do the trekking routes that enable a better connection with both the Inca archaeological sites and nature especially if you take the Inca Trail route. A small branch of the incredible road network of the Incas. By this route, it is possible to reach Machu Picchu through the beautiful Inti Punku which allows you to enjoy the urban organization in a close relationship with nature and solar movement. It is a spectacle.

Unfortunately, not all people can do these routes for different reasons such as the case of time, availability, and the same age which is usually a determining factor when opting not for hiking routes. Fortunately, different options can provide a similar experience and most importantly in a short time, the first step will be to reach Machu Picchu doing the simplest route. That is, making the trip by train. In this way, it is guaranteed that people who travel, have a safe trip and best of all, the necessary comfort to make the journey from Cusco – to Machu Picchu in just one day.

The train trip has different options and travel schedules. Therefore, it is possible to make the complete tour in only one day, taking Cusco as a starting point. It also allows travelers to do many more activities before or after visiting Machu Picchu. The train trip will end at the train station of Machu Picchu Town. From this point, it is only 10 kilometers away from the archaeological site considered a wonder of the world. That is why the options to continue the trip are walking for 2 hours or taking a short bus ride for only 30 minutes.

The hike may require a lot of effort, but if that is what you are looking for, you will be well served. During the trek, you will find a great diversity of vegetation and some orchids that dared to grow on the stairs leading up to Machu Picchu. On the other hand, we have the option of traveling by bus. This can be very important if we acquire tickets that include short trekking routes in Machu Picchu. These short trekking routes will require less effort, but it is recommended to arrive with enough energy to enjoy the tour and not take it as a punishment. Now, we would like to detail more about the experience of walking to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.

The first option is to ascend on foot

Machu Picchu ascent map
Just at this point begins the hike or ascent to the Machu Picchu mountain

From Machu Picchu Town, the first option is to follow the Hiram Bingham road to reach the starting point of the ascent. The hike to the archaeological site is practically along a route of zigzagging stairs that will put your knees and leg muscles to the test. This route, although it may seem short, can take up to two hours. That is, taking into account adequate rest times. The hike is tough as it is a completely ascending route.

During some stretches of the road, it is possible to find the bus that follows the route. These buses will not make stops. So, it is important to think well about how the ascent to Machu Picchu will be done. However, doing the route on foot allows you to learn more about the nature of the place. Also, you get a closer view of the river that runs through much of the town of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town. This river has a route bordering all the mountains where the wonder of the world is located.

The hike allows us to appreciate more of the whole place, mainly the passage of the river and the natural space that surrounds the entire route. On the walk you can find a variety of plants, the whole path is surrounded by lush vegetation and it is possible to find during some stretches the presence of birds (with a lot of luck) and also the presence of some orchids that are the emblematic plants of the place. After touring the Inca citadel, it will be time to start the return trip. At this point, you can also choose to go down by bus, in the end it will be up to you to decide. You can take into account that the descent will be easier, but yes, you will end up very tired.

This ascent route is not recommended for children under 5 years old, only if parents are willing to carry their children during the ascent. Likewise, it is recommended that people over 60 years old do not dare to do this route unless they have the authorization of their doctors. On the other hand, it is also a bad idea to do this route if you manage to access the tickets that include small trekking routes such as the entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu, Huchuy Picchu, and Machu Picchu Mountain. In all three cases, you can hike for a minimum of 2 hours. Be sure to do this tour only if you have the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu or, failing that if you do not consider doing the trekking routes that correspond to the other entrances. That is, only Circuit 3.

Other options

Panoramic views
During short treks, you can see beautiful landscapes and panoramic views

A few moments ago we talked about how it would be a bad idea to make the ascent to Machu Picchu on foot and then continue with the hiking trails that correspond to some entrance tickets to the wonder of the world. However, it should be noted that these trekking routes can bring beautiful trails typical of the Inca Trail and also exclusive landscapes since few people are encouraged to purchase the tickets. However, in the case of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu, you must make the reservation at least 2 months in advance.

Another option that also follows the Huayna Picchu route and is now independent of this route is the Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu entrance ticket. This ticket has a shorter route, 1 hour on average. It is almost half compared to the Huayna Picchu route. The hike is simple and allows you to appreciate much of the geography that is shaped throughout the Natural Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Likewise, it seems to have a close relationship with the small mountain or pyramid that serves as the base of the Intihuatana in the Inca citadel. From Huchuy Picchu, which seems to have had an incredible connection with the coca leaf, you can also see part of the constructions on top of Huayna Picchu.

Finally, another of the short routes that can be done including Machu Picchu in the itinerary, during your visit, is with the entrance ticket Machu Picchu + Machu Picchu Mountain. This is considered the highest mountain and it is actually because of this mountain that the archaeological site receives the name we know. Although the walk through this place does not take us to a concrete Inca construction, it takes us to the top of everything. That is why, from the top and the viewpoint you can better appreciate the mountain range of the Andes, you can also see part of the valley that is formed by the presence of the Vilcanota River that comes from Ollantaytambo, even from Cusco and other regions further south.

Beautiful views

By taking the easiest route to Machu Picchu, it does not mean that those who make this trip will not see beautiful landscapes and be filled with natural energy. On the contrary, it allows us to appreciate from the comfort, for example, the Sacred Valley which can be crossed when making the trip by train from Cusco and also when making the trip by bus or other vehicle. The views on road or rail travel will differ and it is really impressive how the perspectives offer you different landscapes at the time of crossing the same place. We recommend that, if it is possible to make the trip by both means, do it without thinking about it.

The train ride also leaves behind the sparsely vegetated mountains and the geography of the valley. Gradually, during the train ride, a more enclosed environment is perceived, where the gigantic mountains become more green and at the same time narrower. The vegetation seems to enter the train cars and the climate becomes warmer. The train ride in itself is a new experience.

Finally, and as we saw throughout the trip and ascent to Machu Picchu, at all times you can appreciate one of the most beautiful geographies such as the Andes Mountains. These mountain ranges are the main characteristic of the Peruvian geography and at the same time the one that provides a great variety of climates in a few kilometers. Making the trip to Machu Picchu is a guarantee to appreciate more the beautiful valleys and mountains of Cusco. So do not forget to bring a camera or charge your cell phone.

Machu Picchu mountain view
Panoramic view to Machu Picchu Mountain

Other benefits

By making the trip to Machu Picchu by the easiest route and doing trekking routes, although short, you will not only find comfort at the time of making the trip but the opportunity to have more adventures and with the practicality of better controlling your time during the adventure.

  • Take advantage of booking tickets with low demand (except for Huayna Picchu).
  • Book 3 months in advance the tickets to Huayna Picchu.
  • Take only what you need for the hike.
  • Do not use disposable tools or utensils.
  • You can begin to do light training to facilitate your adventure on this short route.
  • Enjoy the landscapes that few dare to reach.
  • The hikes are really beautiful and ideal for families.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 27-02-2024

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