If you're an experienced or particularly free-willed trekker, you might want to hike the Classic Inca Trail independently -- no tour operator, no guide, no porter, just you and the trail. That, however, is no longer possible. Trekking along the Inca Trail without a guide has been prohibited since 2001.
What is the best time of year to go to Machu Picchu?
The heaviest rain is in February, which is also when the Inca Trail path is closed for maintenance. Orchids love the rain — blooming season begins in October/November and continues until March. Overall, we think the best time to visit Machu Picchu is from April to October.
Indeed you can, but you will not be hiking the Inca Trail to get there. You can see Machu Picchu via a rushed day trip from Cusco, or stay in one of the towns near Machu Picchu and walk or bus up to the ruins.
Once your flight to Machu Picchu lands in Cuzco, take a taxi or hop on the colectivo, or bus, which will take you downtown. Machu Picchu is 50 miles away from Cuzco. Arrive at your final destination by way of train to Aguas Calientes, where you can then travel by bus.
The standard Inca Trail trip takes four days, though it's probably better to do it in five. Travelers who want to see two of the greatest hits of the famous hike but who are short on time can opt for this truncated version, which begins at KM 104 of the Machu Picchu train line.
The Closest Airport to Machu Picchu
- The Closest Airport to Machu Picchu. The closest airport to Machu Picchu is the airport in Cusco, known as the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.
- Fly to Lima. Those with more time and flexibility have other options instead of booking a flight to Cusco straight from the United States.
- About Cusco Airport.
Cusco is the nearest airport for Machu Picchu. From Lima to Cusco there are buses and flights available, from Puno (Titicaca) to Cusco there are buses, flights and trains.
Please take this into account when making your travel plans. For most visitors, travel to Machu Picchu is quite safe. You will need to be much more vigilant when traveling through large cities such as Cusco and Lima. Such issues within Machu Picchu and along the Inca Trail, however, are nonexistent.
The nearest town is Aguas Calientes which is located down in the valley beside the Vilcanota River. Aguas Calientes is only a couple of kilometres away from Machu Picchu as the crow flies but it takes a bus about 20 minutes to climb the narrow, steep zigzagging dirt track that connects the two.
How Much Does a Trip to Machu Picchu Cost?
|Roundtrip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu site||$19|
|Two-day private tour guide||$140|
|Private taxi from Ollantaytambo to Cusco||$23.21|
Poroy is about 25 minutes by road from historical Cusco, and can be reached by local taxi or colectivo. The journey time by train is 3 hours and 20 minutes, and the train stops just once at Ollantaytambo Station before terminating at Aguas Calientes Once in Aguas Calientes you can take the shuttle bus to Machu Picchu.
You can also drive (most of the way) to Machu Picchu from Cusco to the town of Hydroelectrico (there's a hydroelectric plant there). From there it's a three hour hike up to Aguas Calientes and then on to Machu Picchu. Many tour companies in Cusco offer this route as a one- or two-day trip using private vans.
The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be in the top 5 treks in the world. In just 26 miles (43km) it manages to combine beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud-forest, subtropical jungle and, of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels.
Dead Woman's Pass. Dead Woman's Pass, also known as Warmiwañusqa, is called so because the mountain looks like the profile of a woman looking up at the sky. Warmi Wañusqa lies on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, southwest of the archaeological site of Patallaqta.
Peru's national vacation at the end of July is also a peak time for locals to tackle the Inca Trail or visit Machu Picchu by train. The warm, dry conditions never fail to prove popular with vacationmakers all the way through August and into September. By November, the rainy season is starting to begin in earnest.
Prices for the 4 day group service Inca trail trek generally range between USD $560 to 1600 per person including entrance fees and return on train (You can almost double these figures if you buy the trek with a tour agency outside Peru even though the service is the same).
At 4,215m (13,828 ft), it's the highest (and most dreaded) point of the Inca Trail, and nearly 1,800m (5,905 ft) higher than the altitude of Machu Picchu itself. The pass comes during the second day of the hike, often perceived to be the most challenging.
However, the closure of the Inca trail on February 2018 does not mean that Machu Picchu will be closed too.
In particular, Machu Picchu straddles two zones, the Yunga and the wet Puna* (see 8 regions below). The best time to visit the Inca citadel is during the dry season from April to October. For warmer temperatures with light to heavy rains, visit from November to March.
Time needed: ascent – 1h30 minutes accent, descent – 1 hour, 30 minutes at the summit. Altitude of summit: 3,082 meters (10,111 feet) above sea level. Height to climb from Machu Picchu: 652 meters (2,139 feet). Terrain: Inca Trail stone path steps and in places grass/dirt.
Discover the best time to visit Peru. The winter in Peru (May – September) is the driest season and therefore the best time of year to travel, especially if you are planning to visit the Cusco area or trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The summer (December – March) is the wettest season, with frequent heavy showers.