Machu Picchu on a Shoestring

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Machu Picchu on a Shoestring

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1. Posted by mick0x (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I need to know the cheapest way to do Machu Picchu.

I figure I should get a collectivo from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, then the train from there to Machu Picchu Pueblo (aka Aguas Calientes) for about USD57 return. From there, get a bus up to Machu Picchu.

Is this the cheapest option?

Can anyone who has gone to Machu Picchu tell me how much it cost them in total?



2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Save the 12 bucks on the return bus ticket from AC to MP and walk up the hill. Takes an hour or so.

3. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

That seems to be the cheapest way, I was there in late august and hiked the Inca Trail. From the people I spoke to the train is the cheapest option. Also walking back to AC from MP is a good way to save some cash. If your up for it spend a few days in AC and hike up to MP before the buses leave and you can have most of MP to your self. Also another great way to see MP from AC is to take the,about hour and half hike up the surrounding mountain. Here is the info from andeantravel. It is well worth the hike. If you can grab a friend and a headlamp and try to be on top to see MP during the sunrise.

If you're feeling adventurous and have plenty of energy left and 4 hours to spare in Aguas Calientes you may consider climbing the breathtaking trail to Putucusi. Putucusi is the mountain on the opposite side of the Vilcanota River to Machu Picchu. The views of Machu Picchu from the top are spectacular but it's the trail up that you'll remember most. It's an Inca Trail that has only recently been discovered and cleared and involves ascending some pretty hair-raising vertical ladders along the way. The trail starts only 10 minutes walk outside Aguas Calientes (along the tracks in the opposite direction to Cusco). You'll see a sign on the right hand side marking the trail start. You have to sign you name in a book at the beginning of the trail and you will come to the most difficult section after only 15 minutes. Here you can decide to turn back (as do 75% of people) or climb the long wooden ladders scaling the rock face! It's best to go early in the day and when the weather is good and, for safety sake, not to go alone.

4. Posted by johnstar (Budding Member 53 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

hi Mick,

I've just got back from a 3 week trip to Peru and i made major mistakes with the day at Machu Pichu as i will explain when i post details later this week.

In a nutshell me and my girlfriend paid 140 dollars total for 2 return tickets from Cusco to Machu Picchu

Good Points...some great views en route to enjoy

Bad Points....very expensive for a slow 4 hour journey.

virtually no leg room on the way to Machu Picchu
which made it very uncomfortable.

you MUST leave the station at 6am and depart at
15.45 giving little time to explore the site.

no breakfast service or any refreshments provided.

What i will say in defence of the train operating company is that when i was ill on the day we were scheduled to go they were good enough to re-arrange another day for an extra 10 dollars which was quite good of them so we didnt miss out but when i return to Machu Picchu i will find an alternative route probably by bus as i think a taxi would be just as expensive if not more so.

Here's a quick low-down so you dont get any shocks on the day....

Price per person for return train journey...70 dollars

Price for buses from Aguas Calientes to Site & Back...20 soles each way

Price for entry into site...85 soles per person

This was as of December 10 2006 and prices for non-nationals. Peruvians pay slightly less.

We didnt take the Inca trail and only visited for the day as we were pushed for time but you get the freedom to roam the site and its breathtaking in every way.

Hope this helps


5. Posted by lisasd (Budding Member 43 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Can train tix be purchased for Aquas Calientas/Machu Picchu before I go?

6. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

search this forum; there is a thread called smt like 'getting to MP cheaply' by our member Erwinnl, which explains all the details very clearly.