How to Reach Machu Picchu Without the Inca Trail
Machu Picchu is one of the greatest wonders of our world. Because it allows those of us in the modern era to gaze back at the splendor and spirituality of an ancient civilization. It is a must-see spot for travelers visiting South American. Machu Picchu is situated deep in the heart of Peru’s Sacred Valley. More than 75,000 people take on the site’s popular 26-mile route while hiking Machu Picchu each year. These travelers endure altitude, steep climbs, extreme weather, and other challenges along the way. Many people are uncertain how to properly plan a visit to Machu Picchu. Because reaching it seems like a difficult task that’s meant only for experienced trekkers. Many believe that this sacred and serene place can only be reached by completing a four-day trek.
However, this trek can sometimes prove too challenging for those with limited time or concerns about taking on a serious physical challenge. While exploring the Inca Trail via Machu Picchu treks works for many travelers, it certainly isn’t the only way to reach the site. The good news is that Machu Picchu doesn’t have to be out of reach for you if you are dealing with any limiting factors. Using a combination of public transportation and tour services. You can reach the ruins in the sky easily. The fact is that only a small percentage of travelers who reach the ancient site actually do so via the Inca Trail. The rest use a combination of trains, buses, and guided tours to get there.
It cannot be stressed enough how important booking tickets to Machu Picchu ahead of time is. This is even truer if you plan on trekking Machu Picchu during the high season between May and September. Permits to visit the site can be obtained from the Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura Cusco. You can either visit their website or stop by the official office in Cusco. Peruvian tourism authorities have placed a strict limit that only allows for 2,500 permits to be issued per day. These tickets often sell out days in advance. If you have your heart set on visit Huayna Picchu. You should know that these tickets tend to sell out at an even quicker rate. Huayna Picchu is a steep mountain at the end of the Inca site. It should be noted that this climb is even steeper and more challenging than the trek to Machu Picchu.
Aguas Calientes is the closest town to Machu Picchu. It is the essential stop for physical and mental preparation on all Machu Picchu hiking tours. Trains run from Cusco’s nearby station of Poroy to Aguas Calientes. The ride lasts just over three hours. Booking train tickets in advance is advised. The trains coming out of Cusco that are operated by Peru Rail and Inca Rail offer a range of pricing options and luxuries. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Peru Rail office in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. While you’re in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, you can stop by the office of Peru’s tourist board for help regarding any of your travel arrangements.
One alternative is to use trains from a town called Ollantaytambo. This town is located halfway along the train line between Cusco and Aguas Calientes. This option allows you to do a two-hour journey through the valley from Cusco to Ollantaytambo by bus or minivan to reach the train at Aguas Calientes. One perk of coming to Ollantaytambo is that there are some smaller Inca ruins to tour while staying in the area.
You will want to arrive at Aguas Calientes at least a full day before you plan to visit Machu Picchu. This will allow you to rest, relax and start your exploration early the next morning. You should also consider starting your journey early enough in the morning to reach the site in time to witness a magical sunrise. The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to the top of the mountain takes about 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can make the eight-kilometer journey by foot up a steep mountainside path. If you choose this option, be prepared to take time for extra rest in between taking in the phenomenal views that will be waiting for you.
The Glory and Height of the Journey
Even if you plan to make your trip as speedy as possible, there are factors at play that will cause you to slow down just a little. Keep in mind that the altitude of the local area will be quite a shock to your body. You need to factor in time for extra rest as you acclimate to the altitude. Of course, you won’t mind slowing down to take some time to appreciate the beauty and majesty of Cusco. While many people dismiss Cusco as a starting point for getting on the Inca Trail. This gem is anything but a means to an end. It towers 11,000 feet above sea level to offer glimpses of sweeping vistas, fascinating architecture, and simplistic mountain life. Plan to reserve a day or two for getting swept up in the charm of Cusco before or after you hike Machu Picchu. Facebook.