What Is the Best Machu Picchu Tour for You?

There’s a misconception that all you need to do is fly to Cusco to see Machu Picchu, but the truth is that it’s an adventure in and of itself to make it from Cusco to the archeological site. And there are a multitude of ways to get there, including various possibilities regarding modes of transport – think, vehicle, train, bus, hiking, and walking. You’ll be on a journey from an altitude of 3,400 meters (11,100 feet) in the Southern Andes mountain range to a mountain ridge lined by the Urubamba river at 2,430 meters (8,000 feet).

Once you make it to the Machu Picchu archeological site itself, you’ll see over 200 stone structures constructed hundreds of years ago, including an urban area and an agricultural area. Historians think that the Inca Citadel accommodated up to 1,000 people at the time it was being used. And one of the most amazing parts of the Machu Picchu tour is really coming to a full understanding of how the Incas’ level of engineering was considered one of the most advanced of its time.

Interested in visiting Machu Picchu? There are 2 main towns along the route starting from Cusco where your flight will land:

  • Ollantaytambo – You can get from Cusco to Ollantaytambo either by private transport, public transport, or train. Many tourists plan an overnight stay in Ollantaytambo as it was an important Inca town during its time, and has its own Inca ruins as well as a vibrant marketplace. Both Inca Trail options (2-Day Inca Trail Hike and 4-Day Inca Trail Hike) require transport to Ollantaytambo first as the entry points to the trek are nearby.
  • Aguas Calientes – Also known as Machupicchu Town, this tiny tourist town is the gateway to Machu Picchu as it’s located at the base of the mountain. The town is filled with restaurants and has a couple of quaint sites, including a butterfly conservatory and natural hot springs. You’ll usually book an overnight stay here as well so that you can get up bright and early to tour the Machu Picchu archeological site the next morning.

Considering all the different ways you can get from Cusco to Machu Picchu, choosing the best Machu Picchu tour for you depends on the following factors:

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