From anywhere you must first come to Cusco Peru.
In Cusco is the airport that receives flights from Lima; here too the buses from Arequipa, Puno and Lima arrive. Only from Cusco you can opt for the different options to go to Aguas Calientes, the town you must reach to enter Machu Picchu.
The distance between Cusco and Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu is 74.7 km.
The Inca city of Machu Picchu (the best known and most visited part) is located on the top of the mountain, to access this site you must pass through Aguas Calientes that is located in the lower part of the same mountain.
From Cusco you have some alternatives to get to Aguas Calientes. The best known and recommended is by train. You can take the train from Cusco, Poroy or Ollantaytambo, and choose different schedules that the two companies offer.
From Aguas Calientes you climb on a road (approximately 2 hours) or by bus (approximately 25 minutes).
The shortest route to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco:
Due to the mountainous geography of the Andes, the shortest route is Cusco – Ollantaytambo – Huarocondo – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu:
- 84 km by car: Cusco to Ollantaytambo 1 hour and 8 minutes.
- 30 km by train: Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
- 8.4 km by bus: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
The cheapest route to visit Machu Picchu from Cusco
230 km the total distance from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
5 hours by car: You pass through the towns called Huarocondo, Ollantaytambo, Abra Malaga, Santa Maria, Santa Teresa (I recommend you book the hotel in this place, and take the opportunity to enjoy the thermal baths called Cocalmayo) and Hidroelectrica.
2 hours 30 min walking: Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes.