Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu in bus.

  • US$24 for round trip
  • Buses come and go constantly from 5.30am till 6.00pm
  • The drive takes about 40 minutes
  • Waiting times during high season can go up to two hours
  • Once you arrive to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town) you have two ways to get to the site of Machu Picchu; by foot or by bus. On foot it will take about one and a half to two hours, for the largest part uphill. You do not have to walk besides the road as there are some shortcuts for hikers but on a dry day will get quite some dust from the busses and on rainy days the hike can be slippery.
    Therefore, even with the hefty US$24 per person (for foreign visitors) fee, most people opt to take the bus to Machu Picchu. The bus journey takes about 30-40 minutes and for the first 10 will take you next to the Vilcanote River till you cross the bridge (on the right hand side one can see a small road leading to the Machu Picchu Museum) and start going uphill. It takes about 13 hairpin curves to cover the 500 meters difference in altitude with the entrance of the site. The road is called the Hiram Bingham Road after the American Explorer who is recognized as the official discoverer of Machu Picchu.
    At this time (this is something that hopefully in the nearby future changes) the buses and road are managed by one company which has a monopoly on the transportation to the site. This makes that client services and facilities are not always optimal. For most visitors this is noted in the basic facilities in Aguas Calientes to embark the buses as well as the improvised waiting line to get on the buses. The buses work with a first come, first serve system and there is no way around this. Therefore each passenger will have to wait in line personally. Buses come and go constantly but, especially in the high season (June through August) the waiting times for the bus can go up to two hours, especially during “rush hours” in the early morning and around noon. For the bus down the lines are less long as the number of people is better divided but waiting times up to an hour can still happen at times.
    Tickets for the bus costs US$24 for a return ticket for foreign visitors and US$15 visitors residing in Peru. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the ticket booth at the bus stop in Aguas Calientes or online ( Buses drive daily between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu from 5.30am till 4.00pm and from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes from 6.00am till 6.00pm.