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The many ways to get to Machu Picchu

In addition to the excitement that the mere idea of ​​visiting Machu Picchu implies, there is also the possibility of contemplating your preferred way of moving to finally set foot in this wonderful place. We always talk about the routes that depart from the city of Cusco.

The following article has an estimated reading time of 3 to 5 minutes.

Be it that you want to experience the adventure, the romance, the practicality, the connection to the destination, or whichever combination, you will always find a personal way to get to “MaPi” according to what you have dreamed.

Machu Picchu. Cusco
Halfway to the imaginary line that goes from where people are to the upper left corner of the photo, is the “lost city.” Look it up!

Adventurous travelers, already know that their favorite way of arrival would be having traveled the Inca Trail, or the demanding route of the snowy Salkantay.

Romantic travelers will surely want to enjoy the calm and comfort of boarding an idyllic train.

However, this is not the kind of passengers we are looking for and it’s nothing personal, but it is about our travel philosophy.

Finally, those that search for the connection with the destination, they will want to be involved with all of the elements that are present along the way, we have our original routes of Coffee and the one of Many Things for them.

Machu Picchu. Cusco
Machu Picchu always so enigmatic

Although in a straight line we talk about around 80 km (just under two marathons, which surely any Chaski * could easily cover), you can imagine that nothing is really that simple. It is with good reason that Machu Picchu spent so much time unnoticed: first, unnoticed by the eyes of the Spanish conquerors; and then, of the Peruvians and the world in general until 1911 (with all the exceptions of the case).

**The term Chaski refers to relay runners that ran sections of the road to deliver official messages between any points of the Inca empire.


Inka Trail. Cusco
The Inca Trail is the most beautiful way to get to Machu Picchu.

The very popular Inca Trail has two versions in terms of its duration (and route), since depending on the interests and physical condition of the hikers, it is accessed from a distant point, or another closer to Machu Picchu, thus allowing adventures of 4 or 2 days respectively.

Naturally, the “traditional” Inca Trail (4d) offers a greater diversity of experiences because it involves several archeological sites of different magnitudes- which will prepare you emotionally for your arrival in Machu Picchu; In addition to mountain passes at different heights and three unforgettable camping nights.

The short version (2d), although it is much simpler than the traditional one, it also culminates with the entrance to Machu Picchu by Intipunku or “Sun gate”, one of the most sublime experiences of the route, of which simply all hikers are impressed by.

Salkantay. Cusco
The Salkatay trek takes you from the tropical snow-capped mountains to the warm lands of the high jungle.

On the other hand, the most demanding route of the snowy Salkantay (5d), we have also described before in another blog that you can consult by clicking on the link.

On rails to Machu Picchu

Taking the train is the most popular option for travelers wishing to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Obviously there are trains and trains, for all of the budgets and requirements. And you can also choose where to board them: be it in the same city of Cusco, or at the Poroy station (just outside of the urban layout), but you could also make the stretch shorter by taking the classic route from Ollantaytambo, or if you approach Machu Picchu from the other side –when you finish the Salkantay trek, or our original route of Coffee and the Many Things, there is a short route (from the Hidroeléctrica station) that you can take.

Hiram Bingham luxury train | Cusco
Guido the founder of RESPONS posing with Agnes another RESPONS team member

Homey aromas and many other curiosities that will make you walk

Enrique Coffe Farmer. Cusco
Our dear Enrique and his family in the Lucmabamba area will receive you with open arms.

Our host coffee families who settle on the less conventional “back route” to Machu Picchu, will steal your heart and cheer your palate.

We have designed stops at different altitudes that will allow your body to acclimatize while being attended by charismatic people who produce coffee varieties that you can taste as often as you’d like.

But that’s not all, because all this road that deviates from Ollantaytambo to ascend to the icy Abra Málaga and descend again through the valley of Huayopata, which is where the many things begin, and that combines traveling by car and on foot, will show you tea, honey, chocolate, fruits, wildlife sightings (especially from the beloved Cock of the rocks and other birds), and even hot springs.

Finally, the most important thing – and that is our reason for being, is to share with people and do it in a leisurely way, investing more time and leaving a greater contribution to local economic development.

So now that you know the different ways to get to Machu Picchu, you must read our article on how to make it a stress-free visit, where you will find many interesting tips and the answers to many questions that a lot of passengers ask when they are in the area.


If you want a customized option, we invite you to contact us.

Cover and Machu Picchu tour photos are courtesy of the Hefting family

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RESPONS’ mission is to improve living conditions in Peru through developing and promoting sustainable tourism. We’ve implemented a business model in which all areas of human relations are respected, and - equally important - respect for the planet is incorporated.

Following this business model, we practice fair trade, foster cultural identity, promote equal opportunities, and we preserve the environment that surrounds us and other species.

Together with you we improve, day by day, on the always-demanding path towards sustainability.

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