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How To Get From Cusco Airport To Machu Picchu Without Spending A Fortune (All Possible Ways)

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We will tell you how to get from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu without spending a fortune. The distance from Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport to Machu Picchu is 100 kilometers.

You can go on your own from Cusco to Machu Picchu for only $15-20 USD one way. Keep reading below!

The travel time from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu by bus plus train is around 4 hours and the fare is around $60-70 USD for one-way ticket.

You can get a private Peru tours in Cusco and they will organize everything for you avoiding the hassle.

The cheapest way from Cusco to Machu Picchu is by bus and van a long walk to Aguas Calientes for $15-20 USD that you can book online.

The travel time by bus from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu by bus plus walk is around 10 hours. Read here how to get from Cusco airport to city center, Cusco to Sacred Valley, Humantay Lake travel guide and Palccoyo Mountain travel guide

Read here how to get from Lima airport to BarrancoLima airport to city center and MirafloresLima airport to HuacachinaHuacachina to Cusco and Lima airport to San Isidro

Read Peru sim card for touristvegetarian food in Peru and Peruvian food

WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO

The accommodation price can take you around $1015 USD if you stay in a cheap room. For mid-budget accommodation starts at $30-50 USD and for more than $80 USD you will find luxury accommodation in Cusco.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN CUSCO BEFORE YOUR TRIP WITH BOOKING.

Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.

Click here to book online Cusco activities and day trips.

Cusco Airport To Machu Picchu

Bus From Cusco Airport to Machu Picchu (Cheapest Way)

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The cheapest way from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu is by bus. There are no direct buses going from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu. You will have to get a bus to Cusco city center, from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and a train to Machu Picchu. Or the cheapest option from Cusco to Hidroelectrica and walk to Aguas Calientes.

You will have to get public buses from Cusco airport to city center. The buses are stopping outside the airport. Just head to the Gas Station in the road and buses will stop there going to Cusco city center.

The bus fare from Cusco airport to Cusco city center is $1 Sol which is less than $1 USD. The travel time from Cusco airport to Plaza de Armas in Cusco city center is around 30-40 minutes by bus.

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You will have to go with little luggage and they are totally safe if you are on a budget and you want to save some money avoiding getting a taxi. There is no fixed schedule but you will see small buses passing by outside the airport.

I would recommend you speak at least a few words in Spanish to communicate properly and always be careful with your belongings. Make sure that you don’t bring so much luggage since there is small space in the public buses in Cusco.

BUSES SCHEDULE FROM CUSCO TO OLLANTAYTAMBO (BEST WAY)

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The bus schedule from Cusco to Ollantaytambo is leaving every 30-60 minutes during the day. Once in Ollantaytambo you will have to ride the train to Aguas Calientes.

The bus fare from Cusco to Ollantaytambo is around 12-15 PEN which is $4-5 USD and the travel time is around 2 hours from Cusco to Ollantaytambo.

BUS SCHEDULE FROM CUSCO TO HIDROELECTRICA (CHEAPEST WAY)

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The cheapest way to get from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu is by bus to Hidroelectrica. Once in Hidroelectrica you will have to walk 3 hours to reach Aguas Calientes. The bus schedule from Cusco to Hidroelectrica is leaving at 7 am.

The bus fare from Cusco to Hidroelectrica is around $15-20 USD that you can book online and the travel time is around 7 hours. I recommend you to book online the bus from Cusco to Hidroelectrica if you want to go on a budget. The bus operators can ask $25-30 USD for the bus ticket from Cusco to Hidroelectrica.

Click here to book online Bus Ticket Cusco to Hidroelectrica

Walking From Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes

If you go from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes by walk it will be around 3 hours around 10 kilometers parallel to the Railway a really nice hike to enjoy. You will see many travelers walking thru the Railways to reach the town of Aguas Calientes.

Bus Schedule From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

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If you want to go by bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu will take 20 minutes. The bus schedule from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is every 20-30 minutes and you will have to get the line 20-30 minutes before your bus.

The bus fare from Aguas Calientes o Machu Picchu is $12 USD for one way ticket and $24 USD for a return and you have to book in advance.

A bus ride for $12 USD and 20 minutes of travel time in Peru? Yeah you read properly, Welcome to Machu Picchu! For me so far in 15 years traveling the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is the most expensive ever in the world!

If you go on a budget you can hike the way up to Machu Picchu for free as I did a few years ago between 45-60 minutes going up. And around 40 minutes they way down by walk from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. The hike is easy stairs but you will not get lost and the same way to go down.

The cheapest way from Cusco to Machu Picchu is by bus. Leaving from Cusco to Hidroelectrica at 7 am to reach 2 pm at Hidroelectrica. You will have to walk 3 hours to get to Aguas Calientes and stay over night.

Next day one hour hike up and hour down from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. The bus from Hidroelectrica to Cusco is leaving around 2 pm for you to organize your schedule in Machu Picchu best thing is entering 6 am at Machu Picchu to get on time to get the bus from Hidroelectrica to Cusco.

The total travel time from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu is around 10 hours and the bus far from Cusco to Aguas Calientes is around $20 USD.

There are other options like staying in Santa Teresa 30 minutes before Aguas Calientes and enjoying the Hot Springs there. From Santa Teresa to Aguas Calientes you can get a taxi. You will have to decide the option that fits to your budget and time.

Click here to book online Cusco activities and day trips.

BEST WAY BY TRAIN FROM CUSCO TO MACHU PICCHU (OLLANTAYTAMBO TO AGUAS CALIENTES)

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The train from Cusco to Machu Picchu is the best way and most popular between travelers. You will have to book in advance and we with Peru Rail or Inca Rail. First you will have to reach Ollantaytambo by bus from Cusco as we mentioned above for 2 hours travel time and $5 USD.

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The train fare from Cusco to Machu Picchu starts at $50-80 USD for one way ticket and $100 USD for a return ticket depending on the train that you choose. The travel time by train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is 1 hour 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

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Once in Aguas Calientes you will have two options as we mentioned above by walk around 1 hour and free of charge or by bus 20 minutes and $12 USD one-way ticket.

Click here to book online train ticket Cusco to Machu Picchu!

Private Transfer from Cusco Airport to Machu Picchu (Day Tour Cusco to Machu Picchu)

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You can book a day tour from Cusco to Machu Picchu as we did with Exploor Peru. They will organize everything for you the transfers, train tickets, bus tickets to the Machu Picchu and the Entrance day and schedule.

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It can be time-consuming to organize a trip to Machu Picchu and you will be only worried of enjoying and taking pictures.

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If you go for short time as most of the people visiting around Cusco private transportation will allow you to enjoy the place more than if you have to visit and still fight with the logistic of entrance tickets and booking in advance to visit Machu Picchu.

Click here to book your private tour in Machu Pichu with Exploor Peru!

BEST WAY FROM CUSCO AIRPORT TO MACHU PICCHU

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The best way from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu if you are on a budget and traveling light is getting the buses from outside the airport for 1 Sol to the city and 30-40 minutes travel time.

Once in Cuco get the bus to Hidroelectrica and walk thru the rails to Aguas Calientes. Once in Aguas Calientes hike up for 45-60 minutes to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

You will be able to get from Cusco airport to Machu Picchu for $20 USD that you can book online. The travel time by bus from Cusco to Aguas Calientes will be around 10 hours depending on the transfer time and the same on the way back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.

If you prefer comfort and traveling with more people you can choose a Travel Agency as we did with Exploor Peru. They have packages to move around Cusco and the Machu Picchu. Everything was great from the organization, food, the guides and the attention before and after the trip.

MACHU PICCHU ENTRANCE FEE AND OPENING HOURS

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Machu Picchu Entrance Fee is around $45-70 USD (depending on if you book Hayna Picchu too can be more expensive) and you will have to book in advance.

Machu Picchu’s opening hours start at 6 am until 2 pm since the pandemic started. And you will have to pick your exact time on arrival, after this book the bus and the train. So much hassle! Make sure if you do on your own you do everything step by step. If not just book online with a trusted agency!

MACHU PICCHU VISIT DAY

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Machu Picchu is the most popular attraction in Peru. Most of the visitors are coming to Cusco and the final destination is Machu Picchu one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The visit can take 3-4 hours and the most beautiful part is the entrance with two amazing points of view.

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Those point of views are crowded since all the people want to take a beautiful picture. After the points of views you will go down to appreciate inside the Ciutadella and go around stones with the amazing views of the Valley.

What else we can say about Machu Picchu is a must to see in Peru. Even it’s crowded the views and the place is so incredible!

ACCOMMODATION IN AGUAS CALIENTES MACHU PICCHU

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The accommodation price can take you around $1015 USD if you stay in a cheap room. For mid-budget accommodation starts at $30-50 USD and for more than $80 USD you will find luxury accommodation in Peru.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN CUSCO BEFORE YOUR TRIP WITH BOOKING.

FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN PERU

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A total of $5-6 USD can be your daily food budget travel in Cusco. Local food in a local restaurant will start from $2-5 USD. You can get snacks like street foods for $1 USD. You can buy a combination of ceviche and lomo saltado with a drink for only $3 USD.

BEST TIME TO VISIT IN CUSCO

You can go to Cusco any time of the year. The months of December to February are the best time to visit Peru because is the sunniest and also the peak season. October to November is the months ideal for those working with a budget because it is considered the low season in the country.

Click here to know more about the weather in Cusco.

ATMS AND CASH IN CUSCO

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The official currency of Peru is called Peruvian Sol (PEN). And $1 USD=3.75 PEN. ATMs and exchange offices are available all throughout the city. And it is also advisable to withdraw as much as you can because fees for transactions tend to be higher for foreign cars. Banco de la Nacion is the only bank which isn’t charging commissions for foreigner cards in Cusco and Peru.

Click here to check the exact change rate.

Bank Fees For Foreigner Cards In Peru

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Most of the banks in Peru will charge fees for foreign cards in Peru. We only found Banco de la Nacion that wasn’t charging any fee.

Check the list below with the exact fees for foreigner cards in Peru and how much money are you allowed to withdraw in Peru with every bank.

BankAmount Allowed And Fees
Banco De La Nacion400 PEN Withdraw And No Fees
Interbank400 PEN Withdraw And 19 PEN Fees
BCP700 PEN Withdraw And 27 PEN Fees
BBVA400 PEN Withdraw And 25 PEN Fees
ScotiaBank400 PEN Withdraw And 20 PEN Fees

Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.

Feel free to use our links with discounts for BookingAgodaAirbnb and Klook. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys. 

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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