Finally, our tour ends with a visit to the impressive Machu Picchu. You’ll wake around 4:00 am to get ready for the hike to Machu Picchu main entrance. Each person will be given a packed breakfast and we will start the 30-minute walk to Puente Ruinas checkpoint where you will have to show your passport, Machu Picchu ticket, and student ID if applicable. After passing the first checkpoint, we will climb stairs for about one hour to reach Machu Picchu’s main gate by 6:00 am. Once everybody meets at the gate, we enter Machu Picchu and begin our 2.5-hour guided tour of the infamous ruins, where you will learn everything about The Lost City of The Incas. After the guided tour, you’ll have free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. The time that you will spend in Machu Picchu will depend on how you are going back to Cusco (train or car) and whether or not you want to climb the Machu Picchu Montaña or Huayna Picchu Mountain, which must be booked in advance.
We offer you two options for returning to Cusco:
BY TRAIN: The train is a beautiful way to return to Cusco and also allows you more time (about 7-8 hours) to visit Machu Picchu. If you are planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, we strongly advise you to take the train, as these hikes require a minimum of 3 hours to complete. You will need to return to Aguas Calientes in time for your train at 6:20 pm. You may want to give yourself extra time, as some people like to explore the town. You’ll ride the train for about 1.5 hours to Ollantaytambo, where you will then switch to a car and finish the final 2 hours of the trip, arriving in Cusco around 10:30 pm.
BY CAR: Returning to Cusco by car is a more affordable option for those on a tight budget. However, please be aware that with this option you’ll have less time to explore Machu Picchu, and if you are planning to hike Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be very tight on time. The return to Cusco by car is a longer trip (a 6-hour drive in total), as there are no roads leading to Aguas Calientes and the driver must take a longer route back. If you are taking a car back, you will need to leave Machu Picchu by 12:00 am and take the 3-hour walk back to Hidroelectrica, where you will meet the car at 3:00 pm. If you are considering this option and planning on hiking Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, we recommend you stay one more night in Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco by car on the 6th day so that you can fully enjoy the experience.