Machu Picchu Travel Tours

How to get from Lima to Machu Picchu?

If you’re planning a trip to Peru, a visit to Machu Picchu is a must. This ancient Inca city nestled high in the Andes Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. While Lima, the capital of Peru, is the starting point for most travelers, getting from Lima to Machu Picchu requires some careful planning. In this guide, we will explore the different transportation options, what to pack, tips for a smooth trip, and more.

Choosing the Right Mode of Transportation

There are several modes of transportation available to get from Lima to Machu Picchu. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your preferences, budget, and travel style.

Option 1: By Train

One of the most popular ways to reach Machu Picchu from Lima is by train. The journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There are different train services available, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury trains with onboard dining and panoramic windows.

Option 2: By Bus

Another option is to take a bus from Lima to Machu Picchu. This is a more economical choice, but it can be a longer journey compared to the train. Buses usually depart from Lima and make stops along the way, allowing you to explore other cities and attractions in Peru.

Option 3: By Plane

If you’re short on time or prefer a quicker mode of transportation, you can take a domestic flight from Lima to Cusco, the nearest city to Machu Picchu. From Cusco, you can then take a train or bus to reach the ancient ruins. This option is convenient but may be more expensive.

What to Pack for the Journey

  • Comfortable Clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothes suitable for hiking and exploring.
  • Good Walking Shoes: Make sure to bring sturdy shoes for walking on uneven terrain.
  • Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong Andean sun.
  • Camera: Capture the stunning landscapes and ancient ruins with a good camera.
  • Water Bottle: Stay hydrated throughout your journey by carrying a refillable water bottle.

Tips for a Smooth Trip

Here are some tips to ensure a hassle-free journey from Lima to Machu Picchu:
  • Book in Advance: Tickets for trains, buses, and entrance to Machu Picchu can sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book in advance.
  • Acclimate to the Altitude: Cusco and Machu Picchu are located at high altitudes, so take some time to acclimate before embarking on any strenuous activities.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to prevent altitude sickness and stay hydrated throughout your trip.
  • Follow Sustainable Practices: Respect the environment and local communities by following sustainable practices, such as not littering and supporting local businesses.

Exploring Machu Picchu

Once you arrive at Machu Picchu, prepare to be amazed by the ancient ruins and stunning views. It’s recommended to hire a guide who can provide insights into the history and significance of this archaeological wonder. Don’t forget to explore the Sun Gate, Huayna Picchu, and the Temple of the Sun.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. The weather is generally pleasant, with clear skies and less chance of rainfall. However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so it’s advisable to book your tickets and accommodations well in advance.

Accommodation Options

There are various accommodation options available near Machu Picchu, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Consider staying in Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to the ancient ruins, or in the Sacred Valley for a more tranquil experience. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the high season.


Getting from Lima to Machu Picchu is an adventure in itself. Whether you choose to take the train, bus, or plane, the journey to this iconic site is well worth it. Plan ahead, pack wisely, and get ready to immerse yourself in the fascinating history and natural beauty of Machu Picchu.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to travel from Lima to Machu Picchu?

The travel time can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. By train, it takes approximately 3-4 hours. By bus, it can take around 20-24 hours. By plane, it takes about 1 hour to fly from Lima to Cusco, and then additional travel time to reach Machu Picchu.

2. Are there any direct flights from Lima to Machu Picchu?

No, there are no direct flights from Lima to Machu Picchu. The nearest airport to Machu Picchu is in Cusco, and from there, you can take a train or bus to reach the ancient ruins.

3. Can I visit Machu Picchu in a day trip from Lima?

While it is possible to visit Machu Picchu in a day trip from Lima, it is not recommended. The journey from Lima to Machu Picchu is quite long, and it’s best to spend at least one night near the ruins to fully experience and appreciate this incredible site.

4. Is it necessary to book tickets in advance?

Yes, it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Tickets for trains, buses, and entrance to Machu Picchu can sell out quickly, so it’s best to secure them ahead of time to avoid any disappointments.
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