Can You Get to Machu Picchu Without Hiking?

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca site located around 50 km northwest of Peru and built 8000 feet above sea level. UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 1983. Machu Picchu is a major tourist attraction, attracting over one and a half million tourists yearly.

It has been a major argument whether Machu Picchu can be gotten to without hiking?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Can You Get to Machu Picchu Without Hiking?

Machu Picchu has grown popular among vacationers and travellers after being named one of the wonders of the world. The first thing that most travellers have trouble with is the possibility of hiking the Inca trails that lead to the Machu Picchu site which by the way takes about 4 – 5 days. 

But having to get to the Machu Picchu by hiking is a common misconception among travellers, although, hiking for multiple days is a way of getting to the 800 feet above sea level Inca site. But that is not the only way to get to Machu Picchu. In fact, there are other ways to reach the Unesco named world heritage site without having to break a sweat like an olympian athlete. 

You could either take a flight, bus or train that can take you directly to the Inca site.

How Far is The Walk Up to Machu Picchu?

The Inca trail is one of the most hiking routes in South America. The trail is influenced by ancient Inca architecture, mixed with a natural mix of forest and clear clouds. Very few routes still possess this kind of ancient and influential beauty.

The Inca trail is visited by visitors all over the world not only from Peru to witness the ancient Inca architecture. 

The total length of the Inca trail is about 43 kilometres, going as high as an altitude of about 10,000 feet. Walking this type of distance requires a lot of good physical effort. The whole experience can take you four days to complete via hiking.

Hiking the Inca trail is not a tedious walk but you need to be in good physical health to embark on such an adventure.

Can I Get to Machu Picchu Without Walking?

The distance from Peru to Machu Picchu is about 43 kilometres, which to most people is a lot of distance. Even though most tourists love to hike the Inca trail which takes about four days to complete, there are other means of getting to the Machu Picchu.

Walking is not the only means of getting there, there is an option of taking plane flights which are faster than other means anyways. But it might be expensive. The other cheaper options are taking the bus or taking the train.

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Can You Do Machu Picchu in a Day?

Machu Picchu covers a landmass of about thirty-two thousand hectares, filled with archaeological sites and amusing landscapes.

The archaeological site opens every morning to tourists by 6 am and every tourist is allowed to stay on-site for as long as four hours daily. So, if a tourist enters the site by 2 pm he or she has until 5 pm before they exit the site.

On average, it takes the tour guide two hours to cover the whole place. So, if you are planning on spending your vacation at this ancient Inca site, then it is noteworthy to know that Machu Picchu can be toured in a day.

Can You Enter Machu Picchu Without a Guide?

In 2018, the Peruvian government passed a law that says that all tourists must hire a guide before gaining entrance to the site. However, the law is not really being enforced simply because there are not enough tour guides to cover the over one and a million tourists that tour Machu Picchu yearly.

Yes, you can enter Machu Picchu without a guide, however, it is important to note that even though you might not necessarily need a guide, it is important to get paper maps so as not to get lost.

Can You Get to Machu Picchu by Car?

Machu Picchu is Peru’s most famous tourist centre, and if you are ever in Peru you should definitely check it out.

The question that needs answering is, “can you drive to Machu Picchu?” Well, here’s the answer about how to visit Machu Picchu by car.

While there are many different options when it comes to how to get to Machu Picchu, I think that going by car is not only the best way to visit Machu Picchu, even though it’s also just a fun way to go… I mean the trail is full of beautiful archaeological Inca road designs mixed with natural forest views. There is nothing as relaxing as that.

There is no need to argue whether travelling to Machu Picchu by car is feasible, the answer is that, no, you can’t drive to the gate of the Machu Picchu, but you can get very close if you’ve got your own car.

The best means of transportation is taking the train, it drops you off exactly at the gate of the inca site.

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Can You Bring Water Bottles to Machu Picchu?

In a bid to preserve the ancient Inca site, the Peruvian government has placed a ban on bottled water and plastic in general from being brought to the Machu Picchu.

Even though the law on plastic is not being enforced since it has been passed, it should be known the Peruvian government frowns on the usage of bottled water or plastic on the Machu Picchu. However, you can take your food or water in flasks.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Machu Picchu?

When you hear the word “ Machu Picchu ” you probably think of expensive hotel stays, guide services, and mountaineering tours. But how much do these things really cost? Your average traveller won’t be able to afford to visit Machu Picchu on a regular basis, which means that the trip is kind of expensive in real terms.

The Incas built their capital city at the bottom of a mountain so that it would always be exposed to sunlight. As a result, the area is very arid with no rainforests or rivers. So when you combine this with an extremely high altitude (about 6,000 feet above sea level), it’s no wonder that the Incas developed a sophisticated agriculture system to handle all the natural resources available there.

Nowadays, most people associate Machu Picchu with its famous ruins, but it actually lies about 5 miles northeast of where everyone thinks it is. To get there legally you need to take a 4×4 paved road for about three hours one way or another. The return journey takes about the same amount of time but requires another four hours by private vehicle (a taxi will cost around $25–30).

That’s still not cheap! Even taking into account airfare and car rentals, it’s going to cost more than just anybody else’s typical vacation.

Where Can I Buy a Machu Picchu Ticket?

You can only buy a Machu Picchu ticket at the entrance of the archaeological complex. There are two different entry points to the ruins: South Face and Western Face. The South Face entrance is the more popular one and gets more tourists, while the Western Face is more difficult to get to and is less popular.

If you want to visit the ruins on a specific day and time, you can always book a spot on the advance booking list. If you want to visit the ruins at all times of the year, you can always visit on a weekday when there are fewer people around. Most hotels will have a tour desk where you can book private guided tours of the ruins for you and your group.

How Much Does It Cost To Stay At a Machu Picchu Resort?

The luxury level of the resorts at Machu Picchu is hard to grasp. The most expensive resorts have something called “ the highest standard of excellence,” which includes “waterfall gardens,” “water slides,” “gymnys,” and “lacquered museums.”

The most basic hotels are built around a natural spring and have basic facilities such as running water and showers. If you want to save money, try to stay at one of the cheaper all-inclusive like the Hotel Ollin community house or the Hotel Ingenio.

Can You Stay Overnight in Machu Picchu?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot stay overnight at Machu Picchu as a tourist attraction as you can at most other Inca ruins in the world. There are no hotels or resorts at Machu Picchu that are open to the public.

The only place you can stay is at the community house which is owned by a local family and is only open for about three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening. If you want to save money, you can always stay in Cusco with local families and save a lot of money.

How Many Stairs Are In Machu Picchu Mountain?

The history of Machu Picchu is filled with stories of exploration and intrigue. The ruins at this isolated mountain in the Andes have inspired people from all over the world with their beauty and mystery. Machu Picchu is a 4,000-year-old Inca ruin located in the mountains about an hour outside of Cuzco, Peru.

To get there you need to take a set of stairs that only exist in your imagination — or at least at Machu Picchu. With nearly 20 stairs per level, it’s no wonder you hear so much about how many steps are in Machu Picchu. The consensus is that it’s 2,400, but some say there are up to 5,200 steps inside the mountain.

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Machu Picchu is one of the wonders of the world sitting over a landmass of about thirty-two thousand hectares elevated above sea level of 8000 feet. The distance of the inca trails covers about 43 miles.

Most tourists love hiking the trails, after all, it is part of the adventure. However, hiking is not the only means of transportation you can use to get to Machu Picchu, there are other means such as planes, buses and trains.

You should know which works better for you before planning your journey to Peru. If you came purposely for the hiking adventure, then you can walk the trails. But if you came only for the Machu Picchu view then you should consider other means of transportation. 

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.