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How to hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu PIcchu

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Complete guide to hike from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu
Hiking from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is best understood by dividing the journey into 2 sections:
  • The first section consists in getting to the start of the trail which is a 30-40min walk from Aguas Calientes.
  • The second section consists in getting from the start of the trail to the entrance of Machu Picchu. This is where based on your physical fitness, it could take you from 1hr to 1.5hr.

How to get from Aguas Calientes to the start of the Machu Picchu hiking trail

From Aguas Calientes, it will take you approximately 30 to 40 minutes to reach the start of the hiking trail. You simply follow the shuttle bus road that leaves Aguas Calientes towards Machu Picchu. After approximately 25 – 30 minutes the road takes a sharp left turn over the Vilcanota River, passing a large metal bridge. Directly after the bridge take an immediate right turn down a small lane; this dirt road leads to the Manuel Chávez Ballón Museum (Machu Picchu Museum). A further 1 minute along the lane you will see the trail sign to hike from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu.
hike to machu picchu from aguas calientes map
Map from Aguas Calientes to the start of the trail to Machu Picchu


hike to machu picchu from aguas calientes sign
Sign of the hiking trail

How to get from the start of the hiking trail to the Entrance of Machu Picchu

From the start of the Machu Picchu hiking trail you will follow a path uphill for about 1 hour or more depending on your physical fitness. The path is made out of stepped stones for the most part. However, please note that the trail intersects 3 times with the road that buses use, so please be careful, bring a mask to avoid inhaling the dust created by the buses specially during dry season. In Peru, pedestrians do not have the right of way, so you must be very careful. You may need to follow the road for a few minutes to pickup the continuation of the trail. Signs are clearly marked.
map from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Map from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu


trail from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Stone steps of the hiking trail