How to Get From Lima to Machu Picchu

Find out the best way to get from Lima to Machu Pichu in 2023. Tours and treks to the citadel available for all budget!

Machu Picchu is Peru’s gem that every traveler wants to explore. If you are flying into Peru, the capital city Lima is the gateway to all the hidden gems around the country. Whether you want to travel to the north, south, or center, your starting point will always be Lima.

When planning your trip to this magical place, you may have doubts about the best way to get to Machu Picchu. Fortunately, getting to this Wonder of the World is quite easy if you have the right information, so we have provided a detailed explanation below on how to get from Lima to Machu Picchu. There are many options that cater to any budget and time availability. Choose the best one and start your adventure to Machu Picchu!

Page Contents:

  1. From Lima to Cusco
  2. From Cusco to Machu Picchu

1. From Lima to Cusco

The first thing you need to know is that there are no direct flights, buses, or trains to Machu Picchu from Lima. Therefore, you have to first find a way to get to the city of Cusco, from where you can find many options to reach the lost city of the Incas. There are two main ways to travel to Machu Picchu from Lima; check them below and choose the best option for you.

a. Lima to Cusco by Bus

The bus option is the most preferred for travelers. However, there are two different ways to take a bus to Machu Picchu. The less recommended option is to take a public bus that goes directly from Lima to Cusco. We do not recommend this option because you won’t be able to acclimate your body to the altitude sickness on the route, which can be harmful to some people. Also, since the public route goes through the Andes, which can be a dangerous route, you would miss the opportunity to explore different cities around southern Peru such as Huacachina, Arequipa, or Puno, and to meet more travelers from around the world (public buses are mostly used by locals).

The best option to travel to from Lima to Machu Picchu by bus is with Peru Hop. Due to its ‘Hop-off, Hop-on’ service, it allows you to stop in cities along the route and discover magical gems like the Ballestas Islands, the Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca, and more. And best of all, once you arrive in Cusco with Peru Hop, you will be better acclimatized, ready to begin your adventure to Machu Picchu.

Note: Peru Hop offers pickups directly from your hotel/hostel in Lima, avoiding the need to go to bus terminals far from your accommodation. It also has bilingual guides on board who will help you book tours and provide all the information you need during your trip.

b. Lima to Cusco by Plane

It is the fastest way to reach Cusco, but also one of the most expensive. If you don’t have much time in Peru, perhaps this is your best option. It is recommended for people who have visited most of the cities in southern Peru. Keep in mind that you will need a few more days to acclimate in Cusco before starting tours or treks, as many of them take place at much higher altitudes than the city (3339 meters above sea level). The most well-known companies offering flights to Cusco are LATAM Airlines and SKY Airlines.

2. From Cusco to Machu Picchu

Once you arrive in Cusco, you must head to Aguas Calientes. This town is the gateway to Machu Picchu, and everyone who wants to visit the Wonder of the World must pass through this place, also known as ‘Machu Picchu pueblo.’ In order to get to this place, we recommend taking a tour or trek from Cusco city. Depending on the time you have, your travel preferences, and the places you want to visit, you can choose from these following options.

a. Tours to Machu Picchu by Train

One of the most comfortable ways to reach Machu Picchu is by taking a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and enjoy a panoramic view of the entire landscape. If you book a Machu Picchu tour with Yapa Explorers, you can have the 2-hour bus transport to Ollantaytambo, the train ticket with spectacular views, and your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. Yapa Explorers gives you the opportunity to go to Machu Picchu in one day, two days, or the option to also visit the Inca’s Sacred Valley, where you can discover many archaeological complexes such as Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.

3 different tours to Machu Picchu by Train:

  1. Machu Picchu by Train – Full Day
  2. Machu Picchu by Train – 2 Days
  3. Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley – 2 Days

b. Treks to Machu Picchu

For hiking and adventure lovers, the best way to reach Machu Picchu is by doing a fantastic trek along the beautiful route to appreciate all kinds of landscapes, mountains, and glaciers. The most famous route is the Inca Trail, where you can walk along the Inca’s ancient route, full of history, along with forests and Inca ruins. If you want a more challenging but equally impressive adventure, the Salkantay route is the best for you. On this route, you can see everything, from green landscapes to snow-capped mountain peaks, turquoise lagoons, and experience one of the most amazing treks in the world. If you want a bit more fun and adrenaline, the Inga Jungle Trek is for you. You can combine cycling, zip-lining, and rafting in a single adventure! It will undoubtedly be your Machu Picchu trip with more adrenaline than any other.

6 different ways to trek to Machu Picchu:

  1. Classic Inca Trail – 4 Days
  2. Inca Trail – 2 Days
  3. Salkantay Trek – 5 Days
  4. Salkantay Trek – 4 Days
  5. Inca Jungle Trek – 4 Days
  6. Inca Jungle Trek – 3 Days


Now that you know the best ways to get to Machu Picchu from Lima, choose the one that suits you best and start planning your unforgettable trip. Remember that you can contact us if you need more help planning your journey, additional information about tours and treks, or even tips for your travels. Our expert team will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible.