Know Before You Go
As of 2017, stricter rules have been placed on visiting Machu Picchu in attempt to deal with the masses that visit every day. Visitors will not be allowed to enter without an authorized guide. Machu Picchu is limited to 2,500 tourists per day. There are already arrows to help control the flow of visitors but these will be more prominent. There are also changes to opening times for Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu/Wayna Picchu, and Cerro Machu Picchu. Entrance to Machu Picchu is split between a 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM entrance. Buses leave frequently from the small town of Aguas Callientes -- which in itself is a charming mountain community & very tourist trappy! The trip to the site is about 30 minutes on a road with 14 turns! You can also reach Machu Picchu by trekking the Inca trails, there are few options like the classic trail, one-day trail, and the Mollepata trail all of them reach to the Machu Picchu and take four, one and five days respectively. All of them provide an amazing and rewarding trekking experience. Alternatively, you can hike solo to Machu Picchu via Hidroelektrika. It takes 2.5 hours, one way, to reach Aguas Calientes from Hidroelektrika. Trail is straightforward; you just follow the train tracks. Make sure to get the 7am van from Cusco to Hidroelektrika so you'll be at Aguas Calientes by 5pm. When going back to Hidroelektrika, leave by 11am so you'll catch the vans going back to Cusco at 2pm.Be sure to wear comfortable shoes or boots fit for hiking! Many of the steps in the site are stone & often uneven -- they can be hard on your feet & legs. If you do choose to trek the Inca Trail, make sure you bring a very warm sleeping bag as it can get incredibly cold at night.