Bus to Machu Picchu

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Puente Ruinas , Aguas Calientes, Peru

Bus to Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Reviews

starship1 starship1
37 reviews
The Green Bus ~ Getting from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu Apr 19, 2014
Any visit to the historic site of Machu Picchu will, no doubt, require a combination of different types of transportation to reach it. Once you reach the village of Aguas Calientes (or Machupicchu pueblo), you will only have 2 choices of how to reach the Machu Picchu citadel --- 1) on foot: hiking up the mountain on a trail from Aguas Calientes, or 2) by the Consettur green shuttle buses which offer quite an exciting ride up the mountain on the multi-switch-back Hiram Bingham Road.

If you have not pre-purchased your shuttle bus ticket in Cusco, you can do so at the Aguas Calientes Ticket Sales office on the Avenida Hermanos Ayar, a main road next to the Vilcanota River. Steps away from the ticket office is the one and only bus stop which is the pick-up point as well as the drop-off point for the shuttle buses.

Purchasing bus tickets in advance is advised as the unprepared traveler may find a line of people waiting to buy tickets as early as 5 a.m. in the high season. The first bus of the day departs at approximately 5:20 a.m., followed by departures at 10 minute intervals (or until the bus is full) throughout the day with the last bus departing about 5:30 p.m. It is best to check the daily schedule for bus departure and return times well in advance in order not to miss your chance to spend the maximum amount of time at the citadel without missing the last return bus and having to descend the mountain on foot.

During the 20 - 30 minute ride to the Machu Picchu citadel, the bus must navigate the uneven road known as the Hiram Bingham Highway -- a road which is mostly composed of dirt and loose rock; in addition, there are also almost 20 switchbacks curves and a never-ending parade of returning buses which must be negotiated on the mountain. Rock slides have occurred on this road with probably the most recent instance being in January, 2014 -- only a few months before our own journey up the mountain! These concerns aside, the views during the bus ride are one of a kind.

The skies were overcast on the day we boarded the green Consettur Bus for Machu Picchu, but the weather certainly didn't hold back the crowds. Buses were totally full both on the ascent and descent. When our group was gathered for the return to Aguas Calientes, the line of passengers already waiting for the bus stretched down the mountain and snaked around the flat area close to the park entrance. Our wait in line was probably close to an hour during which time it began to rain heavily. I admit the thought of rock slides did enter my mind when it began to rain, but it was soon forgotten while chatting with other group members about the day's experiences and this made the wait time pass quickly.

As of 2016, a one-way ticket from Aguas Calientes to the Machu Picchu gate area was US$12; round trip US$24.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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odiseya says:
Fantastic destination!
Posted on: Mar 02, 2017
SWFC_Fan says:
Brilliantly detailed tip, Sylvia - it sounds like an exciting ride!
Posted on: Mar 01, 2017
starship1 says:
Hope you get there soon! (Having trouble uploading photos right now!)
Posted on: Mar 01, 2017
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alyssa_ob alyssa_ob
244 reviews
take the first round of buses Nov 22, 2008
Unless you are hiking up to Machu Picchu, a bus ticket is needed. These are sold at the bus station for $14 US round trip. The bus station is “below the second bridge” not far from the train station. It is highly recommended to buy them the night before if you can so you can catch the first round of buses. The first buses leave around 5 or 5:30 am and the ticket station is not open that early. If you lose your return ticket, or decide to walk one way and take the bus back, there is a little ticket kiosk at Machu Picchu. Buses leave from the bus station/ticket office about every 5-15 minutes and a line forms early. Several buses make the first round so don’t worry too much about being first in line. We arrived a little after 5:30 and had no problem getting on a bus – there were still about 4 more buses worth of people behind us. The earlier you arrive at Machu Picchu, the more time you'll have before the Cusco crowds arrive. You can often buy a little sandwich from a local entrepreneuring woman for about S/5 instead of paying three times as much at the ruins.
in line for the bus
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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yadilitta yadilitta
723 reviews
Bus to Machu Picchu Dec 12, 2008
The bus ride takes about 20 min and costs for foreigners US$7 and for Peruvians US$ 5.25 –each way. The ride itself is spectacular as the narrow track winds its way up the mountainside. It can be a bit scary at times with almost vertical drops plunging down into the Vilcanota Valley below especially when you meet a bus coming in the other direction!

By the way the ride going up takes a bit longer than the way down, :P

If you look closely out of the window you can see splashes of pink and orange flowers - the orchid Wiñay Wayna. The buses are clean and modern with air-conditioning (the fleet were renewed in 2006).

You have to buy your bus ticket before you get on the bus in the morning. There is a small ticket office just opposite the departure point which opens at 5:15am. The first group of buses departs from Aguas Calientes around 5:20am then at 10 minute intervals throughout the day depending on demand until about 4pm. However if you really want to get to Machu Picchu early I would recommend arriving by about 5:10am since during the peak season there can be quite a queue by 5:30am!! You can buy your ticket for the way back in Machu Picchu. There’s a small ticket office right next to the bus stop. During the high season I’d recommend to do it just when you arrive to Machu Picchu, so when you are ready you can go straight to the bus.

The last buses depart Machu Picchu at 5:30pm, be sure to check the time of the last bus as it can be a long walk back to Aguas Calientes if you miss it (well about 1 hour if you follow the more direct route rather than follow the road) and of course you don't want to miss your train either...
bus ticket! as a Peruvian I got a …
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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tlenot says:
Just got back from Peru. I believe the bus taking you to Machu Picchu is $29 now.
Posted on: Feb 19, 2015
smiles21 says:
Very helpful info.
Posted on: Aug 02, 2011
odysseycusco says:
TOURS IN CUSCO PERU TO MACHUPICCHU- CITY TOUR- SACRED VALLEY EVERY DAY
Posted on: Oct 22, 2010

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