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Machu Picchu for cheap, instructions

To enjoy Machu Picchu, there is no need to break the bank. We explain everything to you from your departure from Cusco to the visit of the mythical Inca city.

Wake up at 4 a.m. sharp

After a good night's rest, arrive at the Machu Picchu entry point around 4:30 am. It opens at 5 a.m. and offers the possibility of reaching the Inca city on foot, which opens at 6 a.m. After an hour of steep climbing, you're there! And be among the first au Machu!

Food: bring provisions

The trip from Cusco to Hidroelectrica takes a short day. If you want to avoid the expense, plan a few groceries to eat during the day. On the way from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes, you will find something to eat for reasonable prices, just in case. Otherwise, once in Aguas Calientes you can find convenience stores to buy the minimum to cook something for yourself, or even go to a restaurant.

Admission: don't forget your student card

Depending on the season, the entrance price to Machu Picchu changes (230 soles in March 2018). In any case, don't forget your international student card... If you have it, you will benefit from almost 50% reduction (130 soles in March 2018)!

The visit: no need for a guide

Very few indications accompany the site. But the guides on site (at least ours) will not do a huge job compared to the Backpacker or the Lonely Planet. A word of advice, to fully understand your visit without spending too much, take photos of the guide on your smartphones to then read them on the spot and find out about the history of Machu Picchu before coming.

Accommodation: plan ahead if possible

By planning ahead and depending on your visit period, you can get reasonable accommodation prices in Aguas Calientes through Booking or Airbnb.

Transport: go around the agencies

To visit Machu Picchu, you must reach Hidroelectrica from Cusco. In the ancient Inca capital, many agencies offer their services for the round trip by collectivo. Do not plan to spend more than 80 soles and instead negotiate for 50 for the AR. If that doesn't work, walk around Cusco a bit and, five meters further, you're bound to find a competing agency more willing to talk.

Walk to Aguas Calientes

Once in Hidroelectrica, the cheapest solution that will allow you to enjoy the magnificent landscapes is to walk to Aguas Calientes. The town, at the foot of Machu Picchu, is a 2 hour walk from Hidroelectrica.

Do not bring your big bags with you because it sera difficult to carry them during your entire walk to Aguas Calientes on the one hand, and it is forbidden to enter on the Machu Picchu site with a bag of more than 20 liters on the other hand...

A little practical advice

Cost estimate

Round trip Cusco-Hidroelectrica:

50-80 soles


Machu Picchu Entrance:

230 or 130 soles (if student)


Food :

Less than 10 euros if you do your shopping


Overnight in Aguas Calientes:

You can get away with it for less than 20€

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