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The Fabulous Machu Picchu alternative in Pool Service


See Machu Picchu: the budget solution


Train tickets to Aguas Calientes have been a sore science ever since people wanted to visit Machu Picchu. Certainly in high season, train tickets to Machu Picchu may not be available, more so tickets in your price range may be scarce or unobtainable.

This is why we have put together this viable alternative, a way for you to get to Machu Picchu comfortably, economically and with some interesting sightseeing along the way.


Full Description


Day 1

The tour starts at 07:30 AM sharp in downtown Cusco, your selling agent will specify exactly where upon payment for this tour. The first leg of the tour takes you to Ollantaytambo where you'll have 30 minutes for some breakfast or a bathroom break.


On you go to the "Abra de Malaga." This is the highest point of the trip (at 4342 m.a.s.l.), it's the summit of the pass between the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the jungle of southern Peru. Here you'll have a 10 minute stop with marvellous views on Mount Veronica, one of the snow peaked mountains that dominate the Sacred Valley. Then it's the big downhill: all the way down the valley to a little place called Santa María. The altitude here is 1188 m.a.s.l. A short 15 minute bathroom break will be held here as well.


It will be less than 2 hours to Santa Teresa from where a road will be chosen to Hydroelectric.

After lunch, you start the 3 hour walk towards Aguas Calientes. First a few steps up, then crossing the (only) bridge across the Vilcanote river and then on a little path that runs along the train tracks. You will not be required to walk on the actual track during the entire walk. This is a calm and beautiful walk so please walk easy and try to enjoy the scenery. If you watch carefully, you'll gradually see more and more Inca Ruins along the way on the mountains; the closer you get to Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes. During the last part of this mini hike you'll even be able to see parts of Machu Picchu itself.


About halfway between Hydroelectric and Aguas Calientes you'll make a stop at the waterfalls of Mandor. Arriving in Aguas Calientes, you're taken to your hostel where you'll get access to your room. Rooms are given on a 2 person basis unless explicitly stated otherwise on your travel voucher. All rooms have a private bathroom and although basic, the room will be adequate.

You will get a briefing about the next day. How the visit of Machu Picchu is going to be organized, you get your train tickets for the train back to Hydroelectric. Finally you are free to enjoy Aguas Calientes, to get a massage, spend time in the hot springs, stroll around town and find a nice restaurant for your dinner.


Day 2

Early in the morning, you prepare your stuff to leave it at the hotel desk. Then you start your walking to the entrance of Machu Picchu itself, this according to the details given in the briefing on the evening of day 1.  A guide will give you a tour of the site for about 2 hours. The rest of the time will be yours, but you must not forget to be on time to take the train back to Hydroelectric.

At the given hour, you'll board the train back to Hydroelectric where your transportation will be waiting to take you back to Cusco, exactly to the spot where you boarded the day before.


Extra Information

* During the 3 hour walk from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes, you will have to carry your own stuff.

* Road blocks, natural or artificial ones, may change the time table of this trip drastically. If so, you'll have to accept your karma as well as the extra costs this may bring along.

* Tickets for the train from Aguas Calientes to Hydroelectric may not be available. If you'd have to walk back because we couldn't buy any, the price of these train tickets will be refunded. This is not the case if the train ride is made impossible by Peru Rail itself. (i.e. cancelations, derailment, washed away bridges, ...)

* Once you've paid this tour, refunds are not possible because all tickets and seats will have been reserved, bought and paid for by us immediately. All the things and services we provide for you are not refundable to us either.

* If you show up late at the starting point, the transport may have left. This will be considered as you own fault and can in NO WAY be cause for a refund. Better be on time!

* You are required to travel with your original passport; a copy may get you in trouble at the entrance of the site or while trying to board the train.

* A daypack of more than 20 litres will not be allowed into Machu Picchu. Be sure to have something smaller for the visit itself.

* After leaving your room on the 2nd day, your stuff can be guarded at the hotel front desk. You are not required to visit Machu Picchu carrying all your personal stuff.

* You are, in theory, not allowed to take food or drinks into Machu Picchu. Although checks are seldom preformed, any food or drink may be confiscated at the entrance. Still we'd advise you to take a small snack and something to drink like water or sports drinks with you.

* One way for us to keep your cost as low as possible is to sell the open seats to other passengers of the tourist scene. These people will only have paid for the ride from Cusco to Hydroelectric and back. The prices at which we sell our empty seats are "free market" prices and do not reflect on the real cost of the trip. Therefore you may meet someone who apparently didn't pay very much for the ride. Remember: if these seat were empty, we'd have to calculate the extra cost in your price!

* There are at least 2 ATM's in Aguas Calientes; however they are depleted most of the time. Consider your cash situation before leaving.


Starting Place: Your Hotel

End Place:        Plaza Regocijo

Difficulty:            Light exercise

Travelling Style: Economy

Duration:           2 Day, 1 Night


Understand the price

This price is per person. In Aguas Calientes, the room is on a 2 person basis. You may have to share your room with someone from our group if you're travelling alone.



This tour goes every day.


Included in the price

* Transportation by road from Cusco to Hydroelectric.

* Lunch and dinner on day 1.

* A night in a hostel in Aguas Calientes, basic but acceptable, on a 2 persons per room basis.

* Breakfast at the hotel on day 2.

* The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.

* Guided tour with a bilingual (English/Spanish) official and certified guide for about 2 hours on Machu Picchu site.

* Train from Aguas Calientes to Hydroelectric.

* Transportation from Hydroelectric back to Cusco by road.


NOT Included in the price

* Breakfast on day 1.

* Lunch and dinner on day 2.

* Train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes.

* The entrance of the Mandor Waterfalls.

* Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and back to Aguas Calientes.

* Transportation from pickup/drop-off point in Cusco from/to your hotel.


Tourist Information

Machu Picchu, Quechua: “Old Peak" is a pre-Columbian15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the "City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.


The Incas started building the "estate" around 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.


Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.


Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. In September 2007, Peru and Yale University almost reached an agreement regarding the return of artefacts which Yale has held since Hiram Bingham removed them from Machu Picchu in the early 20th century. In November 2010, a Yale University representative agreed to return the artefacts to a Peruvian university.


To Bring

* Sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, sun glasses.

* A light raincoat and good walking shoes.

* Camera, batteries and/or charger.

* Enough film or memory cards.

* Original passport.

* Personal things like medication if so required, etc.

* As little as possible.


Stuff you don’t need

* Computers, radios and other electronic gear.

* A day pack of more than 20 litres will not be allowed on the site.

* Food and drinks may be (but this happens seldom) confiscated at the entrance of the site.


What can you do before or after this tour

Things to do BEFORE this tour

 Western Sacred Valley in a private car

With a private car you visit Chinchero, Moray, Maras (town and saltpans) and Ollantaytambo.

Eastern Sacred Valley in a private car

In a private car, you can visit Pisaq ruins and market, Tambomachay, Puka Pukara Q'enqo and Saqsayhuaman.


Possible Options                                                                                                                          Extra Price in SOLES

Machu Picchu Bus -  Round Trip  

A ticket for the bus both ways: to the site from Aguas Calientes and later from the site back to Aguas Calientes.

Bus from Machu Picchu one way: Up 

If you'd decide to walk one direction you better choose the walk down, because if you hike up, you will arrive quite tired at the entrance, before you've even seen anything of Machu Picchu. The walk up is rather demanding, steep and long, it may take more than 2 hours to reach the site.

Bus from Machu Picchu one way: Down

If you'd decide to walk one direction you better choose the walk down, because if you hike up, you will arrive quite tired at the entrance, before you've even seen anything of Machu Picchu. The walk up is rather demanding, steep and long, it may take more than 2 hours to reach the site.

Huayna Picchu – 1st  Group   

Ascend Huayna Picchu with the second group.

Huayna Picchu – 2nd Group

Ascend Huayna Picchu with the second group

Start in Ollantaytambo      

Instead of leaving in Cusco for this tour, you'll be picked up at a given place in Ollantaytambo.

Single Room Extra  

A single room in Aguas Calientes.

Train Hydroelectric - Aguas Calientes 

Take the train from Hydroelectric to Aguas Calientes so you don't have to walk.


Important: The Small Print

Using an ISIC Student Discount Card

Conditions of use of the ISIC card may vary. ISIC Discounts are usually only given by government bodies and not by commercial organizations. Discount levels vary and in some locations an upper age limit of 25 years is imposed. When buying tickets you must present your ID document as well as the ISIC card the names must match exactly. When using your ISIC discount tickets you must present both your ORIGINAL ID document (never a copy!) and ISIC card. ISIC discount tickets are not refundable in case of error.

About your train tickets

Once purchased tickets cannot be changed and are non-transferable and non-refundable. You may under certain circumstances be able to alter a return train time for a higher priced alternative if you pay the difference. In the event of cancellation of service or delay you will be offered a seat on the next available equivalent service. You may be asked to present your passport to confirm your identity before travelling. We apologise for these restrictions they are imposed by Peru Rail and are outside our control.

The price of this tour is made up with a certain time table for train tickets in mind, under the explicit condition that should this train be booked full, we can buy you tickets on another mostly more expensive train. Although changing the schedule of the tour, this will not interfere with the presented program but may involve an extra fee and you will have to agree to pay the difference.

Machu-Picchu Entry Tickets

Machu-Picchu tickets are valid only for the date and visitor name printed on the ticket, they cannot be changed, transferred or refunded. In the event of train delay or cancellation visitors may be admitted using their previously bought ticket on the next day of opening at the sole discretion of the site authorities. Passports may be inspected to validate the name on the ticket. Huayna-Picchu, Machu-Picchu mountain and the Machu-Picchu museum are extra cost items. Food, drinks and large backpacks are not permitted entry to the site. A day (back) pack of more than 20 litres will not be allowed past the entrance gate.

Visiting (and climbing) Huayna Picchu

Only 2 groups of 200 people are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu daily. If you want to do so, you need to ask us while buying the tour to get you this access. This access is personal, printed on your entrance ticket to the site and can't be bought nor obtained anywhere else. If the 400 are sold out, it is absolutely impossible to visit this part of the site.

Problems on the road

Sometimes (mud) avalanches may block the road, bridges get washed away etc. This is not our responsibility and may cause you to have to pay extra transportation costs locally or even cancel your tour. This is an act of nature and you'll have to accept this willingly. In this case, refunds are not possible.




       "Kusi Ñan Travel Agency"
      Pasaje Quillichapata 310
      Santa Ana.  Cusco

Contact:  cuscokusinan@gmail.com