If you are visiting Machu Picchu, you are most likely going to end up in Machu Picchu Pueblo (also known as Aguas Calientes), which is the closest town to the Machu Picchu Historical site. From here, you are probably going to want to buy Machu Picchu bus tickets to get there! This article covers everything you need to know about the buses, including schedules, the route, where to buy tickets and a few tips!
Machu Picchu is known as the “lost city of the Incas” because it’s hidden high up on a mountain top. Unless you plan on walking to Machu Picchu (which is possible), you will need to take a shuttle bus to get there.
Unfortunately, there is only one company that operates the route, it only has has a fleet of 22 buses to accommodate 5000 visitors a day. This means that you MUST purchase your bus tickets in advance or you will wait in line first to buy the tickets and then wait again to board the bus.
Machu Picchu Bus Tickets & Where to Buy Them
2) Or Go to the Peruvian company’s website Consettur but paying for your bus tickets online on the official site will be difficult and sometimes impossible. They only accept “verified by visa” credit cards and most US customers will not be able to complete the purchase.
3) Or buy them in person. There are 2 official ticket sales offices; the first is located in Cusco in the district of Wanchaq (20 minute walk from the center), and the second is located in Aguas Calientes right next to the main shuttle bus stop. Buy them the night before or you will most likely wait a long time if you buy them the day of your Machu Picchu visit.
The first shuttle bus departs from Machu Picchu Pueblo aka Aguas Calientes at 5.30 am, arriving at Machu Picchu just after 6am (which is just after the sunrise). Thereafter, the shuttle buses to Machu Picchu depart when they are full, which for the first few hours of the day is about every 15 minutes. The last bus departs at 3.30pm. The first bus departing Machu Picchu (coming back down) leaves at 6am (mainly for those who have spent the night at the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel), with the last bus of the day departing from Machu Picchu at 5.30pm (just before sunset).
There is only one road in Machu Picchu Pueblo aka Aguas Calientes which is mainly used just by the shuttle buses. Departing from the only bus stop on Avenida Hermanos Ayar (the road next to the river) in Aguas Calientes, the route follows the Vilcanota River north-west, before crossing the river and ascending the mountain to Machu Picchu. At this point the shuttle bus follows a series of switch-backs taking approximately 30 minutes to get to the very top. The same route is used for the way down, with buses passing at special extra wide passing spots along the road. The bus terminates at the same bus stop you got on at in Machu Picchu Pueblo aka Aguas Calientes. The total journey time is just over 30 minutes.