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Need help planning travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes

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Need help planning travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
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Hi all! My husband and I are traveling to Peru in March. I have seen so many different answers on the forum and other websites and I just can't crack this one: What is the best way to travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes?

Based on our arrival time in Cusco, we can't take Peru Rail or Inca Rail (we miss the last train -- super bummed!) We are there for such a short time so we are planning not even trying to acclimate to Cusco and go straight to Machu Picchu and have booked a hotel there for two nights. We are planning to take a private taxi from the airport in Cusco to... and this is where I start running into issues. It looks like we can only take a taxi as close as Ollantaytambo...? I believe because there is no road that reaches to Aguas Calientes. But I'm a bit confused because busses can travel between Olly and AC...? So should we plan to take a train from Ollantaytambo to AC once our taxi drops us off in Olly?

And when we're planning to leave from AC, is it the same deal, just in reverse? I'm a little more anxious about the trip back because we have a flight in Cusco and need to be there no later than 1:30 pm (which also makes Peru and Inca rails out on the way back).

Thanks everyone in advance for your help! I know there are many posts about this, but I just can't seem to figure it out step by step. Money really isn't an issue for us, our main concern is sticking to our kind of rigid timeline since we're packing in a lot! We are willing to pay a bit more to get to each place the fastest, most efficient way. Hope this makes sense!

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1. Re: Need help planning travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes
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Generally the best way to get from Cusco to Agua Calientes is to take a taxi to Ollantaytambo and a train from there. On the way back take a train to Ollantaytambo and taxi from there to Cusco or to the airport. There are a lot more train options from Ollantaytambo than from Cusco. And if you are going in March, the trains don't run all the way to Cusco anyway. It's a bimodal service which means they're busing you part way anyways.

A couple other notes on your post

1. There's a top post on the right with details about getting to Machu Picchu.

2. There is no road to Agua Calientes. The only way to get there is by walking or by train. Buses do not go from Ollanta to Agua Calientes. If you read that somewhere, it's wrong.

3. I would not take a train back on the same day I had a flight out of Cusco. Trains can be late. Too many possible problems making the connection. I'd add a day to your trip and stay in Ollantaytambo or Cusco the night before your train.

4. On a short trip, 2 nights in Agua Calientes is too much. You didn't say the rest of your trip but if it's that short I would visit MP on a day trip from Ollantaytambo and not stay in Agua Calientes at all. That leaves you more time to see the Sacred Valley and Cusco sites.

2. Re: Need help planning travel from Cusco to Aguas Calientes

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