Peru: Getting on Expedition 75 to Machu Picchu

By Cubie - January 27, 2019

Even if you are a very relaxed traveller or want to just play it spontaneously and go as you want, if going to Machu Picchu is on the card, this is the one thing you need to pre-plan. Maybe not exactly one thing, they come in a "bundle" - entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and how to get there. Tickets are not sold at Machu Picchu itself. I didn't feel like joining a trekking company to do Inca Trail by myself. It wasn't purely due to my limited stamina but more so I wasn't sure I was up for social talks throughout the whole Inca Trail journey by myself.

Regardless train or Inca Trail - both need to be pre-arranged. I read that booking for Inca Trail can be fully booked out a few months before hand. Tickets to Huayna Picchu may run out as well. There are a few other things to be considered if you want to get to Machu Picchu, if you have decided to take the train.

What time do you want to go in?
Which train do you want to take to get there?
Which train do you want to take for return?
Do you want to visit the main ground only or do you also want to visit the mountains?
If you want to visit the mountains, do you want to visit Huayna (Wayna) Picchu and/or Machu Picchu Mountain?
Do you have enough time there? 

I bought my tickets online on Perurail. I find that many Peruvian websites only take visa card, as well as in Peru itself.

I took Expedition 75 at 19:04 from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Journey time is about 1 hour 50 minutes. The issued ticket is tagged to passport number, ticket was checked against passport prior to boarding.

I carried all my luggage with me, which consisted of a 30 litres backpack and a smaller backpack. Despite the train ticket mentioned of luggage restriction, I saw people lugging a medium size trolley bag and got on the train. I don't know how strict they are with the luggage but there was no check at all when I was there.

Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes, I checked in to El Tambo Machupicchu. The reception staff was very informative which make sense as Aguas Calientes is the gateway to Machupicchu. I guess every traveller who make their way to Aguas Calientes are making their way to Machu Picchu.

Right after dropping my bag, I went out to get my bus ticket to Machu Picchu. There is a queue to get on the bus to Machu Picchu the next morning and ticket office is at another location. So to save time, it is advisable to get the tickets before hand. Do bring along your passport when you buy the bus tickets too.

I paid in soles - S/81 for return ticket

I bought my tickets online and got the one with admissions to Huayna Picchu (HP). This website provides a step by step screenshot on how to buy the tickets. I got the group 1 entrance to Huayna Picchu - admission to MP at 06:00 and entrance to HP at 07:00-08:00. Thereafter I read though that the second group admission (10:00-11:00) may be better because usually by then the fog would've be lifted.

For return to Ollantaytambo, I took Expedition 504 the next day, at 16:22 to return to Ollantaytambo.

Side note: Hooray for long weekend!

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