No road exist to MP. You can get there by train, by foot (Inca Trail) or by an alternative route through Santa María -“Hidroeléctrica”.

There are three train companies: Peru Rail, Inca Rail and Andean Railways. For Peru Rail and Inca Rail, trains depart from Poroy station (a 20-minute trip from Cusco) or from Ollantaytambo station, located in the Sacred Valley.

Peru Rail 

All tickets can be bought online before your trip: three type of services are offered, the Hiram Bingham , the Vistadome and the Expedition (previously known as Backpacker). A local train also does the route but you must have a Peruvian ID to be able to purchase tickets. The ride from Cusco takes about 4:15 hours and from Ollantaytambo about 1:15 hours. For schedules and ticket prices go to the Peru Rail web page: www.perurail.com . You can also correspond with Peru Rail viareservas@perurail.com

 

Inca Rail 

They offer two types of services: executive (panoramic views + snacks), and first class (more comfortable + reading books, according to the website). For ticket prices and schedules, go to their website www.incarail.com . They depart from Ollantaytambo.

Andean Railways 

Their trains depart from Ollantaytambo station, they offer one type service twice a day. Their email is reservations@machupicchutrain.com 

You can get  to Ollantaytambo by taxi (1:30 hours, 40 USD), minivans (1:30 hours, 10 soles/PEN per person)  or  by bus (2:30 hours, 2 USD).

 

It is recommended to secure your train tickets before you make your plans to visit MP, then you can book the rest of your trip schedule; you should be careful, especially during the high tourist season  from June to August. You may reserve  tickets via their web page, then you will need to pick them  and pay at their Wanchaq  station in Cusco. No other pick up place nor electronic tickets are available. You can also buy ticket trains at the Peru Rail stand in Larcomar (a shopping center in Miraflores).

Do not risk going to Cusco with the idea of getting tickets a couple of days before going to MP as you could be very disappointed and miss your opportunity  to visit MP altogether.

 

By Foot

There are two options when trekking the Inca Trail. For both options you need to sign up with an officially sanctioned trek outfitter or travel agency, as individuals are not allowed to hike on the trail and instead must travel as part of a group. There is a four-day /three-night pathway. which is said to be "hard core". Or there is a shorter two-day/one-night trek that you can take. Both trailheads are located outside of Ollantaytambo located along the Cusco-Machu Picchu railroad track at marker 82 km. and 104 km. for the 2 day trek.

Regardless of the route you choose, allow yourself plenty of time to acclimatize to altitude, to help you avoid high-altitude sickness. Don't push yourself, and bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and bug repellent.

 

By Mini Van via Santa María and "Hidroeléctrica"

Some travelers can get to MP by the so-called back road. You will have to get first to Ollantaytambo and the get on a bus to Santa Teresa. Or, you can take, at Santiago terminal in Cusco, a minivan bound to Santa María (about 30 soles/PEN). It is said that the trip takes 4 hours/5 hours. A few kilometres outside the town is the start of an old Inca trail still used by locals today. This trail leads through farmland and winds up into the mountains offering nice views down the valley and of the Salkantay Mountain.

After arriving to Santa María, you should take a taxi to a place named "Hidroeléctrica" (hydroelectric power plant). The ride takes 1 hour. From there you have trains of PeruRail taking you to Aguas Calientes, the final station near Machu Picchu. If you wish, instead of taking the train, you can walk from “Hidroeléctrica” near the rail tracks to Aguas Calientes. This trek should take 2 hours; it is said to be a very beautiful landscape. Some travelers say that this route if full of adventure and danger, since you are passing through narrow roads beside high cliffs. The total price should be about 25 USD.