To get to Machu Picchu requires travel to the city of Cusco, a one-hour flight from Lima, Peru. Cusco is perched high in the Andes with an elevation around 11,000 ft. above sea level, and it’s the gateway to the ancient Inca ruins.
From Cusco, we took a 3.5 hour train trip to the village of Aguas Caliente (or Hot Springs). From there, one can hike or take a bus to the entrance of the historical site of Machu Picchu. We opted for the half-hour bus ride. More about Machu Picchu later, but first I’ll share a few photos of the beautiful city of Cusco with its grand plaza and cathedral, and the smaller, more humble village of Aguas Caliente. In those places, we found excellent food and hospitality that offset all the challenges of getting there.