Embarking on a journey to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu in Peru is a dream for many travelers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers not only a glimpse into the past but also breathtaking views of the Huayna Picchu mountain and iconic landmarks like the Funerary Stone, Inca Bridge, and the Temple of the Sun. To make your journey as smooth as possible, it’s crucial to know the closest airports to Machu Picchu. In this guide, we will unravel the airports that serve as your gateway to this historical treasure.
Securing Your Passage to Machu Picchu
Planning Your Route
Before we delve into the airports, it’s essential to understand the logistics of reaching Machu Picchu. Securing tickets to the archaeological site is a primary step, and it’s highly recommended to purchase them in advance, as there’s a daily limit on the number of visitors. Additionally, the Peruvian government has implemented specific regulations to preserve this historical treasure, so make sure to familiarize yourself with these rules before your visit.
The Scenic Train Journey
While there are various routes to reach Machu Picchu, one of the most scenic and memorable options is taking a train from Cusco. Cusco, known as the historic capital of the Inca Empire, offers a starting point that immerses you in the rich cultural heritage of Peru. Both IncaRail and PeruRail operate trains that take you through the picturesque Sacred Valley, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking Andean landscapes before arriving at Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu.
Your Gateway to Machu Picchu: Airports
Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM)
For international travelers, Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima is often the primary point of entry into Peru. Lima serves as Peru’s main international gateway, offering numerous flight options and excellent connectivity. Choosing Lima as your arrival point provides reliability and safety, particularly in the event of flight delays or schedule changes.
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ)
When it comes to reaching Machu Picchu via air, Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is your closest and most convenient option. This airport is situated in the heart of Cusco, making it a natural starting point for your journey to Machu Picchu. Cusco Airport has regular flights from several South American cities, ensuring accessibility from various locations on the continent.
Andahuaylas Airport (ANS)
While not as well-known as Lima or Cusco, Andahuaylas Airport serves as an alternative option for reaching Machu Picchu. Situated in the Apurímac Region, this airport offers flights to Cusco, providing travelers with an additional route to reach their destination. Depending on your travel plans and preferences, Andahuaylas Airport can be a viable choice.
Rodríguez Ballón International Airport (AQP)
Another airport worth considering is Rodríguez Ballón International Airport in Arequipa. Arequipa, known for its stunning architecture and cultural heritage, is well-connected to both Cusco and Lima by air. In addition to its domestic routes, this airport also offers an international flight to Santiago de Chile, providing an option for travelers arriving from Chile or seeking a direct connection to Arequipa.
Visiting Machu Picchu is a remarkable journey that promises not only historical significance but also breathtaking natural beauty. When planning your trip, carefully consider your arrival airport based on your travel itinerary and preferences. Whether you choose to arrive in Lima for international flights, Cusco for proximity, Andahuaylas for an alternative route, or Arequipa for a combination of culture and convenience, each option offers its unique charm and accessibility to the magical wonder of Machu Picchu. Make the most of your journey and create memories that will last a lifetime in this captivating corner of Peru.