Transportation in the Sacred Valley
How do I get to Machu Picchu? How do I get from the airport to Ollantaytambo? How can I get a taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo train station? Can I rent a car in Peru? How much should I pay for a taxi? We can help you with your questions about taxis, rental cars, renting a car in Cusco, hiring a driver, etc.
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These are some of the frequent questions we get so we established this page to answer them. For more information on getting to Machu Picchu, see our section with the same title for more information. Yes, you can drive (almost) to Machu Picchu, as far as the HydroElectric station which is a three hour walk or short train ride away from Machu Picchu.
The best way to get around the Sacred Valley is by private taxi, which combines a convenient form of transportation in Peru with a reasonable cost. It is possible to rent a car in Peru, but you will find driving to be a bit stressful and challenging due to the constant darting out into the highway by small children, dogs, and other animals. In addition, safe parking spaces are not readily available anywhere and very few hotels have them. Auto theft is not much of an issue, but children climbing all over and/or scratching your vehicle definitely is ! As a result we really recommend taxis – you can get picked up and dropped off wherever you want to go and the cost is less than renting your own vehicle and buying gas.
In the Cusco area there are plenty of private taxis available for transport, either from the street on your own or through your hotel. It is generally though not always safe from a personal safety standpoint to get a taxi on your own. Although from a cost standpoint it is sometimes possible to negotiate a cheaper fare yourself if you speak fluent Spanish and drive a hard bargain, it is much more likely you will end up paying more than you would a taxi secured by your hotel. It is also very common for a driver to ask for more money than what was initially agreed upon, claiming more of their time was needed than promised, etc. A long, drawn out transportation negotiation and disagreement always leaves hard feelings for both sides and can ruin an otherwise fantastic outing.
Another reason to use transportation services with a known driver is that travelers frequently leave or lose their belongings in a taxi, especially cameras and cell phones. These are easily retrieved if you have used the transportation services of your hotel but otherwise your items are gone forever. In addition known and trusted drivers can be left behind while you visit different tourist and archaeological sites to watch your luggage, otherwise you will have to carry it around with you. Finally, most travelers comment on the high speeds and reckless driving of the average driver off the street which is definitely something to consider ! Cheaper taxis usually drive much faster in order to get to their next fare.
At KB Tambo Hotel and Tours, we offer pickup from the airport in Cusco to our door in Ollantaytambo for $50, the same as everyone else. It is about a two hour drive and the advantage to a private taxi is that you can stop for bathroom and photo stops along the way.
Many of our guests wish to see Pisaq, the Sacred Valley, Moray and the Salt Mines of Maras, etc. during their stay. In order to provide the most flexibility we have changed our transportation services to reflect the individual needs of our guests. We offer private taxi service with a known and reliable driver in Half Day or Full Day increments. A half day (up to 4 hours total) costs $79, 4-6 hours is $99, and a full day (between 6 to 8 hours) costs $109. *These prices, and all prices on this page, are TOTAL and not per person. *
Your transportation needs will also be determined by the size of your party. Three people can comfortably fit inside a taxi (one up front, two in the back seat). Four people can also enter a taxi but three people in the back seat of a taxi is fairly crowded and will definitely affect the comfort of the journey for those who are squished into the back. More than four people cannot safely or comfortably fit into a taxi.
Thus for larger groups the best option is a “minivan taxi” which is just what it sounds like, a minivan vehicle that operates as a taxi. These seat between 8 to 10 people comfortably and as one would expect cost more. Airport service from Cusco to Ollantaytambo costs $79, while a Half Day booking (up to 4 hours) is $90, 4-6 hours is $119 and 6-8 hours costs $130.
To us, those prices sound expensive, gues they are. Its not our markup – transportation is very expensive in the Sacred Valley. Gas is nearly $6 a gallon, and all the drivers make enough money in tourism that most won’t work for less than $100 per day. (Though it is a long, 12 hour day). And of course the cost of the vehicle is very high in Peru. So we just wanted you to understand things a little.
For us, all prices include gas, a known and trusted driver who will watch your belongings, and door to door pickup service. To book your vehicle or if you have any questions, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org