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Peru Airports Near Machu Picchu

​Cusco’s airport, Alejandro Velazco Astete, located at an altitude of 10,860 ft / 3,310 m is the nearest airport to Machu Picchu and is considered the second busiest international airport in Peru after Lima’s airport.

Table of contents

  • ​What is the nearest airport to Machu Picchu?
  • How Far is Machu Picchu from Cusco’s Airport?
  • ​What should i know about Cusco’s airport?
  • Getting to/from Cusco’s Airport
  • ​What is the Chinchero’s airport? The new international airport close to Machu Picchu.
1. What is the nearest airport to Machu Picchu?
Cusco’s airport, Alejandro Velazco Astete, located at an altitude of 3,416 m / 10415ft, is the nearest airport to Machu Picchu in Peru. It is the second busiest international airport in Peru after Lima’s airport.

2. How Far is Machu Picchu from Cusco’s Airport?
Machu Picchu is located almost exactly 112 km/ 70 miles away from Cusco traveling by train.  The train ride to Machu Picchu from Cusco takes almost four hours. You can also get to Machu Picchu by a combination of auto, bus, and train and hiking via the Inca trail or any other hiking route.

3. What should i know about Cusco’s airport?
Cusco’s airport is a relatively small one compared to other airports in the US or Europe. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight’s departure time. Many airlines fly to Cusco from different cities across Peru. The most reliable ones in terms of punctuality and safety are LAN Peru, Avianca, LCP, SkyAirlines, and Gol Peru.

There are no direct flights to Cusco from any American or European airport. One must make a mandatory stop at Peru’s main international airport located in Lima.

Cusco’s airport receives an influx of flights from Lima, Arequipa, Juliaca, Puerto Maldonado, and Trujillo and some international destinations such as La Paz, Bolivia, and Bogota Colombia.

Cusco’s airport has almost no amenities, no wifi connection. One must use any of the few restaurants or cafes inside the airport to be able to connect to their private wifi connection.

4. Getting to/from Cusco’s Airport 

Cusco’s airport Alejandro Velasco Astete is located only 25 minutes away from downtown Cusco and almost two hours away from the Sacred Valley’s most important towns, such as Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.  Getting to/from the airport is relatively easy. You can arrange a pick up from your hotel, or you can get any of the licensed taxi drivers located out of the arrivals terminal.

The average cost of a taxi ride from the airport to any hotel located within Cusco downtown is 20 Peruvian soles (5USD). However, a taxi ride to the Sacred Valley can cost up to 100 Peruvian soles  (30USD). Beware of taxi drivers trying to sell you ‘private tours’ to any of the nearby archaeological sites. Only professional tour guides are authorized and licensed to offer you that kind of service.

We do not recommend that you take any local public transportation as it might get a bit confusing, especially if this is your first time visiting this city.

In 2020, during the  COVID -19 pandemic, access to the airport has been exclusively restricted to travelers. If you arrive at Cusco, you must walk out of the airport to the street to catch a taxi or meet with anyone picking you up.

If you depart from Cusco, then you must make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to go through the process of the Covid-19 protocols.

Masks, Covid-19 test results, and face shields are mandatory to board any flight to/from Cusco’s airport.
5. What is Chinchero’s airport? the new international airport close to Machu Picchu

Traveling to Cusco by plane has not always been easy. For a long time, visibility was an issue. According to international flight protocols, pilots must have a minimum of 3800 ft of cloud cover to land at this airport, especially during the rainy season in Cusco, which takes place from November to March. This number is higher than what is necessary for other airports.
Also, strong tailwinds make it difficult for some flights to safely land at this airport, which causes unpleasant delays and cancelations.
In the present, modern technology has made it possible for some flights to land at Cusco’s airport at night. Cusco’s airport receives flights from 5 am until 8 pm only. No flights depart or arrive after these hours.

Due to the high increase in the number of people wanting to visit Machu Picchu, Cusco’s airport has reached its full capacity, despite some improvements and extensions made to its infrastructure. The Peruvian government has been trying to build an alternative airport that could relocate the one in Cusco for over four decades.

Recently, amid huge controversy, the Peruvian and local governments of Cusco have finally decided to build this airport.
The location is the area near the town of Chinchero, in the heights of the Sacred Valley. The new Chinchero international airport will be located at an altitude of 3700m/12,000ft, which is almost 1500 ft higher than Cusco’s airport.

The airport project has been strongly opposed by environmentalists and archaeologists and many local activists and political figures of the region due to “its potential to destroy Cusco’s primary source of water and other historical landmarks.

Chinchero will be the nearest airport to Machu Picchu as it is located only 45 minutes away from the town of Ollantaytambo and 30 minutes from Urubamba.

This airport’s cost will be almost 700 million US  dollars and it is expected to be finished by 2030.