This has been high on my list for many years, and I was finally able to tick it off. Turning the corner after at short walk from the bus stop, was nothing less than a surreal experience. When it lays there in front of you, you kind of have to pinch yourself, because you’re there! The advantage of getting on the first train from Ollantaytambo, at 5 in the morning, appeared to be beating the biggest crowds, as they descended on the place when I was about to leave. Just perfect! I had plenty of space to roam around, and had no trouble finding my own nook to sit down and enjoy the view of the valley below, in quiet. I didn’t try to get on one of the two groups they let up Huayna Picchu. Then I would have had to been there even earlier, I guess stayed the night in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu village. I was more than fine with the views that I got. The entrance ticket for the ruins you can get either in Aguas Calientes before heading up the mountain, as I did (because someone on the train told me I needed to, which turned out you didn’t), or you can get it at the entrance itself.
If you’re not part of one of the many hikes going up, you take the bus up the winding road from Aguas Calientes. The bus ticket office was a bit hard to spot, as the people queuing up for the buses basically hid the one window tickets are sold out of. After securing a ticket, it’s time to get in line, and you might wanna bring your patience, at least if your travelling in a larger group. Luckily travelling solo turned out to has its advantages. With buses leaving when they are full (in both directions), and they called out two vacant seats, and the ones in front of me were travelling in groups larger than two, and didn’t want to separate, I told them I was one, and was let on immediately. Hardly no waiting at all for this one 🙂