We didn’t drive here because we were worried about road conditions for our sprinter van during the rainy season. The bridge near Santa Maria has been replaced and the road is mostly paved all the way here. Every tour bus that comes out here is a sprinter van, so we really wish we had driven ourselves and stayed here.
We think the best way would be to arrive here in the afternoon, walk to the municipal campground at the base of Machu Picchu, camp the night in a tent there, then wake up early to see the ruins and after that walk back out to Hidroelectrico. This way you split the long walk up overnight and have more energy to explore the ruins.
Also at Machu Picchu they will only let you through the gate ONE TIME, we had a bathroom emergency and then had to beg to get back in.

Blog: wy22ontheroad

Place: Parking at Hydroelectrica

Visited: February 14th, 2019

Location: -13.173983, -72.565067