The sacred Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains of Peru and is a marvelous wonder that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. Adventure seekers often reach Machu Picchu by walking one of the many treks, the most known one being the Inca trail, which is among the world’s best hiking trails. However, the trekking requires from 3-7 days of continuous hiking and walking depending on the trail that you choose. The journey through the trails are not easy. It requires moving up and down altitudes, steep climbs, uncertain extreme weather conditions, and camping. Certainly, the journey is neither for the fainthearted nor for the one who is physically unwell. Only about 6% of travelers follow the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu.
Most travelers prefer a shorter and more comfortable route to reach Machu Picchu via one of the different types trains. You can board a train to Machu Picchu from Cusco (Poroy station) or from Ollantaytambo station in the Sacred Valley. The train will drop you at Machu Picchu station in Aguas Calientes. The best thing about going by train to Machu Picchu is that the journey gives you the opportunity to witness mesmerizing panoramas and picturesque landscapes.
Two train operators namely Inca Rail and PeruRail, provide many outbound services to Machu Picchu on a daily basis between 6 am to 7 pm. Both train operators offer a myriad of options for train schedules, departure points, and pricing. Observe breathtaking views outside the window as your train moves through the big and small cities of Peru.
The departure points for different PeruRail trains include Ollantaytambo, Poroy (Cusco) and Urubamba. Trains starting from each of these stations leave you in Aguas Calientes also well known by the name Machu Picchu Pueblo. The train starting from the Poroy Station is located 20 mins from Cusco and takes around 3.5 hours to reach Aguas Calientes station. The train journey from Ollantaytambo takes just 1.5 hours. There are 4 different PeruRail trains:
The standard train from PeruRail is called the Expedition and is a budget-friendly option for a comfortable commute. Onboard snacks and drinks are included in the ticket.
This is a little more expensive than the Expedition. This is a mid-range option with comfortable seating and air-conditioned compartments furnished with panoramic windows to ensure that you get fully immersed with the beautiful outside landscape. There is also onboard snacks and drinks along with live entertainment of traditional Peruvian music (Aguas Calientes to Cusco).
This beautiful train is designed around the style of the 1920s and goes from Urubamba to Machu Picchu and vice versa. Gourmet lunch or dinner and drinks are included in the tickets.
This beautiful and luxurious train takes its name from Hiram Bingham, the person who re-discovered the remains of Machu Picchu. This is the luxury option from Poroy to Machu Picchu for people with a higher budget. Included with the ticket is a gourmet lunch or dinner, which are accompanied with drinks. There is also onboard live traditional Peruvian music.
Inca Rail Trains
The different Inca Rail Trains depart from either Poroy or Ollantaytambo station and drop you at Aguas Calientes at the Machu Picchu station. Similar to the Peru Rail, Inca Railalso has 4 different trains:
The Voyager Train is the economic option and has very comfortable seating and offers on-board drinks to all passengers.
This is Inca Rail’s equivalent to PeruRail’s Vistadome Train. The windows are wider and taller, offering a more panoramic view of the landscape outside. Includes on onboard entertainment app where you can learn more about the Inca civilization. Snacks and drinks are also offered.
The First Class train features table-facing plush seats, welcome cocktail, calming live background music, gourmet lunch or dinner, fresh flowers, fresh fruit juices, refreshing herbal teas and handmade tapestries. There is also a spacious Observatory Lounge with large armchairs, bar and balcony.
This is the only available chartered service to Machu Picchu. You and your friends and family can have an entire carriage to yourselves. It includes welcome champagne, tasting menu and fine wines from the region. This train only runs from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu and vice versa.
When you are going to Machu Picchu by train, it is always good to pre-book your tickets in advance to avoid last minute hassle and skepticism. In fact, you may not have tickets available at the time of instant booking. So, roll up your sleeves, pre-book your seats, and embark on an adventurous journey by train to Machu Picchu.