How to get to Machu Picchu by Train

Machu Picchu is a breathtaking sight to be seen. It's unlike any place I've had the pleasure of exploring, a 15th-century Inca citadel nestled high in the Andes mountain range in Peru. It's a great adventure, no matter how you choose to explore.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu 2019

Situated on a 2,430-metre ridge, tucked away in the mountains, overlooking the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu is located 100 km away from Cusco. There are only 2 ways to get to there; you can hike or you can take a train along the Urubamba River from Cusco, Poroy, and Ollantaytambo.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing more about Peru and the world-renowned, Machu Picchu. This week, let's explore travelling to Machu Picchu by train.

Alpaca Grazing Machu Picchu by train
An Alpaca Grazing @Machu Picchu 2016

Options for traveling to Machu Picchu by Train

Not a hiker, not a problem. There is no camping and no trekking involved in this Machu Picchu experience.

Peru Rail

Peru Rail offers 15 departures to Machu Picchu daily.  They offer 3 train classes to get to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu;  The Expedition. The Vistadome.  And the Belmond Hiram Bingham luxury train. The Expedition is a basic train ticket, The Vistadome includes a light snack, and some Peruvian entertainment during your ride.  The Belmond Hiram Bingham train greets you with live music and a pisco cocktail, gourmet food, beer, wine, and pisco sours, an observation car and includes on-board music. The train fare on the Belmond Hiram Bingham also includes admission to Machu Picchu, the bus up to the ruins, and a guided tour followed by tea at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Hotel. All 3 train options provide breathtaking views. Trains are available from Cusco or Ollantaytambo on Peru Rail.

How to explore Machu Picchu by train
Peru Rail Expedition Car 2019

Inca Rail

Inca Rail offers quite a few less daily depature compared to Peru Rail. They offers 4 train classes to Aguas Calientes: The Voyager. The 360º.  The First Class.  And the exclusive ‘The Private’ train. Inca Rail trains and cars are newer than Peru Rail. From the  360º train class and up, an outdoor observation wagon is offered. The First Class train and The Private train also includes a gourmet menu and a private transportation from Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu. All 4 train options provide  the breathtaking views you’d expect. Trains are available from Cusco, Poroy, and Ollantaytambo through Inca Rail. Inca Rail also offers a Bimodal pass that includes your train ticket and bus up to the gates of Machu Picchu.

Sacred Valley 2016

Pro Tip

My personal recommendation is that if you decide to visit Machu Picchu by train, is to take the train from Ollantaytambo instead of Cusco.  From here, spend some time in the Sacred valley exploring lesser known Inca ruins such as Moray and the salt flats of Maras. There are many small towns worth visiting along the way from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. The residents that live in the Sacred Valley are friendly and have much to share and teach travelers about their culture and traditions.

Maras Salt Flats
Salt Flats of Maras 2016

Have you traveled to Peru or is it on your list of dreams?  Helping people to explore Peru is one of my specialties.

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Michelle Gaudet

Michelle Gaudet

Michelle Gaudet is an award-winning Certified Travel Counsellor and the owner of Inspired Travel Adventures, an independent travel agency based in the Niagara Region. With a specialization in custom travel itineraries and small group adventures, Michelle creates personalized and unforgettable journeys for her clients
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