The train that connects Cusco with Machu Picchu is a very important service for tourism in Peru. Thanks to this service, it is much easier to do the Inca Trail and the trip to Machu Picchu, the main tourist attraction in the region. To take the train, you must buy tickets with the only two companies in force: Peru Rail and Inca Rail. Know their prices, types of services and more information.
The train trip to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu begins at one of the Cusco stations: San Pedro, Poroy or Ollantaytambo. Tourists who do the 2-day Inca Trail must descend at kilometer 104 of the railroad (a few kilometers before reaching Aguas Calientes). Tourists who wish to travel to Machu Picchu must get off at the Aguas Calientes station, located just 10 kilometers from the ‘Inca City’.
The train route in Cusco
- The train route in Cusco connects the ‘Imperial City’ with the Hydroelectric station in the jungle part of the region.
- During the route the train crosses the towns of Poroy, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and, the most important destination, Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu town).
- In each of these towns there are train stations where it is possible to board and get off the train.
- The most used train station is Ollantaytambo as it has the largest number of train departures.
- Currently there are only two companies that offer the train trip to Machu Picchu: Peru Rail and Inca Rail.
- In addition to the train route to Machu Picchu, the Peru Rail company offers train trips to the cities of Puno and Arequipa.
- Prices and schedules are on the websites of both companies.
The trip to the Inca Trail
- Tourists who make the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for 2 days must descend at kilometer 104 of the train line (point where it is only accessed by train). It is there where the walk begins.
- Tourists who make the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu must travel to kilometer 82 of the train line. At this point, close to the town of Ollantaytambo, is accessed by bus (it is not necessary to arrive by train).
- It should be noted that the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a route that is only done on a tour organized by a tourism agency. It is not possible to do this adventure on your own.
The train ride to Machu Picchu
Tourists who want to make the train trip to Machu Picchu should choose:
- The company they wish to travel with (Peru Rail or Inca Rail).
- The train station with which they want to travel (Cusco, Poroy or Ollantaytambo).
- The type of service they wish to travel with (Example: Expedition, The Voyager, Vistadome, The 360, etc.
- The train schedule (which must be related to the schedule of your visit to Machu Picchu).
Peru Rail trains
Peru Rail is a railway company that operates the Cusco – Machupicchu route as well as interprovincial routes that link Cusco with Puno and Arequipa.
Regarding the route Cusco – Machu Picchu these are the stations enabled to board the train:
- San Pedro Station : located in the same city of Cusco, a few steps from the famous San Pedro market. Peru Rail offers 3 daily departures, approximately.
- Poroy Station : located only 13 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. Peru Rail offers 4 daily departures, approximately.
- Ollantaytambo station : located 62 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. Peru Rail offers 25 daily departures, approximately.
- Machu Picchu Station : located 100 kilometers by road and train from the city of Cusco. Peru Rail offers 32 daily departures, approximately.
When buying their ticket, the tourist must choose between one of these trains that vary according to the price and the quality of the service:
- Expedition : The Expedition has wagons fully covered by panoramic windows and on-board service with sale of snacks, drinks and more. It is the cheapest tourist train but it complies with a 100% comfortable and safe trip.
- Vistadome : It is a train whose carriages are wide with side and top panoramic windows, which allows taking pictures from different angles. On-board care, air conditioning system, heating and leather seats are provided. Includes complimentary snacks and drinks. On the return trip there is a dance show and a sample of clothing made of alpaca.
- Belmond Hiram Bingham : It is a luxurious and exclusive train with an all-inclusive service. This service has 4 cars: dining car, bar car, kitchen car and observatory. It can carry 84 passengers. The service includes: appetizers, wines, musical entertainment, a tour guide for every 14 passengers, entrance fees, transportation to Machu Picchu, gourmet dinner and more.
- Local train : It is a train for daily use for local people who need to travel through the nearby communities of Machu Picchu. It does not offer tourist services. It is the cheapest train ($ 3), however, it is only available to Peruvians.
Inca Rail trains
Inca Rail is a railway company that offers the Cusco – Machu Picchu route.
These are the train stations enabled by Inca Rail:
- Cusco Station : located in the same city of Cusco, a few steps from the famous San Pedro market. Inca Rail offers 5 daily departures, approximately. Most are ‘Bimodal’ service (first trip by bus and then, from Ollantaytambo, by train).
- Ollantaytambo Station : located 62 kilometers by road from the city of Cusco. Inca Rail offers 12 daily departures, approximately.
- Machu Picchu Station : located 100 kilometers by road and train from the city of Cusco. Inca Rail offers 15 daily departures, approximately.
The tourist can choose one of these trains, which vary according to their price and quality:
- The Voyager : This tourist service, the cheapest of Inca Rail, offers all the comforts on board such as leather seats, tables and large windows. It also has service on board and sale of snacks or drinks.
- The 360 : There are seven wagons with capacity for 42 people that have large panoramic windows set with Latin American music, on-board service with a selection of hot and cold drinks and sale of artisan products.
- The First Class : It is a wagon with more space on board (30 seats). It has background music, natural flowers and covered tables. A welcome cocktail as well as gourmet lunch and / or dinner are provided.
- The Private : With capacity for 8 passengers, it offers a car covered in wood and decorated with hand-woven tapestries made by artisans from Cusco. The Inca Princess carriage, of the presidential class, is a carriage with many details in its decoration, food on board, open bar and has large panoramic windows.
- Train tickets can be purchased at the same train stations or at authorized offices in the city of Cusco. However, it is best to buy them through the websites of the Peru Rail (www.perurail.com) and Inca Rail (incarail.com) companies.
- The schedules are exact. It is recommended to arrive at the train station at least 30 minutes before departure time. The stations are open from 5 in the morning until 9 at night.
By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 30-09-2021
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