Surrounded by great mystery and situated high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is the most famous Inca city and attracts millions of tourists every year. It is probably the star of every trip to Peru.
There are many ways to get to Machu Picchu, but if you are on a slightly larger budget, we recommend you take the train to Machu Picchu! Stunning views, Peruvian specialities and traditional music played by the locals. In Peru, the “Orient Express” type of trip is within your reach.
In this article, we have prepared for you all the necessary information about the train to these famous ruins. So if you dream of visiting Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world, and at the same time would like to experience an incredible train ride… Read on!
Is it worth going by train to Machu Picchu?
Is it worth going by train to Machu Picchu? The standard answer is… it depends! As we have already told you there are many ways to get to Machu Picchu and perhaps you already know where Machu Picchu is and how high it is, and want to save a few kilometres on foot.
So the train is a great option for those who don’t like physical activity, are not in good shape, or for health reasons, simply cannot burden their body with such effort. In addition, it is also a good option for those with limited time and who need to make the visit more quickly.
What kind of trains are there to Machu Picchu and which one should you choose?
The train allows for a one-day return trip, however, it can be a very restrictive and intensive option! You can choose between two different companies: Inca Rail and Peru Rail, which offers the most luxurious train to Machu Picchu: Belmond Hiram Bingham. Each of them provides a very good standard and a unique atmosphere, but the choice depends on you and the possibility of your portfolio.
In addition, many of the excursions to Machu Picchu include the train to Aguas Calientes, as this is the only way to get to Machu Picchu town if not on foot.
When looking for a train to Machu Picchu, choose one of the three stops – Cusco (San Pedro Station), Ollantaytambo, and the most popular option, Poroy, which tourists can reach from the centre of Cusco by taxi or minibus.
Inca Rail offers three types of train services, all of which arrive in Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu town. The options vary in price for a reason, each “level of service” includes different amenities:
This is the most economical option, preferred by independent travellers and backpackers. The car has a capacity of 42 people and includes comfortable seats with tables, as well as large windows that allow you to enjoy the landscape. In addition, passengers can expect snacks and some drinks. The one-way trip costs around $60.
This experience is very different from the rest. First of all, there are much bigger and wider windows and a glass roof. This simple trick gives the tourists a much better view of the landscape, you can admire the Andes, the Vilcanota River and the incredible rock tunnels.
Photography lovers and people who care about a unique visual experience will definitely enjoy that ride! There are also small amenities, such as USB ports for charging devices, drinks and a lunchbox with the food. Train tickets to Machu Picchu in this class cost around $80.
As the name suggests, this is a luxury train to Machu Picchu! Maximum comfort but at a higher price. Incredibly comfortable seats, live music, Peruvian 3-course menu, pisco sour tasting, cooking course, children’s area and a unique observatory!
The price also includes the bus from Aguas Calientes to the gates of Machu Picchu. Such pleasure costs $200. There is also an all-inclusive option on the website, which includes an entrance ticket to the ruins but paying an additional $100. It’s expensive but definitely worth making a trip like this once in a lifetime.
PeruRail is an operator that has been providing services since 1999. The trains and options of the two operators do not differ radically, their offers are almost the same.
PeruRail’s carriages have been modernised, there are large windows, comfortable seats and plenty of legroom. In addition, the company designed the interior of the wagons in a distinctive way, adding a traditional Peruvian atmosphere, which is an additional attraction for travellers.
If you decide to travel with this company, you will have to get to Poroy, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, PeruRail’s trains, unfortunately, do not stop at San Pedro station. There are four train options to Machu Picchu to choose from:
It is the cheapest option in Perurail, perfect for people hungry for adventure at an unbeatable price. Unlike the previous company’s cheaper offer, travellers will not receive drinks or snacks in the ticket price but can buy them on board. Prices start at $55, but remember to book as soon as possible because it can increase.
It leaves 3 times a day and is the perfect option for those who like to explore and enjoy the views! It is the equivalent of an IncaRail 360 experience and the operator provides a panoramic window that brings travellers closer to nature than ever before!
In addition, the train deck is used to delight travellers with a show of Peruvian fashion and traditional dances. Passengers are provided with snacks and drinks. The train from Cusco to Machu Picchu costs around 77 dollars each way.
Sacred Valley Train
This is the only train that leaves from Urubamba to Aguas Calientes. It is a first-class train full of splendour with space for 33 travellers. The package includes several additional amenities that are sure to give you a more pleasant experience: cosy Andean tea, a 3-course dinner prepared with regional products, regular and alcoholic beverages, pisco tasting on the way back.
What else can you ask for? The trip takes 2 and a half hours and the price of the single ticket is $175.
Belmond Hiram Bingham
This is the most unique experience but for the highest price! The most luxurious train in the style of the 1920’s Pullman trains that go from Cusco to Machu Picchu and costs around 470 euros each way. The price is quite high for a 3-hour journey. However, if you decide to choose this option, you can count on many additional amenities, which are very attractive.
A welcome show of traditional dance, an open bar with Peruvian cocktails, a luxurious lunch on board, an observatory car from which you can admire the landscape, live music, a bus from Aguas Calientes to the citadel and an entrance ticket to Machu Picchu with a guide included. What do you think?
If any place in Peru can be considered a true window on this country, it is definitely Machu Picchu. You can find it on the list of every traveller’s dreams. So if you also want to visit this legendary place, now you have all the essential information. You know how much the trains to Machu Picchu cost and what all the packages include, now you just have to book your tickets and enjoy the trip!