Maybe you thought the only way to get to Machu Picchu was a long and challenging trek through the Andes. That was certainly the case for the Inca who lived here hundreds of years ago, but today’s intrepid explorer has a much more comfortable option: the train. Learn all about How to Get to Machu Picchu by Train in this informative article.
Why get to Machu Picchu by train?
1. To save time
Many visitors to Peru want to make the most of travelling such a long way, so they combine their trip with tours taking in more than country; for example, Peru and Brazil, or Peru and Chile. Learning how to get to Machu Picchu by train will save you time, since the trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu is only 4 hours. Taking the train will give you plenty of time to explore other places, too. We offer several Machu Picchu Peru Tours that include the train.
2. To save your energy
The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the world, but you do need to take your health and physical condition into consideration. Machu Picchu is 2,430m (7,970 ft) above sea level, and that means being careful with the altitude, not to mention walking such a long way if you’re not used to it. And, you know what? Some people like climbing mountains on their vacations, while some people like to sit back and watch the scenery go by from the comfort of a train… and there is no shame in that!
3. To beat the queues
Understandably, Machu Picchu is a popular destination for visitors to Peru. If you’re a last minute type, deciding to get to Machu Picchu by train is good option for when the Inca Trail is fully booked (the government of Peru restrict visitor numbers to protect the environment). Instead of heading off into the wilderness, let a travel consultant book a comfortable ride on the train for you to get a different perspective on the approach to Machu Picchu.
4. To get off the beaten track
If you get to Machu Picchu by train, but still yearn to explore Peru’s spectacular Andean landscapes on foot, there are plenty of other possibilities for trekking or hiking. Options include the Choquequiro trek to Machu Picchu’s sister city, bathing in natural hotsprings on the Lares trek. It’s also easy to add on a half-day hike to Huaynu Picchu, the peak above the citadel of Machu Picchu. Just ask your travel consultant to add a ticket to the Huaynu Picchu trailhead, which must be purchased in advance.
What’s the train to Machu Picchu like?
The train to Machu Picchu is not just a matter of convenience; it’s an experience in its own right. We recommend the Vistadome train, which gives you a unique view of the imposing mountain scenery through its glass ceiling, as you relax in comfortable, pre-assigned seats with plenty of legroom. Often, folk dancers and Andean musicians provide entertainment. Snacks and refreshments are also available, making the 4 hour trip through the Sacred Valley a breeze.
You will arrive in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, where you will find plenty of hotels, restaurants, and locals selling traditional crafts. If you’re looking for a comfortable and relaxing journey as you tour Peru, choosing to get to Machu Picchu by train is a great idea.
How does it work to get to Machu Picchu by train?
How to get to Machu Picchu by train is dependent on how many nights you want to spend in the area, and where you want to spend the night. It’s possible to take the train directly from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and back, or to stop along the way in the Sacred Valley.
In Cusco, you need to walk or get a transfer to the Poroy train station, located just outside of Cusco. From there, its a 4 hour straight shot through the spectacular scenery of the Sacred Valley, at the Aguas Calientes Station at the foot of Machu Picchu. Once in Aguas Calientes, you’ll need to get a ticket for the shuttle bus, which will take you up the Hiram Bingham Highway to the entrance of Machu Picchu.
But there are many variations of how to take the train to Machu Picchu. Our travel consultants can help you customized your Peru vacation itinerary to suit your needs perfectly. Check out our 4-Day Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Sacred Valley Tour – you can customize this however you like!
It’s best to purchase your tickets in advance of traveling to Cusco, because availability can be limited (especially in the high season, from June-August). We can book train tickets for you as part of your Peruvian vacation, so why not give us a call at 1-800-747-4540 to find out more?
Check out our Machu Picchu Peru Tours which ALL include the round-trip train.