Information about Trains to Machu Picchu

Information about Trains to Machu Picchu

Train transportation offers a relaxing, romantic and scenic way to get around. In some parts of the world, traveling by train is part of daily life. In Peru, although there are few destinations accessible by train, tours on these high-altitude carriages highlight the country’s world-renowned landscapes.

Trains reach places inaccessible to cars, planes and ships. According to Henry Meiggs, builder of the Central Railway: “Where the flame goes, I can carry a train.” So he did, conquering the Andes with rails that show the skill of human engineering, while maintaining a deep respect and admiration for the Apus of the world’s longest mountain range. This is your guide to traveling by train in Peru, a beautiful country that we consider home.

Why choose the train as a means of transportation?

In addition to being more comfortable, traveling by train is generally faster than traveling by bus (with the exception of the Huancayo train, which takes twice as long). Trains follow more direct routes through the landscape, avoiding the curves and twists of the roads, especially on the precarious road system of the Andes, meaning a less motion sickness-prone experience.

It gives you close-up views of remote landscapes that only hikers and train passengers can enjoy, which is a real treat. A train trip is not limited to being a means to reach a destination, but the trip itself is part of the magic of the trip. Many trains offer luxury dining, a bar car, an observation car and even an on-board spa, creating a unique atmosphere of excitement and leaving you with unforgettable memories.

And best of all, traveling by train significantly reduces your carbon footprint compared to flying or traveling by road. Aside from walking or cycling, trains represent the most environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another.

Why choose to travel by train?

Peru Rail offers several train services that connect Cusco with Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. Trains depart from three stations in Cusco: Wanchaq , Poroy and San Pedro. Another option is to board in Ollantaytambo, which is the most common and economical alternative. Additionally, Peru Rail offers a bimodal service that includes a private bus transfer from Cusco to the Ollantaytambo train station.

Hiram Bingham is the most luxurious and exclusive service to reach Machu Picchu, named in honor of the explorer who revealed the site to the world. The carriages are designed like luxury cars from the 1920s, offering an elegant atmosphere. Passengers are greeted with a drink and then served a gourmet Peruvian lunch while enjoying the valley scenery. Live entertainment, such as traditional music and dance, complement the experience. The ticket includes a bus ride from the station to Machu Picchu, entrance and a guided tour of the citadel, followed by afternoon tea at a luxury hotel before the return with dinner included.

Vistadome Observatory offers Vistadome car seating with access to the elegant observation car, equipped with plush lounge chairs and high-quality décor. Additionally, it includes an Andean dance show, informative audio clips, and complimentary snacks and drinks.

The Vistadome provides car seating with large windows to better enjoy views of the Andes, plus free snacks and drinks, Peruvian dance entertainment, and an audio guide.

Expedition is Peru Rail’s most basic service, with padded seats arranged in groups of four facing each other with a table, large windows to appreciate the landscape and a comfortable environment to interact with other passengers.

Check the Peru Rail website for prices and schedules. Expedition and Vistadome are available daily, while Hiram Bingham operates only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

You can carry a bag of up to 5 kg on board. Additional bags can be stored at the Cusco or Ollantaytambo stations and retrieved upon return.