Train to Machu Picchu Options
| Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu can be reached by foot or rail, though there’s no doubt that taking one of the classic trains through the lush countryside is a more relaxing way to experience the journey. Sit back and enjoy panoramic views, with varying levels of service from economy to absolute luxury. For those heading to do a Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley tour, here are the 7 different types of trains to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Train: Option 1
Peru Rail: Departing from Cusco, Urubamba & Ollantaytambo
All of Peru Rail’s trains to Machu Picchu begin in Poroy Station (18km from Cusco City), which is most convenient for travelers going directly to Machu Picchu from Cusco. There are three different train options available, with stops in Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, making it easy for travelers who are staying in the Sacred Valley.
Formerly known as the “backpacker” train, this is Peru Rail’s most affordable offering, getting travelers from Cusco to Machu Picchu at a fair price without the extra perks that come on the other trains (although it does have a snack and beverage service with one of each included with your ticket). It’s basic, comfortable, and perfect for those on a budget. This Machu Picchu train service departs from Poroy station and Ollantaytambo station.
This train, equipped with giant sunroofs and panoramic windows, is a great option for travelers for whom it’s all about the journey. You’ll enjoy impressive views of the mountains and greenery as the train snakes its way from Cusco to Machu Picchu, with an extensive snack service included. Even better, the return trip includes a traditional Saqra dance performance and fashion show on board! This Machu Picchu train service departs from Poroy station, Urubamba station and Ollantaytambo station.
3. Hiram Bingham
A class of its own, the Hiram Bingham car is the most luxurious train traveling between Cusco and Machu Picchu, offering nothing less than the finest in service, décor, entertainment, and refreshments. On the Hiram Bingham guests will be greeted with live music and dances, accompanied by a constant offering of appetizers and cocktails. Each ticket includes admission to Machu Picchu, the bus from the train to the entrance of Machu Picchu, and a tour with a professional guide on the site. Those traveling on the Hiram Bingham car will find it an experience in and of itself. This Machu Picchu train service departs from Poroy station and Ollantaytambo station.
Machu Picchu Train: Option 2
Inca Rail: Departures from Ollantaytambo
Trains operated by Inca Rail leave from the town of Ollantaytambo, which is 1.5 hours outside of the city of Cusco. This is a generally more affordable option than taking the Peru Rail from Cusco, and is also convenient for those planning to visit Machu Picchu from the Sacred Valley. Ollantaytambo is the train stop within the Sacred Valley, right in front of many of the region’s most popular hotels. Guests coming from Cusco will need to arrange a taxi, bus, or car service to drop them off and pick them up in Ollantaytambo, which is usually possible at the time of booking your ticket (and oftentimes included in the price when booking with hotels or travel agents).
1. Machu Picchu
This train is a strong upgrade from the old “backpacker” train, with premium economy cars that will get you to Machu Picchu comfortably at a fair price. This is the cheapest of all the trains. Snack and beverage service is included.
This mid-range option offers two different levels of service, based on your budget and travel style. The executive class offers standard cars with large panoramic windows for viewing the passing scenery, and a beverage and snack service.
The second option of first class is for travelers looking for a bit more luxury: the cars are a step up from executive class, with larger seats, more room, and a more elaborate interior design. First class guests will be greeted with a welcome cocktail, gourmet meal, and snack and beverage service.
3. Inca Princess
Inca Rail’s luxury offering, the Inca Princess (also known as the Presidential Class), is the only chartered service to Machu Picchu. Guests can hire this entire carriage for a private group, and ride to Machu Picchu in the finest of style. Services include welcome champagne, a tasting menu of the region’s finest wines, and an open bar fully stocked for the journey. The décor is much more spacious and comfortable than the other trains, offering comfortable armchairs and sofas in this decadently decorated parlor. Large windows offer pristine views of the landscape, and tailored service will tend to guests’ every need.
4. Inca Rail's New Train Fleet (Updated in 2018)
Inca Rail has now revolutionized the way people get to experience Machu Picchu and the surrounding Sacred Valley. There have been trains running to the site for a while now but Inca Rail has just changed the game. Its new fleet of train offers a whole new level of comfort and luxury. To view the new options, please read the Inca Rail’s New Luxury Train to Machu Picchu post.