Complete guide of the train to Machu Picchu

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train to machu picchu

Detailed information for your trip.

A comprehensive handbook to the train journey to Machu Picchu

For countless individuals, beholding a wonder of the world is an enduring aspiration. Machu Picchu, an emblem of the Americas' history and culture, magnetizes numerous travelers annually with its profound historical heritage and awe-inspiring vistas. It stands as the quintessential destination for an unparalleled and unforgettable escapade.

Were you aware that the train offers one of the most exclusive avenues to reach this Incan citadel? Set forth on a voyage from the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you'll find yourself engulfed in awe-inspiring panoramas steeped in history and natural splendor. Within this article, we furnish you with a thorough manual delving into the trains that will transport you to the thresholds of this archaeological marvel. Explore the diverse routes, onboard amenities, and insider suggestions to elevate your journey to even greater heights. Our aim is to equip you with all requisite details so that your pilgrimage to Machu Picchu becomes etched into your consciousness eternally. Accompany us on this expedition and prepare to immerse yourself in an unparalleled odyssey within one of the globe's most captivating wonders.

Which companies offer transportation to Machu Picchu via train?

There are two different ways to get to Machu Picchu by train: Peru Rail and Inca Rail. Each has unique offerings that have earned them a reputation for exceptional quality and service. Peru Rail, for example, is known for its comfort, while Inca Rail stands out for its unique and personalized travel experience. These companies offer a range of tourist services, from the comfort of their carriages to the convenience of their stations strategically located in the main points of Cusco.

circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Train Peru Rail
circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Train Inca Rail

Deciding between Peru Rail and Inca Rail is a pivotal choice that will greatly influence your Machu Picchu journey. To assist you in making an informed decision, we will present an in-depth comparison of their services, routes, timetables, and pricing. By comprehending these factors, you can ensure that your excursion to the Inca citadel is nothing short of remarkable.

Peru Rail

PeruRail, the premier railway company in Peru, has been in operation for more than twenty years, providing an essential link between Cusco and Machu Picchu with a diverse array of travel options tailored to accommodate various budgets and preferences.

PeruRail offers several travel options, including:

  • Expedition: Providing a comfortable and convenient experience at an affordable price, the Expedition train is ideal for travelers seeking a hassle-free journey to Machu Picchu without compromising on comfort. Tickets are priced at 60 USD or 200 soles in Peruvian currency.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    train expedition
  • Vistadome: Offering a remarkable experience, the Vistadome train features panoramic windows that afford passengers breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley. This option is perfect for those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the scenic beauty during their excursion to the Inca citadel. Ticket prices start at around 90 USD or 330 soles in Peruvian currency.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    train vistadome
  • Vistadome Observatory: The PeruRail Vistadome Observatory train travels the route between Cusco and Machu Picchu giving you a unique travel experience. An exclusive atmosphere that surrounds you with the magical landscape thanks to its panoramic windows and the observatory car, living an unforgettable journey and enjoying our culture up close through the music and the typical dance of the Saqra. Along the route, passengers will be able to move between the panoramic car and the elegant observatory car, enjoying the experience on board.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    train Vistadome Observatory
  • Belmond Hiram Bingham: Recognized as one of the most luxurious railway services, the Belmond Hiram Bingham train offers a first-class experience complete with gourmet dining, live music, and personalized service. It is the epitome of comfort, elegance, and exclusivity, making it ideal for discerning travelers seeking a privileged journey. With prices ranging from approximately 500 USD to 1,850 soles in Peruvian currency, it ensures an unparalleled experience.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    train Belmond Hiram Bingham

Inca Rail

Boasting over a decade of expertise in rail transportation to Machu Picchu, it distinguishes itself through its steadfast commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, appealing particularly to conscientious travelers who prioritize eco-friendly practices.

This company presents various routes to Machu Picchu, including:

  • The Voyager: Providing a comfortable and cost-effective experience akin to PeruRail's Expedition, the Voyager train offers passengers a pragmatic option for reaching the Inca citadel. With standard amenities, tickets for this option are priced at 60 USD or 200 soles in Peruvian currency.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    The Voyager Train
  • The 360:Immerse yourself in unparalleled beauty aboard our glass-roofed carriage. This distinctive feature allows passengers to revel in panoramic vistas of the Sacred Valley landscape, leaving them spellbound and enraptured. Ideal for those eager to fully appreciate the natural splendor of the environment, tickets for this awe-inspiring journey begin at 90 USD or 330 soles in Peruvian currency.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    The 360 Train
  • The First Class:Tailored for travelers seeking an exclusive and luxurious expedition, the First Class train promises an unmatched experience. With gourmet cuisine, premium beverages, and personalized service, every moment is crafted to ensure passengers feel truly exceptional. More than just a mere trip, it's an unforgettable journey of a lifetime. Reflecting its exclusivity, tickets for this lavish experience are priced at approximately 500 USD or 1,850 soles in Peruvian currency.
    circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    The First Class train

Inca Rail transcends mere transportation; it serves as a portal to an unparalleled travel venture. Our dedication lies in seamlessly blending comfort with cultural genuineness, a pledge that permeates every facet of our service. From the exquisitely adorned carriages to supplementary encounters like visits to indigenous markets, we endeavor to envelop our travelers in the cultural opulence of the region. This genuine rapport with the local community imparts an unmistakable worth to your Machu Picchu excursion, rendering the Inca Rail encounter genuinely exceptional and enriching.

Booking train tickets

Two crucial aspects to consider when planning your Machu Picchu visit involve securing entrance tickets to the archaeological site and acquiring train tickets to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town providing access to the citadel.

Here are some guidelines for purchasing train tickets:

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Peru Rail Ticket
circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Inca Rail Ticket

Train Stations

Machu Picchu, the awe-inspiring Inca fortress nestled at 2,430 meters (7,972 feet) amidst the breathtaking Peruvian Andes, has enchanted adventurers across the globe for generations. Embarking on this expedition, travelers are treated to breathtaking Andean vistas, meandering rivers, and historical landmarks peppered along the path.

Are you prepared for an indelible journey to Machu Picchu? Familiarize yourself with your train station choices and commence planning your excursion today. Seize the chance to unveil one of the contemporary world's new wonders:

One way stations

Ollantaytambo Station:

  • Location: Found at Av. Ferrocarril s/n, Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, just 70 kilometers from Cusco, Av. Ferrocarril s/n, Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley, presents a convenient starting point, easily accessible via private car or bus from Cusco. Tickets are available starting from approximately 15 soles in Peruvian currency or 4 USD, making it a hassle-free launchpad for your Machu Picchu expedition.
  • Routes: This station serves as a crucial departure point for trains bound for Machu Picchu.
  • Prices: Train tickets from Ollantaytambo offer a pocket-friendly alternative, typically cheaper than those from Cusco. Remember, prices vary depending on your chosen train type, ensuring flexibility to match your travel budget.
  • Services: Ollantaytambo station provides all essential amenities for your journey, including clean restrooms, souvenir shops, and dining options, ensuring you're fully prepared for your Machu Picchu visit.

Urubamba Station:

  • Location: Nestled at Tambo del Inka Railway Station, Av. Berriozabal 108, Urubamba, within the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba Station sits tranquilly just 60 kilometers from Cusco, offering a serene starting point for your Machu Picchu excursion.
  • Routes: While less frequented, Urubamba Station offers a distinctive and more direct link, appealing to those seeking a quieter, more exclusive experience. With fewer crowds, you can relish a more intimate journey.
  • Prices: Train ticket prices from Urubamba are comparable to those from Ollantaytambo.
  • Services: Urubamba station provides essential services, including restrooms, souvenir shops, and dining options.

Poroy Station:

  • Location: Situated on Calle Roldan s/n, in the district of Poroy, on the outskirts of Cusco, roughly 3 kilometers from the city center.
  • Routes: Despite being less popular, Poroy Station offers a swift and efficient connection, particularly convenient for those staying in Cusco, ensuring expedited travel to your destination.
  • Prices: Train ticket prices from Poroy generally exceed those from Ollantaytambo or Urubamba.
  • Services: Poroy station offers necessary amenities such as restrooms, souvenir shops, and dining facilities.

San Pedro Station in Cusco:

  • Location: San Pedro Station is centrally located in Cusco, just a few meters from Plaza de Armas, opposite the central market of San Pedro.
  • Routes: This station exclusively offers local train services to Ollantaytambo, serving as a connecting point for onward travel to Machu Picchu.
  • Prices: Local train fares from San Pedro are budget-friendly.
  • Services: San Pedro station provides essential facilities including restrooms and a small souvenir store.

San Pedro Station in Cusco

Return stations

Aguas Calientes Station (Machu Picchu Pueblo:

  • Location: Positioned at the base of Machu Picchu.
  • Routes: Serving as the hub for all trains traveling to and from Machu Picchu, this station marks the starting and ending point of your journey.
  • Prices: Train ticket prices fluctuate based on the company, route, and date of travel. For the latest details, refer to PeruRail and Inca Rail’s official websites.
  • Services: Aguas Calientes station offers fundamental amenities including restrooms, souvenir shops, and dining establishments.

Discounts for the train to Machu Picchu

If you're organizing a family excursion with your children, special discounts are offered for train tickets to Machu Picchu, particularly for the younger travelers. Below are the specifics regarding these discount offers:

Children under three years old:

Children from 3 to 12 years old:

  • Peru Rail extends a 50% discount on ticket prices for children under the age of 12.
  • Similarly, Inca Rail offers a 50% discount for children aged 3 to 12, presenting families with substantial savings on travel expenses.

These discounts not only aim to make family trips to Machu Picchu more economical but also ensure considerable savings. Families can embark on an exploration of this archaeological marvel together, forging unforgettable memories for the youngsters without stretching their budget. Remember to review the policies of each train company for further information on available discounts and terms.

Know the train ride from the chosen destination to Machu Picchu.

The train journey to Machu Picchu offers a distinctive and convenient travel experience, particularly suitable for families with young children, ensuring safety throughout the trip. Departing from Poroy station in Cusco, the 65.8-kilometer route to Aguas Calientes unfolds amidst the captivating landscapes of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, treating passengers to breathtaking panoramic vistas. Lasting approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, the journey allows ample time to revel in the natural beauty and incorporate the trip itself into the adventure.

Alternatively, the route from Urubamba to Aguas Calientes spans 47.6 kilometers alongside the Vilcanota River, winding through majestic mountains and offering a sensory-rich scenic experience. This leg of the journey lasts around 2 hours and 30 minutes, affording travelers the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the splendor of the surroundings.

Lastly, departing from Ollantaytambo station, which lies 30.5 kilometers from Aguas Calientes, the train traverses the verdant Sacred Valley of the Incas along the Urubamba River banks. This segment, lasting just under two hours, provides an ideal chance to admire the natural and cultural treasures of the region while nearing the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Tips for boarding the train

Welcome aboard! Before embarking on our thrilling adventure, let's review some guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for everyone. The essence of the train experience lies in reaching our destination while relishing the journey in tranquility and comfort. Therefore, we'll discuss in a warm and approachable manner what to do before boarding the train and the rules we must observe throughout the trip. Get ready to create unforgettable memories as we journey together towards new horizons!

  • Upon boarding the train, please have your ticket and identification or passport ready for inspection.
  • The railway company will verify your ticket both before departure and during the journey.
  • Failure to provide proof of ticket ownership will result in denied boarding without the option to contest.
  • Individuals in a delicate health condition, as well as women who are seven months or more pregnant, will not be permitted to board the train
  • Likewise, those under the influence of alcohol or other substances will be prohibited from boarding.
  • For the safety of all passengers, young children must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians throughout the journey.
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Tips for boarding the train

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the train ticket to Machu Picchu valid for one day only? Yes, the ticket is only valid for the specified date and time printed on it. It cannot be used on a different day.
  • Can I purchase the train ticket in Cusco? Yes, but it's not advisable. While you can buy tickets directly in Cusco, availability is limited, and there's a risk of not finding the desired train. It's recommended to purchase tickets in advance, especially during the peak season.
  • What is the local train to Machu Picchu? This service is exclusively for Peruvian citizens and residents of the Cusco region. They are not tourist trains, so the fare is nominal (around 3 USD).
  • What is the Hidroeléctrica train station? It is the station primarily used by tourists and most locals. Situated 10 kilometers from the Machu Picchu station, visitors can purchase tickets and travel by train, although many prefer to trek (approximately 2 hours).
  • How long does it take to travel by train to Machu Picchu? The journey from Cusco takes over 3 hours, while from Ollantaytambo, it's a maximum of 2 hours.
  • Who is not allowed to take the train to Machu Picchu? Individuals who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, those exhibiting aggressive or violent behavior, unaccompanied minors, and animals are prohibited from boarding the train.
  • How can I purchase the train ticket? It's recommended to buy tickets online several weeks in advance. In Cusco, assistance may be needed to find availability.
  • How far in advance should I purchase the train ticket? Ideally, tickets should be purchased 1 or 2 weeks in advance. Keep in mind that tickets sell out quickly during the high season (April to October).
  • What is the luggage allowance? Carry-on baggage should not exceed 5 kg, while checked baggage allowance is 15 kg. Additional weight incurs a charge of $4.8 per kilo
  • What time does the first train depart from Ollantaytambo station? The "Expedition" train departs first at 5:05 a.m., followed by the "Vistadome" at 7:05 a.m.
  • Is it possible to reach Machu Picchu without taking the train? Absolutely! Exploring Machu Picchu without relying on the traditional train offers an adventure desired by many daring travelers. While the train is convenient, there are alternative options for those seeking deeper immersion in the natural and cultural splendor of the Peruvian Andes. From challenging trekking routes to ground and air transportation, discovering how to reach Machu Picchu without the train provides a unique and fulfilling perspective on this archaeological marvel

Know your options for getting there without a train:

Inca Trail:


The Inca Trail stands as the most favored path to Machu Picchu. Spanning a 4-day trek through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it unveils awe-inspiring vistas of the Andes Mountains. With us, you have the flexibility to tailor this trail adventure to your preferences, ranging from 1 to 7 days, catering to your exploratory desires.

key details

  • Distance: Covering 43 kilometers (27 miles).
  • Difficulty: Ranging from moderate to challenging.
  • Duration: Typically a 4-day endeavor.
  • Permit: A mandatory permit is essential for hiking the Inca Trail, obtainable online or from Cusco's Ministry of Culture office.
  • Cost: The expense of the Inca Trail varies depending on your chosen tour operator, usually commencing at approximately USD 500 per person.


  • Spectacular scenery awaits.
  • An authentic immersion into local culture.
  • A sense of achievement upon reaching Machu Picchu.


  • Can be physically taxing.
  • Requires securing a permit.
  • May entail significant expenses.
circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
inca trail rute

Road to Hidroeléctrica:

The Hidroeléctrica Trail, spanning a 6-hour hike, traces the path alongside the Urubamba River leading to Aguas Calientes, the town nestled at the base of Machu Picchu. Although less frequented compared to the Inca Trail, this route presents a more cost-effective and adaptable alternative.

Key details

  • Distance: Covers a span of 10 kilometers (6 miles).
  • Difficulty: Ranges from easy to moderate.
  • Duration: Typically completed in 6 hours.
  • Permit: No permit is necessary.
  • Cost: The pricing for the Hidroeléctrica Trail varies based on your chosen tour operator, generally initiating around USD 200 per person.


  • More budget-friendly compared to the Inca Trail.
  • Exemption from permit requirements.
  • Offers greater flexibility, allowing you to hike at your own pace.


  • Scenery may not be as striking as the Inca Trail.
  • Potential hazards exist as you navigate alongside the road.
circuit 1 machu picchu - Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
on the way to aguas calientes

No matter which path you choose, the exploration of Machu Picchu promises to etch unforgettable memories in your mind and spirit. Prepare yourself for an extraordinary journey to the iconic Inca citadel!