The most popular and comfortable way to travel to Machu Picchu is by train, which affords spectacular scenic views of the Andean foothills along the way. The alternative option is to trek by foot along the Inca Trail. There are regular trains, several times a day, to Machu Picchu. They leave from Poroy, just outside Cusco, or alternatively from the Sacred Valley. They arrive into the town of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu by Train Information
Machu Picchu by train can be enjoyed on either of the two companies that run regular services: PeruRail and Inca Rail. Each company offers train services with different levels of comfort and price.
Peru Rail: Vistadome and Belmond Hiram Bingham
For travellers looking to voyage to Machu Picchu by train, with Peru Rail we recommend the Vistadome service, which affords wonderful views, and the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham, which delivers five-star service. Peru Rail’s services run from Poroy, just outside the city of Cusco, and the Sacred Valley.
Inca Rail: Executive Class, First Class, Presidential Class
Using Inca Rail, we recommend the Inca Rail Executive Class, First Class and luxurious Presidential Class. Both train companies have services that provide snacks or meals on-board. We can also arrange the private charter of train carriages for groups and guests looking for the ultimate exclusive experience to Machu Picchu. All of Inca Rail’s services run from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.
Book Machu Picchu Train Tickets
Contact us now to book Machu Picchu train tickets and advice on which train to travel with as part of a tailormade trip to Peru
How do I get the train to Machu Picchu?
Trains depart both from just outside the city of Cusco (Poroy station) and also from the Sacred Valley (also known as the Urubamba Valley) and arrive into Aguas Calientes, the town and station at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Poroy station sits 13km (8 miles) outside Cusco city centre, meaning you take the train almost the entire way from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. Cusco (Poroy) to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu is 86km (54 miles). Trains departing from Poroy are all operated by Peru Rail, including the Vistadome service and luxury Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu.
The Sacred Valley is a one and a half hour drive (approx) from Cusco and therefore closer to Machu Picchu; train journey times are therefore shorter to Aguas Calientes from the Sacred Valley. Here, the main station is called Ollanta in the town of Ollantaytambo, home to spectacular ruins. In addition, two luxury five hotels in the Sacred Valley, Belmond Rio Sagrado and Tambo del Inka, both also operate a small handful of limited daily departures that pause in Ollantaytambo en route to Machu Picchu, which can be a convenient option for guests staying at these properties.
How long is the train ride from Cusco to Machu Picchu?
- Trains from Poroy, just outside Cusco, to Machu Picchu (the station of Aguas Calientes) take three and a half hours one-way.
- Trains from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred valley take one and a half hours one-way.
Tips for travelling by train to Machu Picchu
All trains travel to and end in Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. As the train follows the river, we prefer the views on the left hand side on the way to Aguas Calientes – keep a look at for Inca ruins during the journey – and on the right hand side on the return. Be conscious that you will not see the views once the sun sets! As tailormade travel planning experts, when designing your itinerary we will be sure that we pick the right train and timings to best suit your interests and comfort. There are meals and snacks included depending on the service.
Other recommended train journeys in Peru
In addition to trains to Machu Picchu, Peru’s first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxurious overnight train running from the city of Cusco to Puno on Lake Titicaca, and on to Arequipa. With one or two night itinerary options, the journey offers all-inclusive meals and drinks, as well as a few stops and activities along the route.
Alternatively, there is a day train PeruRail Titicaca Train, which connects Cusco and Puno, offering a gourmet lunch and live entertainment along the way.