machu picchu train

MACHU PICCHU TRAIN 2021: TICKETS, TOURS, COST, SCHEDULES, AND ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Are you planning to visit Machu Picchu by train? Then, excellent choice! Getting to Machu Picchu aboard a panoramic train is one of the most amazing experiences you could ever have.

Fortunately, there are many trains to Machu Picchu available according to your budget and preferences. But, how can I choose the best train option for the Inca citadel? In this post, we will provide you with updated information to select an unforgettable train ride to Machu Picchu in 2021.

Trains to Machu Picchu

There are three ways to get to Machu Picchu:

  • Multi-day hiking (Inca Trail, Salkantay trek, etc.)
  • By taking a long bus ride + hike.
  • Only by train.

And the safest and fastest way to reach the ancient citadel is by train. Many visitors decide to select this option for several reasons. Here you have some benefits of taking the train to Machu Picchu.

  • Ideal if coming with family and children.
  • It’s safe and fast.
  • Affordable rates.
  • It provides a scenic rail tour.
  • Excellent choice if you just have a few days in Cusco.
  • Available the whole year.

There are 2 companies that offer train tickets to Machu Picchu; Peru Rail, and Inca Rail. These trains depart from 3 different locations, you can choose your departure from any of the following stations: Cusco (Poroy /Wanchaq/San Pedro), Ollantaytambo, or Urubamba.

Trains to Machu Picchu from Cusco

If you’re planning a day trip to Machu Picchu, we highly recommend boarding your train from Cusco. There are three stations here: Wanchaq, San Pedro, and Poroy. But, which one should I choose? According to our customers’ experiences, we recommend taking your train from Poroy (see more details in Machu Picchu Train Stations section).

Trains departing from Poroy Station

These are the trains that you can board if departing from Cusco Poroy station:*

  • Train Expedition
  • Train Vistadome
  • Train Hiram Bingham (Only Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday)

Trains departing from San Pedro Station

These are the trains that you can board if departing from Cusco San Pedro station:*

  • Train Expedition
  • Train Vistadome

*In 2021, no trains from Inca Rail company departing from Poroy/San Pedro Station

Bimodal Service to Machu Picchu

This is another way to get to Machu Picchu combining Bus + Train. You can normally expect to travel this way from January 1st to April 30th. However, from 2021, this service has been operating all year long. The bimodal service is provided by both companies departing from 2 different locations:

Inca Rail Trains (departing from Av. El Sol 843 block 6, Cusco)
  • Train The Voyager
  • Train The Voyager Premium
Peru Rail Trains (departing from Wanchaq station)
  • Train Expedition
  • Train Vistadome
  • Train Vistadome Observatory

Trains to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytamo

If you’ve booked a multi-day tour package, you’ll probably departing from Ollantaytambo station. Both Peru Rail and Inca Rail offer departures with the following trains:

Peru Rail Trains

  • Train Expedition
  • Train Vistadome
  • Train Vistadome Observatory

Inca Rail Trains

  • The Voyager Train
  • The Voyager Premim

Trains to Machu Picchu from Urubamba

Only one train from the Peru Rail company departs from Urubamba (hotel Tambo del Inca) to Machu Picchu:

  • Train Vistadome 601

Machu Picchu Train Map

Machu Picchu Train Map
Train Stations to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Train Stations

  • Poroy Station: This station is located 14 Km from Cusco center (25 min drive). It’s normally open from May 1st to December 31st (dry season), and closed from January to April.
  • Ollantaytambo station: This station is located 62 Km from Cusco center (1hr 30 min drive). It operates the whole year.
  • Machu Picchu station: Located in Aguas Calientes (known as Machu Picchu pueblo as well). It operates the whole year.
  • San Pedro station: It’s located in the Cusco center, and operates Peru Rail trains departing to/from Machu Picchu.
  • Wanchaq station: It’s located in Cusco and it normally opens from January to April (rainy season) for the bimodal service (bus + train).
Poroy Station
Poroy Train Station

How to buy train tickets to Machu Picchu?

There are actually 2 ways to buy your train tickets.

  • You can get your tickets through the train companies. Visit Peru Rail or Inca Rail websites to see all options.
  • Through a travel agency. We’re an authorized travel agency to sell train tickets to Machu Picchu. Just contact us to get your tickets for any of the trains. We offer competitive rates, refunds, the best schedules, and our permanent assistance.

Machu Picchu Train Ticket Cost

The train prices depend on the date of travel, the type of train, and schedules.
To have an idea, the cheapest train ticket cost around USD 100.00 – 120.00 and the most expensive up to USD 500.00 (round trip ticket).
You can also benefit from interesting rates during the low season. Feel free to contact us to find out more.

Machu Picchu Train Ticket
Machu Picchu Train Ticket 2021

Machu Picchu Train Schedules 2021

Peru Rail Trains Cusco – Machu Picchu

TrainDepartureArrival
Expedition 33(Poroy) 6:40 am09:54 am
Vistadome 33(Poroy) 6:40 am09:54 am
Expedition 203(San Pedro) 7:30 am12:11 pm
Vistadome 203(San Pedro) 7:30 am12:11 pm
Hiram Bingham 11(Poroy) 09:05 am12:24 pm
Vistadome Observatory(Wanchaq) 05:10 am09:15 am

Peru Rail Trains Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu

TrainDeparture Arrival
Expedition 60315h3717h05
Vistadome 60315h3717h05
Expedition 7519h0420h45
Vistadome 7519h0420h45
Expedition 5121h0022h45

Inca Rail Trains Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu

TrainDepartureArrival
The Voyager06h4008h10
The Voyager07h2208h58
The Voyager11h1512h50
The Voyager premium07h2208h58
The Voyager premium11h1512h50

How long is the train ride to Machu Picchu?

The travel time depends on the station you’re departing from.
In general, you can expect the following distances:

  • San Pedro station – Machu Picchu station: 4 hrs 40 min.
  • Poroy station – Machu Picchu station: 3hrs 30 min.
  • Urubamaba station – Machu Picchu station: 2hrs 30 min.
  • Ollantaytambo station – Machu Picchu station: 1hr 40 min.

If you have booked the Bimodal service, then you can expect a bus ride (2 hrs) + the train ride (1hr 40 min).

Peru Rail or Inca Rail, Which is better?

The best train is the one that fits your particular needs. Both trains provide excellent service towards Machu Picchu. However, here we present you their main characteristics and differences:

Peru Rail Train Expedition

The train Expedition of Peru Rail is one of the cheapest for your trip to Machu Picchu. Nevertheless, it offers all comfort you need; comfortable seats, roof glass, nice decoration, food & beverage service, etc.

The train Expedition has daily departures from the following stations: San Pedro, Poroy, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu.

Train Machu Picchu
Train Expedition

Peru Rail Train Vistadome

The train Vistadome offers an amazing trip to Machu Picchu. It has panoramic windows that create a real connection with nature. Onboard, you can enjoy the following services:

  • Background music.
  • Bigger and more comfortable seats.
  • Panoramic views.
  • Food & Beverage service.
  • Live show (music and typical dances).
  • Fashion show (Alpaca wool collection).

The Vistadome train has convenient schedules and daily departures from the following stations: San Pedro, Poroy, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu.

Train Vistadome
Train Vistadome

Peru Rail Train Vistadome Observatory

The Vistadome Observatory is a new experience by Peru Rail. It adds an observatory car to the train enabling a great experience to fully enjoy the landscapes. During the journey, you will be able to move between the panoramic and observatory car.
You’ll have the following services:

  • Totally panoramic view
  • Live typical dance.
  • Air purification system.
  • Background music.
  • Bimodal service (bus + train).

The Vistadome observatory departs every day from Cusco on its bimodal service (bus + train). Ideal if you’re planning a 1-day tour to Machu Picchu.

train machu picchu
Train Vistadome Observatory

Inca Rail Train The Voyager

The Voyager Machu Picchu is one of the train services provided by Inca Rail. It offers affordable rates as well as all you need to enjoy your trip to Machu Picchu. By taking the Voyager train, you can have the following services:

  • Comfortable seats with tables in front.
  • Wide windows to enjoy the landscape.
  • Background music.
  • The waiting room at Ollantaytambo station.

Currently, it has daily departures from Ollantaytambo station and from Cusco city on its bimodal service.

The Voyager

Inca Rail Train The Voyager Premium

It’s another train service from Inca Rail, which offers you more comfort for your Machu Picchu trip. This train provides the following services:

  • Wider and more comfortable seats.
  • Panoramic windows.
  • Custom service.
  • Larger luggage allowed aboard.

As you can see, you have different train services at your disposal. You should think about your needs (and budget) to select the best one for you.

Train Inca Rail
The Voyager Premium

Machu Picchu Train Luxury

If we talk about elegancy and high-quality service, then we have to talk about the luxurious Hiram Bingham train.
This is the perfect train if you’re looking for a unique, exclusive experience towards the enigmatic Machu Picchu.
The Hiram Bingham is a train modeled on the Pullman cars of the 1920s furnished in polished wood and large comfortable armchairs.

The Hiram Bingham train departs every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from the following stations:

  • Poroy Station.
  • Ollantaytambo Station.
  • Machu Picchu Station.

Hiram Bingham Train Services

By taking the Hiram Bingham train, you can enjoy the following services:

  • Welcome show aboard and typical dances.
  • Live music show on board.
  • Gourmet lunch.
  • An Observatory Car.
  • An elegant diner car.
  • A bar car with great cocktails.
  • VIP lounge at Machu Picchu station.
  • Te time at the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel in Machu Picchu.
Luxury Train Machu Picchu
Luxury Train Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Train Tours

A trip to Machu Picchu by train is one of the most remarkable experiences you can have while visiting Peru. It provides safety and allows you to optimize your time. That’s why we present you with a few ideas to visit Machu Picchu by train.

  • Full day tour to Machu Picchu. This tour allows you to visit the Inca citadel including train tickets, guided tour, transfers, and all entrance fees.
  • 2-day tour to Machu Picchu. Explore Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley in two days. Select the train of your preferences and go at your own pace.
  • 5-day tour to Machu Picchu. Forget all bookings and just relax. enjoy Cusco, the Sacred Valley, the Rainbow Mountain, and of course, Machu Picchu.

Recommendations Machu Picchu Train

After reading this information, we finally advise you the following to select the best train option:

  • Train schedule. Select day trains to enjoy the landscape instead of taking a train in the nighttime.
  • Arrive 30 minutes before train departure.
  • Book your tickets quite in advance, especially during the peak season.
  • Don’t forget your passports and personal items.
  • Make sure to have a copy of your ticket on your mobile just in case.
  • Check if you have the Bimodal service included in your booking.
  • In 2021, during the pandemic, the use of masks and face shields are mandatory.

Conclusion

Machu Picchu is an iconic place in Peru. If you’re planning to visit it, consider taking the train, at least a one-way ticket, you will not regret it.
As travel advisers for almost 10 years, we encourage you to visit the Inca citadel and remain at your disposal for any assistance.

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