Travel with ease to Machu Picchu and give yourself more time to explore Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas.

Climb aboard the train and wind your way through the Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu. From the comfort of your seat, notice the changing views as you travel deeper into cloud forests set amidst the Andean mountain peaks. After making the journey from Cusco, (if you're not already excited) the anticipation will set in and you’ll be feeling fresh and ready with plenty of time to explore the mother of all Inca ruins – Machu Picchu.

Train route map to Machu Picchu

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Life on the Rails

To reach Machu Picchu, it’s a 2-hour journey from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, followed by a 1.5 hour train ride to the gateway town of Aguas Calientes. Depending on your trip, you will spend the night prior in either Ollantaytambo or Cusco – then rise early to arrive for the 30-minute bus ride taking you to the entrance. Once you’ve arrived at Machu Picchu, your local guide will share the history of the site with plenty of time left to explore at your own pace. Perhaps take the 2-hour return walk up to the Sun Gate or take it all in next to a grazing llama on the terrace.


Read more about the train to Machu Picchu


No, the train leaves from the town of Ollantaytambo and reaches its final station at Aguas Calientes, which sits at the base of the mountain where Machu Picchu is located. From Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu there is a 30-minute bus ride or about a 1.5-hour steep walk if you’re feeling active.

We work with Inca Rail or Peru Rail, depending on ticket availability.

There are approximately 8 departures a day but not all fit our itineraries. Our trip itineraries are designed to make sure you have enough time to explore the site and make the most of your visit.

A 1.5 hour train ride from Ollantaytambo takes you through the winding Urubamba Valley to the gateway town of Aguas Calientes, which is perched in the cloud forest at the foot of the magnificent Machu Picchu. Here you’ll take a 30-minute bus ride to reach the entrance of the site.

The journey involves a 2-hour ride from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, followed by a 1.5-hour train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. Depending on your trip, you will spend the night before in either Ollantaytambo or Cusco.

On all trips that include the Inca Trail, you can opt to take the train option instead. If you let us know your preference at the time of booking, there are no extra fees involved. If you need to change plans at a later stage, fees may apply. The closer to departure date you make the change, the higher the change fees may be, as most services will have already been confirmed and paid on your behalf.

Yes, you can. If you change your mind and wish to trek after booking the train option, you can:

  • Request to book the Inca Trail, subject to permit availability
  • Hike the equally incredible Inca Quarry Trail, which includes a visit to Machu Picchu.

Change fees may apply. As mentioned, the closer to departure you request the change, the higher the fees may be.

Your tour leader will be with you catching the train. Most trips tend to have all three of these options in demand, with some choosing the Inca Trail, some choosing the Quarry Trail and some taking the train. Those who hike will be accompanied by specialised mountain guides during the 3–4 day trek, which means your tour leader can stay with those opting to take the train.

Your tour leader will make sure you don’t miss the train. If plans change and tickets need to be changed, our operations team in Cusco will look after that.

Some. Think domestic flights where soft drinks, coffee and tea are offered.

There are toilet facilities at the train station as well as on the train. They are better than what you would expect on a domestic train in a developed country.

The bulk of your luggage will stay in Cusco. You’ll travel to Machu Picchu and back with a small day pack.

Some trains offer a Wi-Fi service – it’s best not to rely on it though.

Yes. Your tour leader will give you a ticket with a seat number.

Yes. If you let us know your request in advance we can accommodate most special needs.