An easy way to travel from Cuzco to Machu Picchu is via rail. There are two main companies which have trains daily. These are Peru Rail and Inca Rail. We travelled on Peru Rail and glad we did. Tickets start from $40 USD and upwards, depending on the availability. It’s this reason I suggest booking in advance. We booked the Expedition train which has large windows on the side and top of the carriage.
The closest station to Cuzco is Poroy and is about 25-30 minutes by taxi. The main station for Machu Picchu is Aguas Calientes and is 92 kilometres between there and Poroy. The journey will take 3.5 hours and stops twice on route. The tickets you purchase say 5kg carry on luggage only. We did not notice this until we arrived at the station. Upon checking with the ticket counter, they advised it was up to the train supervisor. Feeling a little nervous with the thought of quickly unpacking our 20kg bags to only 5kgs, our relief was prevalent when we boarded the train with no hassles. There is even a luggage storage space in the carriage. I’m not too sure if they follow the 5 kg limit or not.
The train tracks follows the river through farm lands before hitting the sacred valley of mountains 5000+ metres tall. Machu Picchu is a lower altitude than Cuzco and the lower altitude is clear by the sight of tropical mountain ranges. We found the seats to be comfortable with the carriages playing Peruvian music throughout the journey. For those who are a little peckish, a snack trolley comes by with sandwiches, coffee, tea and chocolates. The train has a toilet in each of the carriages, available to use when the train is in motion.
Peru Rail is well organised and has instructions in both Spanish and English. The train stops at Ollantaytambo which is a nice little town in the Sacred Valley. Along the way, you will pass cliffs which are host to the Adventure Sky lodges. To reach your lodge you will have to complete Via Ferrata Rock climbing made easy (check out the video at for an example). Your room is hanging on the side of the cliff, what a unique way to wake up each morning.
Hot tip! Remember to bring your passport as the conductors will ask to see it when you are boarding the train.
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