Train to Machu Picchu

Train to Machu Picchu

Situated high in the Andes and shrouded in great mystery, Machu Picchu is the most renowned Inca city, drawing millions of tourists each year. It is undoubtedly the highlight of any journey to Peru.

There are various means of reaching Machu Picchu, but if you have a slightly larger budget, we highly recommend taking the train. The train journey to Machu Picchu offers breathtaking views, an opportunity to indulge in Peruvian delicacies, and the chance to listen to traditional music performed by the locals. In Peru, a trip reminiscent of the famous “Orient Express” is within your grasp.

In this article, we have compiled all the essential information about the train that takes you to these famous ruins. So, if you have been dreaming of visiting Machu Picchu—one of the world’s wonders—and desire an unforgettable train ride experience, look no further.

What types of trains are available for traveling to Machu Picchu, and which one should you select?

Taking the train can be a convenient option for a day trip, but it may also have certain limitations and be quite intense. There are two main companies to choose from: Inca Rail and Peru Rail. Among them, the most luxurious train to Machu Picchu is the Belmond Hiram Bingham. Each company offers a high standard of service and a unique ambiance, but your choice will ultimately depend on your preferences and budget.

Furthermore, many Machu Picchu excursions include a train journey to Aguas Calientes, as it is the only means of reaching the town if you are not trekking on foot.

Inca Rail operates three different train services, with stops at three locations: Cusco (San Pedro Station), Ollantaytambo, and the popular option of Poroy, which can be reached from the center of Cusco by taxi or minibus.

Inca Rail’s train services all arrive at Aguas Calientes, the town near Machu Picchu. Each service level has its own price range, and the amenities provided vary accordingly.


The Voyager option is the most budget-friendly choice, favored by independent travelers and backpackers. The train car accommodates up to 42 people and features comfortable seats with tables, as well as large windows that provide scenic views. Passengers can also expect snacks and a selection of drinks during the journey. The one-way fare for this service is approximately $60.


The 360º experience sets itself apart from the rest. It offers significantly larger and wider windows, along with a glass roof. This clever design allows tourists to enjoy an enhanced view of the landscape, including the Andes, the Vilcanota River, and the remarkable rock tunnels. Photography enthusiasts and those seeking a unique visual experience will undoubtedly appreciate this ride. The 360º class also provides additional amenities such as USB ports for charging devices, beverages, and a lunchbox with food. Train tickets to Machu Picchu in this class typically cost around $80.


True to its name, the First-class option offers a luxurious train experience to Machu Picchu. It provides maximum comfort, albeit at a higher price point. Passengers can expect incredibly comfortable seats, live music performances, a delightful Peruvian 3-course menu, pisco sour tasting, a cooking course, a dedicated children’s area, and a unique observatory on board.

The price of this experience also includes the bus transfer from Aguas Calientes to the entrance gates of Machu Picchu. Such indulgence comes at a cost of $200. Additionally, there is an all-inclusive option available on the website, which includes an entrance ticket to the ruins for an additional $100. While it may be expensive, it is undoubtedly a trip worth considering for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

How to buy train tickets to Machu Picchu with Inca Rail?

To purchase train tickets to Machu Picchu with Inca Rail, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website of Inca Rail.
  2. Provide the necessary trip information, including the departure date, return date, number of passengers, and preferred currency. Click on the ‘Buy tickets’ option.
  3. Select your desired route and ensure that the train you prefer has availability for your chosen dates.
  4. Complete the passenger registration by entering the personal information of each passenger.
  5. Verify the accuracy of the information provided. Then, choose a payment method and fill in the required fields. Finally, click on ‘Start payment’.
  6. Once the payment has been successfully processed, you will need to print the purchased tickets and have them ready for presentation on the day of your trip to Machu Picchu.

Please note that the specific steps and details may vary slightly on the Inca Rail website, so it’s advisable to refer to their official website for the most accurate and up-to-date instructions on purchasing train tickets.


PeruRail has been operating since 1999 and offers similar services and options compared to Inca Rail. The trains have been modernized with spacious carriages, large windows, comfortable seats, and ample legroom. The interior of the wagons is designed in a distinctive way, incorporating a traditional Peruvian atmosphere, which adds to the overall appeal for travelers.

If you choose to travel with PeruRail, you will need to reach Poroy, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo, as their trains do not stop at San Pedro station. There are four train options available for traveling to Machu Picchu:

Expedition train:

This is the most affordable option offered by PeruRail, ideal for adventure seekers looking for an unbeatable price. Unlike the cheaper option provided by the other company, drinks and snacks are not included in the ticket price but can be purchased onboard. Prices for the Expedition train start at around $55. It is advisable to book early, as prices may increase.

Vistadome Train:

Departing three times a day, the Vistadome Train is perfect for those who wish to explore and enjoy the scenic views. It offers an experience similar to IncaRail’s 360º class, with panoramic windows that bring travelers closer to nature like never before. Additionally, the train’s deck features Peruvian fashion shows and traditional dances to entertain passengers. Snacks and drinks are provided onboard. The cost of the train journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu on the Vistadome Train is approximately $77 per way.

Machu Picchu tour by car and by train 2 days

How buy train tickets to Machu Picchu with Peru Rail?

To purchase train tickets to Machu Picchu with Peru Rail, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official website of Peru Rail.
  2. Fill in the required fields with the trip details, including the destination, route, date, and the number of passengers. Then click on ‘Find your train’.
  3. Check the availability of trains and select the desired train for your journey to Machu Picchu. Repeat the same process for the return journey.
  4. Verify that the train schedules and prices displayed are correct and suitable for your travel plans.
  5. Complete the spaces with your personal information as prompted on the website.
  6. Double-check the accuracy of your personal information and ensure that all details regarding the train trip are correct.
  7. Choose a payment method from the available options, such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, or bank transfer. Accept the ‘terms and conditions’ and proceed to make the payment.
  8. Once the payment has been successfully processed, you will receive confirmation of your train ticket purchase.

Please note that the specific steps and details may vary slightly on the Peru Rail website, so it’s advisable to refer to their official website for the most accurate and up-to-date instructions on purchasing train tickets.

After successfully completing the payment process, you will have the option to print your train tickets. It is important to have the printed tickets in hand and present them on the day of your trip to Machu Picchu.

Sacred Valley Train: The Sacred Valley Train is the only train that departs from Urubamba to Aguas Calientes. It offers a first-class experience with a touch of grandeur, accommodating up to 33 passengers. This package includes various additional amenities that are sure to enhance your journey. You can enjoy a cozy Andean tea, indulge in a delectable 3-course dinner prepared with regional products, and savor a selection of both regular and alcoholic beverages. On the return trip, there is also a pisco tasting experience.

What more could you ask for? The train ride lasts approximately 2 and a half hours, and the price of a single ticket for this extraordinary experience is $175.

All Inclusive tours
salkantay trek to machupicchu

Belmond Hiram Bingham

The Belmond Hiram Bingham offers the most unique and luxurious experience, albeit at a premium price. It is designed in the style of 1920s Pullman trains and operates from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The cost for a one-way journey on this train is approximately 470 euros. While it may seem expensive for a 3-hour trip, choosing this option grants access to a range of exceptional amenities.

The experience begins with a welcome show featuring traditional dance performances. Onboard, passengers can enjoy an open bar serving Peruvian cocktails, indulge in a lavish lunch, and admire the landscape from the observatory car. Live music adds to the ambiance throughout the journey. Additionally, the package includes a bus transfer from Aguas Calientes to the Machu Picchu citadel and an entrance ticket to Machu Picchu with a guided tour included.

If you believe that Machu Picchu truly represents a window into the heart of Peru, then the Belmond Hiram Bingham offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore this legendary place. With all the essential information at your disposal, including the cost of the trains to Machu Picchu and the package inclusions, all that remains is to book your tickets and embark on this remarkable journey.

Recommendations for purchasing train tickets to Machu Picchu:

  1. Book your entry tickets to Machu Picchu in advance. Once you have the date for your visit to this Wonder of the World, proceed to secure your train tickets online.
  2. It is advisable to make the train reservation weeks ahead of time to secure the best rates. Prices for train tickets tend to increase if booked last minute.
  3. Inca Rail offers a private train service, allowing tourists to travel in a personal car with their companions.
  4. Peru Rail provides a service called ‘Sacred Valley’, which includes a stop at the Belmond Río Sagrado hotel in Urubamba, allowing guests to conveniently board the train.
  5. For payment, it is important to note that the methods accepted for trains to Machu Picchu are Visa and MasterCard with security codes. Using PayPal can be a reliable alternative for payment.
  6. Keep in mind that trains have limitations on baggage, allowing no more than 5 kilograms per person. Pack only what is necessary, or inquire about additional luggage space options provided by the train services.
  7. Remember that if you fail to board the train at the scheduled time, you will forfeit the trip without the possibility of a refund.

By following these recommendations, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience when purchasing train tickets to Machu Picchu.

Trips to Machu Picchu included train tickets

When planning your trip to Machu Picchu, you have a variety of tour options that include train tickets. Whether you prefer a full-day excursion or multi-day tours, there are choices to suit different preferences and interests.

For a comprehensive experience, you can opt for a full-day tour that allows you to explore Machu Picchu and its surroundings. This tour typically includes train tickets, guided tours of the archaeological site, and the opportunity to visit other nearby sites such as Huayna Picchu mountain or the Urubamba Riverside. These tours often follow the paths of the classic Inca Trail, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich history and beauty of the region.

If you are seeking a more adventurous experience, there are options for hiking tours. The Short Inca Trail is a popular choice, offering a condensed version of the iconic Inca Trail trek. Alternatively, there are alternative treks to Machu Picchu that provide unique hiking routes and allow you to discover lesser-known trails and sites.

For those interested in immersing themselves in the local culture and traditions, there are also trekking options through Andean villages with living traditions. These treks provide a glimpse into the daily lives and customs of the local communities while offering scenic landscapes along the way.

No matter which tour you choose, rest assured that train tickets will be included, ensuring a convenient and comfortable journey to and from Machu Picchu.


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