Machu Picchu Travel Tips

There are two train companies that operate the train journey between Poroy, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu; Peru Rail and Inca Rail. Peru Rail is the longer standing company which also is partially operating the train tracks but due to monopoly had to open the market allowing for the new company Inca Rail to enter in 2010. Both companies offer three types of trains (economy, superior or deluxe) and for all trains from the same company the same luggage restrictions apply.

PeruRail

As you will probably have read by now, Machu Picchu can only be accessed by train or on foot. The routes on foot are mostly the 2 versions of the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trail which takes the back route to Machu Picchu. As these are all hikes of at least several hours or even several days, most visitors opt to visit Machu Picchu using the train. In order to travel from Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu there are three train stations one can use; Poroy Station, Ollantaytambo Station and Urubamba Station.

Since 2010 the Peruvian government opened up the market for the trains to Machu Picchu as before this was a monopoly by one company called Peru Rail. Since 2010 a second company joined under the name Inca Rail (what’s in a name).

In recent years Machu Picchu often made headlines due to strikes not allowing people to visit Machu Picchu. For a lot of people visiting Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience and the main reason to come down to South America. Therefore it is of course unimaginable that due to local mostly political issues one would not be able to see the highlight of their trip. In the following paragraph’s we would like to provide some context with all this.

  • US$24 for round trip
  • Buses come and go constantly from 5.30am till 6.00pm
  • The drive takes about 40 minutes
  • Waiting times during high season can go up to two hours
  • When looking to visit Machu Picchu one of the main questions will be; how, where and when to get those entrance tickets. Once you start looking into this, the next question will be; what ticket? Following we will try to guide you a little through the process of getting your Machu Picchu tickets.

    Most people visiting Machu Picchu will also want to visit Cusco and the Sacred Valley. As there is a lot of confusion about what to visit first and in which order we would also like to share what is according our years of experience the best route. In general we consider that in order to visit these three destinations you would need to consider 5 days.

    Machu Picchu; when discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 it was quite the odyssey to get to Machu Picchu; hiking through snowcapped mountains and hacking your way through the thick cloud forests. Even though more than hundred years passed ever since, we cannot say that getting to Machu Picchu has become a whole lot easier. You no longer necessarily need a compass or a machete but will need some time to visit this marvel.