Trains to Machu Picchu

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).

Most people visiting Machu Picchu tend to go by train. As the train is the only “public” transport that actually reaches Aguas Calientes, it is obviously the most popular as well. Since 2009 there are two companies doing the route as the state imposed monopoly for PeruRail ended. So besides the first company PeruRail, there is now also a second company called Inca Rail (what’s in a name) running trains to Aguas Calientes. The main difference between the two companies is the fact that PeruRail has trains leaving from both Poroy as Ollantaytambo Station meanwhile IncaRail only has departures from Ollantaytambo Station.

  • Perurail implemented weight limits of 6Kg. per person
  • IncaRail implemented weight limits of 8Kg. per person
  • Limits are not thoroughly checked but best to keep in mind
  • Machu Picchu is on lower altitude than Cusco
  • Machu Picchu has a warmer and more humid climate