As there are several different trains to Machu Picchu with different stations of departure, it is no wonder that people get confused regarding which train to take. Here we will try to give some more explanation about the different train services to and from Machu Picchu.
In general trains do no longer leave from Cusco (San Pedro) Station. All services leaving Cusco have been replaced with services starting in Poroy at about 20 minutes drive from Cusco or Ollantaytambo Station in the Sacred Valley at about 1.5 hours driving from Cusco.
There are 2 train companies that travel to Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes). These two companies provide in total 3 types of trains going to Machu Picchu; the economy trains, the middle class trains and the top end train.
The first company and the most famous one is PeruRail. This is the oldest company servicing the route and with most trains in service. They have the economic Expedition train (used to be the BackPacker train) which is the most economical train to Machu Picchu. Then the service the Vistadome train, the middle class train and finally they offer the highly luxurious Hiram Bingham Train, named after the discoverer of Machu Picchu. All trains from PeruRail leave either from Poroy (with stop in Ollantaytambo) or Ollantaytambo Station, depending on the times. The Hiram Bingham train always leaves from Poroy Station and stops in Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.
The second company is Inca Rail and is a newer company. They operate two services; the Executive Train and the First Class Train. Both classes are on the same train and only leave from Ollantaytambo Station.
In general many people prefer taking the train from Ollantaytambo Station as this enables them to see the day before the Sacred Valley and spend the night in the tranquility of the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is also one of the great places to spend the night in one of the luxury hotels and Spa’s. The next day it will also safe you some time only having to go to Ollantaytambo instead of doing the entire loop back from Cusco. In case you would stay in one of the luxury hotels in Urubamba and you would travel with the Hiram Bingham train you can board the train on the private platform at the Rio Sagrado Hotel.
Keep in mind that train reservations are made for the same train both ways. In case you would like to enjoy the services of another train for one way and another for the return, this is possible but has to be requested.
In general the departure times for trains going to Machu Picchu are in the early morning, around noon and in the early afternoon. For trains coming from Machu Picchu this is mostly in the late morning, the late afternoon and in the evening. As these times do change throughout the year, for more information contact one of our Travel Agents.
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