Ted’s Travels – How many trains can you catch to Machu Picchu
Today I would like to tell you about the many scheduled train services your clients can catch to Aguas Calientes, the closest village to the Machu Picchu ruins. In the old days we used to book the train from Cuzco all the way to Aguas Calientes, which on a good day could take between 4 or 5 hours; today the train from Cuzco departs from Poroy station, a small village on the outside of Cuzco about 30 minutes by car. From there, your clients can board the deluxe train to the ruins called the Hiram Bingham.
In the wet season, from January to April, this service will operate as a “Bimodal” which means a bus from Cuzco to the station in Sacred Valley called Pachar, where clients board the Hiram Bingham and travel to Machu Picchu. The prices start from $898 USD per person return tickets, including a gourmet brunch and on the return dinner a wide section of wines, entertainment, bus to the ruins, entry to the ruins and a guided tour.
The other options of course are the Vistadome train (from $90 USD), The Expedition ($77 USD) used more by back packers, and a train for locals only. These are operated by Peru Rail but there are more options with their competitor Inca Rail.
My recommendation of the best way to do this trip is by staying the first nights in Sacred Valley, and then catch one of the many departures from Ollantaytambo station to MAPI village, which only takes 90 minutes. From the MAPI train station It’s a short walk to the bus stop where shuttle buses run up to the ruins every 30 minutes.
So, how many trains are there to MAPI? The answer is around 25 departures per day. At Contours we can take the hassle out of your hand by booking the lot for your clients, which will include: the return train tickets, the bus tickets, the entry fee to the ruins, a tour guide, and lunch. We can also arrange a one day walk to the Sun Gate by getting off at km 104 to join the Inca Trail.
And if you are confused about all the changes on the new entry rules for Machu Picchu, we can also help with that, call us today!
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au