In the quest to explore the majesty of Machu Picchu, many travelers face the crossroads between the mystical Inca Trail and the convenience of the train. While hiking can offer a unique connection to nature, the train emerges as an equally fascinating and accessible option. In this article, we will explore the incomparable advantages of choosing to reach Machu Picchu by train.
Advantages of Choosing the Train on your Machu Picchu Trip
1. Unparalleled Experience
- Over 85% of daily visitors to Machu Picchu choose the efficiency and comfort of the train over the challenge of the Inca Trail. Although the latter offers breathtaking scenery, the altitude, steep ascents and inclement weather can deter even the most intrepid. Opting for the train guarantees an equally memorable experience, without the extreme physical demands.
2. Time Efficiency
- The main station for boarding trains to Machu Picchu is in the town of Ollantaytambo. From there, it will only take two hours to reach Aguas Calientes, the town located at the foot of Machu Picchu. This itinerary allows you to visit Cusco – Machu Picchu – Cusco in one day, giving you the opportunity to explore the charms of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas in its entirety.
3. Lighter Luggage
- By choosing the train, you are relieved of the physical and emotional burden of carrying a heavy backpack during your trip. Forget tents, rain ponchos and portable stoves; just your headphones, a book, your camera and a few essential belongings. This uncluttered trip allows you to fully immerse yourself in the journey, creating unforgettable memories without additional worries.
4. Customized Comfort Levels
- Train travel not only guarantees comfortable seating, but also offers diversified options in terms of onboard amenities. From enjoying your favorite music while admiring the scenery to opting for the luxury of the Hiram Bingham train, each traveler can customize their experience according to their preferences. This exclusive train offers a gourmet lunch, live music, a bar car with a wide selection of beverages and an observatory car to delight in the panoramic views of the valley.
5. The Luxury of the Hiram Bingham
- If exquisiteness is a priority, the Hiram Bingham train stands as the supreme choice. This train holds the title of one of the most luxurious in the world, providing you with a journey steeped in elegance and details inspired by the Orient Express of old. From a gourmet lunch to an observatory car with panoramic views, the Hiram Bingham redefines the notion of luxury on the journey to Machu Picchu.
Access to Machu Picchu: Practical Tips
Advance Reservations: The Key to Success
- To talk about Machu Picchu is to talk about planning. To secure your entrance to this wonder, it is imperative to book tickets in advance. Especially if you are looking for the full experience, which includes the Huayna Picchu mountain. During high season (May – August), reservations should be made several months in advance. Both Machu Picchu and train tickets sell out quickly.
Departure Station: Ollantaytambo
- Most trains to Machu Picchu depart from Ollantaytambo station. It is crucial to board your train with pre-booked tickets, as obtaining tickets at the last minute is practically impossible. Ollantaytambo station serves as the starting point for an unparalleled journey to the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
Strategies for an unforgettable visit to Machu Picchu Picchu
Sunrise or Sunset: Your Choice
- Make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu by choosing between sunrise or sunset. Those who spend the night in Aguas Calientes have the opportunity to be the first to enter, experiencing a magical sunrise. Those who choose the evening shift experience the majesty of Machu Picchu under the golden afternoon light. This light, particularly intense around 4 pm, is considered by many. It is the optimal time to capture the photographic essence of this iconic site.
Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Mountains: Crucial Planning
- If the summit of Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu is on your bucket list, it is essential to book tickets several months in advance, as availability is limited. These privileged locations offer unique perspectives of the Inca city and provide an unforgettable experience. Plan ahead to ensure your access to these natural gems.
Traveling to Machu Picchu by train is a safe choice. It is for those who value efficiency and comfort. It is also for those who seek a unique experience. The Expedition, Vistadome and Hiram Bingham trains are options. Each offers a unique journey to the Inca wonder. Advance planning is crucial. Booking tickets in advance is important. Choosing the right time to visit is key. These elements ensure a memorable experience. In summary, the train to Machu Picchu is more than transportation. It is the beginning of an unforgettable adventure.