If you plan to visit Machu Picchu on your own, know that most tourists do so by train. This form combines bus and train travel. It is the fastest and easiest way to get to the Inca City. In addition, the train trip is an incredible experience due to the beautiful landscapes it runs through.
- How to go to Machu Picchu by train?
- How to buy train tickets and Machu Picchu tickets?
- How to buy the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
- How to buy train tickets
- The trip by car from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
- The train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Questions and answers about the Machu Picchu train trip
If you travel on your own, do not forget to buy your entrance to Machu Picchu and your train ticket online and well in advance. Most tours include the train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
How to go to Machu Picchu by train?
- All tourists who want to visit Machu Picchu must first arrive in the city of Cusco because the airport is there. Machu Picchu is more than 100 kilometers away from the city of Cusco.
- To go from Cusco to Machu Picchu, you must board the train at one of the 3 stations: Poroy, Valle Sagrado or Ollantaytambo. The latter is the busiest because it has the largest number of daily departures.
- Cusco is 79 kilometers from the Ollantaytambo station, so this section is done by car (public transport).
- In Ollantaytambo you board the train that will take you to town of Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo).
- Once in Aguas Calientes, all that remains is to board one of the buses that will take you to the entrance gate of Machu Picchu in 30 minutes.
- In total the entire journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 4 hours.
Beautiful landscapes on the way to Machu Picchu
How to buy train tickets and Machu Picchu tickets?
- If you want to travel to Machu Picchu by train on your own, the first thing you should do is get the train tickets and entrance fees to Machu Picchu.
- Both tickets have limited availability, so they must be purchased online and in advance.
How to buy the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu
- The huge demand for tickets to Machu Picchu has made it necessary to restrict the number of visitors who can enter the Inca City.
- In total there are 4 types of ticket and each one offers a different experience in Machu Picchu.
These are the 4 types of tickets and their respective entry times:
Machu Picchu Ticket Only
Group 1. Starting at 6 in the morning.
Group 2. Starting at 7 in the morning.
Group 3. Starting at 8 in the morning.
Group 4. Starting at 9 in the morning.
Group 5. Starting at 10 in the morning.
Group 6. Starting at 11 in the morning.
Group 7. Starting at noon.
Group 8. Starting at one in the afternoon.
Group 9. Starting at two in the afternoon.
Ticket Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu
Group 1. Starting at 6 in the morning / enter Huayna Picchu from 7 to 8 in the morning.
Group 2. Starting at 7 in the morning / entrance to Huayna Picchu from 8 to 9 in the morning.
Group 3. Starting at 8 in the morning / entrance to Huayna Picchu from 9 to 10 in the morning.
Machu Picchu Ticket + Mountain
Group 1. Starting at 6 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 7 to 8 in the morning.
Group 2. Starting at 7 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 8 to 9 in the morning.
Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu ticket
Group 1. Enter Machu Picchu from 6 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 7 to 8 in the morning.
Group 2. Enter Machu Picchu from 7 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 8 to 9 in the morning.
Group 3. Enter Machu Picchu from 8 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 9 to 10 in the morning.
Group 4. Enter Machu Picchu from 9 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 10 to 11 in the morning.
Group 5. Enter Machu Picchu from 10 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from 11 in the morning to noon.
Group 6. Enter Machu Picchu from 11 in the morning / entrance to the Mountain from noon to 1 in the afternoon.
Group 7. Enter Machu Picchu from noon / enter the Mountain of 1 to 2 in the afternoon.
Group 8. Enter Machu Picchu from 1 in the afternoon / entrance to the Mountain from 2 to 3 in the afternoon.
To buy the ticket to Machu Picchu online, you must go to the website of the official sales site. Tourist agencies also offer discount tickets for children, university students.
How to buy train tickets
- There are 2 train companies available: Peru Rail and Inca Rail.
- Peru Rail offers 4 types of services: Expedition, Vistadome, Vistadome Observatory and Hiram Bingham.
- Inca Rail offers 4 types of services: Voyager, 360º, First Class and The Private.
Train tickets are purchased online as follows:
- Enter the Peru Rail or Inca Rail website.
- Choose the date of your trip, the type of train and the time of your visit.
- Pay the train ticket with Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, etc.
- Print your tickets or pick them up once in Cusco, Peru.
- Present your ticket on the day of your train travel.
The trip by car from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
- The first leg of the trip is by car from Cusco to the town of Ollantaytambo.
- You will need to board a vehicle from Calle Pavitos. If you stayed near the city’s Main Square, you can get there on foot.
- The price varies from 10 Peruvian soles (3 USD) to 15 Peruvian soles (5 USD).
- The tour traverses the winding roads of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The landscape offers green fields, Andean mountains and the raging Urubamba River accompanying it throughout its journey to Ollantaytambo.
The train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
- Once in the town of Ollantaytambo, you should go to the train station.
- To board the train you must have previously reserved tickets.
- It is recommended to arrive at the station up to 30 minutes before the departure of the train.
- The cost of the train depends on the type of service you choose: it varies from 50 dollars to 500 dollars (luxury service).
- The trip from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes takes a little less than 2 hours.
- The journey is considered among the best train routes in the world. You will see beautiful landscapes as well as Andean towns and their fields.
Reserve your train tickets as soon as you have your Machu Picchu tickets
The bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Once in Aguas Calientes, get your bus ticket to Machu Picchu.
- Although it is also possible to walk the 10 kilometers that separate Aguas Calientes from Machu Picchu, the bus trip is the simplest and fastest option to get there.
- The bus station is on the main street of the town: on Hermanos Ayar avenue. You can get there on foot (the town is small, there are no taxis).
- The cost of the bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is 12 dollars (one way).
- The trip takes approximately 30 minutes.
Questions and answers about the Machu Picchu train trip
1. What are the other ways to get to Machu Picchu besides the train trip?
You can also go to Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail (4-day walk) or by the alternative route by Hidroeléctrica (approximately 8-hour bus trip).
2. Is train travel safe?
Yes. The train trip is the safest way to go to Machu Picchu. Most tourists who visit the Inca City choose to go by train from Ollantaytambo.
3. What does the train trip include?
All train services are touristic and include: service on board, comfortable seats, large windows, tables, snacks and music on board. Some services include lunch, dinner, observatory car, dining room and bar.
4. What to do in Ollantaytambo before boarding the train?
In Ollantaytambo, in addition to the train station, there is an archaeological site famous for housing Inca constructions of great historical importance. If you want to visit these ruins, you will need to buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket.
5. How is the bus trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu?
The bus trip from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is uphill through the Hiram Bingham highway. The journey takes 30 minutes where the visitor will appreciate the abundant vegetation that surrounds the Inca City. Once at the entrance you must present your printed entrance tickets.
6. Can I buy the train ticket once in Cusco?
Yes it is possible to buy train tickets once in Cusco, Peru. However, due to low availability, you may no longer get free tickets. It is best to buy tickets online in advance.
7. Can I go to Machu Picchu by train and return to Cusco the same day?
Yes. The visit to Machu Picchu for 1 day is possible traveling by train very early. The route Cusco – Machu Picchu – Cusco takes approximately 8 hours.
8. Can I travel by train directly from Cusco to Aguas Calientes?
Yes. The Poroy station (only 30 minutes from the city of Cusco) offers 4 daily train departures in the mornings. The journey from Poroy to Aguas Calientes takes approximately 3 hours 30 minutes.
9. Are there rules on train travel due to Covid 19?
Yes, while the Covid 19 pandemic lasts in Peru, it is necessary to travel by train with a double mask and showing the current vaccination card.
10. Are the trains available from the Hidroeléctrica station?
Yes, these trains run only twice a day. However, the distance is only 10 kilometers, so most tourists prefer to walk this distance.
Advice from people who have been there
“Everything in Machu Picchu is beautiful“
“I am 19 years old, and I did not choose a better place, it is incredible, wonderful and other adjectives that can describe a fantastic place where you see it; But they are not only the constructions, it is everything, the place they chose for it, the way of arriving and the energy that can be felt. It is literal, you can feel energy in Machu Picchu. It is my dream fulfilled; Although I will return to enter the Inca trail.“
By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, February 11, 2022