Cheap Machu Picchu backpacking tours - hostel by bus and train

Cheap Machu Picchu backpacking tours – hostel by bus and train

How to get to the Machu Picchu station?

The town of Machu Picchu is located in the province of Urubamba, approximately 2,040 masl, and is the place where the Machu Picchu station is located, the last train stop before the world wonder of Peru. Getting to the Inca Citadel will take about 25 minutes from the bus stop. To approach this means of transport, you must walk 10 to 15 minutes from the Machu Picchu station.

To get to the Machu Picchu station, you can go by train from the Poroy station (for an estimated time of 3 hours and 30 minutes). This stop is one of the closest to the city of Cusco, since it is only 20 minutes from the city. In addition, the Poroy station offers several train services and schedules to get to Machu Picchu. However, if you are in Sacred Valley (Sacred Valley), you can start from the Ollantaytambo station (approximately arriving in 1 hour and 30 minutes) or from the Urubamba station (arriving on average 2 hours and 30 minutes).

To get to this last station, we recommend buying tickets in advance on the PeruRail website and enjoy this wonderful tour in Cusco by train. You can also buy train tickets at the ticket offices of the Poroy station, the Urubamba station or the Ollantaytambo station, and other points of sale (shops) in Lima and Cusco.

If you want to return to Cusco, you can do it from the Machu Picchu station. You can buy tickets for the tourist train no later than 30 minutes before your departure time, you can pay by credit card, debit card or cash (soles and US dollars are accepted) or in advance at We recommend buying round-trip tickets to avoid queues or any difficulty.

Tourist attraction near the Machu Picchu station

During a walk of approximately half an hour from the Machu Picchu station, you can enjoy the hot springs of the city, which has approximately 3500 inhabitants. Many tourists pass through the city because they go to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu by bus or trekking; It can take approximately 25 minutes by bus while about 2 hours in trekking depending on the pace of the bus or walking.

You can visit the natural and cultural attractions of the city of Machu Picchu, such as the Mandor Gardens, the hot springs, the handicraft market and the Manuel Chávez Ballón Museum (Site Museum, Manuel Chávez Ballón). Finally, to complete this tour, we recommend that you stay one more day in the city of Machu Picchu so you can fully enjoy this city. For all these reasons, we invite you to enjoy this wonderful destination before traveling back to the city of Cusco by train.

Cusco to Machu Picchu by train

There is not a train station in Machu Picchu. The nearest train station is in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes. Regular buses run between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, the trip takes about 20 minutes and costs US $ 12 each way. The trains are no longer run from the train station in the center of the city of Cusco. Trains now leave from a station in Poroy, a small town about 20 minutes by bus / taxi from downtown Cusco. However, very few trains leave Poroy. The vast majority of trains to Machu Picchu depart from the station in the beautiful Inca city of Ollantaytambo which is located in the Sacred Valley about 65 kilometers from Cusco. Do not worry, we’ll tell you how to get to Ollantaytambo a little later.

96% of the trains to Machu Picchu are operated by the PeruRail company. The prices are quite high, but the service in general is good. Details of train services, departure times and prices can be found on their website Peru Rail is partly owned by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. Orient Express is an international company that also manages the 5 star Monasterio Hotel in Cusco and the Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu. The other 4% of the trains to Machu Picchu are operated by Inca Rail. Inca Rail started operating the train in June 2010. You can find more details on its website

During the peak months of May to September, all train tickets to Machu Picchu can be sold several days in advance. If you have a tight schedule, it is absolutely essential that you make train reservations as far in advance as possible. Do not wait until you get to Cusco to buy your train tickets. PeruRail has improved its online reservation system and it is now quite easy to make a reservation and pay online using VISA and MasterCard credit cards and also PayPal. Your website allows you to check availability and find the cheapest available service. Once you have purchased your ticket online, do not forget to print your e-ticket and take it to Peru. Before boarding the train, you must register at the train station and change your electronic ticket for a boarding ticket.

(i) Poroy Station (near Cusco) to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) and back.

Currently, Peru Rail offers only 4 daily departures to Machu Picchu from the station in Poroy, an exit in the most economical Expedition service, two departures in the comfortable Vistadome service and a departure in the ridiculously expensive Hiram Bingham service. Tickets for Expedition and Vistadome services are often sold out many weeks / months in advance, so it’s best to book online as soon as possible. If the tickets have already been sold out for this service, do not worry! Most trains to Machu Picchu depart from the Ollantaytambo station (in the Sacred Valley) and not from the Poroy station.

Trains 2017: Poroy (Cusco) to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)

Service Departure Arrival Price

Expedition 33 06:40 09:54 USD 80 (84)

Vistadome 31 07:35 10:52 USD 96 (102)

Vistadome 203 08:25 12:11 USD 95 (101)

Hiram Bingham 11 09:05 12:24 USD 437 (497)

Trains 2017: Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Poroy (Cusco)

Service Departure Arrival Price

Expedition 34 15:20 19:05 USD 96 (117)

Vistadome 32 16:43 20:23 USD 111 (135)

Vistadome 604 17:23 20:52 USD 104 (125)

Hiram Bingham 12 17:50 21:16 USD 438 (498)

Notes: Prices valid from April 1, 2017.

The prices indicated are the price in each direction when they are purchased as part of a return ticket. For example, if you take the Expedition 83 service from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (US $ 66) and return to the Expedition 84 service (US $ 66) it will cost you 66 + 66 = US $ 132 per person.

The prices shown in parentheses are only if you decide to buy only one one-way ticket. For example, say that you travel the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and then you want to buy a one-way ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo in the Expedition 84 service, it will cost you US $ 92 per person.

* The schedules and prices above were taken from the Peru Rail website on March 1, 2017 and are valid until the end of 2017. Details, schedules and prices may be subject to change. The information refers to the arrival and departure times at the Aguas Calientes station. Walking from the train station to where the buses depart for Machu Picchu plus the bus trip can add another 30 minutes to your trip assuming you do not have to queue for your bus ticket or your ticket. Booking online is a similar process to booking flights. After paying your ticket online, you can print two copies of an electronic ticket that you will have to take to Cusco. Electronic tickets must be exchanged for boarding tickets at the train station,

The trains to Machu Picchu

Expedition service (Peru Railroad)

The Expedition service has large panoramic windows and additional windows on the roof that allow you to enjoy the mountain scenery. A snack and a hot drink are included with the Expedition service. There is also a table in front of you and the seats are comfortable. Overall, there is not much difference with the more expensive Vistadome service and, in our opinion, it offers good value for money.

The Vistadome service (Peru Rail)

The Vistadome service has large panoramic windows and additional roof windows that allow you to enjoy the mountain scenery. A snack and a hot drink are included with the Vistadome service. There is also a table in front of you. With the Vistadome service you get stylish leather seats that are very comfortable with more legroom than the Expedition service. However, the main advantage is that you get to Aguas Calientes before the Expedition train (but only).

Service of Hiram Bingham (Railroad of Peru)

The Hiram Bingham train is the most luxurious way to travel between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The wagons are painted with a distinctive blue and gold, while the interiors are luxurious, warm and inviting, with an elegant decor in the style of the Pullman trains of the 20s. As passengers board, they are integrated into a world of polished wood, shiny cutlery and shiny glasses. The train consists of two gastronomic wagons, an observation wagon and a kitchen wagon, and can carry up to 84 passengers. Enjoying such a luxurious trip as you travel through small towns that can not afford the schools or the right medical attention can make some people feel uncomfortable, and rightly so. Ecotourism at its worst.

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