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Take the Train to Machu Picchu in 2 days!

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 14-06-2022

Some people trek to the Lost City of the Incas. For everyone else, there is a comfortable 2 day train to Machu Picchu and especially if you enjoy train travel or are short on time, this option could be perfect!


Train through the Sacred Valley


The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu can be found in a mystical cloud forest of Peru where the Andes merge with the Amazon Rainforest. Transportation there is somewhat limited specifically due to the remote location, so driving a car or taking a bus from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu, is not an option. There are only two ways to get to Machu Picchu, by foot along the Inca Trail, or indeed by the stunning train ride from Ollantaytambo. One of the most scenic train rides in the world is between the colonial city of Cusco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Peru Rail and Inca Rail operate this route and transport hundreds of travelers to the historic attraction every day.


Vilcanota River


The sacred valley is blessed with impressive archaeological sites and living ancient cultures who still practice their traditional ways of life to this day. During your journey in train to Machu Picchu, you will have the opportunity to visit the principal sites of The Sacred valley of The Incas.  The Sacred valley apart from its stunning scenery is an incredibly fertile valley and such named by the Inca’s for this exact reason. Chinchero, Ollantaytambo and Pisac are the main highlights.
Pisac is a peaceful little town where you can visit a magnificent Inca fortress that sits in the hills above. The view of the Sacred Valley from the site is spectacular. Located only an hour away from Cusco and also home to a busy daily market, Pisac is one of the best day trips from Cusco. From Pisac in the Sacred Valley, you continue downriver to Ollantaytambo, another picturesque town home of an impressive archaeological sites, that you will visit. 


Pisaq Terraces

Passengers board the train in Ollantaytambo and continue by following the Urubamba River to the Machu Picchu Station in Aguas Calientes. The scenery during this part of the journey changes dramatically. The foothills of the Andes transform into the lush cloud forest.


Ollantaytambo Archaeological Site


The stunning Andean scenery that passes by throughout the journey will slowly but sure get you in the mood for what is to come. You will have free time to explore Aguas Calientes, soak in the hot springs or browse the market stalls for souvenirs. 


Aguas Calientes

The next day is the day you visit the impressive site of Machu Picchu itself. Machu Picchu of course is the main attraction in the area. This UNESCO World Heritage Site can be found on a mountain ridge high above the Sacred Valley and is believed to have been constructed for the Inca emperor in the mid-1400s. The Spanish did not know its location when they arrived which means it is in an excellent state of preservation.



Machu Picchu


After the Machu Picchu visit, the train will take you back along the same tracks to the town of Ollantaytambo where your driver will be waiting to head back Cusco after being part of this incredible 2 day train trip to Machu Picchu. Full of new stories and tales to tell your family and friends back home.