About the ride from Cusco to Machu Picchu
If your visit to Peru is in any way motivated by your desire to explore the fascinating Inca Empire, both Cusco and Machu Picchu should be top of your list for locations to visit. From Cusco, the 64 kilometer (40 mile) journey to Machu Picchu takes you to the heart of Incan history. Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is an unmissable experience when traveling to Peru.
The mountaintop settlement otherwise known as the “Lost City of the Incas” sits in the clouds and is a breath-taking sight to behold with lots to learn about and explore. It is important to respect this piece of preserved history and its artifacts when visiting, as well as the local people there.
Travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu can be done easily by train. The journey takes an average of 4 hours and there are many departures throughout the day so you can depart around a time that is most convenient for you. There are several classes of train to choose from, often with tourist-orientated journeys so you can get the best of the views and a comfortable ride. Some services require bus and train travel which will all be included in one ticket.
The recommended option for going from Cusco to Machu Picchu is with a Tourist Train. The journey is affordable and comfortable with a good luggage allowance. The trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu for most people is about the views, which this service will definitely provide.
When considering travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu, it’s not just about the destination, but also the journey. Gazing out of the window at the Peruvian Andes is a once in a lifetime experience that will be a magnificent start to your trip to Machu Picchu.
What to see when traveling from Cusco to Machu Picchu
Traveling from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes you through some stunning vistas of Peru with high mountain peaks such as the dramatic snow-topped Huayanay or Nevado Veronica, green valleys, and clear lakes. The city of Cusco is often where travelers begin the famous Inca Trail, with hikes along the railway. As you will most likely be traveling by rail from Cusco to Machu Picchu, you can experience the epic natural views from the comfort of your seat.
Along the route there are other fascinating Inca sites, such as the mysterious Moray Ruins which are terraces of concentric circles thought to be used by the Incas for agricultural purposes. Patallacta is an Inca site close to Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River with hillside terraces and a stone village.
How to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu
Taking a train
Train travel is the primary way to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu, and due to the popularity of the journey, there are many options to choose from. You can take the more affordable Tourist Train which has all the expected amenities such as toilets, fold out tables, and snacks and drinks available for purchase.
Panoramic Train journeys are another option which includes an entertainment system on board that allows you to learn more about the Inca civilization. First Class and Luxury Train services are of course the priciest options for travel from Cusco to Machu Picchu and include a full experience of live music, delicious food and cocktails, observation lounges and comfortable seats.
Some services from Cusco to Machu Picchu are a combined bus and train journey, with the bus taking you to the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley before your onward journey by train. Certain trains only operate during the tourist seasons, but there are other services which run in the low season to accommodate this.