A beautiful view from within central Cusco-mobile

How to get from
Machu Picchu to Cusco

Machu Picchu to Cusco Trip Overview

Distance72 km (45.0 miles)
Price range$57-$257
Ride Duration Range3h 40m-4h 8m
Earliest Departure13:30
Latest Departure21:12

Find up-to-date information on departure times, schedules, and prices so you can easily compare and book your tickets.

Travel Schedule Options from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Taking a train from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Fastest train: 3h 40m

Cheapest train: $57

The fastest: 3h 40m

The cheapest: $57


Excellent service

Great service and comfortable accommodations provided

The views!

Private transfer included


Luggage limitation

Snacks not always included

No other transport option

Usually non refundable

Limited departure times





Reclining Seats

A beautiful view from within central Cusco

About the journey from Machu Picchu to Cusco

After your lifelong memories are made in Machu Picchu, there are still plenty of fantastic sights to visit in Peru in relation to the Incan civilization. Cusco, also known as Cuzco, was once the capital of the Incan Empire and so holds great historical importance. The city is nestled within a valley in the Central Peruvian Andes. During the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, some Incan architecture was destroyed and then built on top of by the Spaniards.

You can still witness examples of both the traditional Incan buildings and the Baroque Spanish style that juxtapose one another not just visually, but in the two very different cultures they represent. 19 kilometers (12 miles) outside of the city, a visit to the Sacred Valley is a must see for tourists visiting the region for the incredible natural sights and Incan architecture.

Train travel is the typical option for those wishing to travel the 64 kilometers (40 miles) from Machu Picchu to Cusco. There are only a few operators supplying the route, but each operator has several different class options such as Tourist, Panoramic, and Luxury, among others. The affordable Tourist option for the route is a popular choice for many as the incredible scenery from the window is all that is needed to make this journey special. However, if you want to take your journey to the ultimate experience, Luxury and First Class train travel will enrich your trip with extravagance and celebration.

Whatever type of train travel you choose, the journey from Machu Picchu to Cusco is a memorable experience in itself. Like so many destinations in Peru along the Inca trail, you will arrive in Cusco with a sense of wonder at the wild beauty and fascinating history of this old capital.


What to see when traveling from Machu Picchu to Cusco

From Machu Picchu to Cusco, your journey starts in the town of Aguas Calientes which sits right on the Urubamba River and is the base for journeying to and from Machu Picchu. The railroad route travels parallel to part of the river and takes you through the mesmerizing mountains and valleys of the Peruvian Andes.

Lush green jungles mixed with snowy mountain peaks such as Salkantay Mountain is a wonder to behold and an exciting prospect for hikers. There are also many historical sights along the route including Tambomachay, where handmade waterfalls and aqueducts built by the Incas show their sophisticated building abilities and were supposedly made to worship water.


How to get from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Taking a train

The most affordable option for train travel from Machu Picchu to Cusco is with the Tourist Train. This train is the cheapest option but is still a comfortable journey with all the standard train amenities you would expect like toilet facilities and snacks available to buy on board. Panoramic Trains are slightly more expensive than Tourist Trains but are a good option for those hoping to get the very best of the sights, as the special panoramic windows give a 360-degree view.

VIP Trains are middle of the road in terms of price and provide some perks such as complimentary snacks and reclining seats. Luxury and First Class trains are the priciest options by far but provide the best for those that want the ultimate travel experience. These luxurious trains have comfortable lounging areas, observation decks, live local music and a beautifully-made meal and drinks included in the price. 

Some of the train services are in fact a combined bus and train service, with the bus departing from Cusco and a changeover to a train in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. The train journey on average takes about 3.5 hours but is shorter with some services and longer if you take a bus and train option. Certain trains only operate during the high season, but there are other train services to take their place during the low season if you decide to travel during that time.

Companies Operating from Machu Picchu to Cusco

Average time

3h 40m - 4h 8m

Average price

$57 - $257


Popular stations and stops in Machu Picchu and Cusco

Departure stations in Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Train Station

Arrival stations in Cusco

Avenida El Sol 843 (Inca Rail)

Poroy Train Station

San Pedro Station

Estacion Wanchaq (Peru Rail)

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