Trains that go through Peru, between Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, are truly wonderful. It is not such a long journey but that does not mean you'll be missing out on any comforts. The cabins are air conditioned and there are bathrooms on board. It's important to arrive at least a half hour before departure time to the terminal.
After the wondrous experience of Machu Picchu, another fascinating location with many sights to explore is the nearby town of Ollantaytambo. The town was a pre-Incan settlement before being taken by the Inca ruler Pachacuti.
Ollantaytambo sits in the famous Sacred Valley between large mountains, leading to a dramatic landscape. There are many interesting places to visit within the town and surrounding mountains such as the Pinkuylluna Ruins which were used as mountain granaries by the Incas, and is a great place to hike up to enjoy the views of the valley. Another intriguing sight is the Wall of the Six Monoliths which still stands strong today and is a mystery as to how it was built and what it was built for.
For a day trip just outside of the mountain-enclosed town, the site of Moray is a fascinating archaeological site containing terraces in concentric circles. The destination of Ollantaytambo and its surrounding area is worthwhile to see after visiting Machu Picchu for the large number of sites to explore and the ease of which you can get there.
Traveling from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo requires train travel if you are not planning to trek on foot as some visitors to the Inca trail do. The 35 kilometer (22 mile) journey is relatively short with a minimum trip time of 1.5 hours. You can choose from two operators with a few class options between them. Arriving at the Ollantaytambo station, you will be right in the heart of the small town and ready to explore all it has to offer.
The recommended option for getting from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo is with a Tourist Train. Both operators on this route provide a Tourist Train option, but the Inca Rail service is particularly good as it offers the fastest journey time and the most affordable ticket option.
From Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo, each destination and the journey between them provides breath-taking views and a unique history that will keep you intrigued long after your travels in Peru are over.
Departing from Machu Picchu, your journey to Ollantaytambo will take you around high mountains and through green valleys. There are many Inca sights in this region such as Sayacmarca where a ruined village lies in the mountains. There are also many sites that contain the hillside terraces that are typical with Inca architecture such as Patallacta.
The rail route runs close to the Urubamba River which Ollantaytambo is located alongside. Entering the Sacred Valley where Ollantaytambo is located provides visual wonder as the surrounding mountains tower over the town.
Taking a train
From Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo, there are several trains to choose from with numerous departure times throughout the day. You can choose from an affordable Tourist Train, view-orientated Panoramic Train, or a luxurious and decadent First Class Train. Depending on which class you go for, you can expect a large difference in price and varying experiences, but all trips are comfortable and take you through a stunning route.
If you go for the First Class experience, expect nothing but the best as you enjoy live local music, welcome cocktails, a gourmet menu, and the utmost comfort. If you are hoping to see the views in their entirety, there is also an observatory carriage onboard, so you won’t be stuck behind windows.
Train services from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo are relatively quick and a direct journey. It is common for travelers to visit Ollantaytambo after Machu Picchu, so it is best to book in advance during the busier months. On the day of your journey, make sure to arrive at the departure terminal at least half an hour before the train leaves.
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Bookaway's customers prefer Tourist train by Peru Rail
Tourist train by Inca Rail starting at US$48