There is 1 operator that run from Urubamba to Machu Picchu, with 1 departure per day. If you decide to take a Train, you can take the Panoramic option.
You won’t find any flight tickets to Machu Picchu. And there are no buses that operate a tourist route. So, the only way to get from Urubamba to Machu Picchu is by train. Luckily the entire ride is breathtakingly beautiful.
The journey takes about three hours, and no matter what train you book, you’ll be treated to stunning views outside your window.
The only real downside to taking the train is the expense. However, if you plan for that in advance, you’ll be able to budget your trip like a pro and enjoy everything the ancient Incan city has to offer.
After spending some time in the Sacred Valley, you’ll be ready to continue your Peruvian adventures by discovering the Incan Citadel set high in the Andes.
You’re probably here because you’re wondering, how do I get from Urubamba to Machu Picchu? Well, look no further—we’ve got you covered!
Machu Picchu is one of the most traveled destinations in all of South America. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and an important cultural icon as the symbol of the Incan Empire.
Of course, the best things to do at Machu Picchu revolve around hiking up the mountain and taking in the stunning views of both the Andes Mountains and the ancient citadel.
Make sure to check out Intipunku, or Sun Gate, which was once the entrance of the Inca Trail. It’s where you’ll catch your first magical glimpse of the Lost City of the Incas.
The Torreón (Temple of the Sun) is another must-see while at Machu Picchu. It was built for the Incas to hold ceremonies and give offerings to the sun. It’s the most iconic spot in the area and one of the most important buildings in the entire complex.
Pro tip: Make sure you’ve done all the proper planning and have your permits booked and ready for Machu Picchu. Only so many people are allowed to hike each year. Spaces fill up quickly!
Options for transport from Urubamba to Machu Picchu are very limited. You’ll have to travel by train or car.
Both locations are pretty isolated, but don’t let that put you off! Because tourists flock to both places, it’s actually fairly easy to get from one to the other.
Taking a train
The best way to travel from Urubamba to Machu Picchu is by train. It’s pretty quick, really comfortable, and no matter where you sit or which train you choose, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the Andes.
PeruRail offers two options—the Luxury Train and the Panoramic Train.
Both options have one daily departure in Urubamba and arrive at Machu Picchu Train Station in Aguas Calientes.
They allow you to bring 6-7 kg of luggage and may charge for excess weight, so make sure you pack light! There are places in Cusco and Lima where travelers can leave their larger bags and travel to Machu Picchu with only the essentials.
Make sure you have double-checked your dates before you book because you cannot change or cancel your ticket after you’ve purchased it.
If you opt for the Luxury Train, you’ll depart Urubamba at 10:30 am and arrive in Machu Picchu just over three hours later.
Tickets cost US$196 per person, but you’ll be treated to a ton of great amenities. Climb aboard, and you’ll be welcomed with a complimentary drink that you can enjoy in the observation car—the perfect place to take in the magical scenery.
Seats are insanely plush and comfortable, and you’ll have plenty of space to spread out and relax. You’ll also be served a gourmet meal while traveling and have live music to listen to throughout the trip.
There is even a fully stocked bar car ready to make you the perfect cocktail to enjoy along the way. What more could you ask for?
The Panoramic Train from Urubamba to Machu Picchu is another great option. Tickets cost US$115 per person and have plenty of windows to take in the view.
The seats semi-recline, and you’ll be treated to a couple complimentary (non-alcoholic) drinks during the trip. There is also a dining car where you can purchase snacks and beverages.
The train is set up in small pods, with four seats organized around a table. Unfortunately, this means that you might be traveling backward. If this bothers you, make sure to talk to the ticketing agent.
The Panoramic Train departs each day at 6:50 am and takes two hours and 35 minutes. The only downside to this option is not having enough time to enjoy the views!
Taking a taxi or car
It’s possible to drive to Machu Picchu. The road conditions are pretty good in Peru, and foreigners can drive with their home country driver’s license.
The problem is that it's challenging to organize.
Taxis are hard to come by in Urubamba. And if you do find one, you may struggle to find a driver willing to take you the distance from Urubamba to Machu Picchu—168 km. You can try to organize this with a local or by talking to your hotel in Urubamba.
Expect to pay around US$95 for a one-way taxi ride. The trip will take about three hours and 40 minutes as well.
Driving yourself could be an option if you already have a car. However, you’ll probably struggle to rent one in Urubamba, and there is nowhere to drop a rental off in Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu.
If you have a car, following the road signs on the highway is easy enough, and the drive will take the same amount of time as a taxi.
Considering how far it is from Urubamba to Machu Picchu, your best bet is to take the train. Save yourself the hassle and enjoy the ride instead!
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Bookaway's customers prefer Panoramic train by Peru Rail
Panoramic train by Peru Rail starting at US$113
45 Km (Air)
TRAIN: Peru Rail