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Peru Railway Tours
Cuzco (Cusco) to
Machu Picchu Route
(Vistadome Train)

 

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Cuzco to Machu Picchu Route
Map - Cuzco to Machu Picchu Route

This service to the ancient ruins at Machu Picchu offers a spectacular journey in the Andes region. The journey begins with a series of switchbacks, known appropriately as the 'zig-zag', out of Cuzco, before a stop at the village of Poroy.

The train then descends from the highest point into the Sacred Valley and the foothills of the Andes. Before reaching Machu Picchu, the train travels along the Urubamba River, with awe-inspiring views of the dramatic canyon.

Travel on the Vistadome train. The spectacular carriages of the Vistadome have panoramic windows offering unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities. Created for passengers seeking comfort and security without all the frills, the Backpacker carriages offer travelers a true Peruvian experience. 
 

What's Included:

Vistadome: Journey from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, snacks, hot and cold refreshments.  
 

Departures:

Daily departures all year round from San Pedro Station. 

 
Timetable
 
Train:   Departs Arrives
Vistadome 1 Cuzco 06:00 -
  Machu Picchu - 09:40
        
  Machu Picchu 15:30 -
  Cuzco - 19:20
  
Vistadome 2 Cuzco 07:00 -
  Machu Picchu - 11:00
         
  Machu Picchu 17:00 -
  Cuzco - 21:25
   
Expedition Cuzco 06:15 -
  Machu Picchu - 10:15
         
  Machu Picchu 15:55 -
  Cuzco - 20:20
  

 
Journey:

Cuzco to Machu Picchu Route
The train journey from Cuzco to Machu Picchu
is a highlight of any trip to the Andes. The 3 and a half hour journey takes you through a changing landscape. First there is a steep climb out of Cuzco into the surrounding hillside, by means of a series of switchback turns known locally as "the zig zag".  

The train then stops at Poroy before descending into the Sacred Valley, passing by lush, green fields and colorful villages in the foothills of the Andes. After departing Poroy and going through Cachimayo, the train descends to the plateau of Anta, a patchwork landscape of typical Andean crops and passes lush fields and colorful villages in the foothills of the Andes.  

Far to the left, just below the horizon, the massive agricultural terraces of Jaquijahuana can be seen, close to the village of Zurite. Sadly, these great terraces are all that remain today of what was once a major Inca city, lost forever during the first years after the Spanish conquest.  

Beyond the town of Huarocondo the great plain narrows dramatically as the track enters a deep gorge carved by the rushing Pomatales River down which the railway, too, is funneled to the Urubamba River, which runs through the beautiful Sacred Valley.  

The train passes through extensive areas of terracing dotted with the ruins of Inca fortresses. Bisecting this are still-visible sections of an ancient, long-abandoned highway adopted by the muleteers of the late 19th century, who used it to travel between Cuzco and the rubber plantations of the Amazon lowlands.  

Five kilometres beyond Pachar, is the village of Ollantaytambo where farmers work with the same patience and skill that their ancestors must have employed to shape and then move the huge blocks of stone with which they built both their homes and the temples in which they worshipped.  

As the train leaves Ollantaytambo to begin the last part of its journey to Machu Picchu, the temple complex known as The Fortress, dedicated sometime in the 15th century to the many deities of the Inca pantheon, can be seen to the right above the earthwork ramp once used to drag its monolithic blocks up from the valley floor.  

The railway follows the river into the Urubamba Gorge. At Coriwaynachina, known simply to the generations of hikers who have begun the Inca Trail there as Km 88, a fine staircase carved into the rock leads to a series of ruined buildings where once, it is said, Inca artisans took advantage of the constant wind that rises from the valley floor to smelt gold.  

Emerging from a short tunnel, a series of beautiful agricultural terraces marks the ruins of Qente, which in Quechua means hummingbird. In this fertile microclimate fed by a nearby waterfall, giant hummingbirds are indeed a common sight in the early morning and bright flowers bloom all year round.  

Surrounded by tall ceibos and rocky outcrops hung with orchids and bromeliads, the train passes Km 104 at Chachabamba, from where the one-day trek to Machu Picchu via the magnificent ruins of Wińay Wayna begins.  

At just two km from Machu Picchu, the train arrives at Aguas Calientes. Surrounded by the high, green mountains that cradle the famous lost city, as well as myriad other Inca remains, this small town, which is well known for its thermal baths, has blossomed into a popular overnight destination for travelers to Machu Picchu.  

Guests disembark at Aguas Calientes for the magical ruins of Machu Picchu. 

Machu Picchu, Peru
Hotels:
 

Cuzco (Cusco): 

Sacred Valley of the Incas (Ollantaytambo): 

Machu Picchu

  • Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
     
  • Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel
     

 

PLEASE NOTE: We only book these train excursions and hotels with other services booked through our company. 
 

Peru Railway Tours  |  Pre-Packaged Tours  |  M.V. Aqua Amazon Cruises  |  M.V. Aria Amazon Cruises  |  Peru Hotels List  |  Casa Andina Hotels List  |

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Latin America Reservation Center - LARC ©       Latin America Reservation Center, Inc. ®
Call, FAX, or Email to book your dream vacation, or just ask a question:

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