The magical site of Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the hottest destinations in Latin America, and yet people are often overwhelmed at the choices of how to arrive at the famous citadel. The most well-known option is to hike along the Inca Trail, which is a 4-day trek through the high Andes culminating in the arrival at Machu Picchu in the early hours of the final day. If you are not looking to hike, the alternative is to travel to the site from the ancient city of Cusco. This can be done by taking a private transfer or minibus to one of the Sacred Valley towns – Poroy, Urubamba or Ollantaytambo – a journey of 30 minutes, 70 minutes or 90 minutes respectively from Cusco. This is followed by a train journey of no more than 3 hours to the small town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

There is an impressive selection of trains which can be taken from the Sacred Valley onwards to the small town of Aguas. To make your decision easier, here is a round up of the services offered;

1. The Belmond Hiram Bingham Train

A legendary journey on the elegant Hiram Bingham is one of the most luxurious ways to arrive at Machu Picchu. This 1920’s Pullman style train has carriages which have been meticulously designed to feature polished wood, brass and antique furniture. At the rear of the train, guests can enjoy an observation car which allows open air views of the stunning scenery.

A three-course brunch is served on the outbound journey, complete with sparkling wine or freshly squeezed orange juice, and all tables are laid with crystal glasses and silverware. After arrival and a tour of the magnificent ruins, the return trip offers a delectable four-course menu served with the traditional pisco sour cocktail and other Peruvian delicacies. Before disembarking, guests are encouraged to enjoy the live band in the bar car, who will play authentic music.

2. The 360° Machu Picchu Train

The brand new 360° train offers travellers wider and taller windows from which to view the Andean landscapes, and a unique App which can be downloaded whilst onboard and used to discover more about the Inca civilisation throughout the journey. The carriages have comfortable seats with small tables, ample legroom, and during the journey guests can visit the observation carriage which features a bar. A selection of complimentary hot and cold drinks is available along with gourmet organic snacks produced in Sacred Valley.

3. The Private Machu Picchu Train

For those wanting to truly arrive in style, the Private Machu Picchu train is for you. This single carriage has been designed exclusively for private use and boasts impeccable attention to detail. Comfortable armchairs and fine dining crockery is presented on 2 seater tables next to huge windows from which to gaze upon the scenery. Upon arrival, champagne is served and throughout the journey guests can enjoy food and drinks (including an impressive wine list) which evoke the colours and flavours of the Andean culture.

4. The First-Class Machu Picchu Train

This new option offers travellers the chance to enjoy their journey in maximum comfort and space. The train has been decorated in a classic, yet contemporary style which looks fabulous. Upon arrival, welcome cocktails are distributed and live music begins shortly after the journey starts.  The First Class Machu Picchu train delights guests with its gourmet menu which is prepared using organic Andean ingredients such as trout, aguaymanto and quinoa. Each dish is accompanied by a selection of wines. The beautiful scenery passing by can be enjoyed from the observation carriage featuring an open air balcony.

5. The Vistadome Train

‘For travellers who love nature and seek to be in contact with the environment’



This train option is so named because of the spacious carriages which are fitted with large panoramic windows in the sides and ceiling. This was the first train to offer this unique perspective of the passing scenery, and it is still one of the most popular options.

Inside, the train is very comfortable with air conditioning, leather seats and plenty of legroom. There are 2 seats either side of the middle aisle, and small groups or families will enjoy the 4 seats which group around a table in selected carriages. Onboard guests can enjoy drinks and snacks, which are complimentary, and during the journey there will be a live show of traditional Peruvian dancing with music.

6. The Voyager Machu Picchu Train

The Voyager is an elegant train with comfortable leather seats, ceiling windows and excellent service. The mountains, river and cloud forests which pass by can be enjoyed whilst listening to traditional music and sipping on a Andean inspired drink made from ingredients which are representative of the region.

7. The Expedition Train

‘For all adventurous travellers looking to discover every destination at their own pace’

The Expedition is a simple option, with medium sized windows in the sides and ceiling of each carriage for guests to enjoy the view. This train is equipped with comfortable leather seats, located in sets of 2 either side of the aisle, some carriages have forward facing seats whilst others feature sets of 4 around a small table. During the journey a small complimentary snack and drink will be served.

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