Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Cusco - Machu Picchu (PeruRail Scenic Train)

Rail

The Journey

If you don't fancy walking the Inca Trail, you can always take the train to Machu Picchu.

There are three choices for the route between Machu Picchu; to travel on the Expedition (formerly Backpacker), Vistadome or Hiram Bingham service. As you would guess, the Expedition service is the cheapest with the Hiram Bingham the most expensive, although they all follow the same route.

The Hiram Bingham service is designed to enable passengers to visit Machu Picchu in a day, departing Cusco in the morning (brunch served), before arriving at the Citadel for an afternoon visit, before rejoining the train for a gourmet dinner on the return journey to Cusco.

PeruRail has recently opened a station at Urubamba, with services to/from Machu Picchu. Visit the PeruRail website for more information.


PeruRail

PeruRail is a railway company operating tourist, freight and chartered rail routes in Peru. The company operates services along the route formely known as the Ferrocarril del Sur (Peru Southern Railway). The company's routes are divided into sections either side of Cusco. 

There are currently four passenger routes operated by PeruRail:

  • Poroy (Cusco) - Machu Picchu;
  • Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu; 
  • Urubamba - Machu Picchu; and
  • Cusco - Puno (Lake Titicaca).

Rather than having different levels of service within each train, the company operates using a number of different train types, catering for different budgets and levels of luxury.

Vistadome

The Vistadome offers passengers unrivalled views of the surrounding landscape as the train travels through the Peruvian countryside. The carriages' panoramic windows offer plenty of opportunities for photographs, and the on-board service is an unforgettable experience.

Each carriage is air conditioned and heated, with leather seats for comfort. 

A video demonstrating the Vistadome experience can be viewed here.

Expedition

The Expedition trains offer passengers a similar experience, with panoramic windows, air conditioning and heating. Carriages are comfortable, and Peruvian music is played in the backgrund. 

A video demonstrating the Expedition experience can be viewed here.

The Hiram Bingham

The Hiram Bingham is the most luxurious of PeruRail's fleet. The train offers the legendary Orient Express level of service (it is a joint venture between PeruRail and Orient Express), known as one of the finest rail journeys in the world. 

The train's carriages are warm and cozy, and the train offers passengers separate dining and observation carriages. 

The Hiram Bingham experience includes:

  • Complimentary welcome drinks;
  • Lunch with wine;
  • On-board musical entertainment;
  • Tourist guide;
  • Tickets and transport to/from Machu Picchu;
  • Tea in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge; and
  • Gourmet dinner on the return journey.

Pictures of the Hiram Bingham experience can be viewed here.

Autovagon

The Autovagon is a small train that departs from PeruRail's new station at Urubamba. The train offers panoramic windows, as well as on-board brunch, entertainment, leather seats and air conditioning/heating.

Pictures of the Autovagon experience can be viewed here.

Andean Explorer

The Andean Explorer service offers passengers a comfortable journey through mountains and highlands. The train is decorated in the style of a 1920s Pullman carriage, and includes a separate dining car, cafe/bar, and outdoor observatory. A gourmet lunch is served to passengers, as well as on-board entertainment and afternoon tea.

A video of the Andean Explorer in action can be viewed here.

Food & Drink

Vistadome services offer passengers a snack and breakfast prepared with Andean ingredients. Expedition passengers are served a small snack. Hiram Bingham passengers receive a full lunch service (with wine) as well as tea at Machu Picchu, and a gourmet dinner on the return journey. Autovagon passengers receive brunch, prepared with Andean ingredients. The Andean Explorer offers passengers a gourmet lunch and afternoon tea.

If you have particular dietry requirements, you should contact reservas@perurail.com at the time of booking to ensure your needs are catered for.

Luggage

Passengers are recommended not to bring too much luggage with them, as space is limited. If a passenger needs to bring more than one piece of luggage with them, they may be charged an additional fee. Passengers travelling on the Andean Explorer are permitted to travel with more than one item of luggage, as the train has a dedicated luggage carriage. However, passengers should arrive at the station at least one hour before the train's departure to ensure all luggage is safely stored.

Disabled Passengers

If you have any special requirements, please arrive at your departure station at least one hour before departure to ensure that passenger service agents are on hand to provide assistance.

Pets

Unfortunately, only guide dogs are permitted to travel on PeruRail services.

Timetable

Heading towards Machu Picchu, two Vistadome services are operated per day, as opposed to the single Expedition and Hiram Bingham services. On the journey from Machu Picchu, three Vistadome services operate each day, as well as the single Expedition and Hiram Bingham services.

Cusco to Machu Picchu by Train:

ServiceTrain No.DepartsArrives
Vistadome3106.4009.52
Expedition3307.4210.51
Vistadome20308.2512.11
Hiram Bingham1109.0512.24

Machu Picchu to Cusco by Train:

ServiceTrain No.DepartsArrives
Vistadome3215.2019.05
Vistadome50416.2220.00
Expedition3416.4320.23
Vistadome60417.2720.40
Hiram Bingham1217.5021.16

 

Price

If you purchase your ticket directly from one of Peru's train stations, no check-in is required, but you should still arrive 30mins in advance of your train's departure. If you book online and receive an electronic receipt, you still only need to be at the station 30mins before departure.

Train TypePrice
Expeditionfrom $48 one-way
Vistadomefrom $71 one-way
Hiram Binghamfrom $307 return

Special offers are sometimes available directly from PeruRail.

Operated by PeruRail

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