The Train From Olantaytambo/Cusco To Machu Picchu

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MACHU PICCHU | Many people visiting Machu Picchu, if they’re not hiking the Inca Trail, choose to take the train from Cusco, but there’s another option that we think is much better.

The town of Ollantaytambo is located just a two hour train side from Aguas Calientes, the small town in which visitors to Machu Picchu first arrive before getting a short bus to the ancient site. That’s about half the time that it takes to get there from Cusco. The train winds through the Sacred Valley of the Incas along the banks of the Urubamba River, providing breathtaking views throughout the journey. There’s rapids and waterfalls, small villages with traditional houses, and an abundance of flora and fauna to admire.

Train tickets start from around USD$65 each way with Inca Rail or Peru Rail. We opted for the entry level PeruRail Expedition train, which was great. Entrance to Machu Picchu is now scheduled – there’s a morning block (6:30am to 12:00pm) and evening block (12:00pm until 05:30pm). Make sure to book train times that sync up to your schedule. You can purchase tickets online, and pick them up from any PeruRail collection point in the country – we picked up our tickets from the Larcomar Shopping Mall office in Lima on our first day in Peru.

The interior of the train itself is bright and airy, thanks to not just large side windows, but rooftop windows too. It combines with Inca artwork and soothing music for a very relaxing, immersive experience. You can purchase light refreshments and snacks on board or bring your own food and drink.

To get to Ollantaytambo from Cusco, we recommend doing a Sacred Valley tour by car. A driver will take you from A to B, stopping at some of the key sites of interest along the way, such as Moray, Salineras De Maras, and Centro Arqueológico De Chinchero. If you leave in the morning you’ll get to Ollantaytamo late in the afternoon, with enough time to walk through the impressive Sitio Arqueológico De Ollantaytambo.

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Lauren
Lauren has travelled extensively, allowing her to experience different cultures around the world. This has fed her desire to travel and try as many cuisines as possible.Lauren's appreciation for food is grounded in the philosophy that food has a unique way of telling a story about family, friends or struggles. She believes food is a way of preserving culture and the stories of the people behind them. This has inspired her to create recipes and design events that ensure food from different cultures is accessible at home.

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