Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu ~ Video!

What’s the best way to get to Machu Picchu??  You can hike (via the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek), you can take the “Inca Jungle Trek” (which has you rafting, biking, & hiking there), or you can take the easier way: via train from Ollantaytambo.  Two trains offer service from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (closest city to Machu Picchu): Inca Rail & Peru Rail.  In January 2018, my friend Nina & I took the Inca Rail journey to Machu Picchu ~ & this video post takes you right inside the journey…

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World

Step inside the Inca Rail journey to Machu Picchu with me & Nina! Photo is of Inca Rail’s First Class route ~ which offers fine dining!

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World

What’s the easiest way to get to Machu Picchu?? TAKE THE TRAIN!!

Map of Machu Picchu Route

Most train service to Machu Picchu starts in Ollantaytambo: it’s the main transport hub for travel between Cusco & Machu Picchu, with several trains departing daily.  To get from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, most people take a taxi or bus ~ there is no direct train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes

Ollantaytambo (Train Station)

Cusco

Poroy (Alternate Train Station)

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu ~ Video!

Below is a two-minute video of our Inca Rail journey to Machu Picchu, which starts in Pisac, Peru (one of my all-time FAVORITE Peruvian cities).  Following the video, I’ll discuss the differences between Inca Rail & Peru Rail, including pricing, etc.

Video Length = 2:39,  Song = “Now We Are Free,” from “The Gladiator” Soundtrack

Inca Rail vs. Peru Rail

 Inca Rail & Peru Rail both offer four different “classes” en route to Machu Picchu: from “Standard,” all the way up to “Super Luxury” (Peru Rail’s Hiram Bingham train is a whopping $475, but it’s the height of luxury)!  Nina & I took Inca Rail’s “Executive Class” from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu ~ & frankly, I thought it was great!  Seats are roomy & comfortable, windows are huge (great for viewing scenery), & refreshments are served for the 90-minute ride. 

The main thing to note for both companies: “Standard” trains offer more departure times ~ so that may make your decision for you.  Nina & I were working with a very tight schedule, & thus needed trains at very specific times, leading us to choosing the “Executive Train.”

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World, 4 Classes, Inca Rail

The 4 different “classes” offered by Inca Rail, starting with the least expensive: Executive, the 360, First Class, & Presidential ($55-199+). Full meals are available in First Class & Presidential classes.

Peru Rail is known for their bright blue trains ~ which is the primary difference between them & Inca Rail.  In order from cheapest to most expensive, here are there four train classes: the Expedition Train ($50+), Vistadome (more panoramic windows), the Sacred Valley Train (starts in Urubamba, & offers dining car & Observatory), & finally, the Belmond Hiram Bingham Train (1920’s-style, dining, drinks, & live music ~ but with a more limited schedule).

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World

You’ll know a Peru Rail train instantly: because they’re BRIGHT blue!

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World

For the ultimate in luxury: take Peru Rail’s Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. It’s like you’re stepping back into the 1920’s…

Final Note on Trains

Similar to buying tickets for Machu Picchu: BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE!!!  I’m someone who “wings” a lot of my travel ~ but don’t wing it on this!  Train tickets to Machu Picchu CAN & DO sell out.  I bought tickets about two weeks ahead (in January), & certain times were already sold out.  During high season (June-September), make reservations several weeks prior to your trip!

 

What You Need at Machu Picchu

Warm Winter Jacket

Temperatures are always unpredictable in the Andes!

Bug Spray

I have never seen more bug bites on people than I did at Machu Picchu ~ bring bug spray!

Portable Sunscreen

Don’t forget: Machu Picchu sits at 9,000 feet elevation ~ the sun is brutal up there!  Bring a small, portable sunscreen for your day pack.

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu ~ Video!

Inca Rail Journey to Machu Picchu, Girl Who Travels the World

Goodbye for now, Machu Picchu…

Thanks for checking out this video post on the Inca Rail journey to Machu Picchu.  I hope it helps you determine the best route for your trek ~ & as always, if you have any questions about Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley, please feel free to ask in the comments below! 

Read Next: How to Hike Machu Picchu Mountain!