MACHU PICCHU (The lost city of the Incas)
The ruins of Machu Picchu are located 112 km north west of Cuzco and for many people this is the highlight of their journey to Peru or even of their journey to South America. It certainly excites many travellers. Nobody knows exactly how or why Machu Picchu was built and why this unique location was chosen. Who lived here? Why did those people leave the city? The Spanish never new about this mysterious city and that is the reason why it never was destroyed by them. Only in 1911 the American explores Hiram Bingham discovered the ruins of Machu Picchu and that was by accident. Come and see for yourself this magical place which was not such a long time ago chosen as one of the seven new world wonders.
The are different ways of getting here. Most people arrive by train either from Cuzco or from Ollantay Tambo which is located in the SacredValley. A lot of tourists just do a day trip to Machu Picchu but if you would like to spend more time here than there are excellent hotels in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes which will suit everybody’s budget.
For people with an adventurous mind there is also the opportunity to walk to Machu Picchu. The famous Inca trail is 42 km long and it takes 4 days and 3 nights to get to the site of Machu Picchu. There is also a shorter version of 2 days. In that case you spend the night in the nearby village of Aguas Calientes. For more information about these treks please click here..
EXCURSION TO MACHU PICCHU
This excursion takes the whole day. You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the train station. The comfortable tourist train will take you to Aguas Calientes. From here busses will take you up to the ruins in about 20 minutes. An escorted tour through the ruins with an English speaking tour guide will last about 2.30 hours. After this tour there is the opportunity for you to have lunch (not included). Than there will be some spare time for you to have another look at the ruins before you take the bus down to the train station and the train back to Cuzco. Upon arrival at the train station near Cuzco you will be transferred to your hotel in Cuzco.
There are several trains going to Machu Picchu but since 2009 trains depart from Poroy and not from Cuzco. Poroy is a small village about 12 km outside Cuzco.
There are daily 2 Vistadome trains from Poroy to Machu Picchu and there is one daily Expedition train. The first Vistadome train leaves at 07.35 and arrives at Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo) at 10.50. The second Vistadome train leaves at 08.25 and arrives at 12.10. The Expedition train leaves daily at 06.40 and arrives at Aguas Calientes at 09.50.
The first Vistadome train returns from Aguas Calientes at 16.40 and arrives in Poroy at 20.23 while the second Vistadome train returns at 17.20 and arrives in Poroy at 20.50. The expedition train leaves from Aguas Calientes at 15.20 and arrives in Poroy at 19.05.
The Expedition train is slightly less comfortable and therefor slightly cheaper. It is possible to take a combination of the trains mentioned above so one could go to Machu Picchu in the Expedition train and return in the Vistadome or the other way around.
People who would like to travel really in style should opt for the Hiram Bingham Express. This train leaves Poroy at 09.05 and arrives in Aguas Calientes at 12.24. It leaves from Aguas Calientes at 17.50 and arrives in Poroy at 21.16. This train is not cheap but it includes food and drinks and is a great experience.
* Many trains leave for Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo which is a small town situated in the SacredValley. So many people combine a trip to the SacredValley with an excursion to Machu Picchu. In that case it is necessary to spend a night either in a hotel in Ollantaytambo or in Aguas Calientes. For more information about this please look at our programmes from Cuzco by clicking here.