Thousands of people travel to Cusco every year for the chance to visit the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. However, most people aren’t exactly sure how to get there. There are no flights, buses, cars, etc. that go there. The only real way to get there is by train and there are now two different alternatives, PeruRail vs Inca Rail, so let’s break down each one.
Now, PeruRail has been around for a while and had somewhat of a monopoly for some time, that is until Inca Rail came along. As it has been around longer it is also the most popular option, with the largest selection of departure times and cities, giving you a bit more ease of access. The train ride itself can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on where you get on. The staff is friendly, the trains are extremely clean and well-kept, and travelers come from all over the world, giving you a unique experience each time you take a ride. Trying to buy tickets online can be a bit of a hassle s credit cards outside of Peru tend to be rejected. Their most famous train is the Vistadome. This incredible piece of machinery offers panoramic windows located beside and above your seat which will bring you close to nature unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Those who are looking for luxury can take the Hiram Bingham Train, but be warned, it is a bit pricey.
Next up we have the Inca Rail, it’s a slightly lesser known option, with fewer departure times and only one departure city (Ollantaytambo). As most of our travelers stay in Cusco, we always make sure to provide private transportation from Cusco to Ollantaytambo to catch the train. As I mentioned before, this company is a bit newer as it only started about 8 years ago. Pricing can differ depending on the service hired as they offer Executive (basic), First Class and Presidential Class train. Note that the Inca Rail First Class service runs only between April 1 to November 14 and December 21-31. Presidential Service runs by request only.
So which train should you choose? The answer? You must try each one out at least once as you are sure to have an enjoyable experience. If you want to know anything more about Peru, Cusco and Machu Picchu Travel, check out the rest of our blog posts at Peru Travel Blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our special packages.