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If the idea of a three day trek to reach the lost city of Machu Picchu doesn’t appeal, then why not opt for the more comfortable train journey?
There are three different trains that tackle the winding journey up to Machu Picchu Pueblo - the local town below Machu Picchu. The first is the backpacker train, which very much does as it says on tin, and the second is the Vistadome train; a more expensive option where drinks and snacks are served on board and passengers are even treated to a fashion show during their descent!
For those seeking added luxury, we recommend the Hiram Bingham train, named after the explorer who discovered the famed Incan Citadel. Owned by Belmond, the interiors are elegantly decorated in the style of the 1920's Pullmans trains, and there is an observation carriage as well as two dining cars. On the way up to Machu Picchu, passengers are served a delicious three-course brunch, and spoiled with a four-course dinner of Peruvian delicacies on the way back.
Whichever option you decide to go for, this journey is a truly spectacular way to experience the Andean countryside. It begins at Poroy, near Cusco, early in the morning, or you can join later on at the fortress town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. The trains' panoramic windows offer superb scenic views and wonderful photographic opportunities of sights such as ancient temples and the vast agricultural terraces of Jaquijahuana as the train snakes up towards the clouds its way past the raging Urubamba River.
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Ollie is our 'Visit Machu Picchu by train' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.