Machu Picchu is one of the most recognisable archaeological sites in the world, buried deep in cloud forest.
Machu Picchu is one of the most recognisable archaeological sites in the world. Perched high on a saddle between two mountains, there are few places which can rival its magnificent setting; surrounded by steep valleys, green forested mountainsides, and low-hanging clouds. Its terraced slopes fall away to the Urubamba River, which rushes along round a great hairpin bend below, making access difficult and the arrival even more magical.
The ruins of Machu Picchu are very well preserved because the Spanish conquistadors never discovered it. It is thought that the citadel was abandoned before the Spanish arrived in Peru, buried for centuries in the jungle, until the explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911. It was later explored by an archaeological expedition sent by Yale University, and continues to be excavated to this day.
Aside from completing the Inca Trek, Machu Picchu can only be reached by train, either from Cusco or from the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The journey takes about 3 hours and passes through a beautiful valley between imposing mountains. There are different train services available, from the comfortable modern Vistadome train, to the classic and luxurious Hiram Bingham. The trains go to the town of Aguas Calientes, from which a short bus ride takes you right to the entrance of the archaeological site. See below for more information.
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Insights - Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu
The Hiram Bingham train is modelled on the Pullman cars of the 1920s and is the most luxurious train journey in Peru.
It will leave from Poroy station at 09.00. Brunch, wine and refreshments are served on board whilst you enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Urubamba Valley, unfolding before you through the large windows. Following arrival at Machu Picchu at 12.30, you check-in to your hotel Sanctuary Lodge. In the afternoon you have a guided tour of the archaeological site, at a time when most visitors are having lunch or starting to leave. In the afternoon tea and cakes are served at your hotel. Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel in close proximity to the ruins, and offering twenty-nine well appointed rooms and two suites. The service is impeccable and the food excellent.
On day two you have time to explore Machu Picchu on your own and absorb the atmosphere. Board the train at 18.00 for the return journey to Cusco, where you will be served a gourmet three course dinner along with wine and pisco sour cocktails, while Peruvian musicians perform traditional songs in the bar
Insights - Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu
Surrounded entirely by glass and wagons with large panoramic windows the Vistadome train offers incomparable scenic views and numerous opportunities to capture amazing pictures on your journey to Machu Picchu. The Vistadome has two stations of departure to Machu Picchu: Cusco (Poroy) and the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo) and the journey time is approximately three and a half hours. The Vistadome also has air conditioning and heating, leather seats that provide comfort and relaxation during the entire trip. Breakfast and refreshments are served on board.
Insights - Expedition Train to Machu Picchu
The Expedition is a comfortable service with four passenger seats located in front of each other with space for storage on racks placed above the seats. This train journey also offers panoramic windows, air conditioning and heating, and Andean music that creates a cheerful atmosphere. Expedition service departs from two stations: Cusco (Poroy) and the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo) and the journey time is approximately three and a half hours. The Vistadome and Expedition trains have different departure times and arrival times. We can combine these train journeys to suit your budget and time you wish to spend in Machu Picchu.
Trek up and down from sierra to cloud, sub-tropical forests, in an unforgettable experience passing dramatic mountain landscapes. Silent, secluded Inca ruins, surrounded by stunning scenery on this ancient trail. Culminating with sun rise at Intipunku, the sun gate overlooking Machu Picchu. The trail is rugged and steep in places, crossing a pass of 4,200m, trekking at this altitude can be tough, requiring acclimatisation and fitness.
Group Inca Trails
Walk the Inca trail, accompanied by an expert local guide. Porters and cooks, enable you to enjoy the trail without the burden of rucksacks and camping gear. Tents are provided, set up and packed away for you, allowing more time for the walk. You need only to carry your daypack with essentials for a day’s walk. Groups are made up of other travellers.
Private Inca Trails
A first class version of the Group Inca Trail offering greater levels of comfort,where there are no latrines toilets are provided. Meals are eaten at a table in the mess tent, and sleeping tents come complete with foam mattresses. Designed for those who wish to experience the trail in the greatest comfort possible for this remote area.