Q&A: Is there a train service from the centre of Cusco City to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail?

Inca trail train
Inca trail train

Up to now it has been problematic when travelling to Machu Picchu. On a busy touring itinerary around Peru, lots of long days of travel are inevitable. There are plenty of bus services that start at Lima, Arequia and Puno.

However Inca Rail, a train operator, has started a new service train service to or from San Pedro station in the centre of Cusco city. 

machu pichu
machu pichu

The beautiful former Inca capital of Cusco has always been the gateway city for those visiting Machu Picchu, but there has previously been no train service from the city centre – the next closest option is a seasonal service from Poroy, a 30-minute drive out of the city or around and hour and a half from Ollantaytambo station which is in service all year round, located in the Sacred Valley.

The service runs from May to December every year (the dry season months in the Peruvian Andes). There will be four morning departures per day from San Pedro station and three return journeys (as well as existing services to already offered by Inca Rail).

There are three Inca Rail train categories – the entry-level and most affordable Voyager Machu Picchu Train, the panoramic, high-comfort 360° Machu Picchu Train – with wider and taller panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage – as well as Inca Rail’s luxury service, the First Class Machu Picchu Train. By the way this is the only trains service in Peru that has entertainment app on board where you can learn more about the train journey and the Inca civilization.

If you want to spend time in the picturesque Sacred Valley of the Incas either before or after your visit to Machu Picchu you will still be able to do this by booking a combined ticket from Ollantaytambo one-way and returning back to San Pedro (or vice-versa).

More info: Inca Rail