The Backpacker Train to Aguas Calientes

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Aguas Calientes, Peru

The Backpacker Train to Aguas Calientes Reviews

alyssa_ob alyssa_ob
244 reviews
a long, crowded and uncomfortable ride Nov 23, 2008
This train is a popular way for budget travelers to get from Machu Picchu to Cusco. The train is very crowded and cramped with not much leg room. There is no food or beverage service, but you can buy drinks on the train. The trip to Cusco takes 4 hours, 4 very long cramped, uncomfortable hours. The overhead racks fill quickly which makes travel with backpacks a little difficult. Even though our group had 4, we were split up and had to share our leg room with strangers.

We took the latest train so most of the trip was in the dark. The last hour of the trip was a bunch of switchbacks getting up to Cusco. At the previous station several cab drivers were standing outside offering to drive you to the city in less time than it takes the train. People finally left the train at this stop, maybe to take cabs? We finally had leg room for the last hour. As it was, the train left around 5 pm and got in around 9 pm.

I wouldn’t recommend this train if you are carrying luggage, have long legs, have enough money to take the Vistadome train or have a fear of strangers in close quarters.
close quarters
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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thenewextrememimi thenewex…
57 reviews
Sep 05, 2006
The Backpacker train is the best value option to get to Aguas Calientes. Experience-wise, there is barely any difference between the Backpacker and the Vistadome. The Vistadome has some higher windows and some cheesy entertainment.

The train will make a couple stops on your way from Cuzco. Often, there will be ladies selling corn at the train stop. Sometimes, they will give you free cheese to go with your corn. This is the best part, as the cheese is so fresh and delicious.

From Cuzco:

Roudtrip: $73

One-way: $43

To get the cheapest rates, book a few days in advance. When we went (booking 1 day in advance), the backpacker was sold out on the way back (Inca-Trailers take the train back). We got backpacker tickets on the way there and Vistadome tickets on the way back. The price was somewhere in between the $73 roundtrip for the backpacker and the $113 roundtrip for the Vistadome, but we did not have to pay the full one-way/one-way fare.
Aguas Calientes
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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Aguas Calientes Map
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Aguas Calientes
photo by: Vikram