Journey to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

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We had purchased our train ticket to Machu  Picchu before we left for Peru.  We got round trip tickets on the Vista dome train from Olayantambo to Agua Calientes for $106 ($53 one way).  With the floods/mud slides destroying the train tracks in January, only the tracks from Olayantambo to Agua Calientes got repaired.  Service for this portion of the railroad began the lst week in April.  So we had to get from Cusco to Olayantambo to catch our train at 10:30 AM.  We learned that we can take a taxi from our hotel to Pavitos Street (taxi stand) for 2 soles.  From there we can catch a "Collectivo" taxi (5 person taxi) to Olayantambo for 10 soles.  We left the hotel at 7AM and arrived in Olayantambo at 9AM (approximately 1 1/2 hours).

  Normally the taxis drop you off at the market square and you either have to take another taxi (2 soles) or walk to the train terminal (10 mins).  Once at the train terminal, the train station (Peru or Inca Rail) provides a bus that will transport you to the area where you actually board the train.  You have to wait for the bus to show up to take you to the train station (takes approximately 30 minutes).  When you get to the train station, you'll have to wait for them to announce your train number.  There's a waiting area with many seats and a local market to browse as you wait and/or use the facilities.  You will need to present your train ticket and photo id in order to board the train.  Your seats have been pre-assigned and tell you which carriage you need to enter.

The vistadome train is a nice, comfortable train with big windows and glass roof.  The train tracks follow the roaring Urumbamba river and is a beautiful train ride with the mountains on both sides of you.  They provide a snack and beverage.  I sat beside a sweet gentleman who was a tour guide for a french group of people.  He spoke Spanish, Italian, French, English and!

We arrived in Agua Calientes at 1:15 PM.  We checked into our hotel, Gringo Bills and decided to head to Machu Picchu the same afternoon as the sky was clear (I heard it generally rains in the afternoon).  We purchased our MP ticket for 120 soles and our round trip bus ticket for US$14.

  We were surprised to hear that MP ticket is only valid for one day.  We wanted to climb up early the next morning to see the sunrise but unfortunately that was going to be another 120 soles and US14 for the round trip bus ticket.  We decided to skip the sunrise climb the following morning and go to the hot baths instead.

Machu Picchu was everything I anticipated it to be and so much more.  It was a manageable climb to the top where we were greeted by alpacas grazing.  They were so tame, we petted them and took pictures with them.  I could sit here all day and marvel on God's wonderful creation.  Group tour guides are available at the entrance to Machu Picchu for 20 soles per person.  We hired a private guide for US$30.  He showed us around and explained the major structures for two hours.

  He also served as a wonderful photographer.  The only cafe available at the entrance of Machu Picchu is very expensive so plan to bring your own food, water and use the facilities before you start the climb (water costs 8 soles).  It took us three hours to look around and we caught the last bus at 5:30 PM to take us back to Agua Calientes.

There we had dinner at a local restaurant (happy hour costs 15-20 soles for light entrees and 4 for 1 on the drinks!).  We returned to our hotel where we had a room on the top floor with another spectacular view of the city.  Gringo Bills has a patio on the third floor which overlooked the mountains/ felt great to sit out there, sip a glass of wine and take in the fresh air and awesome views!



traveller142009 says:
You are welcome...hope it was helpful.
Posted on: Apr 30, 2010
hoofinnit says:
Thanks so much for the detailed cost and info on things!
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010
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Alpacas on top of Machu Picchu
Alpacas on top of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Hotels & Accommodations review
Great Location with Mountain View
Great location for this Agua Calientes Hotel. Large enough rooms with hot water, private bath and hair dryer. Close to main square without walking to … read entire review
Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz