Journey to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 15 of 17 › view all entries
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).
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 German...wow!
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.
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.
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/city...it felt great to sit out there, sip a glass of wine and take in the fresh air and awesome views!