Lonely Planet Writer

Get to Machu Picchu faster with a new train service from Cuzco

Inca Rail has become the first train operator to offer travellers the time-saving option of a train from Cuzco to the famous Incan citadel of Machu Picchu.

The afternoon sun bathing Machu Picchu in a warm light. Photo by: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

As of this month, Peruvian train operator Inca Rail will begin service with their latest route to Machu Picchu with departures from  San Pedro, in Cuzco’s city centre. The announcement comes just as the dry season begins for the Inca citadel and surrounding areas.

Already well-established, Inca Rail continues to distinguish itself with this practical addition as they are the only train operator to directly connect Cuzco’s city centre with Machu Picchu.

Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley of Incas, Peru. Photo by: Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

The centre of what was once the Inca Empire, Cuzco is the starting point for all travellers vying to see Macchu Picchu. However as recently as last month the selection of available train services meant a 30-minute drive to catch a ride in Poroy. For international travellers who fly into Peru by way of Lima only to then catch another flight to Cuzco, cutting out one additional commute is a big relief.

Located just three blocks from Cuzco’s central plaza, the San Pedro station will offer four morning departures to Machu Picchu and three return trips to the station in the afternoon. Pre-existing services offered by Inca Rail (such as the Ollantaytambo station) will continue.

A fountain and Cuzco Cathedral in Plaza-de-Armas, Cuzco, Peru. Image: ArtMarie/Getty Images

Set to run annually from May to December, travellers can enjoy the new route choosing from any of Inca Rail’s three train categories (ranging from entry-level to luxury).