Category Archives: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Update

Although Peru Rail has confirmed that the train service will star operating as of March 29th, the INC (National Institute of Culture – the governmental authority in charge of Machu Picchu) has informed that the Machu Picchu archaeological complex will reopen on APRIL  1.

Travelers will be transferred by bus (45 minutes approx.) from Ollantaytambo station to Piscaicucho, where they will board the trains for Machu Picchu. As mentioned before, Piscaicucho (the starting point  of the Inca Trail) is located between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Please refer to the attached map.

A short walk (180 meters / 590 feet) is expected at Piscaicucho between where the buses park and the provisional train station. In lieu of this, the fact that we are towards the end of the rainy season and the nature of the visit to Machu Picchu, we highly recommend the following:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Rain poncho
  • A small overnight bag / backpack for those travelers staying overnight. Although its not confirmed, there should be Peru Rail staff to help carry the overnight luggage between the buses and trains.
  • PERU RAIL, which due to the events of January, will be VERY STRICT with its luggage policy as the trains will be running at full capacity. The size of the luggage that will be allowed on board is basically the same as that of carry-on’s allowed by airlines on the main cabin of airplanes. Please refer to attached information

During the first 60 days of operation not all coaches will be available, so seat capacity will be limited:

  • Starting March 29th      45 %
  • Starting May 1st            60 %
  • Starting June 1st         100 %

Feel assured that we are working extremely closely with PERU RAIL to secure availability for all of our passengers.

Machu Picchu Train Update

We just received the latest information from PERU RAIL :
  • Works are advancing at as faster pace than initially estimated
  • Its probable that the route between Piscaucucho and Machu Picchu will be ready and operating by March  29 (weather permitting)
  • The bus transfers between Ollantaytambo and Piscaucucho will be provided by Peru Rail  and should take 45 minutes each way. From Pisacaucucho to Machu Picchu the train should take 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • In  the next couple of days, Peru Rail will release detailed information regarding details about the Ollantaytambo – Piscacucho land transfers and train schedules.

UPDATE ON MACHU PICCHU ACCESS

As announced in one of our latest statements, because of the existing damage in some railway segments between the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo) and Machu Picchu, the soon to be restored access to Machu Picchu will require a 50 minute bus ride from the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo station) up to Piscacucho (Km.82) followed by an 80 minute train ride to Machu Picchu train station (Aguas Calientes).  This bus-train combined service will be provided by PeruRail. We expect to have additional details about this service (rates, timetables, etc.) by next week.

Days ago, the Peruvian authorities, including the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, announced April 1st, 2010 as the target date for the reopening of Machu Picchu and the train access through this route.  This morning, FETRANSA, the company in charge of repairing these train routes, issued a very positive statement announcing that work along the Piscacucho – Machu Picchu railroad is going on as planned and that it’s likely that all work could be completed even earlier than April 1st, 2010.

On our latest statement, we also mentioned that the Hiram Bingham deluxe train cars will not be available until the beginning of June and that any existing Hiram Bingham bookings between April 1st and June 1st, will have to be reprogrammed to the Vistadome train service or to a new “Vistadome upgraded” train service that PeruRail was developing.  We have now confirmed that PeruRail is having many difficulties in structuring this Vistadome – Hiram Bingham hybrid service and that, most likely, it will not become a reality. We recommend our clients not to rely on this possibility and to better secure spaces on the Vistadome service.

As always, we would like to reconfirm that all attractions and destinations of Cusco city and the Sacred Valley are totally accessible, safe and operating normally and that the current weather in the area perfectly allows traveling and presents no major impediment.  Nowadays, our guests are enjoying more of the magic of Cusco city, its surrounding ruins, and experiencing some of the hidden attractions of the Sacred Valley and Cusco’s southern valley.

Machu Picchu Update Feb 19

As already announced, all efforts are focused on opening the regular train route to Machu Picchu during early April, 2010.  Yesterday, Peruvian authorities, including the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, announced that April 1st, 2010 is the target date for the reopening of Machu Picchu and its train access.

As described in our latest statement, access to Machu Picchu would include a 50 minute bus ride from Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo station) up to Piscacucho (Km.82) where guests will board the train that will get them to Machu Picchu train station (Aguas Calientes) 80 minutes later.  This bus-train combined service will be provided by PeruRail and is expected to be ready by April 1st, 2010.

The railroad damage between Pisacucho (km 82) and the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo train station) will require additional work and should be completed two months later, at the beginning of June.  Only then, all the traditional train services to Machu Picchu, including the Cusco City-Machu Picchu train service, should be up and running.

We have also learned that the Hiram Bingham deluxe train cars were in Cusco city (Poroy train station) when these unfortunate events unfolded, moving these cars to Pisacucho will not be possible, meaning that the Hiram Bingham service will not be available until the beginning of June.  Any existing Hiram Bingham bookings between April 1st and June 1st, will have to be reprogrammed to the Vistadome train service or to a new “Vistadome upgraded” train service that PeruRail is currently developing.  This new service, is expected to be a hybrid between the Vistadome and the Hiram Bingham, as it will include some of the features and service standards of Hiram Bingham but provided on Vistadome cars.  We expect to have precise information about this temporary PeruRail service next week.

As always, we would like to reconfirm that all attractions and destinations of Cusco city and the Sacred Valley are totally accessible, safe and operating normally and that the current weather in the area perfectly allows traveling and presents no major impediment.  Nowadays, our guests are enjoying more of the magic of Cusco city, its surrounding ruins, and experiencing some of the hidden attractions of the Sacred Valley and Cusco’s southern valley.

In some cases, this work requires reinforcing the land where train tracks are being reinstalled, and in others, completely rebuilding the tracks foundations.  Fortunately, both the weather and the river volume, are allowing this work to be continuous.

EXPECTED DATES FOR MACHU PICCHU ACCESS

Last night, FETRANSA, the rail company in charge of the train routes that connect Machu Picchu, issued a statement to clarify some points about the work they are performing to restore the access to Machu Picchu.  With this information, we can now present to you a better perspective of the current situation.

First, the railway to Machu Picchu via the Hidroelectrica train station (backdoor to Machu Picchu) has been completely restored.  However, the road that connects Cusco or the Sacred Valley to the Hidroelectrica station still presents critical damage and it is expected that the Peruvian authorities will not complete this work in the short run.  Metropolitan Touring has already advised its clients and friends about the difficulties and obstacles that this uncomfortable and not recommended route presents.

Second, on the south side of Machu Picchu, other teams of FETRANSA are working on the restoration of the railway along the traditional route that connects Cusco or the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes train station).  They expect to have the railway ready, between the town of Piscacucho (Km.82) and Machu Picchu (Km.110), by early April, thus enabling guests to access Machu Picchu on a bus-train combination: 50 minute bus ride from Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo station) up to Piscacucho (Km.82) followed by a 80 minute train ride from there to Machu Picchu.  As time goes by, both FETRANSA and PERURAIL should announce a specific targeted date of completion.  We will keep you well informed of any developments related to this reconstruction work.

Third, the Cusco-Puno railway track of the Andean Explorer train was also damaged by the unexpected rains and flooding of January and according to FETRANSA, if weather conditions permit, this route will be up and running by February 22nd, 2010.

Also, the Peruvian INC (National Institute of Culture) has officially suspended all entry to the Machu Picchu citadel as well as all admission to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (trekking route), while the proper access and safety conditions are not present in the area.  So it is expected that both attractions will remain closed during March and should re-open in April.

Finally, we would like to reconfirm that all attractions and destinations of Cusco city and the Sacred Valley are totally accessible, safe and operating normally and that the current weather in the area perfectly allows traveling and presents no major impediment.  Nowadays, our guests are enjoying more of the magic of Cusco city, its surrounding ruins, and experiencing some of the hidden attractions of the Sacred Valley and Cusco’s southern valley.