Category Archives: Peru

Status Update on the route to Machu Picchu

We are pleased to inform that after two weeks from its opening, the railway access to Machu Picchu has been restored and train services have successfully been operating. As already mentioned, the access requires 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); and so far, all services have been developing without inconveniences. Only vehicles of up to 19 passengers (Sprinter) may enter the route to Piscacucho; and this route is being controlled by the local authorities.

This combined bus-train service will be operating during April, May and June; and the regular train service (from Ollantaytambo Station to Machu Picchu train station) is expected to be restored by July 1st.

Peru Rail launches New Special Service To Machu Picchu

For those passengers who require a superior and exclusive train service to Machu Picchu while the Hiram Bingham service is not available, PeruRail has launched its Special Service, available from May 1st to June 30th, 2010. This new PeruRail Service includes private bus transfer to Piscacucho, snacks and beverages on board, buffet brunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, amongst others.

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.