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.