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.