It is one of those journeys that getting there is part of the adventure, the PeruRail trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu Town, or Aquas Calientes as it is better known, certainly is a feast for the eyes as you enter the tropical zone and into the jungles of the Andes.
There are a few options when booking your trip with PeruRail, I’ve opted for the Vistadome experience with panoramic windows, though the Expedition service appears to offer equal comfort, however, you could always indulge in the Hiram Bingham – an exclusive luxury Orient Express service operated by PeruRail which even includes ticket entry and transportation into Machu Picchu.
Unfortunately, the booking system does now allow to choose your seats, and though you may purchase more than two doesn’t mean you will sit together. However, most people are willing to swap around for a better arrangement. The only way of identifying if you have a window seat or not on PeruRail is as follows, the even-numbered seat is aisle seats and odd-numbered seats are window.
Once on your way Peruvian flute music will broadcast into the rail cars as you watch the hills and mountains become more lush and green into the jungle. A light meal service of quinoa salad, potatoes and flavoured bread and butter with soft drink or tea/coffee, with alcohol for purchase on board. The outward journeys also includes an attempt to sell souvenirs such as hats and t-shirts and cd’s of the music played. The return journey is different as it involves a fashion show of Peruvian materials as well as an insight and celebration of Peruvian legend, with goods offered for sale after the show.
PeruRail is comfortable and professional and is only a small part of the trip to get you to Machu Picchu but the experience is highly enjoyable since views are breathtaking from almost any seat, which ultimately gets you there safely and on time.