Until July 2010, the train will not run all the way between Aguas Calientes and Cusco, due to severe flooding from the 2010 rainy season. Instead, train services stop at Piscacucho, which is 82km from Cusco. Travelers must take either a bus or a taxi from Cusco to Piscacucho; preplanning is strongly advised, as a taxi will cost 100-200 soles and take around two hours from Cusco. Buses are much cheaper but also much much slower.
has a monopoly on the tracks, and is at the moment the only option. Trains depart from Poroy, just outside of [[Cuzco]], twice daily. The scenic journey through the [[Sacred Valley of the Incas|Sacred Valley]] takes about 4 hours. Tickets should be bought in advance either online or at the Wanchaq train station on Av Garcilaso in [[Cuzco]]. Try to book several days in advance if possible, especially in the high season. It´s not possible to select your own seats online, so if you have a preference, buy them at the station. The fares start at US$ 48 each way in the 'Backpackers' cars, with decently comfortable seats and snacks for sale. The 'Vistadome' cars are the mid-range cars at US$71 each way, with more comfy chairs and meals served. If you prefer to ride in style, opt for the 'Hiram Bingham' at US$294 each way, complete with gourmet meals and an observation carriage.
The cheapest option (short of walking) is to bus it to [[Ollantaytambo]] and catch the train from there. A minivan bus from Cusco to Ollanta costs S/10. Ollantaytambo is worth staying a night in, it's a pretty little town with beautiful ruins of its own.
[[Machu Picchu ]] is what most people come to see.
*<do name="Ecological Centre" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Further along the tracks near the bridge to Machu Picchu you will reach an ecological centre with rainforest walks that will consume about one hour of your time. You can reach this by following the road towards Machu Picchu as to avoid walking through the railway tunnel. There is a stair case leading up to the train tracks near the bridge to Machu Picchu.</do>
*<do name="Gardens of Mandor" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">
([http://www.losjardinesdemandor.com Gardens of Mandor]) If you continue further along the tracks towards Hydroelectric at 114.5km you will reach the gardens and waterfall of Mandor, which is private property and requires foreigners to pay S/.10.00 for entry. This is a nice walk with many orchids and some rainforest and trails to a waterfall.</do> [[File:MandorWaterfall.jpg]]
Going up stream towards Ollantaytambo;
Following the train tracks upstream from Machu Picchu Pueblo towards Ollantaytambo you will see some other ruins and a waterfall.
Costs for visiting Aguas Calientes from Cuzco: Current train ticket prices are at Peru Rail's website[http://www.perurail.com/web/tper/jdm_interface.php]. The bus from the town Aguas Calientes up to Machu Picchu costs $14.00 per person for a return trip, or $7 one-way. You can walk to the ruins for free, but it's steep uphill and takes about an hour and a half. You have to buy your ticket for entering the ruins at the Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes (if you're not doing the whole tour from Cusco with a guide). This ticket costs S/126 per person and is valid for 1 entry over a period of 3 days (so if you've only got one night in Aguas Calientes, are on a budget and arrive with the backpacker train at roughly 11:30am decide if you want to go up to Machu Picchu in the afternoon or early morning). Remember to take water and snacks with you as the snacks available at the ruins are insanely expensive.
The town is full of pizza restaurants, which are a safe option. Menu Hoy or Todays Menu is usually S/.10.00 - S/.15.00 and depending on where you go will be something along the lines of -
Indio Feliz (Happy Indian) is a nice French restaurant for those willing to spend a bit more than at the other places. Meals will cost about 30 soles here plus drinks but the food is outstanding. There is a also a 50-soles prix fixe menu that provides three courses is good value. The restaurant is owned by a Frenchman and his Peruvian wife, who are both very friendly.
Every restaurant has an advertising guy whom will give you a business card and their name - it can get quite annoying as there are many restaurants
whom will try to lure you into their establishment. The ad man will take you to the bar/restaurant and seat you and for this they'll get a 10% tax added to your final bill and then if the service was good you'll want to tip the normal 10% of the bill. You'll end up tipping 20%. One could see it as creating jobs... yet annoying.
There are Chifas, the Peruvian version of Chinese restaurants, everywhere and make good options after a day of hiking.
Many bars try to lure in customers with 4 for 1 happy hours lasting the whole evening. Beware that the price is fourfold of the normal prices in Cuzco.
Signs warn that it is not allowed to sell and/or consume alcoholic beverages after 11pm. However, it's not too hard to find a place to drink some beers after this time.
There are many sleeping options in Aguas Calientes. There is one very expensive hotel right next to the [[Machu Picchu]] entrance.
has a large Anaconda skin on the wall in the cafe downstairs, there is also a bar, a billiard table and internet access downstairs, the staff are very friendly and helpful, this hostel is great if
on a budget and is just meters from the hot springs.
''Hostal John''' charges 10 soles pp
- but there are a couple
hotels at this price
across the street from Hostal John
, has friendly staff and
double/treble rooms for
The street is quiet without bars or major foot traffic.
They will keep your bags securely until you take the train at night.
A welcoming new hostel with comfortable dorms and private rooms. They will meet you at the train station upon arrival. You can hang out in the common areas and use the facilities while you wait for your train, and they will provide early morning wake up calls and breakfasts.
Dorms start at $10. reservations: ''[email protected], phone 51-84-791224.'' * '''Hotel Los Caminantes''' - Avenida Imperio de los Incas 140. +51 8421-1007. Has 28 rooms, doesn't accept credit cards. * '''Hostal Sol de Oro''' - Calle Chaska T'ika C-7 Urb. Las Orquideas. 084-785065, 084-974711092. More of a hotel than a hostal. Quiet and clean. Private bathrooms with hot showers and good water pressure. 35S/night for a double room
Colla Raymi 104
Plaza de Armas
+ 51 84 21
-1545 for reservations)
* '''Wiracocha Inn''' - Calle Wiracocha S
N 084-211088 [email protected]ú.com. Clean rooms, friendly owners, fair prices, and the river will lull you to
every night. You can also leave bags here while exploring the ruins.
'''Camping Municipal''' charges 15 soles per tent. It's next to
bridge on the road to Machu Picchu. *'''Hostel Continental''' A
hostel near the end of the train tracks on the far side of the
Very reasonably priced and quite well kept. *'''Inka Terra''' (1-800-442-5042 from USA; +1 511-610-0410 from Peru
[mailto:[email protected]]) is
more expensive hotel, prices from $300 to $700 per night. It is the money-making branch of the
''Inkaterra Foundation''' [http://www
], a nature and culture preservation organization working since 1975. It is like a small Andean town built into the mountainside and has one of the largest and most varied orchid collections in the world. There are all kinds of small birds. In a very private location, only for registered guests, and has received several international awards.
*<sleep name="Hostal Varayoc" alt="" address="Imperio de los Incas 114" directions="above an internet cafe" phone=""
" checkin="" checkout="" price="
" lat="" long="">basic, clean rooms with hot showers on main drag across bridge from train station.
From $20 USD for a single to $45 USD for a triple,
includes simple breakfast. Friendly staff.</sleep>
* '''Hotel El Tumi''' a block or two up the hill from Chez Maggy restaurant, nice rooms, good hot showers, friendly staff. A bit pricey during high season, but a bargain if it's low season.
*<sleep name="Rupa Wasi" alt="Treehouse" address="Huanacaure 180" directions="one block from main plaza" phone="+51-84-242760
" url="http://www.rupawasi.net/ingles/index.html" checkin="" checkout="" price="$69" lat="" long="">Beautiful place on the hill done in tasteful modern woods. Opt for the upper rooms for a nice view. Restaurant
truly has best food in town
, and offers fun cooking lessons with Bruno, the head chef