The train from Cusco to Machu Pichhu by Peru Rail is perhaps one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. This luxury air-conditioned train has wide windows and large part of the ceiling is covered by glass, which offers a magnificent view of the Andes mountain range and the gentle river flowing besides the tracks. The train journey lasts about 3.5 hours covering a distance of 120 kms and the passengers are kept well informed on the public address system about various sites on the way while being served snacks and drinks. The train passes through lush green fields, colorful villages in the foothills of the Andesand extensive areas of terracing dotted with the ruins of Inca fortresses.
After settling you in to your hotel in Cusco on the night of your arrival, the actual tour of the Cusco City will commence the next day. The City of Cusco was the most important city in the Inca Empire, and was a city of vast wealth, with incredible buildings, beautiful palaces and gold lined temples. The tour includes visits to the Inca sites of Tambomachay, Q’enko, Sacsayhuaman, Koricancha and Cusco Cathedral. The next day you'll have a free morning in Cusco, after which an afternoon flight to Lima will connect you to your onward flights home.
Our journey to Machu Picchu started with a trip to Cusco. The travel time by bus from Lima to Cusco is up to 24 hours if all goes well on the roads. There are two routes buses take from Lima to Cusco. The first a bit shorter 18-22 hours is nauseatingly winding over and through the Andes mountains to the east of Lima. The second route and more commonly takes goes south from Lima then east to Arequipa and north again to Cusco - like a big u-turn. This route takes 24 hours+.
We arrived in Cusco in the afternoon and checked into an Irish hostel called Wild Rover Hostel.
The next day we woke at 5 AM in anticipation of the hike to Machu Picchu. We hiked with a group of people - encouraging each other to take one step at a time and taking breaks when needed - up until the mid-morning break around 10 AM.