To get to Machu Picchu in 2022 there are different ways, one of them is by train. In case you choose this way, there are different kinds of trains that you can choose according to your tastes.
“For all adventurous travelers looking to discover each destination at their own pace” is how “Expedition” is described on the same PeruRail website.
You can board the train at two stations, the one in Poroy (thirty minutes from Cusco by bus), and the one in Ollantaytambo (in the Sacred Valley, 90 minutes from Cusco). The disembarkation station in all cases is the Aguas Calientes station (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Train Departure Times:
Poroy Station: To take the train at this station, there is only one schedule available at 7:35 am (one way) and. The train ride to Machu Picchu from Poroy takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Ollantaytambo Station: In the case of Ollantaytambo station, there are 6 schedules for both outbound and return, the first train to Machu Picchu leaves at 5:05 am and the last one at 9:00 pm. On the return, the first train to Machu Picchu leaves at 5:35 am and the last one at 9:50 pm. In this case the train ride lasts only 1 hour and 30 minutes.
On Board Service:
Seating Arrangement: Expedition is equipped with fairly comfortable leather seats with regular foot room.
Seats are arranged in two-person rows for trains departing from Ollantaytambo station. In case of trains departing from Poroy, seats are in groups of four (facing each other) with a table in between. The trains are equipped with air conditioning and heating, as well as a high quality sound system.
Panoramic View: Expedition offers large windows for a nice view, however, these are not as large compared to Vistadome.
Snacks: As part of the package, Expedition’s onboard service provides each passenger with a snack that includes a biscuit and a hot or cold beverage. The snack is served in basic packaging.
You will enjoy the trip so much that you will want to stay an extra day. See our 2 day tour to Machu Picchu.
“For the nature-loving traveler who seeks to be in contact with the environment”, is the way Perurail describes the “Vistadome”.
The VISTADOME train has three departure stations to Machu Picchu, Poroy station (thirty minutes from Cusco by bus), Ollantaytambo station (Sacred Valley, 90 minutes from Cusco) and Urubamba station (Sacred Valley, 70 minutes from Cusco). All trains end their route at Aguas Calientes station (Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Train Departure Times:
Poroy Station: To take the train at this station there are two schedules available, both outbound and return, the first train in Poroy leaves at 6:40 am and the other at 08:25 am. The return trains leave at 3:20 pm, 5:20 pm and 5:23 pm.
Ollantaytambo Station: In this case, there are 6 schedules available for the outbound to Machu Picchu, being at 7:05 am the first train to Machu Picchu, and 5 schedules available for the return, being at 10:55 am the first train back.
Urubamba Station: Finally, there is also the option of taking the train in Urubamba, the only available timetable to take this train is 6:50 am for the outward journey to Machu Picchu and 3:48 pm for the return. If you take the train at this station the travel time is two hours and 20 minutes. This stop is only available for clients of Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado in Urubamba.
On Board Service:
Vistadome Train to Machu PicchuSeating Arrangement: Vistadome is equipped with quite comfortable leather seats with more foot and arm room than on the Expedition.
In case of trains departing from Ollantaytambo, the seats are distributed in rows for two people. For trains departing from Poroy, as it is a longer trip, the seats are in groups of four (facing each other) with a table in the middle.
Panoramic View: Vistadome with fully panoramic windows for a better view of the scenery, including roof windows. The windows are much wider than on Expedition trains.
In addition, it provides passengers with a constant guide to all the places the train is traveling through.
Snacks: In the case of Vistadome, snacks are served on tableware. Vistadome’s onboard service provides each passenger with a snack that includes rolls, seasonal fruit and a hot or cold beverage of their choice (papaya, strawberries, etc). All prepared with Andean ingredients
In addition to everything mentioned above, Vistadome offers its passengers on the train back to Cusco, a show of one of the different typical dances of Peru.
In conclusion, the main difference between Vistadome and Expedition lies in the service on board and the comfort of each train. We could say that Vistadome has a more complete service than Expedition, since it offers greater comfort, more complete snacks and on the return train there is a dance show and a parade with alpaca garments. However, the price is more economical in Expedition.