The Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes station is the closest to the wonder of the world. Hence, its importance lies, although the town or district of Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo, is small, it has all the necessary services so that the trip is short or long, it is equally comfortable for all travelers who want to visit the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. In addition, the station can accommodate both foreign and national tourists, it also allows the departure of the local train, which is for the exclusive use of residents of Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu Pueblo, and surrounding places that need to be transported daily.
Machu Picchu Pueblo train station
The train station in the Machu Picchu Pueblo district has an exclusive functionality to achieve the transportation of thousands of tourists and residents. Within its services, it offers the departure of various trains and at the same time the arrival of many others. This will be detailed later. For now, we are interested in talking more about how this railway track was opened and built. To do this, we have to go back to the early years of the 20th century when the world was still unaware of the wonderful Inca citadel that would be discovered in 1911. Mention that before this discovery, the railway network that would link Cusco was already being built. with the province of La Convención.
In the year 1901, the Peruvian government began the construction of the railway. The main purpose of this project was to annex the districts of La Convención with the capital of Cusco. The distance between these two towns would be almost 200 kilometers, which would allow several communities to benefit from this project. During the realization of this project, the workers settled in what they called Maquinachayoq, a place that would later become what is known today as Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes. Let’s put some years to better understand this whole process chronologically that involves the district and the train station:
- In 1901, the Project for constructing railway lines to unite Cusco with the district of Santa Ana began.
- In the year 1911 Hiram Bingham arrived at Machu Picchu guided by Melchor Arteaga.
- In the year 1928, the construction reached the section of the current Machu Picchu Pueblo, during those years it served as a camp for heavy machinery and workers. It received the name Maquinachayoc.
- In 1941, the Machu Picchu Pueblo district was created. This was achieved because of the number of workers and also because only 10 kilometers away was the wonder of the world.
- During this period, and since 1931, train trips were already being made from Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo.
- Since the 70s, tourist trips begin to rise considerably. For the decade of the 80, all the constructions change considerably and it is becoming a tourist place.
Currently and after several political changes, the railway network that we have just mentioned is managed by the company Ferrocarril Trasandino. The trains that use the branch known as Sur Oriente arrive at the Machu Picchu Pueblo train station. As we mentioned, it is the direct option to make the long-awaited trip to Machu Picchu, since nearby it would only take a 30-minute trip on the ecological buses.
The services that we will find inside the station
It is a station with the capacity to accommodate a large number of tourists. Although it seems small. Thanks to the schedules that the trains manage both when leaving or arriving, it allows a free flow of all visitors who arrive or start the return trip to Cusco. This scheduling system tries to solve the busiest entrances to Machu Picchu, which are usually in the early morning hours.
The services offered are a spacious waiting room and boarding area. The two companies authorized to carry out these trips are Inca Rail and PeruRail. Both share the railway branch from Cusco, Ollantaytambo, or Poroy. Although the bimodal service grows more and more, the final stretch continues to be carried out by train. For this reason, you can find restrooms at the Machu Picchu Pueblo train station, a small area selling snacks and drinks. Another important service for the Peruvian population is the local service that manages lower rates so that tourists, locals, and from other parts of Peru can make the trip both out and back.
You can also find services for the sale or reservation of train tickets. The trains and the services that leave and arrive at this station are all the services of both companies. To have an adequate choice of the train with which you want to travel, whether one way or return, you can visit our website where we detail the exclusive services that each of the trains in the different companies offers. As an added detail mention that there are luxury trains or the First type Class to get to Machu Picchu. In the same way, you can find cheaper services and great comfort.
As we mentioned above in the details of the Machu Picchu Pueblo district, this town arose after the organization of camps that were in charge of the construction of the railways. In 1941, this district was officially created under the name of Machu Picchu Pueblo, later receiving the name of Aguas Calientes. The law that supports its officialization has the No. 9396. An interesting fact is that the name Aguas Calientes belongs to the river that crosses half of the population.
How to get to the train station in Machu Pueblo?
The district of Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes, is really small. Getting lost can be very difficult. All the important places to make the trip to Machu Picchu are very close. For example, near the train station you will cross a small craft market, Passing this place you will find a bridge, and under it, is the bus station that goes to the area or access zone to Machu Picchu.
Similarly, hotels, restaurants, and other places such as bars are nearby. If you agreed to a tourist package you will have the assistance of a person who will accompany you to the hotel you have reserved. An alternative is to pay attention to the route it follows and be guided by the main points such as the bridge or the craft market. However, your assigned guide will likely pick you up from your hotel and take you to the station. To avoid confusion, check the service you are being offered.
In case you make a trip without an agency or independently. You will have to pay attention to the location of your hotel and the average distance it can take to get to the station. In the district of Machu Picchu Pueblo, there are no taxis, for two reasons, the town is small, and the entire area and its inhabitants are committed to reducing CO2 emissions. The only transportation that exists is the ecological buses that leave for Machu Picchu and the trains that return to Cusco. As it is a small town, everyone will be able to help you and guide you to find the best way to get to the train station, from wherever you are.
This is the experience of traveling by train to Machu Picchu Pueblo
Getting to Machu Picchu by train is one of the best decisions someone who has little time to visit can make. It is that the train trip facilitates the long journey, which, otherwise, would have to be done walking for at least 10 kilometers from Hidroeléctrica or for several days following the Inca Trail route or other hiking routes of more than 4 days. The experience of traveling by train is truly a beautiful journey. Especially since it allows you to appreciate the geographic change. That is to say, it is appreciated how little by little the mountains are filled with abundant foliage and large trees that end up decorating everything in green.
Some train services offer services on board and also live shows. For example, all the Inca Rail trains offer the staging of the drama Ollantay, focusing on the forbidden love of Ollantay and the daughter of the Inca Pachacútec. While the PeruRail train, Vistadome Observatory, offers live music, ideal for travelers to loosen their legs, some snacks, drinks, and also a fashion show based on garments made with baby alpaca wool (only on return trips). All of this greatly enhances the train journey. In addition, the cordiality of the workers and their assistance allows you to travel with confidence both on outbound trips and return trips. It will be up to each of the travelers to choose which train to choose. Whatever the case, the district of Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes will be ready to offer a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and even thermal baths.