Travel by train to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)
August 26th, 2003
Trip to Machu Picchu by train starting from Ollantaytambo station and arriving to Aguas Calientes, the gateway town for tours to Machu Picchu where we will go the following day early in the morning. The narrow gauge railway unwinds through mountains, tunnels and bridges making this ride one of the world's most beautiful train journeys.
It's early morning at Ollantaytambo's train station
and groups of locals wait the trains from Cusco to Machu Picchu, to sell food and handycrafts to the passengers.
The Perurail train
on which we have the reservation, arrives on time at 9:05. The railway to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) runs parallel to the Urubamba river
inside a beautiful valley.
Soon, the scenery changes completely
and the desert lands of Bolivia and southern Perù are replaced by a dense jungle.
After less than one hour and an half, we approach Aguas Calientes
, where a cafè stands in the middle of the tracks just outside the station.
Pictures of Aguas Calientes. This isn't Aguas Calientes' station, but its main street
. This town is connected to the outside world by just a railway and there aren't cars. On the sides of the main streets, there are locals selling everything. Occasionally, some train or maintenance machines passes on the railway.
around the town is very nice and a good preparation for the following day visit to Machu Picchu.
On the left, the stair to our hotel. On the top, Aguas Calientes main square.
The way from Aguas Calientes to the bus station for Machu Picchu, has a lot of street vendors, selling nice wool products and different handicrafts.
Panoramic photo of Aguas Calientes
just outside the town, showing the majestic scenery all around.
grow over the vertical walls of the mountains (top-left picture) as well as on other trees. Nice tropical flowers grow on the ground under the jungle.