As you might know, the train to Machu Picchu was wiped out in half a dozen places due to rains and flooding in early February. Because there are only two real ways to reach Machu Picchu – the train and the Inca Trail – the Peruvian government has closed Machu Picchu temporarily.

Peru RailHowever, the national rail system, Peru Rail, that runs the train line has now indicated the train will be open on March 29th. In response, the Peruvian government has announced that Machu Picchu will be open for business on April 1st and the Inca Trail will again be open to hikers.

There will be a few restrictions. First, there will be no Backpacker Trains, the cheap seats that many trekkers use. These trains are apparently much heavier (90 tons) than the nicer Vistadome trains (28 tons) and the track has not been approved for them yet. The Hiram Bingham train, a very fancy tourist train, will also not be available. Our advice? The Vistadome train is our favorite anyway. It is much faster and more comfortable at a reasonable price – our group tours always use the Vistadome.

Second, the train route between Cusco and Piscacucho is not yet repaired. This means travelers hiking the Inca Trail will take the train back from Aguas Calientes (near Machu Picchu) to Piscacucho, Kilometer 82 of the train line and the start of the Inca Trail hike. From there, they will take a bus 10 kilometers on a dirt road to Ollantaytambo and the rest of the way on a paved road to Cusco. This, too, is not a big deal. The train is quite slow reaching Cusco anyway as it has to climb a hill and go through many switchbacks. Because the bus is faster, our groups already return by bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco.

In short, although it is not quite back to normal, Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail will again be open for business on April 1st.