The train journey from Cusco to Machu
Picchu is a highlight of any trip to the Andes.
The scenery is simply spectacular, and the recently
refurbished Vistadomes with their panoramic windows
allow you to enjoy it in comfort.
The 3 1/4 hour journey takes you through a changing
landscape. First there is a steep climb out of
Cusco into the surrounding hillside,
by means of a series of switchback turns known locally
as "the zig zag". Soon the train stops
at the beautiful village of Poroy,
and then descends into the Sacred Valley, passing by
lush, green fields and colourful villages in the foothills
of the Andes. From here on, there are wonderful
vistas of the mountains and, deep in its dramatic canyon,
the beautiful Urubamba River running
through the Sacred Valley.
For optimum views of the Andes, windows have been
installed into the carriage ceilings. Also, a
newly enhanced food-and-drink service, plus individual
slip-down tables have been added.
And what a destination awaits you! Machu
Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas,
is one of the wonders of the Americas. The stunning
ruins of the ancient citadel, perched
on a mountain peak high in the Andes,
are perhaps the greatest surviving testament to Inca
civilization. Built in the 15th and 16th
centuries, Machu Picchu was the secret
city of the Incas, never discovered by the Spanish.
It was only rediscovered in 1911, by an American, Professor
Hiram Bingham, and it remains South America´s
most spectacular archaeological site.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to explore Cusco
as well. This city, which dates from around 1200
AD, is the historic heart of Inca civilization.
Wander the network of ruined temples and palaces, and
learn of the Incas´ ancient religious
practices, centred in the majestic Temple
of the Sun. Just as fascinating is the
colonial history of Cusco. See how the Spanish built
their lavish churches on the sites
of the Inca temples.
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