April 29, 2010

How it Rolls in Peru: The April Update

Training to Machu Picchu Town

After severe flooding in January washed out the tracks, train service to Machu Picchu was interrupted and the sanctuary closed. Many families scheduled to travel in February and March had to scramble, shifting their vacations to other destinations and putting their Peru plans on hold. Let us promise you none of this was fun, but least of all for the residents of Peru who lost homes and livelihoods as a result of the floods.

Now we are glad to say we’ve had our first family reach Machu Picchu since this disaster happened! Tourism is getting back on track and repairs to the rails are progressing, with partial service between Cusco and Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes). Peru Rail is running buses to connect tourists, but Thomson guests have the benefit of private van service to get them to and from the trains. Predictions have the Vistadome train as well as the Hiram Bingham back in action along their full routes by June when our families are next traveling.

The biggest inconvenience to tourists will be the luggage restrictions; with fewer trains running there is less room for bags. Currently there is a limit of 5kg (11lbs) per person on the train to Machu Picchu- needless to say this does not equal a suitcase! If this rule is still in place in June we’ll do our best to minimize the complications. In the worst case scenario you’ll be parted from the bulk of your luggage for the two days at Machu Picchu… you can handle that, right?

This is why it’s called adventure!