Hiram Bingham luxury train Cusco to Machu Picchu | Cusco to Machu Picchu, Peru | I know there are many ways to follow the Inca’s path from Cusco to Machu Picchu, but only one to do it in style, surrounded by an exclusive and sophisticated atmosphere, in comfortable cars and with breathtaking views of the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba River in Peru. This is my third Belmond train around the world and still I do not stop to be amazed and surprised by them. Follow my Instagram Peru Photo Gallery for more tips, photos and videos.
The Hiram Bingham is named after the explorer who discovered the fascinating remains of the Inca citadel, Machu Picchu on July 23rd 1911. The carriages are painted a distinctive blue and gold and the interiors are luxurious, warm and inviting with elegant decoration in the style of the 1920’s Pullman trains. As passengers step on board they are surrounded by a world of polished wood, gleaming cutlery and glittering crystal.
A journey of four hours each way. Departing from the train station of Poroy, approximately 25 minutes away from the city of Cusco. From there you will ride on the train with no stops, all the way to Ollantaytambo which will be your first and only stop along the way, before reaching Aguas Calientes, the final station.
Check IN is very smooth and quick, filled with joy, local Peruvian performers and music, giving you a warm welcome, as only South Americans know how to do it. Champagne and Mimosas at the Belmond Lounge while other are being checked IN and accompanied to their respective tables at the dining cars.
Tables are either four or two seaters, and do not worry, if you are traveling on your own, you will be matched with another solo traveler. Or if you prefer and it the train is not sold out, you will even be able to have your own private table, subject to availability. All drinks are included both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and YES this includes lots of Champagne and Pisco Sours. They will only charge you extra for premium drinks.
During the first two hours, it is all about the excitement of being onboard of one of the most traditional trains in the world, following the path of the Incas along the Urubamba River. Champagne and Pisco Sours flow all along the train, showing the perfect balance between the local Peruvian experience with the signature of true European style.
The train is composed of two dining cars, an observation bar car and a kitchen car, and can carry up to 84 passengers. Everyone walks up and down the formation, enjoying appetisers, brunch, live music and a gourmet dinner on board, as the train travels through spectacular and ever-changing scenery. A guide is available to accompany passengers.
Once you reach Ollantaytambo, and the train does a brief stop to pick up passengers there, then lunch is served. I mean, I do not know you, but for me there is nothing more sexy and enjoyable than having lunch onboard of a train, looking the scenery go by. Such a shame I was alone this time, not being able to share this moments with my partner, as we did on our 4 days Orient-Express Train from Bangkok to Singapore.
Enjoy the stunning views and live music at the Observatory Car, until arrival to your final destination, Aguas Calientes. You will arriver around 12,30PM. From there the off train Orient-Express services begin. On private buses you will be taken on a 25 minutes ride through the mountains to the citadella of Machu Picchu. From there you may opt to follow the Orient-Express multilingual tours, go on your own, or as I did, have your own tour guide to maximize your time in Machu Picchu. The meeting point will always be the only hotel right next to the citadella, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. There you will meet at 4PM to enjoy a lovely tea and by 5 head back to Aguas Calientes.
You can see and read here my full experience at Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu
On my way back, I only did half way on the train, since I get off at Ollantaytambo, for my next two days stay at the Urubamba Valley at the incredible Rio Sagrado Hotel, of course also by Orient-Express. On the way from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo , two hours, I enjoyed a lovely fours steps dinner, in a complete different atmosphere, since the sun was coming down, and the romantic tune was setting within the train.
By 7PM I was at the station of Ollantaytambo, and my guide was there waiting for me to take me to my next spectacular Orient-Express experience. Hiram Bingham, a journey like no other, a once in a lifetime experience, and the Hiram Bingham assures a magical journey, never to be forgotten. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
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