Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu
When visiting Peru, you must visit Machu Picchu so we decided to do it in style. We booked two tickets for the luxury Hiram Bingham train to bring us from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, which is deep into the Sacred Valley and the end station for everyone traveling to Machu Picchu. This was an excellent decision that turned this magical journey into an unforgettable experience. The luxury train is decorated in the style of the legendary Oriënt Express.
Passengers of this train get a very personalized service that starts with the welcome in the Poroy station of Cusco. In the lobby, a colorful clothed dance group accompanied with typical Andean musicians, gave us a performance of traditional dances while we enjoyed a fresh fruit cocktail. When it was time to leave, we took our seats in the dining-car as the brunch was served. The tasteful food, the excellent wines and the very personal service were really superb. Meanwhile, we could enjoy the passing landscapes of the Sacred Valley. Stunning scenery of the Peruvian Andes passed our eyes and time went fast. Four hours after departure, we arrived in Aguas Calientes, where we planned to stay the night in the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
In the station, employees of the hotels took care of the passenger’s luggage so we were brought immediately to the Citadel with buses. For each group of 14 people, a tour guide was available. Totally overwhelmed by the stunning environment, we strolled around at this magnificent place. I think only someone who has already visited Machu Picchu could understand the feelings you get when seeing the first glimpses of Machu Picchu. It was so breathtaking to see this place in real life and to think about how the Inca’s built and constructed this masterpiece of architecture. They did this so many centuries before modern technology!
After a few hours of guided tour, our group was invited to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Hotel for the high tea; another part of the train-arrangement. Then, it was time again to take our seat in the bus that brought us back down to Aguas Calientes. There, we checked in at the Macchu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a very nice hotel with cottages located in a tropical garden. Normally one entrance ticket was included in the train-arrangement but as we were in Aguas Calientes until the next evening, we decided to buy tickets again for the next day.
The next morning, we woke up very early to get on one of the first buses and made our way to Machu Picchu. We liked to be early and arrive before the crowds. We succeeded and around 6.30 AM, we were at the entrance fence again. In the early morning, with still the fog around the mountains, the mystery of the whole setting was more impressive and we enjoyed a lot of walking around and discovering some more corners of this overwhelming place. We experienced the sunrise and together with other tourists, we sat down in the grass, just looking around taking in Machu Picchu.
Around noon, we took one of the buses driving back to Aguas Calientes and after a little snack in town, we walked back to the hotel. In the lush green vegetation of the garden, we enjoyed the songs of the many birds and the bright colored tropical flowers. Late in the afternoon, we walked back to the town centre and at the market, we bought the last souvenirs. In the station, champagne was served to all passengers before taking our seats in the train to bring us back to Cusco. In the dark of the evening, we crossed again the Sacred Valley while enjoying a delicious dinner. Right on time, our train went back inside the Poroy station. It was the end of a marvelous and unforgettable journey.