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The Luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu

The Luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu

I had always dreamed of exploring Machu Picchu, yet had no idea how luxurious and enjoyable the train journey would be to get there! As part of our Silversea Expedition Pre-Cruise package called the Machu Picchu Grande Explorer, we were able to indulge in a three hour train ride on the stunning Belmond Hiram Bingham Train. The train is named after the explorer, Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered the largely forgotten Inca city of Machu Picchu in 1911. A visit to a once-in-a-lifetime place calls for a once-in-a-lifetime journey, and that’s exactly what this was!

The Belmond Hiram Bingham departed from the Rio Sagrado station in Cusco. Five-star service begins from the moment you step into the train carriage. I was treated to a glass of sparkling wine as I stepped on board. I loved the blue and gold uniforms worn by the staff. They really stood out against the backdrop of Peru’s very green landscapes.

The train itself is a visual feast. I felt as if I was transported back in time to the 1920s with its glamorous interiors. The first thing I noticed was how beautifully the polished wood and brass catches the light. Each carriage is impeccably designed and absolutely enchanting. The entire train consists of a bar car, two dining cars, and an observation car with an open deck. They clearly want you to indulge as much as possible while on board, whether that be with fine dining or magnificent views.

Speaking of fine dining, you’re in for an absolute treat on board the Belmond Hiram Bingham! Their goal is to create a unique South American dining experience. Its unique because you get to experience the magic of the mountains as you glide through the Andes while sampling a variety of artisanal delights along the way.

Since we boarded in the morning, we started off toasting to the journey with a glass of sparkling wine and freshly squeezed orange juice. Later on, we indulged in a decadent three course meal which included wonderful Peruvian ingredients. First up was a traditional appetizer, smoked trout and a Peruvian corn tamale which was the perfect opening for this decadent meal. This was followed by a hearty main course of prime Peruvian beef, a succulent cut of beef paired with an exceptional Peruvian wine. For dessert, I loved the corn cheesecake and Cloud-Forest coffee. Non-premium beverages and wine are included in your ticket price, along with the meal. All of the dishes really combined traditional ingredients with modern finesse and everything was to die for.

Everywhere you look on board, you’ll see old-fashioned charm thanks to the gleaming woods, fine fabrics, and antique fittings. If you’re feeling up for it after your sumptuous meal, you can enjoy some live music and dance to the beat of the Peruvian cajón (box-shaped percussion instrument) and tambourines! Having traditional live music on board was such a treat and made the journey even more memorable.

I absolutely loved spending the remainder of my train journey in the Observation Car. This great open space is truly the best spot to appreciate the stunning Peruvian landscape. For most of the train ride, we pass through the Urubamba Valley which is also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The greenery is just amazing to see and made me even more excited for what was to come at Machu Picchu.

For the entire three hours, we were looked after in style and enjoyed Peruvian food, wine, music, and scenery. My voyage to the heart of the Inca Empire on board the Belmond Hiram Bingham was easily one of the highlights of my entire trip to South America!

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

31 Comments

  1. Wow !! I really want to try this some day. Do you mind to share how much it costs ?

    • Carmen Edelson

      Wow indeed! A round-trip ticket in low season starts at about $700.

  2. I hae been looking at this train yesterday as I am planning a trip to MP and cant wait to do it. Cant really do the 4-5 day hike thing as I would have my 3 year old daughter with me so looks like the train is the way to go and to do it with wine and music, I am gained!

    • Carmen Edelson

      I hope you get to do this! I’d really recommend booking as far ahead as possible as it often sells out!

  3. What a great way to see an area! I really enjoy train travel when I can take it, but this looks especially elegant. It feels like this train ride transports you not just from one place to the next but from one era (the present) to another (the past)! They have definitely kept up the interior of the train beautifully, it looks amazing. And that meal looks sumptuous!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Yes, it was an amazing experience!

  4. Oh wow, that really is luxury!! I wish we could do that too. The views must have been stunning the entire ride. And the food just looks delicious. Really classy way of travelling!! My favourite quote in your blog is: A once-in-a-lifetime place calls for a once-in-a-lifetime journey = completely agree!

    • Carmen Edelson

      Thank you so much, I appreciate it!

  5. That sounds absolutely incredible! Interesting story about how it got it’s name. Do you know how he found MP?

    • Carmen Edelson

      With the help of Yale University, and the National Geographic society, he organized an expedition in search of lost Inca empires!

  6. Wow! What a journey. I would definitely spend most of the journey in the observation cart. Eeh Machu Picchu is so high on my bucket list! You are very lucky 😀

    • Carmen Edelson

      It was certainly the trip of a lifetime for me!

  7. this looks like an amazing experience! id love to do it!

    • Carmen Edelson

      It’s such a memorable experience, Dave!

  8. We tackled the Inca Trail a few years ago and got to experience Macui Picchu – amazing. We took a train back to Cusco – and while it was built to be scenic, it certainly wasnt the Blemond Hiram Binham train. We have recently talked about going back – looks like we found our mode of transport. Thanks for sharing Carmen.

    • Carmen Edelson

      So happy to share and to give you a reason to return 🙂

  9. What a way to reach the dream destination of most travelers. The Hiram Bingham train seems to be the last word in luxurious elegance. The interiors are classic vintage and the food and service too seem impeccable. But what is really breathtaking is the observation room, what a great way to travel while viewing the breathtaking landscapes of the region.

    • Carmen Edelson

      All of it was just such an incredible experience! I loved every minute.

  10. Sounds like a really lovely experience! 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson

      Yes, from start to finish!

  11. Oh wow this looks amazing!

    • Carmen Edelson

      I absolutely loved it, Natalie 🙂

  12. Seems to be a really nice and wonderful experience.
    Looks a perfect hotel to spend vacations in.

    • Carmen Edelson

      It’s a train, not a hotel, and it’s very lovely!

  13. renata green
    Reply

    This train looks just wonderful. But I was so blown away by the natural and spiritual beauty of Machu Picchu, I’m not sure I could have appreciated it sufficiently. I’d prefer to take it somewhere not competing with such a unique place 😉

  14. What a way to travel, heading through this amazing landscape is such incredible surroundings and comfort! I think when we visit we’ll end up walking though! ha ha

  15. What an incredible way to travel, I love that you can journey through this amazing landscape in such wonderful surroundings. I think we’ll still end up hiking when we go!

  16. So much fun! Chugging along that colorful countryside looks idyllic to me. I love train excursions. I have done a couple – one in AK from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the other through CO. Beautiful experience.

  17. Your pictures of the train are beautiful! It defintely is the way to go!

  18. Really awesome. I need to travel once in this train.

    • Carmen Edelson

      I hope you get to and enjoy it!

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