luxury train to machu picchu hiram

Luxury train to Machu Picchu

Being able to know and visit the Inca citadel is an experience that you will never forget in your life. Therefore, many tourists pay for exclusive, even luxurious, services to get to Machu Picchu and obtain a unique experience that will last a lifetime. Therefore, when we talk about the luxury train to Machu Picchu, inevitably we think of the world-famous Hiram Bingham train. However, for a few years, the “First Class” train of Inca Rail came to offer us another alternative of luxury, comfort, and style to get to the famous citadel. So if you are interested in living an exclusive experience on the Machu Picchu journey, the team of Cusco Peru Travel has prepared a small article about these two options to make your trip, something really luxurious and unforgettable.

Everything you need to know about each luxury train option to Machu Picchu

The Hiram Bingham train

luxury train to machu picchu hiram bingham service

The best luxury train to the Inca citadel is without a doubt the Belmond Hiram Bingham of Peru Rail. This train is not an ordinary ride at all. Because its carriages will take you back to another era, and you will feel like you have stepped into an Agatha Christie novel: “Murder on the Orient Express” (It is not surprising that the English railway company – Orient Express – was in charge of the Hiram Bingham train until a few years ago). Consequently, the carriages are decorated in the Pullman English trains style of the 1920s. The fare is not cheap, but the journey is worth it!

A. Itinerary

luxury train to machu picchu itinerary

The Hiram Bingham train has a special itinerary to please all tastes, delicious dishes, a variety of drinks in its open bar, a live Andean music band, and specialist tour guides onboard, among others. All these services will make you live an unforgettable experience. By the way, the luxury train takes its name from a famous American explorer who introduced Machu Picchu to the world in 1911. Let us remember that Machu Picchu had been discovered by a Cusco farmer, Agustin Lizarraga, 9 years before. However, he didn´t have the resources to publicize his discovery to the world. In this sense, Machu Picchu was only known by local people.

Returning to our topic, you will have a detailed itinerary of the Hiram Bingham Service.

1. A welcome drink

We will begin the day with a first-class reception; champagne, citric juices, live Andean music, and local dances in an exclusive salon for the Hiram Bingham train passengers, previous minutes to board. The station of the board are:

  • Wanchaq train station: This station is located in Cusco City. Generally, from it buses (of the same train company Perú Rail) depart at 07:50 am heading to Poroy or Ollantaytambo stations, where the passenger will just make a transfer to the Hiram Bingham.
  • Poroy Train Station: It is located 1 hour from Cusco City. Usually, the Hiram Bingham train departs from it at 09:05 am.
  • Ollantaytambo train station: Ollantaytambo is located 2 hours from Cusco city. Usually, the train departs from it at 10:53 am. Even, this day can be used from the first hours to visit Cusco surrounding and after going to Ollantaytambo.

2. Train trip

At a certain time (depending on the station of departure), the train Maitre will welcome and guide you until your table onboard. Indeed, the Hiram Bingham train is formed of two dining cars with a capacity of 42 people each. In them, you will experience amazing views through some of the most breathtaking sceneries ever in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Andes Mountain range will accompany you along with the raging Urubamba River, which you can enjoy from the observation-bar car, (a third carriage that is part of the Hiram Bingham train).

Nearing the end of the first section of the route, the train will make a stop in the Urubamba train station, (which now belongs, as a private station, to the 5-star hotel Tambo del Inca in the Sacred Valley) to pick up guests of this hotel, and it will continue to the Ollantaytambo train station to pick up more passengers hosted in the different Sacred Valley hotels.

3. The second section of the route

At 10:53 am. You will depart from Ollantaytambo. In the middle of the trip, you can enjoy a complete brunch of 3-times; appetizers, a main course, and dessert. The menu is a special selection of Novo-Andean dishes, prepared with mixed international cuisine techniques, and local ingredients like quinoa, kiwicha, and potatoes among others. After the brunch, you will enjoy the open bar, with unlimited drinks and a live Andean music band in the observation-bar car. In general, from Cusco to Machu Picchu, you will travel approximately 93 kilometers through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, descending more than 1400 meters in altitude on the almost 4-hour journey until Aguas Calientes, the support town of Machu Picchu.

4. Machu Picchu tour

At 12:30 pm. Once arrived at Aguas Calientes town, the Hiram Bingham guides will separate passengers into groups of 10 people and will accompany you to take the exclusive buses heading to Machu Picchu. In this form, the tour of the citadel will begin. Since the Hiram Bingham train departs from Machu Picchu very late in the day, it means you can spend more time at the archaeological site than passengers of other trains services. Even, you won’t have to worry about being late for the bus back down to Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes). Because you will have a tea party in the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (a unique hotel situated on one side of the citadel, on the same top of the mountain) at the end of the tour. Finally, a dedicated bus will take you back down to Aguas Calientes to catch the train of return.

5. Return to Cusco

At 17:50 pm. On the trip back to Cusco, you can enjoy a delicious 3-time dinner before arriving at the Poroy station. Without mentioning the open bar available and the live Andean music band. For security reasons, the observatory car will remain closed on the night return section. Once arrived in Poroy, our tourism company or hotel will pick us up and take us back to the Imperial City. Final of a great Machu Picchu journey!

B. Hiran Bingham service included

luxury train to machu picchu hiram bingham facilities

In short, the train service includes the following services:

  • Special hand luggage of Hiram Bingham services, as a souvenir.
  • Welcome-drink with champagne and citric juices.
  • Typical dances and live Andean music before, onboard, and after the service.
  • A gourmet brunch of 3 times with native ingredients.
  • Open bar during the journey, with a variety of drinks.
  • A car-observatory, where you can enjoy the Andean landscapes, (only outward route)
  • Exclusive tour guides on board and on the Machu Picchu tour.
  • Exclusive buses round trip, Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu.
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu (only citadel)
  • Tour through Machu Picchu.
  • Private tea party in the Belmond Sanctuary lodge hotel (located just in front of the citadel)
  • Gourmet 3 times dinner onboard.
  • Sale of jewelry to souvenirs on board.

The First-Class train

luxury train to machu picchu inca trail

The luxury train First Class is the Inca Rail exclusive option. This provides you with the maximum comfort and space onboard that you can imagine on any trip to Peru. Comfortable and fluffy seats, wide windows to each side, and air conditioning among other services will provide you with a unique experience crossing the beautiful Sacred Valley lands. The Inca Rail Company began operations in 2007. Of the Peruvian capitals, the train company is the leader in the sustainable tourism sector in the Andean country. Therefore, every time you take an Inca Rail service, you will be contributing to the care and preservation of the environment.

A. The First-Class train itinerary

luxury train to machu picchu inca rail

While it’s true that the services of the “First Class” train are very similar to the services of the Hiram Bingham train of Peru Rail. The first is distinguished by its beautifully decorated cars with panoramic windows and comfortable seats, which give it a modern touch. On board, you will admire the unique landscape in the observatory lounge, and enjoy live music, gourmet menus, a bar, and an outdoor terrace, where all the natural landscape and the Andean culture are displayed in front of your eyes. This service includes private transportation from the town of Machu Picchu to the wonderful Inca citadel and unforgettable guidance through the citadel. Following, you will see its itinerary.

1. Pisco welcome drink

All begins between 07:50 – 08:30 am. When an exclusive bus will pick us up from your hotel in Cusco, heading to Ollantaytambo train station. Take note that all Inca Rail trains depart from Ollantaytambo, and no one departs from Cusco or Poroy. The bus trip lasts 02 hours to the train station. At this point, you will join other passengers coming from different Sacred Valley hotels in an exclusive salon destined for the First Class train. There, you can enjoy a welcome drink of Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru.

2. More pisco and live Andean music onboard

After tasting the delicious Pisco Sour, the Maitre will invite you to board the First Class. Following, train personnel will guide you to a comfortable table. And the train will depart at 11:15 am. On board the bar-observatory car, you will have a demonstration of the preparation of different drinks based on the Peruvian pisco. Next, the menu of 3 times will be ready to be served, you’ll return to the tables and enjoy gourmet Peruvian dishes prepared with local ingredients of Sacred Valley and Cusco surrounding zones. While the atmosphere comes alive with Andean music played by a live band. Next, you will be able to admire the unique landscape in the observatory lounge. Next, the natural landscape and the Andean culture will display in front of your eyes on the outdoor terrace. The Train trip lasts 02 hours until Aguas Calientes.

3. Tour to Machu Picchu

You’ll arrive at Aguas Calientes at 13:00 pm. Immediately, the specialist tour guides of the First Class train will accompany you to take the exclusive bus heading to Machu Picchu. There, you will have a guided tour of Machu Picchu with your exclusive tour guide. At the indicated time, you will return on the buses to Aguas Calientes to take advantage of your free time in the town and go for lunch or shopping.

4. Funny return

The return will begin approx at 19:00 pm. At the same, you will have an open bar, with a great variety of beverages, some snacks, some options for Andean Peruvian wines, and the accompaniment of live Andean music. The train trip lasts 02 hours approx up to the Ollantaytambo train station, where you’ll take the exclusive First Class bus to return to Cusco at 23:00 pm approx or to your Sacred Valley hotel. Finish a great Machu Picchu journey.

B. First Class services include

luxury train to machu picchu inca rail services

The First Class train includes the following services:

  • Exclusive bus transportation round trip from Cusco to Ollantaytambo.
  • Train First Class service round trip from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
  • Open bar onboard.
  • Tasty and workshop of Pisco sour on board.
  • 3 times menu gourmet with local ingredients of Sacred Valley.
  • Observatory-car-bar with amazing views of Sacred Valley.
  • Live Andean music band onboard.
  • Specialist tour guides.
  • Exclusive bus round trip to Machu Picchu.
  • Entrances to Machu Picchu (only for citadel visit)
  • Complete tour to Machu Picchu.

Is it worth taking a luxury train to Machu Picchu?

worth it travel in a luxury train

It is a really hard question, and to say that this depends on each person’s budget is to say something trite. If we realize the relation of quality-price, maybe the cost of Hiram Bingham Train service round trip (around $1000.00 approx) or First Class train (around $900.00 approx) will be excessive. This extra cost can be taken advantage of in high-level hotel rooms at any cost to travel to Peru. However, if you want an unforgettable experience for any special occasion like a honeymoon, marriage, or birthday among others, taking one of these luxury trains to Machu Picchu will be worth it. Also, as you can see, on the different luxury trains you can expect the following services:

  • Welcome with live music.
  • Gourmet food.
  • Drinks on board.
  • Comfortable seats and spaces.
  • A safe trip.
  • Cozy and exclusive decoration.
  • Large windows to appreciate the landscapes of the Sacred Valley.
  • An exclusive Machu Picchu tour included.
  • The factor of not worrying about anything except enjoying.


We hope together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel have been helpful. Being able to enjoy a luxury train to Machu Picchu is a great thing to do. You will have a unique experience before knowing the citadel, you will feel like a king at all times. So if you want to have an unparalleled experience, this is your best alternative. Enjoy this unique trip dreamed of by thousands of people in an exceptional way. If you want to know more about how to organize your train trip, you can consult with our advisers. They will be delighted to help you fulfill this dream trip. We will be waiting for your soon visit to the Andean country!

Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here at Cusco Peru Travel, our specialty is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.


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