Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

Hiram Bingham Train

Last updated: 21 March, 2024

If you’re not hiking the Inca Trail, this is the way to reach the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in comfort and style. Starting from the former Inca capital at Cusco, you’re whisked through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, past the towering Inca fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo before entering the rainforest-shrouded Urubamba Valley.

Named after the man who rediscovered the ruins of Machu Picchu in 1911, this specially built narrow-gauge train has opulent carriages redolent of 1920s Pullman cars, with comfortable armchairs surrounded by varnished wood and brass fittings. Food is served in the dining car on fine white linen; dishes feature local ingredients in unfamiliar ways (with abundant Pisco Sours). A band plays Peruvian music with the cajón and tambourines in the bar car.

There are wonderful views en route – misty mountains, forgotten Quechua villages, distant ridges of serrated snow-capped peaks. The open observation car at the back of the train is the perfect place to soak in the views.

Transfers, guides and tea at the exclusive Sanctuary Lodge are included in the price.

Logistics

Price from: £550
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 3 hours

Getting there & doing it

The Belmond Hiram Bingham train departs from two stations: Poroy, 18km from Cusco, and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, 62km from Cusco, hugging the Urubamba River until Aguas Calientes station (down the mountain from Machu Picchu). It’s a three-hour ride (from Cusco) or 2 hours (from Ollantaytambo).

There are dining carriages, a lounge-bar and an observation area. A coach (included in the price) takes passengers from the train to the ruins on arrival at the station. Tour guides are provided. Entrance is included in the price. Meals comprise brunch on the way out, dinner on the way back and afternoon tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Peru Rail runs cheaper daily services using Vista Dome trains with clear glass roofs. These run daily from Urubamba and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Cusco – some of them from the city’s central San Pedro station.

When to do it

The Hiram Bingham service runs every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

June to August is dry but peak season for visitors. March to May & October to early November is shoulder season with fewer tourists and generally good weather. Avoid December to early March when rain and clouds obscure the views.

Who to go with: organised tours

2

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Hiram Bingham Round Trip Luxury Train to Machu Picchu

  • Cusco

Hiram Bingham Round Trip Luxury Train to Machu Picchu

Viator

Experience first-class transport and dining all the way to Machu Picchu and back aboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham train, equipped with classic 1920s Pullman cars that hold no more than 84 passengers. During this luxurious journey through breathtaking Andean landscapes, you get to enjoy a tablecloth lunch and dinner served with free-flowing wines by an attentive staff. Enjoy transfer rides reserved for Hiram Bingham passengers and tour world-famous Machu Picchu. Before you head back to Cusco (and reality), stop for afternoon tea at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel on the ancient site.

Price $1,020

Min age 3

Rating 4.5 / 5 [134 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Belmond Hiram Bingham Train to Machupicchu - Full Day

  • Cusco

Belmond Hiram Bingham Train to Machupicchu - Full Day

Viator

Travel through the Peruvian Andes on a train modeled on the Pullman cars of the 1920s The Belmond Hiram Bingham train not only makes this possible, it turns a magical journey into an unforgettable experience, with personalized service that takes care of every last detail on your trip. Enjoy the Belmond Hiram Bingham Unique Train and delight the elegant dining car, the bar car, and the observatory*, where you can take in the unmatched scenery in the open air while sipping on a traditional Peruvian cocktail and listening to live local music. Start your experience off with a welcome cocktail. Once onboard, the maître will invite you to a brunch and gourmet lunch. The return trip includes a fine dining experience at dinner. In both cases, you can accompany your meals with beverages (non-premium) and an excellent wine selection.

Price $1,350

Min age 11

Rating 4.78 / 5 [28 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Destination guides

2

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Cusco

  • Cusco Region, Peru

Aerial view of the Cusco town in Peru

Destination guide

The heart of the old Inca empire has a wealth of Inca ruins, Spanish treasures and historic architecture to explore.

Peru

  • Peru

Peru

Destination guide

A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience

Bullet train speeding in front of Mount Fuji

Inspiration

Be it jaw-dropping scenery, a rich historical significance, the tradition and atmosphere of the train itself – or a combination of all three – here’s our round-up of the world’s best.