With a spirit of adventure built into its name – the American explorer who first photographed the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and brought it to the world’s attention – the luxury Hiram Bingham, a Belmond Train between Poroy and Agua Calientes is the most fabulous way to travel to the wonder of the world that is Machu Picchu.
We were wined, dined and entertained in what was a 3-hour trip to the infamous, historic site. The elegant, deep-blue, tastefully decorated carriages gave us deja vu of the British Pullman train we had the pleasure of riding on just a few months earlier back home in England.
The whole thing seemed quintessentially “British railway journey” in fact, if not for the rugged and beautiful Peruvian landscape sweeping past our windows, as we grazed on elevated silver-service, Peruvian cuisine. The stunning view of the Urubamba River Valley and the Andes was enough to keep us in our seats on our journey up to Machu Pichu on Belmond’s Hiram Bingham, but we did take part in the bar-fueled revelry in the observation car, on the way back down again, where a live band of musicians brought much conviviality to enchanted passengers.
The train journey also included a free tour of the Citadel, which was absolutely spellbinding (that’s both the tour and the site) and high tea at the Sanctuary Lodge, a Belmond Hotel, just adjacent to the entrance of the park.
The Sanctuary Lodge was once the explorer’s lodge of the first tourists that came to visit here. Today, it oozes in simplistic traveller charm (not to mention history, albeit with a Belmond style refurb) with antique furniture and armoires completing the theme, giving us and fellow Belmond fans alike a luxurious take on what the generations of adventurers before us experienced here.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
You don’t have to return on the same train you came arrived on. Staying overnight at the Sanctuary Lodge means that you can be the first to enter the grounds of the Citadel before the other tourists get there in their hoards. This way, you’ll snap some beautiful pictures of this wonderful and spiritual place with nobody in them.