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Hiram Bingham train - worth it?

Hiram Bingham train - worth it?

Old Dec 24, 2023, 2:24 pm
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Hiram Bingham train - worth it?

Hi here, and happy Xmas to all!

Anyone here who has experienced the Hiram Bingham train between Cusco and Aguascalientes (Machu Picchu)?

Is it really worth the $1000 per person; the difference with the regular tourist train is steep to say the least!
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Old Dec 26, 2023, 9:55 am
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This is too subjective a question - it all depends on you. It is common for folks to say the journey is more important than the destination. But MP is one of those trips where the destination really is more the point. What is the purpose of your trip? How do you usually live and travel? When I went my Dad paid for the trip as a bucket-list trip with me and my brother so he splurged. We took one of the regular trains on the way back. We were not disappointed with either train trip. We were more interested in the views and conversation than drinks, cushy pub chairs, food and drink.

It is not a very long ride, 3-4 hours, depending on which station you depart, so the higher level comfort is not as impactful on a train where one can walk around easily as it might be on a very long airplane ride in coach. And the view is the same no matter what train car you see it from. If cost is not an issue, go for it - you will have those memories forever. If cost is an issue and you might use that money for more or other experiences on this major trip, then hold off - the HB won't make the destination itself any different.
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Old Dec 26, 2023, 2:23 pm
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We were more interested in the views and conversation than drinks, cushy pub chairs, food and drink.
Yeah it's precisely about the worth of the food and drink I was wondering about. How exceptional is the qualtiy? You say it was "the memory to last forever" so what exactly is there onboard to make for that? I'm intregued!

Doing it just one way seems like a good tip thanks. I would probably be more keen to do it on the way back, because drinking alcohol when you're on your way to MP seems like not the way forward...
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Old Dec 26, 2023, 4:43 pm
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We only took the train to Aguas Calientes from Ollantaytambo and back there. On the way back, we rode in the Vistadome car; it has bigger plusher seats and larger windows - on the side and in the roof - than the regular cars. We were served a complimentary boxed meal, not bad, but I don't remember what, and beverages. There was entertainment in the form of indigenous dance and music and a fashion show.



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Old Dec 27, 2023, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Maestro Ramen
Yeah it's precisely about the worth of the food and drink I was wondering about. How exceptional is the qualtiy? You say it was "the memory to last forever" so what exactly is there onboard to make for that? I'm intregued!

Doing it just one way seems like a good tip thanks. I would probably be more keen to do it on the way back, because drinking alcohol when you're on your way to MP seems like not the way forward...
Apparently sometime in the last year I must have been good because I was treated to a bib gourmand restaurant last weekend. The train is very very good, but I don't recall it being near that level. I dunno, much like getting access to a suite or the premium club seats at a major sporting event, is the food/drink worth hundreds more $ per person? Most folks would probably say no. But again, when will you have the opportunity to watch a game from a suite or travel in those kind of train cars? Thats a memory you wont soon forget.

As far as when to drink: remember that Cusco is at 3,400 metres while MP is "only" 2,400 metres.
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Old Jan 8, 2024, 7:59 am
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Have a look at the Sacred Valley train also operated by PeruRail. I booked it because I could disembark at the private platform at Tambo del Inka at Ollantaytambo. It was a beautiful, luxurious train - rich tapestries, great staff - and they served a lovely dinner. Theres a bar car and observation car. It was quite a bit less than HB, but looked as opulent.
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