Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

On Tuesday it was time to hop in yet another taxi to take us from Cusco to Poroy to the train station.  I had not realized the train was not in Cusco, but the next village over, which seemed pretty seedy driving there.  It got it’s name from the Spanish Conquistadors stopping saying that they had gone far enough “por hoy” (for today), before conquering Cusco the next day. The hotel called a taxi for us & on the way over I was chatting with the driver in Spanish some.  Our train would get back around 9:30 the next night and I knew there would not be cabs waiting by the train station that late and the area seemed sketchy.  He said no problemo, and had me write my name in a book for the time & said he would send someone.  Yay!  Now we could enjoy our deluxe train, the Hiram Bingham.  There are three levels of train service and since we used miles for the airfare we chose the top level – porters greet you with trays of champagne and mimosas while local performers play music and dance to entertain while you board – and the train!  It is a renovated 1940’s Pullman with full dining cars, lamps, linens, china and silver, 3/4 courses & all you can drink, plus a wonderful bar car with open observation deck on the back & live music.  The service and food were amazing and someone is constantly bringing you more drinks – we loved it.  Here are a few pics to give you a sense of what it was like –

Once we arrived in Aguas Calientes we had to board a shuttle to get to Machu Picchu.  Included in the train ticket was full access and a four hour English guide, plus tea in the Sanctuary Lodge up there.  After a full day we came back to Aguas Calientes and had dinner – it is a really cute village and our hotel was basically a tree house on the side of a mountain with incredible views.  The next day instead of going back to Machu Picchu we hiked along the train and trails into the jungle to a nature preserve and waterfalls called Jardines de Mandor.  It was really beautiful and orchids grow like weeds there, plus bananas and all kinds of interesting flora and fauna.  The finaly day was shopping/haggling for local art and goods and then the long journey home via the train (again fabulous with 4 course dinner), flight from Cusco the following a.m. and finally the following evening the long flight back from Lima.  Here are the final highlights –

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About juantana

SQL Server DBA working for the Federal gov't and enjoying life in the nation's capital. I enjoy sailing, hiking, camping, kayaking, biking, travel, museums, technology and wine.
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One Response to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.

  1. Pingback: Cusco. | juantana

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