The Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury train that is not only about the landscapes you will be privileged to see...it's a glorious experience in itself.
Operated by Belmond, it is one of the highest train routes in the world where you will travel into the heart of the Inca empire in great style.
The journey brings you across the fascinating Andean mountains, the beautiful Lake Titicaca and the cities of Cusco, Puno and Arequipa. Although it seems just one journey, you have the option of choosing between four different journeys with one or two days travelling, and which cities you prefer to travel to.
Besides, there is also side tours to choose from where you can deepen your experience in Peru and get to know more about the culture, history and cuisine.
The Andean Explorer encompasses four different options to explore the region:
2 days travelling from Cusco, stopping in Puno and ending in Arequipa.
The train departes from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, towards Puno located in the shore of the Lake Titicaca. As soon as you board the train, you will find luxury in every little detail of each car, where a spacious and cozy cabin awaits you.
The first part of the journey follows along the Urubamba river bank, climbing 4800 meters/15,748 ft to the Altiplano, where the Andes are the widest. Watching the mountains from the train going along the river is one of the great reasons to choose the Andean Explorer. Meanwhile, the first lunch is served with traditional Peruvian Andes dishes created by established peruvian chef Diego Munoz in the elegant dining cars.
A brief stop at Raqch' i, an Inca archeological site which served as a control point. is an history lesson about ancient life in the region.
After the visit, return to the train to have a cup of tea and enjoy the sunset hues over La Raya mountain.
The train then continues to the Lake Titicaca where it will stay for the evening. It is time to have a fine dinner and spend the last hours in the bar car where you can relax with a cocktail and live music.
A tiring day comes to an end and you can retreat to your luxurious and confortable cabin to recharge for yet another day of Andean adventures.
Wake up to the sunrise over the Lake Titicaca with a fine breakfast on board. The scenery is great to watch and in the background you can see the Uros islands which marks the next tour you will do. These islands are made of woven reeds and it is a testimonial of the way of life from its inhabitants.
The day is spent with a tour to the islands and also to the beautiful Taquile Island, where you will learn about the life of its inhabitants, the Taquileños, who still preserve most of their traditions as you will notice men knitting the textiles and clothing and women spinning wool. The clothes are amongst the highest quality handicrafts made in Peru.
Forward to Collata Beach for a private lunch with demonstrations from tradicional dancers and art workers.
Sip a cup of tea back in the train after the tour, as the journeys continues to Arequipa. As you find out by now, another delicious peruvian dinner is served and you can finally have a restful night inside your confortable cabin.
The last day is spent with a tour to the Lake Lagunillas and Sumbay Caves in the morning and then lunch on board before reaching Arequipa, the cherry on the cake of this scenic route through the Andes.
You can also leave the train earlier in Cañahuas to explore the Colca Canyon, or follow until the end of the journey...if i was you i would take the chance to visit this place because of its beauty, the Inca and pre-Inca architecture and the animal diversity simbolized by the Andean condor and the alpacas.
Arequipa is the last stop of this luxurious and scenic train journey. It is worth a visit, mainly to the historical centre who has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site.
Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery
This journey is the same as the Peruvian Highlands but this time it departs from Arequipa and ends in Cusco while also stopping in Puno. The journey takes the same two days and you can visit the same points of interest if you left from Cusco instead.
Spirit of the Water
If you prefer, you can choose a shorter journey. The Spirit of the Water is a one night journey starting from Cusco all the way down to Puno and it is more dedicated to the Inca Empire and the Lake Titicaca as its points of interest.
The train departs every tuesday morning.
Spirit of the Andes
The other one night journey, starts in Puno and ends in Cusco, departing every wednesday at midday. As soon as the journey starts, you will be introduced to peruvian cuisine with a sophisticated lunch in the restaurant car.
Tickets and Rail Passes
All the cabins are like small Art Deco rooms although there are different configurations. All of them have a shower and washbasin but the bigger Deluxe and Junior compartments have double beds, the Twin has two beds side by side and the Bunk has a upper and lower bed.
No matter which one you choose, you will be certain to have a very special journey.
Prices are shown below and they can be booked through Perurail's website .
Cusco - Puno - Arequipa/Arequipa - Puno - Cusco (2 nights)
|Type of cabin||Prices|
|Deluxe Doube Bed||3,790 USD / 3,070 EUR|
|Junior Doube Bed||3,385 USD / 2,740 EUR|
|Twin Bed||2,985 USD / 2,420 EUR|
|Bunk Bed||2,565 USD / 2,080 EUR|
Cusco - Puno/Puno - Cusco (1 night)
|Type of cabin||Prices|
|Deluxe Double Bed||1,460 USD / 1,180 EUR|
|Junior Double Bed||1,305 USD / 1060 EUR|
|Twin Bed||1,140 USD / 920 EUR|
|Bunk Bed||970 USD / 785 EUR|
Enjoy this great railway journey and make the most of every minute.