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Introduction

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.

Peruvian highlands
Peruvian Highlands - Copyright by Belmond
Across Lake Titicaca
Beautiful scenery across the Lake Titicaca - Copyright by Belmond
Greenish Andes
The train follows along the Urubamba river bank  - Copyright by Belmond
Lake Titicaca
The Lake Titicaca in all its splendor - Copyright by Belmond
Observation bar car
Enjoy a Pisco Sour in the Observation bar car - Copyright by Belmond
The bar with a piano
Relax at the elegant and cozy bar with live music  - Copyright by Belmond

The Journey

Andean Explorer map

The Andean Explorer encompasses four different options to explore the region:

Peruvian Highlands

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.

Sunset over La Raya
A real life painting - Copyright by Belmond

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.

The bar
The well decorated bar - Copyright by Belmond

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.

Luxurious Cabin
A 5 star cabin to rest after a long day - Copyright by Belmond

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.

Luxurious Cabin
Start your day with this view at breakfast - Copyright by Belmond

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.

View of Lake Titicaca from Taquile Island
View of Lake Titicaca from Taquile Island - Copyright by Elemaki/Wikimedia

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.

The Colca Canyon
Make the most of the Andean Explorer by visiting the Colca Canyon - Copyright Leonora Enking/Flickr

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.

A panoramic view over the Titicaca
A panoramic view over the Titicaca - Copyright by Belmond
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.

Inside the cabin
Treat yourself well even for one night - Copyrigt by Belmond
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.

The sophisticated restaurant car
The sophisticated restaurant car where the savor of peruvian cuisine is also a major event in the journey - Copyright by Belmond

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.

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