Witness the snow-capped mountains and woolly-coated alpacas of the Peruvian Andes, while relaxing and dining in style.
The Belmond Andean Explorer brings the dream of weaving through the Peruvian Andes without compromising comfort and style to reality. The luxury railway journey brings 5-star hotel comforts with a side of South American handicraft and a grand piano to the tracks, while it chugs its way through the high altitude landscape stretching from the Arequipa to Cusco.
The three-day train ride is anything but dull, between the plush luxury of the cabins and breathtaking views.
There are 24 cabins luxuriously furnished to accommodate 48 passengers, and the train stops at night to ensure no one misses out on their beauty sleep nor the pristine scenery at night. One needs to be awake to take in the beauty of the changing colours of the landscape.
Should you need anything while cosying up in your room, like maybe for a glass of wine, just ring for the attendant. There are 50 staff members at ready around the clock and are more than happy to bring you coca tea (in case you get altitude sickness) or a glass of champagne (for everything else).
The railway journey also promises to be a gastronomical journey, with chefs from Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco, on board. All of the menu, boasting exotic items like alpaca tortellini, will be served in two dining cars.
Feel like the night is too young to retire to bed? Not a problem, as there is plenty of entertainment on the train, from live music to cocktails. You even have the option of taking your drinks to the outdoor terrace and enjoying them under the stars. Bundle up though, as it is chilly at 12,500 feet!
Belmond recently added a spa car to the train for their first anniversary, so a massage while passing by fields of vicunas and llamas is also now an option.
The ride zips from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, through the highest plains of the Andes, to the reflective beauty of Lake Titicaca. Excursions give the opportunity to explore the vast Colca Canyon then continue towards the city centre of Arequipa, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
An additional tour of Lake Titicaca, including the islands of Uros and Taquile, can also be arranged, where you may witness how the locals build their homes by hand and even learn the skill alongside them. About a third of Lake Titicaca is Bolivian, so if you do make a stop at Isla Taquile for lunch, you may be greeted by local musicians of the very musical nation.
Connection to the rest of the world may be a challenge as mobile phone coverage and wifi service are not too great up in the mountains. For those who are not prepared for a digital detox, may we advise that you bring a portable hotspot device to remain connected.
The journey ends in Cusco or Arequipa, where you will have to fly to Lima to board an international flight home. Before that, it would be a shame to not take a couple of days extra to explore the cities and maybe savour some ceviche.
To book your dream train ride, visit their official website.