Travel in style aboard Belmond Andean Explorer, the first luxury sleeper train in South America. The train operates 2 different routes: Cusco to Arequipa via Lake Titicaca, and Cusco to Puno; each also operating in the reverse direction. Both journeys include stops at points of interest and guided tours, though the highlight of the journey is time spent on board, enjoying the relaxed pace of travel, the refined interiors, haute cuisine and high levels of service.
There are 4 categories of cabin, all with en-suite shower room, a daytime sitting area and storage space for clothes. Bunk bed cabins are the cosiest, with twin cabins providing extra room. Both of these cabins have beds that are transformed into sofas during the day. There are 2 types of double rooms, each of the same size and both with a living area, and with deluxe cabins having larger shower rooms.
All trains are identically configured and have ample communal areas. Lounge and bar cars are social spaces where you can get to know fellow passengers. The bar car has a resident pianist to enliven the atmosphere. The observation car is the best place from which to watch the impressive scenery, with open air seating available. An unexpected bonus on board the train is the spa car for soothing and pampering treatments.
Dining is very much a part of the Belmond Andean Explorer experience, with all meals included during your time on board. The executive chef is Diego Munoz, known for his championing of Peruvian cuisine, who has designed the train's menus, so you can be assured of the highest quality food. There is an impressive selection of wines to compliment each dish.
Photographs courtesy Belmond Andean Explorer
Operates: Belmond Andean Explorer operates all year, apart from February.
Location: Belmond Andean Explorer operates two routes: between Cusco and Arequipa via Lake Titicaca, and between Cusco and Puno. Both routes operate in both directions.
Accommodation: The train carries up to 48 passengers. There are 4 cabin types. Bunk bed cabins occupy 5.5sqm, and during the day the bunk beds double as sofa. There is a wardrobe. The an en-suite bathroom has a shower, hand basin and toilet. Twin cabins are 7.4sqm and the 2 beds form a long sofa by day, have a wardrobe and a similar bathroom to the bunk bed cabins. Junior double cabins have a lounge area, a wardrobe and similarly sized en-suite bathroom to the twin cabins. The deluxe double cabin has a lounge area and a larger en-suite bathroom. Both double cabins are 31.1sqm in size.
Activities: Relax on board and enjoy the attentive service and facilities as you watch the changing scenery through the large windows. With lounge, observation and bar cars there are plenty of spaces to relax, and you can treat yourself to a spa treatment, too, to be booked and paid for on board.
Each route features stops and guided tours, with English and Spanish-speaking guides:
Travelling from Cusco to Arequipa, a 2-night journey called ‘Peruvian Highlands’, you stop at the Inca site of Raqch’I, have a boat ride to the Uros Islands and Taquile Island on Lake Titicaca, Lake Lagunillas and Sambay Caves. On this route it is possible to disembark at Canahuas if you want to visit the Colca Canyon on your trip (note this is not part of the Andean Explorer itinerary). This trip leaves every Thursday morning.
In the reverse direction, called ‘Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery’, also 2 nights on board, you stop at Lake Titicaca as above, and Raqch’i. This train departs every Saturday evening.
The 1-night route from Cusco to Puno. ‘Spirit of the Water’, stops at Raqch’I. On arrival at Puno a tour of Lake Titicaca can be arranged, at extra cost. This journey departs every Tuesday morning.
The 1-night ‘Spirit of the Andes’ from Puno to Cusco, stops at La Raya in the mountains. It departs every Wednesday at 12:00hrs.
Facilities: Each train has a total of 18 coaches or cars, including an observation car, lounge car, piano bar car, 2 dining cars and a spa car. It also has a boutique open from 11am till 7pm each day, a library with a collection of reference books.
Dining: Meals are refined Andean cuisine with menus designed by Diego Munoz, a well-known Peruvian chef and Executive Chef for Belmond Andean Explorer. Meals are served in the 2 elegant dining cars. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are served daily. All meals are included during your trip. There is a choice of dishes. Vegetarian and children’s meals can be arranged. Room service is available round the clock.
Children: Children of all ages are permitted on board. However, the train is viewed mainly as an adult experience so, although children's meals can be provided on request, there are no high chairs, cots etc.
Communication: There is no Wi-Fi internet access.
Notes: Peruvian Nuevo Sol and US Dollars are accepted on the train.
Charter services are available on request.
A pleasing combination of history, scenery, culture and cuisine, this 12-day holiday gives a real insight into life, past and present, of Peru.