A trip to Peru offers anyone an amazing adventure, but what makes Peru extra special is that it is not just the destinations that are breathtaking and diverse; it is also the travelling part of the trip, whether by plane, boat, car, bus or train, you are guaranteed to see something that will give you those Goosebumps of amazement or joy. One of these journeys is the wonderful train journey between Cusco and Puno high up in the skies of the magical Andean Mountain Range.
This train journey is an excellent addition to your trip to Machu Picchu, where the Andean Explorer train takes around 10 hours to wind its way through the clouds and snow-capped mountains from the historic Peruvian city of Cusco to Puno and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. You can also take the train in the other direction if you visited Puno and Lake Titicaca first.
The train is decorated like the 1920’s Pullman trains, which is unique to anything in South America. There are comfortable armchairs and tables with brass lamps, and more importantly a very large window for you to admire the breathtaking scenery, of which you won’t be able to take your eyes off. At the rear of the train there is an open-air observation car where you can breathe in the Andean air and take pictures of the landscape and animals such as the Vicuña and Alpaca. However, the open-air car is available to the Andean Explorer Class and not the Backpacker Class, so it depends on which ticket you buy.
During the train journey, typical Peruvian food and drink (including the famous Pisco Sour) will be on offer, along with live entertainment of Peruvian music and dances to keep you fully entertained on your trip.
The train stops for 10 minutes at the highest point of the journey at a place called La Raya, which is situated at a dizzying height of 4,321 meters above sea level and is 210km from Lake Titicaca.
The price of the trip (as of September 2012) varies from $140 if you travel from Puno to Cusco or from $200 if you travel the other way from Cusco to Puno. A 3 course lunch is included in the ticket of a starter, main course and dessert. There is also a full menu with a selection of the finest Peruvian food and drink on offer at an extra cost. The train travels every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday during the summer months of November and March. Between the months of April and October the train goes an extra day in the week on Friday.
So why not give yourself a real treat on your trip to Peru and get on-board the Andean Explorer for a journey that you will never forget.