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Discover Peru with South America's first luxury train

Nadja Beschetnikova
April 26, 2018

Luxury trains now exist on almost every continent and arouse lively interest among tourists. These ‘hotels on wheels’ are an excellent opportunity to explore the remotest corners of the country without sacrificing comfort and safety. But Peru's new luxury train stands out among its competitors. This is not only South America's first luxury train, but it also operates at the highest railway lines in the world.

The Belmond Andean Explorer offers four different tours, including "Peruvian Highlands". This trip, starting from the old Inca capital Cusco, will last two nights and three days and lead to the highest level of the Andes at 4,800 meters. The train covers 688 kilometres, the maximum speed is 48 km/h. The highlight of the journey is a visit to the mighty Colca Canyon, home of the heraldic animal of many Andean states, the condor. The final stop is Puno, from where guests can visit remote villages or the floating islands on Lake Titicaca.

When fully occupied, the train consists of 16 cars. Eight of them are passenger sleeping cars in four categories: Deluxe Double Bed, Junior Double Bed, Twin Bed and Bunk Bed. They offer space for a maximum of 48 passengers. There’s also a spa car with three treatment rooms.
Each cabin features a double bed, two armchairs, chest of drawers, and bathroom with shower. Passengers can take advantage of a dining car, observatory, and bar, though too much alcohol is not recommended at such a height.

A pianist plays in the salon, and there's also live jazz in the evening. If you prefer it quiet, you can retire to the library corner. Thirty servicemen are taking care of passengers’ comfort, including waiters, cooks, musicians, security personnel, technicians, chambermaids and train attendants. The hotel service at this altitude naturally also includes the nurse. All cars are named after the flora and fauna, which the train passes along the way.

The equipment of the train should reflect colours and textures of the Andes and create a connection to the magnificent landscape and the beauty of nature. The interior design was commissioned to Inge Moore by "The Gallery HBA", one of the world's leading hospitality design companies. Designers focused on gray tones that resonate with the color of the mountains. This creates a quiet and softly coloured travel environment in which guests can relax.

The acquaintance with the local culture begins for passengers already on the train, namely in a cozy dining car. The chefs from the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco developed a unique menu that focuses on the local ingredients, such as trout from Lake Arapa or vegetables from Valle Sagrado, the sacred valley of the Incas.

A six-headed kitchen brigade creates a famous Peruvian fusion cuisine, including dishes producing a strong impression on Europeans such as alpaca tortellini or the purple maize pudding mazamorra.

Though the whole trip, from the interiors to the landscape, is very instagrammable, you have to wait till you finally can share your experience on social media. The whole train is without cell phone reception.  

Ticket prices including meals, drinks and excursions start at $480 per person per night.