A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.
Belmond has become a byword for luxury train travel, and South America’s first luxury sleeping-car train has become the way to explore the austere beauty of the altiplano south of Cusco.
The two-night tour between Cusco and Arequipa takes in the journey takes in the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca, cave art thousands of years old, and the World Heritage Site of Arequipa. Wild grasses cover the hillsides rising up to snowy summits until the train descends to more fertile country dotted with adobe villages.
As a new train, it’s beautifully designed and has every amenity, but it inevitably lacks that sense of authenticity from times gone by.
Getting there & doing it
Trains start at either Cusco or Arequipa. There are additional options to explore the Colca Canyon and stay at Belmond’s luxury retreat in the canyon, Las Casitas. The train can also be paired with Belmond’s Hiram Bingham day train from Cusco to the mountain-top ruins of Machu Picchu.
The carriages include all-en-suite sleeping cars for 48 guests, two dining cars, a lounge car, an observation car with open deck, and a spa car. Seasonal menus with an Andean flavour are devised by the chefs at Belmond’s Hotel Monasterio in Cusco.
When to do it
The only month the train does not operate is February. The best months are May to October when there is a greater chance of clear skies and crystal-clear light.
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