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Belmond Andean Explorer trains

Belmond (previously Orient-Express) introduced a new luxury sleeper service in Peru on 4 May 2017, which we describe below. At the time the existing train (which confusingly had also been called the 'Andean Explorer') was expected to stop operating, but it turns out that it will still run, see separate paragraph below for details.

Belmond Andean ExplorerBelmond Andean Explorer

We have set out our understanding of the various options in a clear and straightforward format, which we hope is helpful. The following paragraphs describe what the train will do over its weekly cycle. Some timings are approximate. The headings in each case are the name given to the particular departure - the actual train in all cases is the same.

Spirit of the Water (1 night)

Piano barPiano bar

Tuesday
1100:  depart Cusco towards Puno - lunch
Afternoon: disembark and visit Raqch'i (an Inca site quite near Cusco, impressive 14m walls) - tea
Evening: ascend La Raya pass - dinner on board - sleep on train (lake edge)

Wednesday
Sunrise - breakfast - disembark Puno

Spirit of the Andes (1 night)

Dining carDining car

Wednesday 1200: depart Puno towards Cusco - lunch
Afternoon: disembark for excursion in La Raya pass
Evening: Tea - cocktails - dinner - sleep on train

Thursday
Morning: disembark Cusco

Peruvian Highlights (2 nights)

Junior suiteJunior suite

Thursday morning: depart Cusco towards Puno - lunch
Afternoon: disembark and visit Raqch’i (an Inca site quite near Cusco, impressive 14m walls) - tea
Evening: ascend La Raya pass - dinner on board - sleep on train (lake edge)

Friday
Sunrise - breakfast
Morning: disembark for tours to Uros and Taquile (lunch served here)
Afternoon: train departs towards Arequipa - tea - disembark and visit Arequipa
Evening: embark again and retrace your steps as far as Cañahuas, sleep on board

Saturday
Morning: breakfast - disembark for trip to Lake Lagunillas and Sumbay caves (paintings up to 8,000 years old) - lunch
Afternoon: lunch - disembark Arequipa (optional trip end before lunch for those wanting to continue towards Colca)

Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery (2 nights)

Bunk cabinBunk cabin

Saturday evening: depart Arequipa towards Puno - dinner - sleep on board

Sunday
Sunrise - breakfast - arrive Puno
Morning: disembark for tours to Uros and Taquile (lunch served here)
Afternoon: embark - tea - descend La Raya pass - dinner - sleep on board (at Marangani)

Monday
Breakfast.
Morning: disembark and visit Raqch’i
Early afternoon: arrive and disembark Cusco

The Peru Rail Titicaca train

Peru Rail trainPeru Rail train

This service still operates, 3 days per week in either direction. Cusco-Puno operates on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; Puno-Cusco on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday. It takes 8-10 hours on the same track used by the Belmond-branded train. There are no off-train excursions (the train pauses for a few minutes at La Raya pass where locals sell souvenirs) but apart from comfortable seats in the carriages there is an observation car, and two dining cars where a fine lunch and afternoon tea are served, the former with wine.

This service is not a sleeper; all the Belmond-branded services now are.

Peru Rail is 50% owned by Belmond (ex-Orient-Express).

Comments

I have been told the Andean Express will now cease to operate mid April is this correct
Comment by: David Bastin on 14 Mar 2017 21:00
We have clients booked on the 28 April departure so I sincerely hope it will be running until then!
Comment by: Edward Paine on 15 Mar 2017 15:41
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