Some of the world’s best rail journeys await you in South America. Whether you prefer dramatic mountain landscapes or you love tropical rainforests or infinite pampas, in South America, you find Train journeys for all interests and preferences. Today I introduce you to some of the most exciting train trips on the South American continent.
The Perurail Titicaca Train
One of the most famous trains in South America is the “Perurail Titicaca Train” (former Andean Explorer). The train ride from Cusco to Lake Titicaca takes 10 hours. You enjoy the stunning scenery out of the windows of Pullman wagons that give you a feel from the 1920s. Included in the ticket price is a 3-course gourmet menu with a glass of excellent wine of your selection. Experience the journey and mountain scenery sipping a drink at the al-fresco-observation bar-wagon. The “Perurail Titicaca Train” runs two trains per week in each direction between Cusco and Puno at the Lake Titicaca. The “Perurail Titicaca Train” is part of our trip, “Journey from Buenos Aires to Lima.” Only train tickets can be booked at Perurail.
The Train Journey over the Devil’s Nose in Ecuador
The Devil’s Nose Train runs on the route Alausí – Sibambe – Alausí in central Ecuador. The name of the train comes from the “Devil’s Nose” mountain ridge over which the train winds. The Devil’s Nose is a 500 m vertical drop where the railway does a Switchback. Since you cannot make the journey anymore on the train’s roof, you have not to be afraid of heights. Railway fans can make the complete route of the Tren Crucero traveling from Quito to Duran or vice versa in 4 Days. Unfortunately, the Tren Crucero rail route is interrupted at some places, and you have to travel exciting parts by bus. For more information about the Nariz del Diablo train trip, consult the webpage of Trenecuador
Serra Verde Express, Brazil
The Serra Verde Express in Brazil runs from Curitiba at 800 m.a.s.l. to Moretes at sea level. The 3 hour train journey goes right through the jungle when descending in spectacluar slopes from the Serra do Mar to Moretes at sea level. The train has various travel clases, I recommend traveling in a carriage where you can open the windows. I don’t recommend reserving a seat in the air-conditioned “First Class” carriages on this train because feeling the tripical breeze is part of the fun when traveling on this train. There are only a few trains in South America that penetrate as deeply into the jungle as the Serra Verde Express. When traveling from Curitiba, you should book a seat the left-hand side from where you have the most amazing views of the Serra do Mar. The Serra Verde Express is part of our trip, “Brazil by Train.”
Expreso Oriental Santa Cruz de la Sierra – San Jose de Chiquitos, Bolivia
The Expreso Super Pulman leaves the largest Bolivian City of Santa Cruz de la Sierra at 13:20 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Train runs across the flatlands east of Santa Cruz to the Chiquitania Region with its famous Jesuit Missions. The Train reaches San Jose de Chicquitos at 19:30. Most local travelers continue the train journey to Puerto Quijarro at the Brazilian Border, where the train arrives the next morning. Locals sell drinks and snacks on the train, but it is always a good idea to have a personal food reserve with you in case the train gets delayed. Have your hotel in San Jose booked in advance and ask for the transfer from the railway station to the hotel, especially if you stay in one of the better hotels out of town.