After a good night of sleep and a leisurely morning at the Hotel Jose Antonio in Puno. We had to be at 11 am at the private railway station of Belmond in Puno. The beautiful Andean Explorer Train was waiting for us next to the fantastic, large Ollanta Steam Ship. The check-in to the Andean Explorer Train was done fast, in a professional way. In the meantime, we met our fellow train travelers and drank a glass of champagne in the station’s waiting room. The train started to move while all the train travelers met in the bar wagon, listening to the tour program and instructions about the security measures on the train. Individually, the guests were guided to their train cabins and showed the cabin features.
Journey Andean Explorer Train
The first highlight of the train journey happened an hour after the train departed from Puno. As soon as the train left the railway station of Juliaca at Km 43 from Puno, the train crossed the busy, narrow market street of Juliaca for about 10 minutes. Market sellers had to shut down their colorful stalls when the train passed to re-open them behind the train. This is a fantastic spectacle to watch from the train’s observation car at the end of the train.
As soon as the train left the city of Juliaca, a 3-course-lunch was served in the dining car. Attention was spent on every detail, and an excellent wine selection was available on the train. During the rest of the afternoon, train guests had time to enjoy the journey in their cabin or in the observation car when the train traveled up to La Raya, the highest point of the train journey at 4335 m (14’222ft) above sea level. The Andean Explorer Train reached La Raya just before it got dark. The spectacular mountain scenery with snow-capped mountains in the late afternoon sun was striking. As soon as the train entered the upper Urubamba Valley from La Raya, a Piano player entertained the guests in the Bar wagon where an Aperitive was served. The 3-course Dinner started at about 7:30 pm before the train reached the railway-station in Cusipata. The Andean Explorer Train is parked in Cusipata until the next morning. We had time to finish the evening at the bar of the observation car.
The train journey continued at 5:30 am the following day. Breakfast was served from 6:00 am in the dining car. The Andean Explorer Train finally reached Cusco at 7:35 am.
My hotel room at the Hotel Novotel in Cusco was not ready early morning. Therefore, I decided to immediately start the city tour in Cusco and check-in to the hotel around midday.
Andean Explorer Tour Options
The Andean Explorer Train Journey is available as a short trip Cusco – Pono or Puno – Cusco and as a more extended trip Cusco – Puno – Arequipa or Arequipa – Puno – Cusco. The extended trip includes an excursion to Lake Titicaca, where you visit the floating islands of the Uros and Taquile Island. In 2020, we don’t have the Andean Explorer Train in one of our tour programs. The Perurail Titicaca Train from Puno to Cusco is part of our tours Journey from Buenos Aires to Lima and Rail Adventures in the Andes.
A journey on the Belmond Andean Explorer Train is a Lifetime Experience. Travel from Cusco to Puno or Arequipa and enjoy the most breathtaking Andean scenery you can imagine.