Fancy traversing Peru’s vast terrain overnight and waking up to an up-close view of the world’s longest mountain range, the Andes? Come next May, luxury travel group Belmond will launch South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the 68-passenger Belmond Andean Explorer. Guests can choose from four itineraries, during which they can disembark at various stops to explore sites that are a mix of natural attractions and heritage cities.
Of course one could choose a car tour to take in the majestic scenery. But those who choose to do so will miss out on the train-only accessible path that takes one from Puno and Lake Titicaca, Peru’s largest lake, to Unesco World Heritage Site Arequipa where the indigenous continue pre-Inca traditions and farming practices on the Colca Canyon (said to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, US). Here’s what else you need to know about one of the highest rail routes.
01: TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Since the train climbs 4,800m when it travels through the highest plains of the Andes, altitude sickness may strike. Symptoms include headaches, fatigue and nausea. Eat high-carb foods, sleep regularly and stay hydrated to combat the mountain malady.
02: PALATE PLEASER
Meals will be prepared by sister property and five-star hotel Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco. Menus are seasonal and feature both local and international cuisine, offering fresh and locally sourced ingredients for an immersive Peruvian experience.
03: COMFORT AT ITS FINEST
All cabins – there are two double, 20 twin and 12 bunk bed rooms – come with a bathroom. Award-winning designer Inge Moore highlights a Latin American aesthetic inspired by handwoven Peruvian fabrics, alpaca wool and Andean slate greys.