From remnants of ancient civilisations hidden between mountain ranges, to colourful, crowded cities rife with culture and gastronomy — Peru is undoubtedly one of the most attractive destinations in South America. To help you explore this vast, breathtaking wonderland, Belmond has launched South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer.
Having recently completed its inaugural journey earlier this month from Cusco to Arequipa, the luxury sleeper train sets a new standard for rail travel not just in South America, but in the world. Elegant carriages are designed to give guests panoramic, uninterrupted views of the landscape, weaving and winding through snow-capped mountains, around magnificent lakes, and across verdant grasslands.
Accommodating up to 48 passengers, the Belmond Andean Explorer is designed for ultimate comfort in mind. Relax in the Piano Bar Car, where a grand piano sets the mood for an evening of cocktails and conversation with fellow passengers; or take a seat in the Observation Car, where you can breathe in the fresh Andean air from the open-air deck that lets you fully soak in the surrounding scenery.
Akin to a five-star mobile hotel, you’ll find everything onboard that you’ll need to relax in comfort for the one- or two-night journey. Fully-stocked bars in the carriages let you pass the time sipping on wine and Pisco Sours, while the Llama and Muña carriages provide bright and elegant spaces to savour the refined South American fare from world-renowned chef, Diego Muñoz. Afternoon tea is also available for those seeking a midday treat, and a 24-hour room service menu caters to night owls.
Once your appetite is sated, meander down towards the Boutique carriage to browse the collection of local handicrafts and gift items available for purchase, or head to the library to burrow your head in books exploring the natural wonders and culture of Peru. In the Spa Car, you can unwind with luxurious pampering sessions, featuring products from the renowned Germaine de Capuccini collection alongside an exclusive Andean collection.
The Belmond Andean Explorer offers four types of cabins, each including an en-suite bathroom and shower. The largest Double Cabins feature a plush double bed and a separate seating area with two chairs and a table, a long wardrobe, and spacious bathrooms equipped with a shower, vanity and pedestal washbasin. If you want a traditional sleeper train experience (and a cheaper option), opt for the Bunk Bed Cabins, which feature a more compact space that converts into a long banquette by day, and bunk beds at night.
Mirroring the colourful spirit of South America, train interiors blend traditional designs with Andean accents, using local hand-woven fabrics, and textures chosen to mimic the soft feel of Alpaca wool. Living areas feature bright orange and teal blue as the dominant colour motif, while bathrooms offer a more neutral, elegant look with smooth white finishings and gold accents.
Currently, you can board the Belmond Andean Explorer for either a one- or two-night itinerary journeying across the Andean plains and highlands. To make the most of your trip, embark on the two-night Peruvian Highlands trip from Cusco to Arequipa: In addition to visiting the charming port of Puno and taking a traditional boat ride out to the man-made Uros Islands, you’ll be able to soak up the sunset over the La Raya Mountain range, view the cave paintings in the 8,000-year-old Sumbay Caves, and dig for treasures at the fascinating archaeological site of Raqch’i.
Or perhaps you prefer the Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery Experience, which takes you to explore the ancient agricultural terraces of Taquile Island, where some of the finest textiles in the world are produced. The itinerary also includes a private meal at Collata beach with a performance by local dancers, and a visit to traditional artisans’ workshops to peek into the local culture and perhaps pick up a few trinkets and souvenirs to take home.
No matter which itinerary you choose, a journey on the Belmond Andean Explorer is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Peru. With jaw-dropping vistas unfolding outside, and a luxury five-star experience available on board, this luxury sleeper train makes a strong case for injecting the glamour back into travelling by rail. If you can make your way to South America, this is one experience that’s not to be missed.
Find out more about prices and itineraries for the Belmond Andean Explorer here.