Peru is one of the most scenic countries in South America, especially the Andean Plateau, or as it’s known in Spanish, the Altiplano. The name means high plains, which makes sense, as the average elevation is over 12,000 feet. It’s strikingly beautiful, and there is a new way to explore the area.
The Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxury sleeper train, that travels between Arequipa and Cusco at a steady 20 miles per hour- just enough that you can take in all the beauty of the mountains and enjoy the occasional llama sighting.
The train is high class but also has medical care. Why? Because of the elevation and the subsequent lack of oxygen, some passengers get lightheaded or nauseous. So they have a nurse on board as well as oxygen tanks, so passengers can breathe pure O2 deeply.
There is a car which has a piano in it, so people can play a soundtrack that matches the beauty of the views, as well as a library, to pass the journey (which takes 45 minutes by plane- Peru is huge), and of course, a dining car.
On the way, travelers get to see Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon, the latter of which is the third-most trekked landmark by tourists of Peru. Its popularity stems from the fact that it’s twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, so a curious American (along with 47 others- the capacity of the train) can explore and be in awe.
Thirsty? They have a special drink on the Belmond Andean Explorer: Pisco cocktails. Pisco is a brandy that was made in Peru and dates back to at least 1764.
The carriages themselves are historic, from the Great South Pacific Express, which ran on the Australian coast. They were given a refurbishing, and but kept certain elements like the brass luggage racks, to give it that throwback charm.
There’s nothing like seeing Peru in this unique way. All aboard!