Belmond Andean Explorer, launched in May 2017, is South America’s first luxury sleeper train. It replaces the eponymous Pullman day train, between Cusco and Puno, at Lake Titicaca. By the new train this trip is converted to a one-night journey, and extended from Puno for another overnight ride to Arequipa.
Fresh, bold and wild, Andean Explorer arrives on the horizon in striking style as the first luxury sleeper train in South America. The silky midnight-blue livery of the train’s 16 carriages shimmers against the backdrop of Peru’s lofty landscapes as it soars across the Andean plains.
From Cusco the train climbs to 4,800 metres (15,700 ft) on the Altiplano, before arriving at Lake Titicaca to pause for excursions to floating islands. It then continues to Arequipa, a city with a UNESCO World Heritage Site centre, stopping en route at Sumbay Caves. It is possible to add on a visit to the Colca Canyon, known for its condors.
The trainset used to serve as the Great South Pacific Express in Australia between 1999 and 2003. The since-mothballed carriages were shipped to Peru in February 2016, where they were refurbished. The three accommodation levels of the GSPE with double, twin and bunk beds – all of them with en-suite bathroom – has been kept, as well as the two dining and bar cars, and the last car having an open-air observation deck.
Belmond Andean Explorer is owned by PeruRail, and is a 50%/50% joint venture between Belmond and Peruvian investor Lorenzo Sousa, Founder and Chairman of the Board of PeruRail SA. It will be operated by PeruRail, which also has the Hiram Bingham Pullman train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
3 Days – 2 nights: Cusco – Puno – Arequipa. Embark on the ultimate Peruvian escape and journey from Cusco to Arequipa in style, visiting charming Puno and the majestic Lake Titicaca. Tours each day let uncover the hidden gems of this fascinating land.