Hiram Bingham & Andean Explorer Trains
From Cusco To Machu Picchu, Puno, Arequipa - 7 Nights
- Departing from:
- Machu Picchu, Puno, Arequipa
- 7 Nights
- Every Monday - May to December
- Tour Operator:
- Rail South America
- Reference Code:
Price per person
Come aboard and experience the best of the best train journeys in South America, an eight-day, seven-night magical journey through spectacular mountainous terrain to Peru’s most intriguing Andean traveler destinations, including Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Arequip
The journey begins in downtown Cusco, from which we travel on the Incarail First Class Train to Machu Picchu. This portion of the journey includes ascending zigzags inside Cusco itself as the train gains altitude to reach the station of Porroy. After a private visit to Machu Picchu, we have dinner aboard the luxury Belmond Hiram Bingham train on the return journey to Cusco.
We continue the journey on the luxury sleeper train Belmond Andean Explorer, among the most luxurious and spectacular train journeys in the world. The Andean Explorer Train carries us through the mountains to Puno, a town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where we visit the Floating Islands of the Uros and the Taquile Islands.
The last leg of our journey takes us to Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city. The Andean Explorer Train is the only passenger train that travels the railroad from Puno to Arequipa. In Arequipa, we end our luxury train adventure with a tour of the city.
Quite simply, it’s the ultimate Peru train adventure! But don’t just take our word for it: this Andean train tour is something you need to experience for yourself!
Monday Day 1 – Arrival in Cusco, Peru
You will arrive on your flight to Cusco, Peru, and check in to your hotel in Cusco. The rest of the day, you’ll have free time.
Tuesday Day 2 – Cusco & Surroundings
After breakfast, we will embark on a private city tour of Cusco, including a visit to the surrounding Incan ruins. The tour begins at the Koricancha, an ancient Incan Palace and the principal center of sun worship. Later, we’ll visit the “Plaza de Armas” with its famous cathedral, the beautiful church of “La Compañia de Jesus,” as well as other colonial buildings. The tour then leaves the city for a visit to “Sacsayhuaman,” an imposing military monument and particularly fine example of Incan architecture. Further away, we’ll also view the archaeological site of Quenko, the complex of Puca-Pucara, and Tambomachay, which was known as the “Baths of the Incas.” Before returning to Cusco, we’ll visit a local artisan workshop to learn how to distinguish llama, alpaca, guanaco, and vicuña wool. We will stay overnight at the hotel in Cusco.
Wednesday Day 3 – Machi Picchu
This morning we’ll experience the thrilling four-hour trip on the Incarail First Class Train fromCusco’s San Pedro Station to the historic Incansite of Machu Picchu, enjoying lunch on the train.
The Incarail train journey is extraordinary for rail enthusiasts because the train climbs from Cusco’s San Pedro Station to Poroy, carrying out a series of zigzags inside the city of Cusco. At Machu Picchu, we’ll explore the famous Lost City of the Incas, led by a private expert guide. That evening, we’ll depart from the railway station in Aguas Calientes aboard the “Belmond Hiram Bingham Train” to Poroy. During the journey, we’ll have dinner on board the train. From Poroy, we’ll return to Cusco on our private vehicle and spend the night in Cusco.
Thursday Day 4 – Andean Explorer Train from Cusco to Puno
You will be picked up mid-morning and driven to the Wanchaq Railway Station in Cusco, where we’ll board the luxury Andean Explorer Train. As soon as the train departs, staff members serve a cocktail followed by lunch in the train’s dining car. That afternoon, we’ll visit the archaeological site of Raqchi, where we’ll view the remains of the Viracocha Incan Temple featuring large clay walls resting on Tiwanaku foundations. There are also storage buildings and aqueducts from Incan times. When the sun sets, the train will reach La Raya Pass at an altitude of 4,319 m (14,170 ft). La Raya is the highest point of the rail journey to Puno and offers magnificent Andean vistas complete with snow-capped mountains. When night falls, the lounge car is the perfect place to get some refreshing drinks and sit back to contemplate the day. We will have dinner in the dining car during the descent to Lake Titicaca. Although the train reaches Puno before midnight, we will spend the night on board the train.
Friday Day 5 – Andean Explorer Train to Lake Titicaca
We’ll have breakfast on the train. Then, at about 8:30 AM, we’ll board a boat that will carry us to the floating Islands of the Uros, where we’ll visit houses made out of layers of ‘totora’ reeds. After a short ride in one of the traditional reed boats, we will head to Taquile Island, the weavers’ island. On this mountainous island, there are no roads or cars, so everyone must walk to get around. Over the centuries, ‘Taquilenos’ have preserved many of their traditions, such as a communitarian life where everything is shared. Men always seem to be walking around the island, knitting the woolen caps they wear. We’ll have lunch at a private beach on the Island. After a performance featuring a traditional dance and a weaving demonstration, we’ll head back to Puno station, where the staff serves tea and biscuits to visitors. We’ll return to the train for dinner as we continue on to Arequipa. We will stay overnight at Saracocha Station.
Saturday Day 6 – Andean Explorer Train from Saracosha to Arequipa
We will have breakfast on board the train and continue the journey to Arequipa. The views from the train include the extraordinary lagoon of Lagunillas at 4,450 m (14,600 ft) where, depending on the season, we may spot Andean flamingos in the distance. In the morning, the train stops to visit Sumbay Caves, where the Peruvian highlands’ first humans created rock art. We’ll enjoy a farewell lunch before reaching the city of Arequipa, then transfer to our hotel in Arequipa.
Sunday Day 7 – City Tour in Arequipa
We will pick you up at the hotel for a half-day city tour of Arequipa. Our guide will show us the St. Lazarus quarter where Arequipa was founded. We’ll walk down lovely streets lined with flowers and historic homes. At the Carmen Alto viewpoint, we’ll stop for views of the surrounding farmland, spectacularly framed by the Pichu Pichu, Cachani and Misti volcanoes. We’ll visit the Andalusian-style church and buildings in the Yanahuara colonial district and the Monastery of St. Catherine, a Dominican religious site. We’ll also explore the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa in the Plaza de Armas, dating from the 16th century, and explore the history of the Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia de los Jesuitas). Before lunch, we’ll return to the hotel. The rest of the day you will have free time.
Monday Day 8 – Departure
You will be transported to the airport for your departure flight.
All services mentioned in the program,
Meals mentioned in the program
Entrance fees, train tickets, and taxes.
English-speaking local guides
One piece of luggage up to 23 kg (50 lbs)
Flights to Cusco & out of Arequipa
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Travel, health and accident insurance
Tips for local guides and driver
We recommend making this journey between May and December during the dry season. During the rainy season, from January to April, there are no trains departing from Cusco because the Incarail passage over the Zigzags cannot be made. Therefore, the trip from Cusco to Ollantaytambo or Urubamba must be made by bus, and the Hiram Bingham journey is much shorter.
Pre- and Post-Tour Extensions
This tour is for individual travelers; therefore, we can adapt the tour to accommodate your specific requests. Ask about our tour extensions to the Galapagos Islands, Easter Islands, or the Amazon Rainforest.
For railfans: On specific dates, we can add the breathtaking Lima-Huancayo train to this tour program. Inquire with us about possible travel dates and availabilities.