The Andean Explorer
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Travel from Cusco to Arequipa or the reverse trip, on a two-night journey on Belmond’s Andean Explorer, South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Belmond’s other Peruvian venture, the Hiram Bingham, travels to Machu Picchu.
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The Andean Explorer takes in some of the best scenery the region has to offer, from wide grassy plains and picturesque rivers to the mountainous terrain and peaceful lakes of the Peruvian Altiplano.
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The train travels across the highest plains of the Andes – which contain some of the loftiest peaks in the Western Hemisphere and stretch almost the entire length of South America.
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Expect uninterrupted vistas of wide-open skies, rolling mountains and unspoilt plains. Enjoy the view from the comfort of your private cabin or the Andean Explorer’s Piano Bar, Observation, Library or Dining cars.
Dining With a View
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Watch the Andes roll by from the dining car as you savour cuisine prepared by Diego Muñoz of Lima’s Astrid y Gastón fame. Peruvian produce features prominently in his inventive take on traditional pairings and adoption of global influences, from alpaca tortellini to ceviche and a dessert with lime, chocolate and apple custard.
Double Bed Cabins
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Regardless of your cabin class, you’ll have a private bathroom and shower and large picture windows to frame the ever-changing and remote scenery. Double cabins, such as this one, have a double bed and seating area and measure 13.1 square metres.
Deluxe Double Bed Cabin lounge
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Who says train cabins have to be cramped? Both types of double cabins manage to incorporate a cosy seating nook with two armchairs and a table. There are even wardrobes. Deluxe cabins have roomy bathrooms with a separate shower.
Deluxe Double Bed Cabin
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The luxe cabin interiors are inspired by the textures of Peruvian textiles and upholstered and finished in muted, natural colours with splashes of the bright, contrasting hues of traditional hand-woven materials.
Bunk Bed Cabin
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A bunk cabin is probably what most people expect of a sleeper train, but things are taken up a notch on the Andean Explorer. Although they’re considerably smaller than the double cabins, Bunk Bed Cabins have wardrobe and ensuite and the sleeping/living space converts from a comfy banquette during the day to convenient single berth bunks at night.
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The Observation Car ¬is impeccably finished in tones of muted grey and taupe, welcoming guests to take in spectacular views by day while at night it transforms into a space to enjoy drinks and dance.
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Step onto the outdoor terrace of the Observation Car for a hit of fresh Andean mountain air and slip into a state of meditative bliss as you watch the train tracks disappear into the horizon.
Llamas and alpacas
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As you traverse the deep valleys and high mountains of the Altiplano, keep an eye out for members of the camelid family, including llamas and alpacas, grazing on the plains at the foot of the Andes.
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The journey takes you to Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest navigable lake), where the train stops overnight. Guests can disembark and take a private tour of the floating reed islands that are home to the native Uru people. Image Andy Krakovski
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If you’re not ready to re-join the train, other optional excursions include a cultural experience on Taquile Island, including a luncheon with views to the mountains in La Paz, Bolivia, and a trip to see the wild and rugged scenery around Lake Lagunillas.
The Andes at dusk
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The entire journey is an Instagram-addict’s dream with opportunities to shoot sunsets and sunrises, scenic mountains, pristine vistas, luxury accommodation, breathtaking scenery, top-notch food and unique experiences.
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Begin or end your journey in the White City of Arequipa, built from volcanic stone and surrounded by volcanoes. There are stunning colonial buildings to be seen here, and it’s the portal to the Colca Canyon, home of the majestic Andean condor.
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Whether you start or end your journey here, you’ll see the historic city of Cusco, the capital of the ancient Incan empire, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the gateway to Machu Picchu. Image Olli0815