No mode of transportation is as romanticized as train travel, and there’s good reason why. Taking in breathtaking scenery while enjoying all of the luxuries of a five-star hotel beats air travel any day, and Belmond’s Andean Explorer is a shining example.
Launched in May 2017, the 24-cabin train offers a new level of opulence in southern Peru as the country’s first luxury sleeper car. The three-day, two-night trip from Arequipa to Cusco takes riders on a peaceful journey, snaking through the vast valleys and winding canyons of the Andes Mountains. A two-day, one-night stay is also available, boarding the train in the small lakeside town of Puno before heading to Cusco.
The train indulges travelers with savory local dishes, artfully-crafted cocktails, glamorous old-world accommodations, and now, a number of pampering services from the newly-unveiled spa car. Introduced earlier this month, guests are offered a range of services starting at $90, from facials and aromatherapy to full-body massages and clay wraps.
Every aspect of the train was designed with passengers’ comfort in mind. Reaching a peak altitude of 14,000 feet, the journey leaves travelers prone to altitude sickness, but the 50-crew team on board have taken every precaution to ensure that guests are as comfortable as possible—oxygen tanks included.
Old-world charm meets contemporary flare with neutral design elements that highlight the views outside the train’s expansive windows. All cabins have an attendant button in case travelers need immediate assistance, and are fitted with all modern necessities, including a standing shower.
In addition to the spa, guests can relax in the lounge car with an artfully-crafted cocktail while being serenaded by the onboard pianist. Or, for a moment of tranquility, take in the views of the La Raya mountain range from the open-air caboose. Each meal is served on white-linen tablecloths with silverware in the train’s two dining rooms, with a menu designed by famed chef Diego Muñoz, of Lima’s Astrid y Gastón.
The journey may not be the most efficient way of getting around southern Peru, but it’s by far the most alluring.
Suites from $1,655 for the three-day journey, based on double occupancy.