Andean Explorer: A Luxury Trip from Puno to Cusco.

Going from the Sacred Valley toLake Titicaca (or vice versa) is a common route for most travelers in Peru . Lake Titicaca is an absolute must visit .

The distance between Cusco to Puno is 386 km. Below you will find all the ways to travel this distance with the price break down . 

The most magnificent way is the train , the historic Andean Explorer trip will last 10+ hours and cost quite a bit , but you will remember it as one of your best transfers . 

Being a big train lover , I couldn’t say no to this costly but must do adventure .

It is known as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world , highest train routes in the world and unmatched views . 

Enjoy the journey of your lifetime offered by the beautiful Andean landscape of Peru aboard a luxury train “Andean Explorer”.

Traveling on the Belmond Andean Explorer from Cusco to Puno is a unique yet fulfilling experience, a journey between mountains and clouds, at higher altitudes. Ten hours of travel, starting from Cusco and ending at the majestic Lake Titicaca, the train allows you to keep yourself immersed in the natural beauty of Andean Mountain Range.

This 10-hour route is considered as the most luxurious and highest in the world. The Andean Explorer was mentioned among the top 25 best train journeys in the world and one of the first two in South America and there is no doubt why. The journey itself is designed in such a way that you’ll never want to get off the train.

The Andean Explorer envelops you in an exquisitely beautiful environment with the subtle and delicate interior taking you back to the 1920s. The train has a restaurant and an open-air bar from where you can enjoy views of the Andes mountains. You will be able to witness and admire the alpacas and vicuñas feeding in the plains and to the locals walking through the small villages. The train also makes a brief stop at La Raya, located at an altitude of 14,150 feet (4,313 m). La Raya houses a colonial chapel and is a very picturesque area.

Attractions You’ll See on the Way

Urubamba River

The train passes through the Urubamba River of Machu Picchu. Much part of the river is crossed through Cusco that you can witness on the way.

Abra La Raya

Abra La Raya or La Raya is a high mountain pass located at an elevation of about 14,271 ft above the sea level. The train will make a quick stop here for you to enjoy the breathtaking views and also take some pretty pictures with the background.

Juliaca

Juliaca has little to offer to the tourists. While you pass by this small town, you’ll notice the locals juggling with their daily lives on both sides.

What Should You Take

Though you can pack anything you might need on the journey but below things are recommended to make your stay comfortable and exciting at the same time:

  • A camera as you wouldn’t want to miss capturing the surreal views on the Way
  • Comfortable clothing – do check the weather before you get into the train
  • Snacks – as you’ll only get full gourmet meals
  • Sunglasses and a book if you wish to read
  • Necessary medicines especially if you feel dizzy at higher altitudes

What does the Andean Explorer Tour Include

During this journey of 10 hours, you will enjoy two gourmet meals, afternoon tea, and entertainment. You’ll also get to enjoy a live show of locals wearing typical Peruvian costumes. Guests have unlimited access to coca tea, chamomile tea, and water. The cost of the train is $240 per person.

Note: Transportation between the train station and hotel is not included in this price.

Pros of traveling by Andean Explorer

  • Comfortable journey with breathtaking views
  • You’ll not get many stopovers and hence, don’t have to worry about luggage transfer

Cons of Traveling by Andean Explorer

  • You might feel nausea or dizziness due to high altitude
  • Ticket may seem pricey to you as compared to other modes of traveling to Puno

Other ways to get from Puno to Cusco

By Bus

Duration: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Cost: $5 to $50 (based on the route)

By Car

Duration: 5 hours and 49 minutes

Approximate Fuel Cost: $35 to $60

By Air through Juliaca

Duration: 3 hours (including bus travel time)

Cost: $44 – $199 (you have to take a bus from Puno to Juliaca airport that will cost you from $6 to $18)