The Andean Explorer

Travelling in style from Cusco (Machu Picchu) to Puno (Lake Titikaka). The Andean Explorer runs 388km, linking together Peru’s top two tourist attractions. It takes approximately 10 hours, depending on traffic (it passes quite literally through the centre of several large town, so close, the awnings of market stalls brush the windows as you pass) and is a much more relaxing way to enjoy the spectacular and ever changing countryside than travelling the bumpy road which run parallel to the train tracks practically the whole way. You start in the subtropical highlands surrounding the former Incan capital of Cusco, (altitude 3,400m/11,200ft) climb through dizzying mountain passes until you reach the tiny stronghold of La Raya (meaning, ‘the line’), which signals the provincial border between Cusco and Puno and the train’s highest point at 4,319m or 14,172ft. From there, you pass downwards onto the somewhat desolate Altiplano flat-lands, where the tracks level out for the remainder of the trip before eventually arriving in Puno, on the shore of Lake Titikaka, which at 3,812m/12,507ft, is the world’s highest navigable lake.

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