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Peru & Ecuador by Rail

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Overview

Experience the highlands of both Peru and Ecuador aboard iconic train journeys.  In Peru, travel from Arequipa to Cusco aboard the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer Train.  Visit Machu Picchu aboard the new 360 Machu Picchu Train.  In Ecuador, board the historic Tren Crucero from Guayaquil to Quito, an exquisite journey with stunning scenery and overnights in haciendas. 

Trip Code: LATSPER

Location: Peru, Ecuador

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide, who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it.

Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.

Arrival transfer in Lima

Today you will be collected from your hotel for your tour of Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. On the city tour you will visit a number of well-known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, Santo Domingo Convent and the Plaza de Armas.This is a chance to appreciate Lima's magnificent Colonial architecture as well as vignettes of its pre-Colombian past. On completion of this tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Lima - City Tour

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel.
He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office. Please note this service is with a driver only.

Arrival transfer in Arequipa

Arequipa lies on the edge of the Altiplano, 2380m above sea level and framed by the volcanoes Misti, Pikchu Pikchu and Chachani. It is known as “La Ciudad Blanca” (White City), as many of its buildings are made of sillar, a white volcanic stone. The historic centre of Arequipa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its historic heritage, natural scenery and cultural sites, make the city a popular destination.

Arequipa

Board the train in the baroque city of Arequipa. Take some time to get comfortable in your cabin and acclimatise to the indulgent atmosphere of the train as you begin your journey towards Puno. Then take your seat in one of the elegant dining cars for your first time dinner on board. Relax and savour refined Andean dishes served with contemporary flair. After dinner, why not head to the bar car and enjoy a cocktails as you get to know your fellow travellers.

Depart Arequipa

Awake early for a spellbinding experience as you witness the sunrise across Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. The beautiful lake is home to many diverse islands, each boasting a unique way of life. First, take a traditional boat to Uros, a man-made island artfully constructed from interwoven reeds which are constantly being replenished. The locals who live on the island use the same reeds to create homes, ships and tools.

Continue your exploration to Taquile Island, notable for its stunning agricultural terraces. The people here follow a social code that has been barely touched by time, and their handwoven fabrics are regarded as the best in Peru. Enjoy lunch at Collata beach, followed by a performance from local dancers and a demonstration of artisans at work.

Return to the train station at the lake for a delicious afternoon tea. Board the train and relax as the journey continues on to Cusco. As evening descends enjoy another tempting dinner in the dining carriage.

Puno

Wake to a delicious breakfast, acompanied by stunning views as the train sets off from Marangani. Along the way, disembark to visit Raqch'i. Once an important Inca settlement, today this fascinating archaeological site boats many architecture gems. All too soon we arrive at Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Bid farewell to your crew and disembark for your onward travel arrangements.

Arrive Cusco

This morning you will be collected from your hotel to explore the wonders of Cusco, the ancient Inca capital city on foot. With your private guide, explore the city’s fascinating history, from the Inca times to colonial rule to the present day. Winding through narrow cobble-stoned streets and markets, this half day tour will show you the baroque Cathedral, which took 96 years to complete commencing in 1550. The Cathedral includes many priceless colonial religious paintings including the Black Christ. Cusco is famed for its mix of Colonial and Inca architecture, and you will also sample impressive Inca constructions at the Korikancha ruins - the Inca temple of the Sun. With the entire city a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this tour will be one of the highlights of your adventures in Peru.

Cusco Walking City Tour

This is a train ride you will never forget, taking you through the spectacular Andes mountain range to the renowned Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival in Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour of the ruins and monuments, such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries. Includes: Guide and entrance fee. Also includes transfer from hotel to train station. The train ride will be shared with other passangers. Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit with at least 3 months in advance. Please contact your sales consultant if you would like to do this.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

Full Day Machu Picchu from Cusco

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide, who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it.

Arrival transfer in Guayaquil

Free time in Guayaquil to explore this wonderful city on your own.

Guayaquil: Free Day

Our first meeting will be at Duran station where a carefully restored steam locomotive will be waiting to transport us on a journey through time. With its roars and whistles, it will make us revive past times when these fabulous machines began to travel along the coastal tracks for the first time, changing completely the
history of the country.
The first stop will be at the Yaguachi station, the first one built in this railway system, where we will say goodbye to our steam locomotive to make a way for a diesel-electric, we will be able to observe the exchange of these impressive machines from outside the maneuver area.
We continue through extensive plantations of sugarcane, banana, coffee, pineapple and a countless number of tropical products to Naranjito area.
Our bus will take us along a road that climbs to the Andes, a very scenic bus trip in which we will ascend more than 2000 meters in altitude in just 4 hours. During this trip we can witness the abrupt changes of climate, vegetation and geography resulting from the presence of the Andean mountain range. This fact gives Ecuador an incomparable beauty and biodiversity.
Our first day ends in the comfort of our hotel in this small town nestled in the sharp mountains. Walking on the evening through its streets will give us a feeling of returning several decades in time. Accommodation.

Duran – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Alausi

The second day begins with the impressive trip aboard a different train which dates from the twentieth century, this one will be ready to descend through the fearsome pass of La Nariz del Diablo (the Devi´ls Nose); an intricate switch-back that allows the train to descend 511 meters in just 12 kilometers of railway. The Sibambe station awaits us down below, full of people and different activities in the surroundings, a small community depending merely on the touristic activity from the train.

Back in Alausí, we will have a time for pictures and visit the local market, the quiet city lost in the time of the previous night, becomes the scenery of one of the most colorful markets in the area, serving more than a dozen communities of the surroundings.

Lunch will be served on board after a short bus ride.

Our main set run towards Colta where the "Black Monster" is ready to pull the train, an impressive Baldwin steam locomotive that has been carefully overhauled. There we can visit the first church in the country known as the Balvanera or another option for train-lovers, will be filming the run of the set with the steam
locomotive ahead.

The fields of quinoa, potatoes, onions, corn and other products of these fertile soils, will be decorating the landscape while waiting for the great Chimborazo to show up before we reach the capital city of the province, Riobamba.
Riobamba an enchanting city where we can take a short walk. Its cobbled streets and squares tell the history of the country at every step. Accommodation.

Alausi – Devil´s Nose – Riobamba

In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will show us the life in the Andes, we will be able to interact with them and see one of the best examples of community organization for work, such as the ancestors taught the different generations.
The tour continues towards the Urbina station. Located just over 3,600 meters above sea level, we will get to know the “paramo” ecosystems of the skirts of Chimborazo. Baltazar Ushca, the last ice merchant of Chimborazo, will tell us his story and explain the reasons behind his dedication, despite the opposition and
arrival of machines to the country.
The train will go through the valley near Cotopaxi but on the way, a group of devils will take the train by surprise when the Diablada de Pillaro (devils from Pillaro) is celebrated on board, a parade full of colors, music and joy that reminds us of the spirit of the Andean communities and their understanding of the world, this parade was declared national heritage.
The final stop of the day will be the Latacunga station from where we can get to the different hotels in the area. Accommodation.

Riobamba – La Moya – Urbina – Latacunga

We will travel to the Cotopaxi National Park. Within the park we are able to join a moderate walk around the Limpiopungo lagoon where it is possible to find different sorts of plants and birds adapted to the altitude.
Natural photography will be part of this morning and then we will board our train. The set will continue near the slopes of Cotopaxi towards our next stop, a typical Andean hacienda where we will be part of the daily activities of it and its dwellers. Upon our arrival we will be welcomed by these Andean cowboys, the “Chagras”, who will show their skills as riders and teach us a little of their culture and traditions.
Our last day of expedition ends at the Eloy Alfaro station with a short walk inside the property, where our guides will make us discover the secrets of this patrimony.
The capital of Ecuador, the beautiful city of Quito, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, will welcome us at night. Accommodation.

Latacunga – Cotopaxi National Park – Quito

Free time in Quito to explore this wonderful city on your own.

Free Day in Quito

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination
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WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
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Important Information

  • 13 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast daily 

     2 nights cabin accommodation with all meals aboard Belmond Andean Express Train 

    Sightseeing as specified 

    4 days Tren Crucero Rail Journey 

    All transfers from airports and train stations 

    Local english speaking guides throughout 

    Internal flights with taxes 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.