The Belmond Andean Explorer departs from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, at 11:00 am. Settle into the Observation Car to gaze out across the Altiplano, the highest plains of the Andes, or maybe breathe in the crisp Andean air from the open deck as you travel through the ever-changing landscapes towards Puno. Lunch is taken in the elegant dining carriages where fresh seasonal dishes are served, made using locally sourced ingredients from the Peruvian Andes.
In the afternoon we visit the archaeological site of Raqchi, situated 110 kilometres from Cusco, and one of the largest Inca sites in Peru. It is thought that the site was built as a primary control point on the main road system that originated in Cusco and expanded with the growth of the Inca Empire. Raqchi is home to the impressive Temple of Wiracocha and also features living quarters attached to the Temple, ceremonial baths, storehouses and an artificial lake.
Afternoon tea is taken on board as the train continues its journey through the La Raya mountain range, the colours of the mountains changing with the setting sun. La Raya marks the border between the Cusco and Puno regions and is the highest point on the route at just over 4,300 metres, with spectacular views of the Andes.
Dinner is served on board before the train pulls into Lake Titicaca Station.