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Rail South America
Tren Viacha

Andean Train Journeys in Bolivia (1)

Discovering Bolivia on a train is a great adventure. The principal Andean railroad goes from the Lake Titicaca to Villazon at the Argentinean border. Two branch lines go away to the Pacific Coast. In the North is the Arica – La Paz Railway and in the South the railroad from Uyuni to Antofagasta.

“Wara Wara Express” and “Expreso del Sur” 2 Trains Connecting  Villazon with Oruro

The trains “Expreso del Sur” and “Wara Wara” connect Villazon with Oruro. Both trains offer similar services aboard. The “Expreso del Sur” stops a few times less and arrives faster at the destination. The trains cross the vast southern Bolivian Altiplano with its salt lakes, volcanoes, and huge arid plains. You travel most of the journey overnight in both directions. The beautiful part is between Villazon and Atocha on the south-north trip. Expreso del Sur and Wara Wara Trains travel overnight but don’t have sleepers. In “Clase Ejecutivo”, you can buy your ticket a month in advance.
Horario de Tren Villazon Oruro



Train El Alto – Guagui (Desaguadero)

The Train from El Alto to Guagui is a tourist train service that runs the 2nd Sunday of each month. The El Alto – Guagui train is the only touristic train service in Bolivia at the moment. The train stops for 90 minutes in Tiwanaku where you have time to visit the important Archeological Museum. In Guagui are cruise ships waiting for you to do a short cruise on the Lake Titicaca. In the afternoon, the train returns to El Alto.


Autoferro Viacha – Charaña

The autoferro between Viacha and Charaña is a trip for the adventurous train traveler. The train uses a large part of the Arica – La Paz Railway (Bolivian part). From a travel point of view, the train can be used to go from La Paz to the Chilean border. Viacha and Charaña have not a lot infrastructure. Viacha you reach quickly on a public bus from La Paz. Charaña is a small village with breathtaking surroundings at the border of Chile. There is a cheap hotel in Visviri on the Chilean side of the frontier, but keep in mind that border crossing can be difficult especially during the rainy season when the unpaved road can be a disaster to travel and only a few lorries and buses transit this road.


Ghost Train Uyuni – Avaroa

You have the possibility to travel in the passenger carriage of the supply train from Uyuni to Avaroa. The train leaves Uyuni every Monday and Thursday morning at 3:30 am. The passenger carriage is not heated, and you can’t buy food aboard the train. The journey is scenic, and the border crossing to Chile in Ollague is easy. The migration office in Bolivia is next to the railway station and the migration office in Chile is in walking distance.

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