This trip combines in a single trip the most scenic and breathtaking Andean railway journeys in Bolivia and Peru. The tour program is all about trains and rail travel; traditional sightseeing is of second nature and done when we have an extra day between two train journeys.
The trip brings you to very remote regions in central Bolivia and the little known Mantaro Valley in the Andes behind Lima. The trip is for travelers who don’t mind leaving some comforts for spectacular train journeys. We always travel on the best class available on the trains; where various clases are available. For overland trips, we mostly use public buses.
Escorted Small Group Tour max 10 Participants
May 14 – 29, 2017
July 30 – August 14, 2017
Traveler sharing a Double Room USD 3’877.– per person
Single room supplement USD 521.– per person
1st Day, Sunday: Arrival in La Paz
You arrive with your international flight in La Paz. We welcome you at the Airport in El Alto and bring you to your Hotel Europa where you stay overnight.
2nd Day, Monday: City Tour in La Paz
You explore La Paz during a full- day city tour. We visit the historical part of the city and then drive up to the Killi Killi viewpoint, from where you have breathtaking views over the city. Near the Moon Valley, we have lunch before we make a scenic trip on the “Teleferico.” The gondolas are the main public transport moving people between the different altitude levels of the city. In the late afternoon, we return to your Hotel Europa where you stay overnight. (B/L)
3rd Day, Tuesday: La Paz – Oruro – Uyuni
In the Early morning, we travel on a public bus from La Paz to Oruro where we have lunch. At 14:30 we board the “Expreso del Sur” to Uyuni. During the journey we have dinner. Upon our arrival at 21:20, we transfer to the Hotel Jardines de Uyuni where we stay overnight. (B/L/D)
4th Day, Wednesday: Train Cemetery and Uyuni Salt Flat
We visit the locomotive cemetery in Uyuni, where you are able to observe oxygenated steam locomotives and other rolling stock from the Uyuni – Antofagasta railway. We have a box lunch at the Fisher Island in the middle of the 10’000km2 large salt flat. Later in the afternoon, our driver leaves us at the Hotel Tayka de Piedra. (B/L)
5th Day, Thursday: Ghost Train
We visit geysers and a flamingo lake on our way to Avaroa. We return to Uyuni aboard a cargo train with an unheated passenger carriage that offers absolutely no comfort. The journey is scenic and takes about 6 hours. Those who don’t want traveling on the train can return to Uyuni aboard a Toyota Land Cruiser. We stay overnight at the Hotel Jardines de Uyuni (B/L)
6th Day, Friday: Uyuni – Potosi
Mid-morning, we take a public bus and travel from Uyuni to Potosi. The journey is very scenic. Potosi is one of the highest cities in the World world at about 4000m (13’123 ft) above sea level. Due to the altitude, we relax for the rest of the day in Potosi. We stay overnight at the Hotel Cima Argentum near the railway station. (B)
7th Day, Saturday: Potosi – El Tejar – Aiquile
Early morning we go to the historic railway station in Potosi to board the Autoferro to El Tejar. The first part of the trip follows the road to Sucre. After a moment, the rails enter the mountains, and an extraordinary scenic train journey starts. The Autoferro reaches El Tejar, in the outskirts of Sucre, in the afternoon. A private vehicle brings us to Aiquile, a small town between Sucre and Cochabamba. Overnight we stay in one of the simple hotels in Aiquile (B)
8th Day, Sunday: Aiquile – Cochabamba
On the way to the railway station, we have breakfast at the market. The autoferro train journey is one of the most authentic train adventures in South America. The rails cross mountains, follow wild rivers, and the train stops at remote villages and small towns before reaching the city of Cochabamba in the late afternoon. In Cochabamba, we stay overnight at the centrally located Hotel Diplomat. (B/D)
9th Day, Monday: City tour in Cochabamba
In the morning, we do a city tour in Cochabamba. Cochabamba is a very pleasant city with a modern vibe. We visit the main square and the nearby San Francisco convent. We try chicha, a drink made of corn that is very popular among the local population. Overnight we stay at the Hotel Diplomat in Cochabamba. (B)
10th Day, Tuesday: Cochabamba – La Paz – Lima
Transfer to the airport and flight to Lima via La Paz. In Lima transfer-in to the Hotel Tambo 2. In the afternoon we travel on the Lima Metro. Accommodation in Lima for the night. (B)
11th Day, Wednesday: City tour in Lima
Enjoy an exciting city tour of Lima’s colonial past. Discover the Plaza San Martin and the Plaza Mayor with the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral. We drive through the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores on our way back to the hotel. You’ll spend the night at the Hotel El Tambo 2. (B/L)
12th Day, Thursday: “Ferrocarriles Centrales” Lima – Huancayo
Transfer from your hotel in Lima to the Desamparados Railway Station. The train leaves Lima at 150 m (492 ft) a.s.l. and climbs in about 8 hours to an altitude of 4781 m (15’686 ft) a.s.l. to arrive in Huancayo about 5 hours later at 3261 m (10’699 ft) a.s.l. The train passes over 58 bridges, goes through 69 tunnels and does six zigzags on its way to Huancayo. There is no other train overcoming such a large altitude difference in such a short time lapse. You make the train journey in “Clase Turistico,” the best class on the train. Overnight you stay at a Hotel Presidente in Huancayo. (B/L/D)
13th Day, Friday: Huancayo
Free day in Huancayo. There is the possibility that the Huancayo – Huancavelica train is running. This train is unreliable, and for this reason, we cannot include it in our itinerary. In case it runs, we can travel on this train and buy our tickets at the railway station. For the return journey, we rent a shared taxi. In case you prefer to stay in Huancayo, you can organize local tours from the Hotel Presidente. (B)
14th Day, Saturday: Huancayo
Free day in Huancayo. You stay overnight at the Hotel Presidente. (B)
15th Day, Sunday: Huancayo – Lima
We travel on the train back to Lima. This time, you travel during daylight the part where it was at dark on Day 13. The downward journey is unquestionably just as spectacular as the upward trip. The train reaches the Desamparados railway station in Lima in the evening. You then transfer to your the Hotel Tambo 2 in Lima. (B/L)
16th Day, Monday: Departure
Morning at leisure. At the agreed time, our driver transfers you to the international airport in time ready to board the flight back to your home country. (B)
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
LA PAZ: The Hotel Europa is one of the best hotels in La Paz. It is located on a side street from El Prado, La Paz’s main boulevard. The modern hotel has Free Wifi, an excellent rooftop bar and a few very good restaurants and bars nearby. The rooms are comfortable with spectacular views over the city.
UYUNI: The Hotel Jardines de Uyuni is a warm place in the generally cold city of Uyuni. The small hotel is an excellent place to stay when we arrive late at night by train. Some simple shops are nearby to buy warm clothes if needed. A hearty breakfast with Coca Tea will wake us up in the morning.
UYUNI SALT FLAT: The Hotel Tayka de Piedra is a rustic, fantastic hotel on the not far from the Uyuni Salt Flat towards the Chilean border. The nearby village of San Pedro de Quemes invites for a stroll in a region far away from civilization. The Hotel has comfortable double rooms, all with private showers and toilets and an excellent restaurant. Hot water will not be available 24 hours.
POTOSI: The Hotel Cima Argentum is a good middle-class hotel near the railway station in Potosi. Most of the rooms are located around a covered patio. All rooms have a private toilet with shower and cable TV. The Hotel has an excellent restaurant and WIFI in the whole building. The historical center of Potosi is a short uphill walk away.
AIQUILE: Aiquile is a nice little village with a few basic hotels. We reserve rooms with private shower and toilet. Most of the Hotels have Cable TV but no WIFI. Most of these hotels offer only accommodation, dinner and breakfast we have to eat in small nearby eateries.
COCHABAMBA: The Hotel Diplomat in Cochabamba is located in the busy modern part of the city. It is one of the best hotels in Cochabamba. All rooms have good WIFI, a private shower and toilet as well as cable TV. The Buffet breakfast is served in the good hotel restaurant. For dinner are many restaurants nearby for those who don’t want eat at the hotel.
LIMA: The Hotel Tambo 2 is a good middle-class hotel in the Miraflores district. Many restaurants are at walking distance of the hotel. All the rooms have their private shower and toilet, cable TV and WIFI. The hotel has a storrage room where you can leave staff you don’t need in Huancayo.
HUANCAYO: The Hotel Presidente is the best hotel in Huancayo, situated on the Calle Real, Huancyo’s main street. All rooms have a private bathroom, Cable TV and WIFI. The Hotel has a good restaurant but many good restaurants are in walking distance of the hotel. Most museums, sights and shops are in a comfortable walking distance.