The Tren a las Nubes is covering one of the most famous scenic train routes in Argentina. Translated, Tren a las Nubes means “Train to the Clouds” and provides a perfect tourist experience to learn more about Argentina and see many sights in a short period of time. It runs at a very high altitude, which explains the way that it’s named. It is the fifth-highest railway in the world according to altitude.
Tren a las Nubes History
Originally, this railway was established to provide good reliable transport to locals. However, over time, it has developed into one of the hottest tourist destinations for those looking to get an up-close and personal look at some of the most stunning nature that Argentina has to offer.
This railway was started in 1921 and finished in 1932, connecting North Argentina with Chile across the Andes mountain range. This rail line received its nickname in the 60s as it passed through mountain air that combined with vapor from the engine to form large plumes of vapor. It lives up to the name each day as it travels at a very high altitude compared to many other scenic trains.
Tren a las Nubes Rail Journey
This railway is commonly known as one of the most dangerous expeditions you can take when it comes to trains, but it has proven to be anything but dangerous. Much of the fear for taking this route comes from the altitude that it travels at and not any documented accidents.
This train ride takes 16 hours and travels 270 miles through some of the most breathtaking nature that Argentina has to offer. On this journey, you’ll see tobacco fields, lowland ranches, and forest. It starts in Salta and concludes the journey in La Polvorilla. At its highest, it travels at 4220 meters high.
You’ll also find on this journey that you will switch between bus and train frequently, so as to get the most out of your experience and ensure your safe arrival. One thing that you’ll note about this train ride is that it is very popular even among locals. Even those who live in the area and get to see Argentina’s beauty on a daily basis love to take this train and take in the sights, which bodes very well for an outside tourist wanting to take the trip.
Sights you can see during your Tren a las Nubes journey
At the beginning of your train ride, you’ll wind through some of the very pretty highlands for a bit and you’re sure to find it difficult to keep your camera put away for more than a few minutes. After that, you’ll pass by some salty springs and a mineral mine that was used decades ago to extract silver and other precious metals.
Finally, you’ll pass by the Viaducto la Polvorilla, which steals the show of the whole trip and will probably be the sight that you photograph most on your ride. It’s a Viaduct that reaches 64 meters high and 232 meters long and stretches over a deep canyon. This breathtaking view serves as the perfect photo opportunity and a great end to your journey.
Want to experience a ride on the Tren a las Nubes by yourself? We got you covered. Check our 21-day tour “Journey from Buenos Aires to Lima“!
Watch a video of the Tren a las Nubes here: