Great Andean Train Adventures

Jul 11 – 27, 2019 | 17 Days | Escorted Train Enthusiast Journey | Max. 12 Guests | Price from USD 4’886.– 

This trip combines in a single trip the most scenic and breathtaking Andean railway journeys in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. 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 remote regions in northern Chile and central Bolivia. We visit forgotten railway depots and mining sites which played an essential role in the Bolivian railway history. The trip is for travelers who don’t mind leaving some comforts for spectacular train journeys; nevertheless, the trip is a comfortable journey that brings you to regions seldom visited on ordinary tours.  We run the trip for rail enthusiasts, but the journey might also be interesting for travel photographers.

Tour Highlights

Map Great Andean Train Adventures
  • Travel on the international passenger train from Tacna in Peru to Arica in Chile.
  • Enjoy a day at the Lake Titicaca by train from La Paz
    Explore with us Machacamarca, one of the most important railway centers in Bolivia.
  • We follow the private railway line from Machicamarca to the mining site of Uncia. 
    Enjoy an afternoon on the train traveling from Oruro to Uyuni.
  • In Uyuni, you discover the famous train cemetery. After visiting the Incahuasi Island, we stay overnight at a remote lodge to do some trainspotting of the Uyuni – Antofagasta Railroad the next day.
  • Explore Pulacayo, one of the most important mining sites in Bolivia until the late 70s. Steam locomotives can be observed at this important site of Bolivian Industrialization History. 
  • One of the main highlights of the trip is a journey on the Autoferro from Potosi to El Tejar and from Aiquile to Cochabamba. We travel on 2 of the most authentic trains that exist in South America. 

Itinerary

Considering the character of our trips, there may be ongoing improvements to this itinerary. Below you find the day-by-day itinerary for the tour Trains & Coffee in Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. Unless otherwise specified, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our maximum to comply to the scheduled tour program, but due to the travel style and regions we visit, we may deviate the journey slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, and culture.

Day 1: Arrival in Tacna - Peru

You arrive with your flight in Tacna in Southern Peru. Transfer to your Hotel.

Tacna
Day 2: Railway Museum Tacna and train journey to Arica in Chile

In the morning, we visit the railway museum in Tacna. You have time to have lunch before we board the train to Arica in northern Chile. In Arica, transfer from the railway station to our hotel in the city.

Day 3: Train Journey from Arica to Paconchile and from there by bus to La Paz, Bolivia

We travel by the train from Arica to Paconchile (Arica – La Paz Railroad). We continue to La Paz from Paconchile in a private van crossing the spectacular pass of “Tambo Quemado”. We spend the night at our hotel in La Paz.

Train Arica - La Paz
Day 4: Train Journey from El Alto to Guaqui on the shores of the Lake Titicaca

We travel on the train through the Bolivian highlands to the Lake Titicaca. The train stops in Tiwanaku, one of the most scenic archeological sites of the Aymara Culture in South America. At the Lake Titicaca, we have time to visit the small railway museum in Guaqui. We return to La Paz in a private van. We stay overnight at our hotel in La Paz.

Day 5: Ferrobus from Viacha to Charaña

We travel on a Ferrobus from Viacha to Charaña at the Chilean border. Enjoy the incredible scenery during this trip. We return to La Paz in a private vehicle. Overnight we stay at the Hotel Europa in La Paz.

Day 6: City Tour in La Paz

We explore La Paz during a full- day city tour. We visit the historical part of town and drive up to the Killi Killi viewpoint, from where you have breathtaking views of the city. We visit the old railway station in La Paz which is now a cultural center. After lunch, we travel on cable-cars from La Paz to El Alto. We spend the night at our Hotel in La Paz.

Day 7: City Tour in Oruro

Private Transportation La Paz – Oruro. We have lunch in Oruro before we visit the city. We stay overnight at the in Oruro. 

City of Oruro
Day 8: Railway Museum Machacamarca and Uncia Mining town

We visit Bolivia’s largest Railway museum in Machacamarca about 30 km south from Oruro. From Machacamarca, we follow in our car the old private mining railroad to Uncia. We return to Oruro to spend the night at the Hotel Eden. (B/L)

Museo Machacamarca
Day 9: Journey with the Expreso del Sur to Uyuni

You have free time in the morning. We board the “Expreso del Sur” to Uyuni in the afternoon. We have dinner on the train. At our arrival in Uyuni at night, transfer to the Hotel in Uyuni where we stay overnight. 

Oruro Railway Station
Day 10: Uyuni Salt Flat

.Explore various oxidized steam engines and wagons on this spectacular site surrounded by a unique scenery. In Colchani, we visit an artisanal salt processing plant and witness traditional salt extraction methods. At the Incahuasi Island in the middle of the world’s largest salt flat, you see amazing giant cactus. Overnight we stay at a comfortable, but very remote lodge. 

Uyuni Train Cementery
Day 11: Train Spotting Uyuni - Antofagasta Railroad

We leave to Avaroa, the Bolivian border post to Chile for the Uyuni – Antofagasta Railway where you can see various oxidized railway carriages. With luck, we can observe mining trains during our journey back to Uyuni. We stay overnight in Uyuni.

Train Spotting near Uyuni
Day 12: Uyuni - Pulacayo - Potosi

We travel in a private van from Uyuni to Potosi. On the way, we stop in Pulacayo which was a significant mining center at the beginning of the last century. You can do an optional tour visiting a silver mine in Potosi during the afternoon. We stay overnight in Potosi. 

Mining Site Pulacayo
Day 13: Day Ferrobus Journey Potosi - El Tejar

Transfer to the old railway station in Potosi to board the Ferrobus to El Tejar. The fantastic journey on the Ferrobus goes into the mountains, calling many remote villages and indigenous communities. In the afternoon, the Ferrobus reaches El Tejar, in the outskirts of Sucre. We visit the locomotive workshop near the El Tejar station and transfer then to Sucre where we stay overnight in Sucre.

Ferrobus Potosi
Day 14: Road travel from Sucre to Aiquile

In the morning you have free time in Sucre. In the afternoon, we travel in a private vehicle to Aiquile. In Aiquile, we visit a famous workshop for the “Charango” Instrument which is a kind of a small guitar. Aiquile is considered the capital of the Charango and every year is held a large festival with this instrument. We stay overnight in Aiquile in a basic lodge.

Day 15: Ferrobus from Aiquile to Cochabamba

The Ferrobus journey to Cochabamba is one of the most authentic train adventures in South America. The rails cross mountains, follow turbulent rivers, stop at remote villages and small towns before reaching the city of Cochabamba. In Cochabamba, we stay overnight at a centrally located Hotel in the city.

Ferrobus to Cochabamba
Day 16: City Tour in Cochabamba

We do a city tour in Cochabamba. Cochabamba is a charming city with a modern vibe. We visit the main square and the nearby San Francisco Convent. Overnight we stay in Cochabamba. 

Cochabamba
Day 17: Departure

At the agreed time, transfer to the Airport and flight to your home country. 

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