Lonely Planet Writer

New in Travel: inside South America's first luxury sleeper train set to travel through one of the highest rail routes in the world

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Travellers in Peru will soon have a lavish new way to experience the country as the first luxury sleeper train in South America launches next year. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, the travel and hotel company Belmond has released some images that show off the designs for the new train’s interior, as well as some of the sights that guests will see along the way.

luxury sleeper train
The interior of the Belmond Andean Explorer. Image by Inge Moore/Belmond

The Belmond Andean Explorer will begin service in May 2017 and will travel one of the highest rail routes on Earth, heading through the Peruvian Andes from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa.

luxury sleeper train
Railroad tracks in Peru. Image by Richard James Taylor/Belmond

There will be a variety of trips available for those taking the train, including the two-night, three-day ‘Peruvian Highlands’ journey. That trip will take visitors from Cusco, a city near the Urubamba Valley and a Unesco World Heritage Site, through the Andes – reaching 4800 metres in altitude. The guests will head to Puno to visit villages and the floating islands on Lake Titicaca before moving to the city centre of Arequipa, also a Unesco site.

luxury sleeper train
The interior of the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train. Image by Inge Moore/Belmond

For those travellers looking for a shorter jaunt through the mountain range, the ‘Spirit of the Andes’ journey will traverse the Altiplano from Lake Titicaca to Cusco, on an overnight escape.

luxury sleeper train
A view in Peru. Image by Richard James Taylor/Belmond

Beyond the amazing scenery, the company will furnish the interior of the train to provide another kind of beauty. The interior designs are “inspired by the texture of Peru’s hand-woven fabrics and the soft tones of the Alpaca wool blended with Andean slate greys create a sense of calm enabling guests to unplug, relax and enjoy the journey”, according to Belmond.

luxury sleeper train
The interior of the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train. Image by Inge Moore/Belmond

The train will accommodate 68 guests with en-suite cabins. The dining cars will serve seasonal menus with local ingredients, and the observation car will feature an open-air deck with an area to enjoy the views. However, a trip on the Andean Explorer won’t come cheap – prices start from $462 per person for the one night journey, which includes all meals, an open bar and excursions.

luxury sleeper train
Railroad tracks in Peru. Image by Richard James Taylor/Belmond

This will be the company’s 8th luxury train and follows on the heels of the new Grand Hibernian luxury sleeper train in Ireland, which launches in August.