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Andean Explorer | © iso8000/Shutterstock
Andean Explorer | © iso8000/Shutterstock
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The Most Beautiful Stops on the Andean Explorer

Picture of Brandon Dupre
Updated: 6 November 2017
The Andean Explorer is South America’s first luxury train which takes you through the magical Andean mountains of Peru – in style. And we mean style. The rooms are immaculate, you’ll be dining on high-end Peruvian food as you take in the Andes with eat bite of your ceviche and rocoto relleno – and that’s all before you hit the cocktail lounge. Here is your guide to the best views from the Andean Explore as you wind your way from Cusco to the colonial city of Arequipa.

Raqch’i

Your first stop along the Andean Explorer is at 3,480 meters above sea level at the ruins of Raqch’i. Once a city, after the Incas conquered the area they turned it into a look out point because of its high vantage point. The main attraction is the Temple of Wiracocha, a large two-storey building. Enjoy the views and the beautiful photo-ops before hopping back on the train for the rest of your journey.

Ruins at the archaeological site of Raqch'i, Peru | © lulu and isabelle/Shutterstock
Ruins at the archaeological site of Raqch’i, Peru | © lulu and isabelle/Shutterstock

La Raya Mountain Range

This mountain range couldn’t be more picturesque: snow capped mountains that rise above the plains will keep your camera plenty busy. You’ll pass through them, allowing for ample time to capture your best photo while you enjoy a craft cocktail from the bar.

Andean Explorer stopping in La Raya | © David Gonzalez Rebollo
Andean Explorer stopping in La Raya | © David Gonzalez Rebollo

Lake Titicaca

The first morning you’ll wake up at Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest lake in South America. The lake is home to the Uros people who build floating islands made out of reeds. The islands need to be constantly repaired as the bottoms slowly rot away. The lake is also considered the birth place of the Inca with a festival taking place each year to celebrate that day the first Inca came from the lake.

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia | © Bas van den Heuvel/Shutterstock
Lake Titicaca, Bolivia | © Bas van den Heuvel/Shutterstock

Taquile Island

The next item on the itinerary is lunch and a day at one of the lake’s islands, where you’ll be able to really experience the culture. The beach will give you unobstructed views of the lake and the mountains climbing up behind it.

Taquile Island | © Jamie Ahmad/Shutterstock
Taquile Island | © Jamie Ahmad/Shutterstock

Lake Lagunillas

Winding through the Andes you’ll come across another lake, not as large as Lake Titicaca, but certainly still beautiful. This will be your last time to enjoy the Andean lakes before you begin to make your way towards Arequipa.

Lagunillas in the Peruvian Andes at Puno, Peru | © ostill/Shutterstock
Lagunillas in the Peruvian Andes at Puno, Peru | © ostill/Shutterstock

Sumbay Caves

Next stop is the Sumbay cave which is famous for its cave paintings that are believed to be over 8,000 years old. Explore the cave and marvel at the ancient drawings – this will be your last stop before your arrival in Arequipa.

Arequipa

You’ll arrive at Arequipa, the beautiful white city in Peru that juggles both its Andean and pre-colonial roots with its increased modernization and urbanity. From the beautiful and rugged scenery of the mountains and pristine lagoons to the colonial city of Arequipa. What a trip.

Spanish Catholic Chapel in Arequipa, Peru | © Vadim Nefedoff/Shutterstock
Spanish Catholic Chapel in Arequipa, Peru | © Vadim Nefedoff/Shutterstock

Colca Canyon

Once off the train at Arequipa, you’ll certainly want to explore Colca Canyon, which is twice as large as the Grand Canyon. You can explore Inca ruins and hike down into the depths of this massive Canyon.

Colca Canyon | © Christian Kohler/Shutterstock
Colca Canyon | © Christian Kohler/Shutterstock