Train travel has the grandiose air of decadence that no other form of travel has. It’s the bastion of a forgotten era and has a nostalgic allure, and it’s for these reasons that rail travel is so irresistible for luxury travellers. It’s a catalyst for intrigue and adventure. It’s a thoughtful experience sitting in a suite with a loved one, admiring the beauty of country sides, mountain passes, and ocean views that roll past your window. All the while, an almost poetic and reassuring chug-a-chug hums silently in the background... |
These are my top four rail journeys in Africa that will allow you to appreciate the beautiful landscapes of South America in the most comfortable way.
1. Tren Crucero
• Experience Majestic Ecuadorian Terrain From a Seat Of Luxury
This stunning journey sees you through dramatic coastal plains, landscapes of snow-capped mountains, and even booming forests with a tropical flavour. There is a stunning variance in geography in Ecuador that will constantly leave your mouth agape in wonderment. How can it not, with places named like the Devil’s Nose, and the Avenue of Volcanoes? These sights live up to their behemoth like statuses, it’s hard not to marvel at over a dozen volcanoes in close proximity (don’t worry, most of them are dormant!)
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2. Belmond Andean Explorer
• Journey on One Of The Highest Rail Lines In The World
The most luxurious train on this list, the Belmond, ensures you travel through Peru in comfort and style. With interiors of soft whites and greys which are appealingly cosy and suites with double deluxe beds and bathrooms, you’ll never want to leave! But leave the sheets you must, as this ride through Peru encompasses some of the most brilliant sights in South America. You’ll never forget the all-encompassing splendour of the Peruvian Highlands or the calming wilds of the Andes!
The experience crescendos with sweeping views of the world-famous Lake Titicaca. Its astounding beauty is highlighted as the evening draws and the sun sets, bathing the entire lake in a dreamy orange glow.
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3. Belmond Hiram Bingham
The Absorbedly Beautiful Incan City of Machu Picchu Makes this Alternate Journey Through Peru Unforgettable
Before boarding the Hiram Bingham, passengers are welcomed with a cultural Entrée of authentic Peruvian dancers, musicians, and local champagne. This thoughtful start to the trip underpins the tone of this historical journey.
Soaring mountains and lively rivers of crystal blue dominate the landscape of this impressive rail line. One of the most inspiring mountains is the Sacred Valley, which is aptly named, as you’ll struggle for words in wonderment as you gaze upon the mists which circle around its tallest peak. At the end of this trip is Machu Picchu. A thoughtful and reflective experience, you’ll more than often find yourself in a meditative state as you succumb to the beauty of these Incan ruins.
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4. Inca Rail
• For an Intimate and Private Experience
The Inca Rail features the penultimate stop-overs of the above entry; however, this train is another experience altogether. Its unique emphasis on wide-set panoramic windows help give way to cinematic views, and large outside balconies and viewing platforms encapsulate this focus on immersion. In terms of offering a seamless viewing experience, there are no other trains in South America (if not the world) that do it better than the Inca Rail.
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Have these entries swayed your train of thought? Get a plane ticket and some travel insurance, and you’ll be kicking your feet up on a luxury South American rail line in no time.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family, annual, cruise travel and winter sports insurance. If you need travel insurance for Africa, or for business or leisure travel to any other destination worldwide, InsureMore has the best policies to suit. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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