South America is not well-known for its great railway journeys, yet there are still several classic routes that make travelling through difficult terrain hugely dramatic and enjoyable.
In Peru, skip the Inca Trail and instead take the train to Machu Picchu on board the luxurious Hiram Bingham train, which travels regularly from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the jumping off point for the legendary Inca ruins.
Alternatively, board the Andean Explorer to journey from Puno and the shore of Lake Titicaca to Cusco and see rural life and traditional villages on the high altiplano that aren't connected to the outside world by road.
In Ecuador, travel from the coastal city of Guayaquil east through changing landscapes and into the Andes to arrive at Riobamba. On route a series of spectacular switchbacks help the train negotiate the Devil's Nose (Nariz del Diablo), a rocky promontory that appears unpassable by rail.
Our top itineraries for South America Great railway journeys
Explore some of Ecuador's most impressive landscapes aboard the award-winning Tren Crucero (Cruise Train) as you travel through the high Andes to the coastal city of Guayaquil.
Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, highlights of any visit to Peru, are linked by rail via Cusco along some of the world's highest and most scenic tracks.
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Whether it’s lavish accommodation, exclusive tours or trips aboard the continent’s most luxurious trains, this itinerary showcases the very best of Peru, from its Incan treasures to its spectacular natural world.