10 hour train ride from Cusco to Puno

Sicuani Travel Blog

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our seat mates were much more enjoyable on this train!

One final, delicious breakfast at the hotel before catching a cab to the train station.  We were taking the nice train from Cusco to Puno and we had no idea what to expect.  We were in for a pleasant surprise! It was super fancy and nice!  We had a table with a tablecloth and lamp and big comfy chairs like you would find in your grandma’s parlor.  The train only runs Monday and Wednesday but it wasn’t full. 

 

It seemed to take forever to get out of Cusco but it was fun waving at the people gathered to watch the train pass.  Once we got outside of town we followed a river valley and passed many farm fields.  The scenery was incredible.  Well, maybe just really interesting.

homes in Cusco
  Men and women were working in the fields, tending animals, or doing other daily tasks.  I felt bad for the animals tethered near the tracks because the train scared them and they couldn’t run away.  Some animals broke their tethers and took off across the fields as fast as they could. 

 

At about 10:30, they had a fashion show in the observation car.  I wasn’t really interested in fashion and I wanted to stay back to try to catch some photos out the window.  We all got a free pisco sour - it seemed really strong, but it was still before lunch J 

 

The train continued mostly uphill to highest point along our path, La Raya, at 4,313 m!  This was our scenic stop.

looking out train window
  We had 10 minutes to get out, look around and shop.  I asked about an alpaca hat.  The women wanted more money than I was willing to spend so I told her how much it cost in Cusco.  She agreed to sell it to me for that price.  Wow!  I’ve learned enough Spanish to barter!  Cool! 

 

We were served a beautifully choreographed lunch with the wait staff walking out in a procession balancing plates on their arms and serving the tables.  We had selected our meals earlier and I ordered the vegetarian lasagna (I don’t think it even had any noodles, is that still lasagna?).   We had rice pudding for dessert and then the dishes were whisked away by the wait staff.  It was fun to watch.  They all walked out together.  Stopped at their tables, grabbed the dishes, and walked back together.

woman in field near Cusco
  And all this on a bouncy, rocking train!  

 

The landscape wasn’t as scenic between La Raya and Puno.  It was more arid and foothill-ish.  (Is that a word?)  After lunch I walked back to the observation car.  I didn’t realize the very back was open with no windows.  Cool!  I stood back at the railing and stuck my head out to let my hair blow in the wind.  Fun!  It was great for picture taking, only there wasn’t much to take pictures of.  So I just stood there with my head outside hoping I wouldn’t hit anything.  It got warm and sunny so I didn’t stay out long before bumping my way back down the aisle to my seat. 

 

The train ride was a 10 hour trip, but very relaxing and enjoyable.  We were served an afternoon tea with little teacakes or whatever they’re called.  As we got close to Puno, we could see part of lakebed of Lake Titicaca.  It was flat and salty looking.  Since it was getting too dark to take photos we played a couple rounds of rummy before arriving in Puno.

yadilitta says:
I always wanted to take the train from Cusco to Puno. After reading it, definitely I'll do it ;)
Posted on: Dec 24, 2008
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our seat mates were much more enjo…
our seat mates were much more enj…
homes in Cusco
homes in Cusco
looking out train window
looking out train window
woman in field near Cusco
woman in field near Cusco
The river we followed
The river we followed
cool bridge over the river
cool bridge over the river
harvesting river rock?
harvesting river rock?
rocks in a field
rocks in a field
Pisco Sour at 10:30 am
Pisco Sour at 10:30 am
train going around a corner
train going around a corner
river and floodplain
river and floodplain
woman tending cattle
woman tending cattle
awesome train car (everyone was at…
awesome train car (everyone was a…
men working in a field
men working in a field
using a sickle?
using a sickle?
woman with her sheep
woman with her sheep
may be a town meeting
may be a town meeting
topography along the route
topography along the route
a couple in Sicuani
a couple in Sicuani
harvesting sticks or grass?
harvesting sticks or grass?
couple watching us pass their field
couple watching us pass their field
cool rocks (dikes)
cool rocks (dikes)
small village in highlands
small village in highlands
small farms in highlands
small farms in highlands
vicunas?
vicunas?
train at La Raya stop
train at La Raya stop
La Raya market
La Raya market
woman and child at La Raya
woman and child at La Raya
woman and llama at La Raya
woman and llama at La Raya
Scenery at La Raya Pass
Scenery at La Raya Pass
woman selling llama souvenirs betw…
woman selling llama souvenirs bet…
llamas?  alpacas? vicunas?  I can…
llamas? alpacas? vicunas? I can…
choreographed lunch on train
choreographed lunch on train
awesome reflection on train windows
awesome reflection on train windows
tracks through empty highlands
tracks through empty highlands
passing through a village
passing through a village
not as spectacular scenery after t…
not as spectacular scenery after …
tea time
tea time
coming up to Lake Titicaca
coming up to Lake Titicaca
Sicuani
photo by: polvandenwirre