Memorable train journeys

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Memorable train journeys

  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Alright, I am sure I have heard there are a few notable train journeys in South America. I realise that bus is the best form of transport and I will use it all the time to see and get to places but I would like a train journey or two.

There is the cloud train in north Argentina.
Where does it go to and from? What is the cost like and more importantly, is it worth it?

I also heard there was a rather beautiful train journey to be taken near Paraty in Brazil. Does anyone have any information on it?

Also, is there a journey from Bolivia into Peru by train?

I will be trying to source data from elsewhere too and if I find anything as usual I will try to post it in this forum.

Many thanks.

2. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

The tren a las nubes, as it is called, runs from Salta to Puna on 217 kms of narrow gauge. Cannot tell from personal experience, but most people I talked to were rather disappointed about the ride, which is touristy and quite expensive. For train buffs, it may be different.

The company running it has an official website, which wasn't working when I checked it a minute ago: But all travel agencies in Salta know where you can buy tickets, or sell them on behalf of the railway.

As far as I know, there are no train journeys from Bolivia to Peru; there is one from Uyuni to the Bolivian-Argentinian border, but that isn't very interesting at all.

What I can really recommend, though, is the Ecuadorian nariz del diablo train ride from Riobamba to ... I forgot. It's cheap, beautiful scenery, and for some reason a lot less touristy than the Tren a las Nubes.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 3, 2007, at 7:27 AM by bentivogli ]

3. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

many many thanks for the reply.
I eventually found some info on the cloud train and it looks as if it runs Mach - December each year and costs just a little under $100 for journey and all meals but that is a 1 day trip.

I don't mind paying for something special but lots I am reading say this isn't what people hoped for.

I will check out these other journey's you mention now.

thanks again,

4. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I thought of two more; Sta Cruz (Bolivia) - Corumbá (Brazil), aka the death train, is an overnight jungle crossing. Nice and convenient if you're in the area, but not something to make a detour for. The other is a train ride near Curitiba, Brazil, which reportedly takes you through beautiful scenery. All are pretty short rides, though; same for Nariz del Diablo, which takes some 4 hours only.

A longer one is the Argentinian ride from Buenos Aires to Bariloche; the tracks have been idle for over 3 decades, but recently someone started a commercial service. I don't have details, but I did that stretch by bus, and I can vouch for beautiful scenery.

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 3, 2007, at 8:04 AM by bentivogli ]

5. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Now we are talking.
The Curitiba one is the one I was thinking of when i mentioned Paraty.
Only a few hundred km's out Knew it was on the coast of Brazil though!!

I plan to travel from Bs As to Bariloche too so that would be a good one to look into in the future if it develops further.

Many thanks.

6. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Curitiba - Paranagua
need to book in advance
R$26 for the basic seat which looks ok to me.

it is called the serra verde express and it runs daily.

As mentioned above, the scenery looks beautiful.

7. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

this train is after 9 years back,1x per month,mostly the last weekend.

Lima to Huancayo,it is a 12 hour trip,highest point is only a little bit below 5000 meters!
It is the 2.highest train track after China.
Beautyful scenery I enjoyed the trip in Feb.
the train leefs at friday and returns to Lima at Sunday evening.
I stayed longer and returned by bus to Lima.
The train has very comfy seats,you get Coca tea,and light meals.
Before the train stops at the highest point of the trip they give everybody a plastic bag(in case you have to vomit)they carry also oxigen bottles,I was very close to ask for it,was very lightheaded.

8. Posted by dbo (Full Member 34 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

We took the Curitiba-Morrettes train last september. This leg runs daily, with extensions to Paranagua at the weekends I believe. The journey to Morrettes takes four hours (one way) and skirts through some of the lower altitude towns before entering more mountainous jungle terrain and overlooks some beautiful gorges and passes. Well worth checking out... Morrettes is itself is particularly quiet with some lovely restaurants overlooking the river. If you don't want to catch the train back there is a bus which runs back to Curitiba.

9. Posted by Nermal (Budding Member 9 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Does anyone know the amazing train journey though the mountains in equador, with a glass/plastic roof. I saw it on some travel programme and I know it's popular but I just cannot for the name of me remember what it is.

10. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

El tren de las nubes is not running now, the official information say probably in July it will work again...