PERU: Hotel and cruise train operator Belmond launched what it describes as ‘South America’s first luxury sleeper train’ on May 4. Operating on the PeruRail network between Cusco and Arequipa, the Belmond Andean Explorer offers a two-night journey through ‘some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world’, its large picture windows offering ‘uninterrupted’ views of the Andes.

Comprising 16 coaches, the train can accommodate up to 48 passengers, offering four types of sleeping accommodation with double, twin or bunk beds, each with a private toilet and shower. Interior design has been inspired by the texture of hand-woven Peruvian fabrics as well as the ‘the soft tones of alpaca wool’, says Belmond.

The consist also includes a spa car, a lounge car with a bar and grand piano, and two dining cars serving dishes prepared from locally-sourced ingredients to recipes created by chefs from the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco. The observation car at the rear has an open deck enabling passengers to ‘breathe in the fresh Andean air’ while enjoying the views.