Discussion in 'Peru' started by bugger, Aug 28, 2006.
I've taken the train from Cusco to Titicaca and its a fantasic ride with plenty of stops in towns. The tracks a bit old but it all added to the character. Here's the Train Cusco to Puno stopped for a break. Here's the Train Route and Booking information
Cruz del Sur has bus service from Cuzco to Puno and it takes 6 hours.
I personally enjoyed the train ride and would recommend this over the bus for the experience.
Before working with Peru For Less I worked as a guide, and besides that, I've lived here in Peru for a few years now, and I've been to Cuzco and Puno both a number of times. Regarding travel between Cuzco and Puno, I think you're making a good decision in not taking a plane. That area is geographically stunning, and it is worth taking the extra time to let it soak in. You have two main options: train or bus. I'll give you what in my experience are the pros and cons of both:
Pros- Frankly, a lot of people think trains are fun! In the US people don't travel much by train. Non- Americans might not consider it such a novelty. The trains are pretty nice, and I would recommend that if you're going by train that you spring the extra cash for the Andean Explorer (1st class with a three course lunch), rather than the Backpacker (which is still comfortable, but you have to bring your own food, or buy a la carte, and the seat's aren't as nice). The last time I was on the train, we had packed our own lunch, and spent the whole time wishing we were getting the "good" hot lunch, which smelled and looked GREAT! Also, the hot lunch is nice, because it's cool in the Andes. I'ts not cold on the train, and if it's sunny it can actually get quite hot, but bring a jacket/ sweater just in case. I know plenty of people who consider the train from Cuzco to Puno to be "the best part of the whole trip."
Cons- Just as I know people who LOVED the train. I know people who got off not very happy, and wishing they had taken the bus. It's a nice ride, but it's also a long ride (last time I went it was about 11 hours). If you do decide on the train, bring something to do: books, games, MP3 player, etc., believe me, you will be thanking me later! Yes the views are lovely, and there are some very nice photo ops, but how many pictures of mountains and llamas does one person really need/ want? The train only makes one stop where you can get off, and it's at a fairly uninteresting place that is flooded with people who for the entire 15 minute break incessently try to sell you handicrafts (which I guess is a good thing if you're in the market for a lot of sweaters with llamas on them- but honestly, you can get llama sweaters ANYWHERE, not just there).
Pros- It's a much shorter ride than the train (between 6 and 8 hours). Also, there's a difference between the "regular bus" and the "tourist bus"- the tourist bus stops at neat several archaeological sites that you do not get to visit if you take the train. The buses are good quality and comfortable.
Cons- It's not as cool as being on a train (although being on a train isn't as cool after hour #3). The windows probably don't open (not good for picture taking). It's not as easy to get up and walk around as it is on a train. There is no option to get a first class 3 course meal on the bus.
So, in summary, I'd say, if you want to look at landscapes, you want to ride a train, and you want to have a good meal- take the TRAIN. If you want to visit archaeological sites, and don't want to be on a train for 11 hours- take the BUS.
Either way, if you would like more specific information on services or pricing, please feel free to contact me or my friend Ric by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-877-269-0309 in the US or 44-203-002-0571 in the UK. Hope this helps! Good luck and have a great trip!
Hey Lola and Bugger,
By the way, my email at www.peruforless.com is email@example.com
Bugger: Let us know what you want to do and we can provide a competitive quote for your travels. We can costumize and prepare the best trip ever. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your trip ideas.
have a great long weekend everybody!
When I traveld from Cuzco to Puno I took the train. It is highly 1st class and a tour in itself.
You literally go thru unspoiled Andean countryside. The train is very comfortable and a pleasure to enjoy the ride with a nice beer from the bar looking out the open-air viewing cart.
Taking the train is the best way to go
I believe the roads are much better now, so the bus option is a good one. You can even stop in remote places like Pikillaqta, Andahuaylillas or Raqchi
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