Train to the Clouds...
One of The World's Highest Railways


The train to the clouds - tren de las nubes - is one of the three highest in the world, and together with "La Trochita" - Old Patagonian Express - the two most famous train rides in Argentina.

In fact, the list of the world's three highest include...


Tren de las Nubes: La Polvorilla Viaduct. Argentina
La Polvorilla Viaduct - © Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

Even though the service is currently suspended (until March , 2008), due mainly to restoration of tracks and carriages, the tren de las nubes was officially inaugurated in 1948, but it wasn't until the 1970s that began receiving international tourism.

So please check with your Travel Agent to confirm and don't forget to book your seat well in advance, as the train can carry up to 640 passengers only.


Today it's the biggest attraction in the region, and receives yearly well over thirty thousand visitors that come for the ride.

A journey of 134 miles (219 km) that begins once a week at General Belgrano station in the city of Salta and takes around 17 hours to complete - from 7am to midnight.

Due to the height at which the train runs, it's fairly common to see clouds under the bridges, hence its name.

It goes through 29 bridges, 21 tunnels and 13 viaducts, among other landmarks.
The tren de las nubes snakes its way up to Quebrada del Toro gorge, towards San Antonio de los Cobres - the most important town in the Puna Salteña.


San Antonio de los Cobres owes its name to Sierra de Cobre (Copper Hill).
Apart from its mining resources, the town is famous for its weaving, clothing weaved out of alpaca, llama and vicuña wool.

So the actual circuit goes from Salta's Lerma valley to Alvarado, Cerrillos and Rosario de Lerma to Campo Quijano, door to the Andes, and start climbing Quebrada del Toro gorge.


Tren de las Nubes. Argentina
Tren de las Nubes - © Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

You'll see wonderful landscapes throughout the ride, from thick lush vegetation to the deserted high plains of the Puna.
From then on, Diego de Almagro until San Antonio de los Cobres - 3,774 meters above sea level - reaching its highest point after Mina Concordia, at La Polvorilla viaduct - 4,230 meters above sea level.

The following it's the complete list of stations starting from the city of Salta, together with their height above sea level...


Cathedral of Salta. Argentina
City of Salta, Cathedral - © Secretariat of Tourism Buenos Aires

Salta city was founded in 1582 by Spanish conqueror Hernando de Lerma.
Beautifully preserved Colonial city, it's known as "Salta La Bella" - Salta The Beautiful.
Among its landmarks of Colonial architecture we find...


You must try the exquisite "empanadas" Salteñas - pastry filled with beef and cheese, with a glass or two of Torrontes wine, from the wine region of Cafayate - second biggest city in Salta province.

You'll love to visit the Calchaquies valleys as well, with millennial rock formations that are a feast to the eyes.
Among the most recognizable we find...


Do make a point to visit Salta province, in Argentina's NW.
Whether you're in Buenos Aires with a few days to spare, or coming instead from Bolivia or Chile, Salta is a province not to be missed.

It has superb landscapes, lots of gaucho and Spanish traditions, wonderful samples of Colonial architecture, and of course, world famous tren de las nubes...




So forget about planes, just catch the tren de las nubes and you will be flying like a condor over the magnificent Andean range of South America...


Would you recommend tren de las nubes as major tourist attraction in Argentina?...



News Update:

For more info on the tren de las nubes and to book your ticket visit trenalasnubes.com.ar
Prices vary from USD 120.00 (Low season) to USD 140.00 (High season) per person, including breakfast and afternoon snack. There is a restaurant on board - kind of pricey though - so bring your lunch bag.


How to Get There:

There are regular flights from Buenos Aires'Aeroparque to the city of Salta, even long distance buses departing from Retiro Bus Station if you have time to spare.
For flights and airport info, please visit Argentina airports.

There is also a bus connection to / from Chile and Bolivia.

If driving, you can get from Bolivia through National Route 34.
To / from Chile, there are a couple of options..


Where to Stay:

Accommodation in the city of Salta vary from regular Hostels to three-four Star Hotels.
Hotels:
Find and compare best hotel rates in Salta.

Hostels:
Book budget accommodation in Salta.




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