The Central Highlands Sights


Ferrocarril Central Andino

Ferrocarril Central Andino Review

The Central Highlands' Ferrocarril Central Andino once laid claim to being the world's highest rail route. With the 2006 opening of China's Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the Peru route was knocked down to second place. No matter, though: this is one of the country's most scenic areas, and tracks cut through the mountains and plains all the way from Lima to Huancayo. The line these days is a shadow of what it once was, and trains ply the route only once or twice a month between May and November, requiring some careful planning if you want the journey to be a centerpiece of your visit to Peru. (The railway's website lists departure dates, with Lima-Huancayo service operating mostly every other Friday. Trains depart the capital's Desamparados train station at 7 am for the 12-hour journey to Huancayo. Return trips to Lima usually take place the following Sunday. The 335-km (207-mile) route twists through the Andes at an elevation of 4,782 meters (15,685 feet). The engine chugs its way up a slim thread of rails that hugss the slopes, speeding over 59 bridges, around endless hairpin curves, and through 66 tunnels—including the 1,175-meter- (3,854-foot-) long Galera Tunnel, which, at an altitude of 4,758 meters (15,606 feet) is its highest point. Snacks, lunch, and soft drinks are included in the price (S/19578-S/35024 round-trip). You can request oxygen if you get short of breath over the high passes, and the mate de coca is poured freely. The decades-old Clásico cars are okay in a pinch, but the newer Turístico cars are much more comfortable with reclining seats and access to the observation and bar car.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Ticket Office, Av. José Gálvez Barrenechea 566, San Isidro, Lima
  • Phone: 01/226–6363
  • Cost: S/19578-S/35024 round-trip
  • Website:
  • Location: Huancayo
Updated: 11-29-2012

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