Nobody likes to wake up early to catch the train. But maybe a train to the clouds is worth the early wake up call?
During our final weeks in Buenos Aires, we were lucky to have Danny’s friends from Italy visit and take a group trip with us to the north west of Argentina. On our first day in Salta, we took a day trip on the Tren A Las Nubes – Train to the Clouds.
Railways are not common in Argentina (or South America) so the Tren A Las Nubes is quite a special attraction. It was originally built in the 1920s to serve the borax mines in the area, but now it remains as a heritage railway, and one of the highest in the world.
The day started early with the train departing at 5:30am (horrid, I know!).
When the train departed from the Salta station, they announced that we should keep our windows closed because many locals are opposed to the existence of the train (due to political reasons) and regularly throw rocks through the train windows.
Probably something we would have liked to know beforehand … it made me feel a little sceptical, to say the least.
But as we moved further from the town, the sun came up and some gorgeous views appeared across the Argentine landscape.
Including our first glimpses of cactus!
Throughout the day, we could see the shuttle buses chasing the train along its course.
It made us feel like rockstars being photographed by the people in the buses down below. We said hello to them with our most regal hand waves 😀
I’m always on the go when travelling, so for me the train was a lesson to take it easy and enjoy the ride. And of course, the smashing views. This area in Argentina is particularly famous for its colourful quebradas.
Don’t doze off for too long guys, you’ll miss the amazing sights!
At the end of the train line is the famous viaduct.
The little cars and buses below were waiting to watch the train to cross. But I reckon the view was much better from up top!
After the viaduct, we stopped at a little mining town called San Antonio a Las Cobras.
Where locals greeted us with their handcrafted goods and local products – ready to sell to us souvenir-hungry travellers.
Yep, even the little ones get involved with the business.
They really discourage tourists from handing out money to the children (to prevent them from becoming beggars) so we did our best to buy lots of woollen jumpers and little alpaca toys from the children.
When the train was about to depart back to town, I asked Danny and Tommy to take a photo of me with the train.
“Does my hair look okay in this wind?” I asked before they took the shot.
“Yep, looks great!” they replied.
Boys, you can never trust them!
Then it was time to get back to Salta.
I should probably warn you that it is a slow day on the train. And I mean slow – it takes 17 hours to go up and down. You don’t get back to Salta until 11.30pm with the train – which is why we decided to take the bus instead of the train back to Salta (which takes slightly less time).
Starting from 1,200 pesos, the Tren A Las Nubes is also a bit pricey. I’m not sure if I would pay to do it again, but ultimately we had a relaxing day with some beautiful Argentine scenery – which is what holidays are all about!
Looking forward to sharing more of the Salta and Jujuy posts soon. Thanks for reading