If you’ve never visited Peru, you’re certainly missing out. From incredible landscapes to vibrant culture to iconic sites like Machu Picchu, there is no lack of photo opportunities in this gorgeous country. It is an area rich in natural and manmade wonders, including one of the highest railways in the world.
Speaking of railways, what better way to explore Peru than by train? You needn’t worry about transportation, and, if you find the right tour group, you can see the sights in style and comfort while learning about Peru, the railway, and getting plenty of incredible photos along the way.
Of course, the hardest part of visiting Peru is knowing which areas are must-see locations for photographers. Let’s explore a couple locations in more detail.
Peruvian High Country by Rail
One of the best manmade highlights of Peru has to be the Ferrocarril Central Andino Railway main line, which is considered one of the railway wonders of the world. Until recent years, it held the title of the world’s highest main line track at 15,688 feet. It is now the second highest main line, yet the beauty of the surroundings certainly has not diminished.
As the railway winds its way up 13 switchbacks from Chosica to La Oroya, you’re afforded breathtaking mountain views. Between La Oroya to Cerro de Pasco, you see firsthand a combination of Peru’s gorgeous terrain like the Junin Flamingo Lagoon and the scars of industrialization, where mining has literally eaten away at parts of the city of Cerro de Pasco.
What makes this railway journey so unique is that it’s an exclusive offering for Special Interest Tours Ultimate Peruvian Railway Experience trip. The tour group gets to travel along tracks that are typically closed to the public, enjoying the scenery from open cars that afford you prime photo opportunities. With many stops along the way to test your photographic mettle, the journey is a slow-paced one that allows you to hone your craft and enjoy your time in Peru.
What’s more, the trip includes time with Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains Magazine, the Chairman of the Ferrocarril Central Andino Railway, Juan Olaechea, and the Chairman of Railroad Development Corporation, Henry Posner III. For train enthusiasts, this is a compelling line-up of railroading experts that only make the journey that much more unique and fulfilling.
Additionally, Special Interest Tours offers coach buses that allow you to get off the train and chase it as it climbs through the mountains, giving you plenty of chances to photograph the behemoth train juxtaposed in front of sweeping landscapes. As if that’s not enough, Hugo Avila, the railway’s private chef, will be on hand for the duration of the charter. That means you’ll have a fully belly and lots of energy to spend your days taking in the sights and taking gorgeous photos!
Lake Titicaca & Machu Picchu
The Lake Titicaca region of Peru is yet another must-see area for photographers. At 12,500 feet above sea level, the lake is one of the highest navigable bodies of water on earth. While there, you can photograph Inca ruins and spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the glistening water of the lake. Explore any number of natural islands that dot the lake’s surface, or find a manmade reed island to explore and photograph as well.
In fact, you can take a boat out to a group of manmade islands built with totoro reeds. The reeds are incredibly strong and are a central component of life in this area. They are used to make everything from boats to crafts to homes - and islands, of course! The friendly locals and cultural experiences are certainly worth the trip as well. Needless to say, photographic experiences abound whether you enjoy landscapes, portraits, or something in between.
And, like exploring the Peruvian highlands by rail, experiencing Lake Titicaca as part of a Special Interest Tours group affords you certain amenities. Take a boat tour of the lake, getting chance after chance to record its beauty with your camera while skimming along the surface of the water. Tour guests stay in a hotel on a private island on the lake, getting access to a private pier and observation deck, both of which are prime sunrise and sunset photography areas.
Better still, the tour group leaves Lake Titicaca in style on the Andean Explorer, one of the most beautiful rail routes in the world. Take in views of the Andes Mountains, the Huatanay River, and the La Raya station, all from the comfort of a glass-walled observation car. Travel to the ancient city of Cusco and take a day trip to one of the world’s most iconic sites, Machu Picchu, where you can document this gorgeous Incan citadel with your camera.
If you love photography, love railroads, or better still, love both, the Ultimate Peruvian Railway Experience is the photo tour for you! The two-part trip is scheduled for September 26-October 5, 2017. Book one part or both! Visit Special Interest Tours for additional trip information and to book your spot on the trip.