Salta, capital of the province of the same name in the north west of Argentina, is the starting point of one of the most fascinating train journeys in the world. A sight worth visiting, before boarding the train, means a journey by cable car on the city's mountain, the Cerro San Bernardo and it takes ten minutes to reach the top of the mountain that towers above the city.
At the General Belgrano Railway Station, passengers board the Tren A Las Nubes for a unique train journey high into the clouds. The train has seating for more than five hundred passengers and all the carriages are modern and well furnished.
On its long and demanding journey across the remoteness of the Argentine mountains, the 'cloud train' passes through a total of twenty one tunnels. But it is not only the technical facts that are impressive, it is also the untouched natural landscape that is truly captivating, with fascinating forests of cactus that indicate the arid nature of the region.
Today, the line has become a real attraction but for some passengers, the thin air of these high regions occasionally causes problems. Some begin to feel light-headed. To cover such contingencies, the train contains a first aid facility. The deep abysses that frequently appears alongside the track can also unnerve some passengers, while for others, they just add to the excitement.
We eventually reach an altitude more than four thousand metres above sea level, the highest point of the journey and, after a short stop, the return journey begins.
The Tren A Las Nubes: an Andeean adventure well worth having!