Fast Facts

  • Location: Journey between Salta and La Polvorilla in Argentina
  • Attraction type: Train journey
  • Significance: Amongst the three highest train journeys in the world
  • Best time to visit: April to November
  • Duration of journey: 7 am to midnight
  • How to reach: By flight or bus to Salta
  • Nearest Airport: Salta Airport

Tren a las Nubes gives you the unique opportunity to travel among clouds. Amongst the highest railways, Tren a las Nubes in Argentina allows you to explore a breathtaking journey of about 271 miles covered in approximately 15 hours. Originally begun for commercial and economic reasons it now is an unusual tourist attraction drawing in thousands of visitors every year. The average height of the tracks being quite high you could view clouds all around and below. This train is thus often referred to as ‘train to the clouds’.

The historic train of the clouds journey in South America operates between Salta and La Polvorilla viaduct near Chile border. As you traverse this route you would come across 21 tunnels, 29 bridges, 13 viaducts, 2 zigzags, and 2 spirals. The zigzags are particularly intriguing with the train having to move parallel to mountain slopes while making a climb.

The route conceived by Richard Fontaine Maury, a US Engineer, was for the purpose of connecting the borax mines of the interiors to the main commercial centers. Construction of this project started in 1921, with the highest point La Polvorilla viaduct at 4220 meters being finished in 1932. Though inaugurated in 1948 it started its heritage journey in the 1970s. The route from Salta to La Polvorills gradually increases in height which is very inspiring. In between, there are nineteen stations some of which are Cemillos, Campo Quijano, V. Toledo, Ingeniero Maury, Puerta de Tastil, Meseta, Diego de Almagro, Cachinal, and Mina Concordia.

This train of 10 wagons running on the meter gauge track is hauled by 2475 hp diesel-electric locomotive.

Journey in Tren a las Nubes
In each journey, the train carries up to a maximum of 640 passengers who are entertained by folk music all along the journey. Onboard you would be served delicious food in the restaurant car. A doctor on board is always there for medical assistance. As the train stops in each of the 19 interim stations you might alight and go for a look around or buy local artifacts from quaint stores.

This fabulous journey operates on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from April to November. It departs from General Belgrano Station in Salta at 7 in the morning and returns at midnight. In the summer months from December to March, Tren a las Nubes plies between Salta and Diego de Almagro at an elevation of 3500 meters.

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