When you embark on a vacation, the fastest way to reach your destination is usually to fly. But when it comes to train travel, sometimes the journey itself is the destination. Traveling via train is both romantic and adventurous. You can curl up and watch the landscape change as it passes you by. Imagine a front-row seat to the towering fjords of Norway, the jagged shoreline of the West Coast, or the lush tea plantations of India. If you're looking to slow things down and take in the sights on wheels, then get ready for the best train trips of 2019. All aboard!
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Touted as the most luxurious train that operates the Canadian Rockies, this high-end railer unlocks a world of jaw-dropping terrain that's otherwise inaccessible. Linking Vancouver with the turquoise lakes of Banff, the Rocky Mountaineer scales rugged mountain sides and towers over steep canyons, all while you drink in the vistas along with a glass of wine.
From mid-April to mid-November, this exhilarating 12-hour route connects Lima and Huancayo in Peru, taking passengers on an heart-pumping trek through Andean mountainscapes. Departing from Lima, the journey starts at sea level and climbs to nearly 16,000 feet – taking the crown as the second highest passenger train on the planet.
Train travel in the US might not be as popular as in other countries, but this trek up the West Coast is Amtrak's most popular long route for a reason: it's absolutely breathtaking. Imagine long, uninterrupted stretches of the rugged coastline, the snowcapped Cascade Mountains, and unparalleled views of the hazy Pacific. Be sure to book a seat on the west side of the train!
Climb onboard the Darjeeling toy train in India and you'll feel like you've stepped inside a storybook. The railway – which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site – takes travelers on a fantastic journey from the lower throws of the Eastern Himalayas through vibrant rolling hills and tea plantations. It's a short trip, but it makes up in diverse, dramatic views what it lacks in length.
Sit back, relax, and sip wine as you watch the breathtaking Switzerland countryside pass you by. Called the #WindowToTheAlps, this eight-hour odyssey onboard the glamorous Glacier Express will have you gasping at every snowcapped mountain, idyllic small town, and abyssal gorge as you journey to the heart of the Swiss Alps. You'll be treated to panoramic views outside and the royal treatment onboard.
For a longer, more luxurious trek through India's wildly diverse landscapes, the Maharajas Express offers royalty-caliber service and white tablecloth dining. The tracks will feel like a time machine, as you watch mighty fortresses and opulent palaces pass you by, and you might even spot a tiger!
Watch the wonder of Norway's dramatic scenery from your window as it changes from serrated fjords to an endless skyline of mountains on board the Rauma Railway. The train gets it names from the emerald-green Rauma River that flows beneath you for most of the trip.
Oh yeah, that's right – for all the tequila aficionados out there, there's an all-you-can-drink tequila train in Mexico that blends luxury accommodations with your favorite liquor. The trip includes a roundtrip ticket from Guadalajara to Tequila, along with an open tequila bar, snacks, tequila tasting with an expert, a tour of Jose Cuervo distillery, and a Mexican Cultural Show.
This famous trek in northern Argentina is known for its great heights – one of the highest traversing railers in the world. You'll get to explore the incredible landscapes surrounding the historic province of Salta (with some time to explore the city itself off the tracks, too), like rolling hills of textured sediment, colorful rock formations, and panoramic views of the countryside.
Called the train to the end of the world, this short trek from Ushuaia to the Tierra del Fuego National Park is the southernmost train on the globe, taking passengers through magnificent lakes, lagoons, and rivers to the tip of Argentina. The train ticket includes a tour of the park and the absolutely breathtaking Patagonian scenery.
Do you think watching the vibrant Canadian landscape change and roll by through a window sounds enchanting? The Canadian kicks things up a notch with panoramic glass dome cars, so you can take in the views from every angle. This four day, three night pilgrimage links Toronto and Vancouver, spanning miles and miles of prairie fields, crystal blue lakes, storybook-like towns, and the rugged Rockies.
Pack your binoculars and slouchy hat and get ready to navigate the great Australian Outback. The Ghan Expedition is an immersive travel experience, where you'll journey from Darwin to Adelaide to explore some of the most remote parts of the continent. This four-day, three-night expedition includes off-train excursions, such as a starlit dinner in the glistening Red Centre.
This deluxe train in Africa combines luxury train travel with a safari in a two-week expedition across South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. The elegant wood-paneled carriages are a relic of a different time, when travel was slower, simpler, and far more romantic.
This trek through the wondrous terrain of Sri Lanka proves that train travel doesn't have to be expensive to be magnificent. Arguably one of the most visually beautiful train rides in the world, the seven-hour journey from Kandy to Nuwara only costs a few dollars and will take you on an epic journey through Sri Lanka's breathtaking countryside.
Bring on the highlands! Traversing the the Western coast of Scotland, this rail journey beckons more shades of green than you've ever seen in your life. Once you depart Glasgow, the Victorian architecture is quickly replaced by undulating hills, vivid blue lochs (lakes), rugged coastline, and towering mountain peaks.