Information for Train Travel in Bolivia


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Train travel can be a truly unique experience in Bolivia, not only because it will give you a chance to see some gorgeous landscapes, but because the rugged topography of this country changes often along the way. Distances between cities can be longer than travelers expect, and you may see mountains, tropics and desert in a single trip. Train travel in Bolivia has improved greatly over the past few years. Trains offer modern, plush seats, heating, air conditioning, and other features. You can now visit some of Bolivia's most remote regions in comfort.

Train Travel in Eastern Bolivia

The Eastern Network called Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental, connects Santa Cruz with Sao Paulo, Brazil by running eastward toward Quijarro, in the Pantanal region of Southeastern Bolivia, to Corumbá, Brazil. It also runs from Santa Cruz going South to Yacuiba, near the Argentine border. Beginning in Santa Cruz, the trip to either destination can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours crossing the lowlands (depending on which type of train you choose). The trains run almost every day in both directions. The Expreso Oriental is the fastest train. The Ferrobus is fast, reliable and very comfortable. The Tren Mixto is the slowest as it pulls a mix of passenger and cargo cars and makes many more stops in smaller towns. This railway company offers three types of trains which offer different levels of comfort, speed, and cost.

THE EXPRESO ORIENTAL
High-quality plush reclining seats | Restaurant dining car
Snack dining car | Television | Ambient music
Overhead reading lights | Restrooms | Air conditioning

THE FERROBUS
Sleeping car | Air conditioning | On-board service
Meals included | Television | Ambient music | Restrooms

THE TREN MIXTO pulls a mix of passenger and cargo cars and travels more slowly as it makes many more stops. You can purchase tickets for the Expreso Oriental and the Ferrobus online, but if you wish to travel on the Mixto, you have to purchase your ticket in cash at the train stations.


Train Travel in Western Bolivia

The Western Network of railway passenger trains in the Andes region of Bolivia was built beginning in 1877. It wasn't until 1976 that diesel engines replaced steam locomotives. It is called Empresa Ferroviaria Andina. This network has two trains offering different levels of comfort to passengers (executive and tourist class) as well as different schedules, using the same rail line. They are called the Expreso del Sur and the Wara Wara del Sur. The Ferroviaria Andina offers two types of trains which offer different levels of comfort, speed, and cost.

THE EXPRESO DEL SUR - 2 SEAT CLASSES

Ejecutivo Class:
Plush reclining 'semi-bed' seats | Heating and air conditioning
32-inch television showing DVDs | Ambient music
Carpeted flooring | On-board snacks included | Restrooms
Overhead reading lights | Blankets and pillows on request | Personalized service

Salon Class:
Reclining and swivel seats | Heating
21" television showing DVDs | Ambient music
Vinyl and rubber flooring | Overhead reading lights | Restrooms

THE WARA WARA DEL SUR - 3 SEAT CLASSES

Ejecutivo Class:
Reclining 'semi-bed' seats | 29" television showing DVDs
Ambient music | Carpeted flooring | On-board snacks included
Restrooms | Overhead reading lights | Heating and fans
Blankets and pillows on request

Salon Class:
Reclining and swivel seats | Heating
21" television showing DVDs | Ambient music
Vinyl and rubber flooring | Overhead reading lights | Restrooms

Popular Class:
Seats do not recline | Imitation leather seats
Heating and lighting system | Vinyl and rubber flooring | Restrooms

THE BUS CARRIL is a city bus that has been converted to run on a railway. It offers no on-board services, and the interior is that of a regular city bus (no reclining seats, etc.) There is one bus carril that runs between Cochabamba and Aiquile and all towns in between and another that runs between Sucre and PotosĂ­.

CHARTER TRAINS If you a traveling as a large group, you can contact Ferroriaria Andina to privately charter a Ferrobus train for excursions.



Safety, Hygiene and First Aid on Trains

The more modern trains in Bolivia are equipped with signage and information to ensure passengers are aware and informed. Many trains play safety videos and some personnel are trained in first aid. Trains have first aid kits, and the trains in Western Bolivia also carry oxygen tanks, stretchers and wheelschairs for those who may be affected by the high altitude. All trains are equipped with fire extinguishers.

Climate, Weather, Remote Distances

Please do not underestimate the distances from one city to another in Bolivia, particularly if you are traveling to remote regions. When making your travel plans, keep in mind the distances between cities and towns at which the trains stop. Also remember to read about the climate and weather in Bolivia so that you aren't taken by surprise.


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