The tren a las nubes which operates from the city of Salta in the north of Argentina is the fourth highest railway track in the world (its highest point is roughly 4,500m above sea level), set amongst an impressive mountainous Andean landscape.
The train (re-opened in late 2008 after refurbishment) runs from the General Belgrano station in Salta to the Chilean border and back, crossing countless bridges, viaducts and winding its way through multi-coloured quebradas and valleys. Certain points along the line are often swathed in fluffy clouds, hence the name tren a las nubes (or train to the clouds).
Although originally constructed for socio-economic purposes the train now operates predominantly for tourists. As a consequence expect to pay considerably more than on regular rail services in Argentina, especially when you are a foreigner (this corresponds with the two-tiered pricing policy applied to many of Argentina’s principal tourist attractions).
The train operates from March until November, departing from Salta and arriving in La Polvorilla and then returning, on certain days of the week (it’s highly recommended to check the timetables to avoid disappointment. Note that the journey leaves very early in the morning and returns late at night). During the summer months it’s possible to travel a slightly curtailed route on the same line to Diego de Almagro which is situated 3,500m above sea level.