TRAIN CRUISE: Train of Wonders
Quito - Guayaquil
4 days / 4 nights (Tuesday-Friday)
Experience the wonders of Ecuador on board Tren Crucero, recognized as the Leading Luxury Train in South America in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Modern, electric-diesel and lovingly restored, antique steam locomotives pull a high-quality convoy of two luxury, Colonial and Republican-style themed passenger cars carrying just fifty passengers, to ensure personalized service for all. A bar and gift-shop car with two comfortable observation lounges and an open-air terrace complete the setup of this comfortable, select boutique train.
Day 1: Quito - Lasso
- Our first meeting will be at the Chimbacalle station, south of Quito, a historic station that will open its doors to us with the country’s railway history from 1908. On our train, we will cross the impressive “Avenue of the Volcanoes”; the term that Alexander von Humboldt gave to this part of the Andean ridge, where there are more than 20 volcanoes, few of them still active.
- We will arrive at the second highest station of the Ecuadorian railway system and disembark to begin our journey through a farm of Roses, where we will learn why Ecuador gathers all the right characteristics to produce some of the best roses in the world.
- After lunch we will go up to the Cotopaxi National Park. Within the park we can enjoy a moderate altitude walk at 12,631 feet around the Limpiopungo lagoon, where we find different varieties of plants and birds adapted to this altitude environment. Natural photography will be part of this afternoon before arriving at a historic hacienda for accommodation.
Day 2: Lasso - Riobamba
- The departure by train in the morning will be from Latacunga Station. We will cross the inter-Andean valley and then the Yambo lagoon will open before our eyes by a scenic cliff.
- During the journey we will be approached by colorful devils from Pillaro village, part of a long Andean tradition known as the “Diablada Pillareña”, declared national heritage. We will celebrate with this folkloric demonstration from the comfort of our train. We will arrive to Urbina station, the highest point of our visit, located at 3609 meters above sea level (11 000 feet). There we will be received by Baltazar Ushca, the last ice merchant of the Chimborazo who will share the secrets of his old and almost extinct tradition. Enjoy some community experience, when we arrive to Jatari and the Community of La Moya where we will learn about the Quichua – Puruha culture and their ancestral work systems, we will be able to participate in some of these activities led by the inhabitants of the area. Share the table with them and be able to interact with this amazing culture.
- After this great day, the train is waiting for us to take the group to Riobamba, a unique historical town for the country and for the railroad development in the past, where we can enjoy its beauties, the handcraft plaza, and a short walk through the city will be part of the end of the day before the sun sets. Accommodation.
Day 3: Riobamba - Devil's Nose - Alausí
- Early in the morning, we will head to the historic Riobamba station, where a huge steam locomotive known as “The Black Monster” will be waiting to take us through colorful quinoa fields, picturesque villages, and unique landscapes.
- Upon our arrival to Colta, we will carry out a maneuver that will switch the steam locomotive for a diesel-electric machine; meanwhile, we can visit the first church in Ecuador known as the Balvanera or you can film the train with the steam locomotive before we leave it behind from the outside of the maneuver area. Once in Guamote, we will visit an authentic Andean market, where people from several communities come together to trade a myriad of products. This market has maintained its traditional essence and with luck, we will be able to observe how the barter works among the merchants that meet there coming from many other indigenous communities of the country.
- A short trip by bus will take us to Alausí, where the patrimonial set awaits the group; that one will transport us to the mythical Devil's Nose. An impressive system of switch-backs on a steep mountain that allows the locomotive to descend into the Sibambe valley; during its construction, it was considered one of the most important engineering milestones in the country.
- Our patrimonial set will return to Alausí, the small town of the Five Heritages, we will rest this night in this tiny city nestled in between sharp mountains and diverse plantations. Walking at night through its streets will give us a feeling of returning several decades in time. Accommodation.
Day 4: Alausí - Durán
- We will take our bus early in the morning through a scenic trip from the imposing Andes to the quiet esplanades of the Pacific coast. During this trip we can witness the dramatic climatic and geographical changes that mark the transition between coast and mountains.
- We will arrive at a very traditional and tasteful hacienda in the Coast of Ecuador; we will take a tour inside one of the plantations and learn about the sowing and harvesting of Ecuadorian cacao, which is considered the best cocoa bean in the world. Our lunch will be served at the hacienda and we will enjoy the gastronomy of local cuisine.
- Our next destination will be Naranjito where we will board the train to Yaguachi, the first station built for the Ecuadorian railway system. There, a Baldwin steam locomotive awaits us to lead the train to its final destination on this trip, a journey full of wonderful landscapes and cultural experiences. Arrival to Duran before sunset. Accommodation.
- CLOTHING: Wear layers: a jacket for cold weather and a light coat for the rain (coast). Comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen with high SPF, repellant, sunglasses. Don’t forget your camera! ALTITUDE: It ranges from 80 to 3,610 meters above sea level. The temperature ranges from 14 ° to 35 °C.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: All itineraries are subjected to change due to force majeure or technical, operational circumstances.