Tren Crucero : Itineraries & Dates
Itineraries & Departure Dates
Train of Wonders: Departs select Tuesdays from Quito station
Train to the Clouds: *Departs select Saturdays from Guayaquil station
*The Train to the Clouds does not operate in May.
Train to the Clouds - 2019
|Guayaquil - Quito||Departs|
Train of Wonders - 2019
|Quito - Guayaquil||Departs|
TRAIN OF WONDERS
|QUITO- GUAYAQUIL / 4 DAYS, 4 NIGHTS|
Day 1 - Tuesday
Our first meeting will be at Chimbacalle station, south of Quito, a historic station that will open its doors to us with the country's railway history. 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 rose farm; there, 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 take a moderate altitude walk at 12,631 feet around the Limpiopungo lagoon where different varieties of plants and birds adapted to this high-altitude environment. Natural photography will be part of this afternoon before arriving at the hotel for rest.
Day 2 - Wednesday
The departure by train in the morning will be from Latacunga Station. We will cross the inter-Andean valley and then by a scenic cliffside viewing point the Yambo lagoon will open before our eyes.
During the journey we will be approached by colorful devils, part of a long Andean tradition known as the Diablada Pillareña (devils from Pillaro), a declared national heritage. We will celebrate this folkloric demonstration from the comfort of our train.
We arrive at 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.
We will enjoy some community tourism when we arrive at Jatari and the Community of La Moya where we will learn about the Quichua - Puruha culture and their ancestral work systems. Here we will be able to participate in some of these activities led by the inhabitants of the area. We will share the table with them and we will be able to interact with this culture.
After this great day, the train is waiting for us to take the group to Riobamba where we can enjoy its beauties. A handcrafted plaza and a short walk through the city will be part of the end of the day before the sun sets.
Day 3 - Thursday
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 colourful quinoa fields, picturesque villages and unique landscapes.
Upon our arrival to Colta, we will carry out a manoeuvre 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 manoeuvre 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 from the country.
A short trip by bus will take us to Alausí, where the oldest train in the set awaits the group; this one will transport us to the mythical Nariz del Diablo (the Devil’s Nose). An impressive system of switch-backs on a steep mountain that allow the locomotive to descend into the Sibambe valley, which during its construction was considered one of the most important engineering milestones in the country.
Our train will return to Alausí, and we can rest tonight in this small 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.
Day 4 - Friday
We will take our bus with the first sun rays and that will take us on 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 the coast and mountains.
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. We arrive in Duran before sunset.
TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS
|GUAYAQUIL - QUITO / 4 DAYS, 4 NIGHTS|
Day 1 - Saturday
Durán – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Alausí
Our first meeting will be at Duran station where a carefully restored steam locomotive will be waiting to transport us on a journey through time. With its roars and whistles, it will let us relive past times when these fabulous machines began to travel along the coastal tracks for the first time, completely changing the history of the country.
The first stop will be at Yaguachi station, the first one in the country, where we will say goodbye to our steam locomotive to make a way for a diesel-electric. We will be able to observe the exchange of these impressive machines from outside the maneuver area.
We continue through extensive plantations of sugarcane, banana, coffee, pineapple and a countless number of tropical products to Naranjito station.
Upon our arrival in this area a short bus ride takes us to our next destination, an agricultural farm where we will discover the process of harvesting and sowing Ecuadorian cocoa, we will be able to taste 100% cocoa and we will see why Ecuador has the best cocoa quality in the world.
The bus will take us along a road that climbs to the Andes, a very scenic bus trip in which we will ascend more than 2000 meters in altitude in just 4 hours. During this trip we can witness the abrupt changes of climate, vegetation and geography resulting from the presence of the Andean mountain range. This fact gives Ecuador an incomparable beauty and biodiversity.
Our first day ends in the comfort of our hotel in this small town nestled in the sharp mountains. Walking in the evening through its streets will give us a feeling of returning several decades in time.
Day 2 - Sunday
Alausí – Devil´s Nose – Riobamba
The second day begins with an impressive trip aboard a different convoy, which dates from the 20th century and will be waiting for us to descend through the fearsome pass of La Nariz del Diablo (the Devil’s Nose); an intricate switch-back that allows the train to descend 511 meters in just 12 kilometers of railway. The Sibambe station awaits us down below, full of people and different activities in its surroundings, a small community that relies on the tourist activity from the train.
Back in Alausí, we will have a time for pictures and to visit the local market; the quiet city lost in the time of the previous night, becomes the scenery of one of the most colourful markets in the area that serves more than a dozen nearby communities.
A short bus ride will take us to the Palmira station where our train is. Lunch will be served on board.
Our train will run towards Colta where the "Black Monster" is waiting, an impressive Baldwin steam locomotive that has been carefully overhauled. There we can visit the first church in the country known as the Balvanera or another option for train-lovers, will be filming the run of this with the steam locomotive ahead.
The fields of quinoa, potatoes, onions, corn and other products of these fertile soils, will be decorating the landscape while waiting for the great Chimborazo to show up before we reach the capital city of Chimborazo province, Riobamba.
Riobamba is an enchanting city where we can take a short walk. Its cobbled streets and squares tell the history of the country at every step.
Day 3 - Monday
Riobamba – La Moya – Urbina – Latacunga
In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will show us the life in the Andes, we will be able to interact with them and see one of the best examples of community organization for work, just as the ancestors taught the younger generations.
The tour continues towards the Urbina station. Located at just over 3,600 meters above sea level, we will get to know the páramo ecosystems of the outskirts of Chimborazo. Baltazar Ushca, the last ice merchant of Chimborazo, will tell us his story and explain the reasons behind his dedication despite the opposition and arrival of machines to the country.
The train will go through the valley near Cotopaxi but on the way, a group of devils will take the train by surprise when the Diablada de Pillaro (devils from Pillaro) is celebrated on board, a parade full of colors, music and joy that reminds us of the spirit of the Andean communities and their understanding of the world, this parade was declared national heritage.
The final stop of the day will be the Latacunga station from where we can get to the different hotels in the area.
Day 4 - Tuesday
Latacunga – Cotopaxi National Park – Quito
We will meet at the Latacunga Station to travel by bus to the Cotopaxi National Park.
The train will continue near the slopes of Cotopaxi, to our next stop, a typical Andean hacienda where we will be part of the daily activities of the Chagra hacienda. Upon our arrival we will be welcomed by these Andean Cowboys (Chagras), who will show off their skills as riders and teach us a little of their culture and traditions.
Our last day of expedition ends at the Eloy Alfaro station with a short walk inside the property, where our guides will allow us to discover the secrets of this patrimony.
The capital of Ecuador, the beautiful city of Quito, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, will welcome us at night.