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Tren Crucero - Quito to Guayaquil (Train of Wonders)

Take a luxury train experience in Ecuador from Quito to Guayaquil. This journey starts in Quito, in the Northern Andes, from where you will travel towards Otavalo. Marvel at the snowcapped Cayambe volcano, the highest peak located directly on the equator. Here the landscape changes constantly, from fertile green valley to yellow dry forest, as you continue to Otavalo and its textile market. In Otavalo, a restored steam engine will await you at the train station. While onboard the train, encounter many wonders at each stop: skilled Quiteña woodcarvers, rich Ecuadorian Gastronomy, and local traditions of weavers, musicians and healers. Then as you descend 3,600 meters from the heights of the Andes to the shore of the Pacific Ocean, you will travel along the famous “Avenue of Volcanoes”. This fertile valley, trapped between the natural walls built by volcanoes, is home to a veritable treasure trove of biodiversity.

Pristine landscapes, endemic species of wildlife and flora, indigenous cultures, as well as archaeological and historical remains are scattered everywhere in this area, guarded by magnificent volcanoes. You may stop for a nature walk near El Boliche, where the Cotopaxi Volcano looms in the distance. The train will then slowly climb across purple-tinged quinoa fields towards Urbina station, the highest point on this route. Here, protected by the majestic and powerful Chimborazo volcano, you may have a chance to meet Baltazar Ushca, the last “ice merchant” and guardian of this ancient trade. As you continue south, you will pass through Guamote and possibly visit the indigenous market, before continuing on to the mythical “Nariz del Diablo” pass. This is a vertiginous descent of 450 meters that signals the transition from the Andes to the tropical lowlands. Here the landscape changes as you leave the narrow gorge of the Chan Chan River and its cloud forest and ride into the wide tropical plains. You will pass rice, banana, cocoa, pineapple, and sugar cane plantations as the steam engine whistles its way towards the Pacific Coast and the end of your trip.

Devil's nose
Tren Crucero near Devils Nose


The meeting point of the tour is at Swissotel in Quito. Please plan to arrive at 7:00AM on the day of departure at the reception of the hotel.

Please present your voucher, along with valid photo ID, to the representative. All necessary paperwork, as applicable, will be handed over to you at this time. 

Embarkation and Disembarkation.

  • Prior to the train's departure, guests have a meet and greet in Swissotel Quito.
  • If a guest plans on joining Tren Crucero at a station besides the start point (Swissotel), train staff will be available to help coordinate the process.
Cities Covered Quito

Please Note: All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.

Meet the group at Swissotel at 6:30 AM, where we will leave for an exciting trip to Otavalo. Traverse the stretch from Otavalo to Ibarra and cross the northern valleys on a steam locomotive. We may visit woodcarving workshops, discover traditional food, watch a local music show and textile weaving, and visit a rose plantation. After lunch we return to Quito where we stay overnight.

Dinner at the hotel with the group.

Accommodations : Swisshotel Quito,Quito(Other) or similiar
Cities Covered Urbina ,  Riobamba

Journey across the Avenue of the Volcanoes, and explore the Andean woods and ecosystems in the El Boliche area. Have lunch en route and possibly stop for a nature walk amid the lush Ecuadorian landscape. Proceed to Urbina, where we may get a chance to meet the family Baltasar, the last "ice merchant" of the Chimborazo slopes. We journey on to Riobamba, where we will spend the night in a comfortable hacienda.

"The Last Ice Merchant" - A Humbling Story

Dinner is at the hotel with your group.

Cities Covered Riobamba ,  Colta ,  Guamote ,  Alausí ,  Bucay

In the morning, we depart by bus to Riobamba station. Tren Crucero travels across stunning Andean landscapes to Colta, where we have a short stop to visit Balbanera church, the first mark Christianity made upon its arrival to these lands in 1534. Then we travel to Guamote and possibly explore its famous indigenous market, one of the last authentic markets in the Ecuadorian Andes. We will have lunch and switch the locomotive to a Diesel Engine in preparation for the Devil's Nose Ride. In the afternoon we travel across fascinating natural geological formations and then start our descent down the famous Devil´s Nose. Here the train has to perform zigzag maneuvers, descending 200 meters of altitude whilst traversing 3 kilometers of rail. We make a short stop at a viewpoint to observe and photograph this magnificent engineering achievement, known as the most difficult railway project in the world. We continue our journey into Bucay, where we will disembark and spend the night.

Dinner is with your group.

Cities Covered Bucay ,  Guayaquil

After breakfast, we depart by train from Bucay station. Our journey brings us alongside the tropical rainforest, home to banana, cacao and sugar-cane plantations. We arrive in Naranjito, where we depart by bus to a coastal hacienda. We then visit a cocoa plantation to learn about the history of this grain and its effect on Ecuadorian culture. We return to the hacienda for a chocolate tasting and a typical lunch. We continue on to Yaguachi train station and on to the magnificently restored steam locomotive that will pull us up to the Duran train station in Guayaquil. This final and fascinating section of the journey passes through Ecuador’s coastal plain with its rich soil, lush vegetation, and plantations heavy with bananas, sugarcane, mango, pineapple and rice.

We will spend the night at a main hotel in Guayaquil. 

Cities Covered Guayaquil

Check out of your hotel after breakfast.

You can also choose a trip to the Galapagos Islands with us where you can enjoy a cruise or an island hopping tour - We got the best deals and experts that will make it happen for you.

Need more services? Contact us and we will be happy to assist with more extensions.

Departure Dates and Rates

Jan 201830Feb 201813, 27Mar 201813
Apr 201810, 24May 20188Jun 20185, 19
Jul 20183, 17, 31Aug 201814, 28Sep 201811, 25
Oct 20189, 23Nov 20186, 27Dec 201811
Jan 20198, 22Feb 20195, 19Mar 20195, 19
Apr 20192, 16May 201928Jun 201911, 25
Jul 20199, 23Aug 20196, 20Sep 20193, 17
Oct 20191, 15, 29Nov 201912, 26Dec 201910

All Rates in US$ per person including ALL taxes and surcharges

ClassDatesSingle RateDouble RateTriple Rate
For departures January 30,2018 through December 10,2019 US$ 2,722 US$ 2,322 US$ 2,322
Luxury (Matrimonial Bed)
For departures January 30,2018 through December 10,2019 US$ 2,082 US$ 1,735 US$ 1,735
Luxury (Twin Beds)
For departures January 30,2018 through December 10,2019 US$ 2,082 US$ 1,735 US$ 1,735

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A visa or visas may be required for some or all of the countries visited on the tour selected. Please check with the respective consulates in your country for visa requirements and they may vary depending on visitor's nationality, origin and/or destination. Palace Tours does not provide assistance with visas or visa consultation.