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Taste of Luxury Rails in South America - Tren Crucero and Vistadome/Hiram Bingham


Experience the best luxury trains in South America in one trip - The Great South American Luxury Train Experience

  • Travel on the Tren Crucero in Ecuador - Voted the best train in South America from Guayaquil to Quito
  • Travel to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu on board the Vistadome train
  • Travel on board the Belmond Andean Explorer first ever sleeper luxury train of South America in Peru from Cusco to Puno

Book Now for the following Add-Ons : 

  • Sight Seeing tour of Quito Free!
  • Choose from -
    • One night at 5 star hotel in Guayaquil before the trip OR
    • Cartagena luxury escape (2 nights in Cartagena - Colombia before or after your trip)

This amazing combination tour allows you to experience the wonders of two South American countries by luxury rail. First, a luxury experience from Guayaquil to Quito by train! Onboard the Tren Crucero you will climb 3,600 meters from the coast to the Andes, and experience one of the most dramatic changes in vegetation and scenery in the world. The train travels through the coastal plains into a dense cloud forest that slowly clears before the imposing walls of the Andes and the looming “Nariz del Diablo” pass. Here the train will slowly zigzag its way up the daunting tracks to arrive at the quaint village of Alausi in the Andean Highlands. From then onwards, imposing volcanoes preside over the landscape as the train cruises through colorful quinoa fields and lands dotted with grazing herds of sheep, llama, and alpaca. On the eastern flanks of the Chimborazo volcano you may meet the last “ice merchant" and sample ice cream made from fresh fruit and ice from the glacier!

You will then make a slow descent towards Quito across the Avenue of Volcanoes, where you may visit a mountain forest as the Cotopaxi Volcano looms in the distance.  After this you will pass through the Northern Andes, where you can spot the Cayambe Volcano while you cross rose plantations and livestock farms. In the impressive city of Otavalo, home to a large handcraft market, a steam engine will await you at the recently restored train station. There will be many wonders in store for you on this section of the tour: skilled Quiteña style woodcarvers, rich Ecuadorian Gastronomy, and local traditions used by weavers, musicians, and healers. Your journey ends back in Quito, with a visit to its World Heritage Colonial Quarter.

Then head to Peru to come face to face with the Sun centric religion of the Incas and the many monuments dedicated to the Sun God (Inti). Here as your journey from Lima to the capital of the Incas, Cusco, you will see remnants of the Temple of the Sun and the Sacsayhuaman fortress. As you travel along the paths taken by the Incas to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley you will discover many of the beliefs and rites that were held sacred by them. Also you get to travel on two trains the Andean Explorer and the Vistadome, bask in their luxurious surroundings and taste great food and wine.

Itinerary


Your tour starts in Guayaquil with the departure of the Tren Crucero. Train departs at 8:30 am from the Eloy Alfaro Train Station in Duran.

Your tour will be starting at the Eloy Alfaro Station in Duran. Please arrive at the station promptly at 7:30 AM to ensure you have time to check in and board the train, which will depart at 8:30 AM. Upon arrival at the train station, you will see a check-in station for Tren Crucero: 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. 

**Remember to be in the train station at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure with your personal identification.

 

Embarkation and Disembarkation:

  • Prior to the train's departure, guests have a meet and greet in Duran
  • If a guest plans on joining Tren Crucero at a station besides Duran, train staff will be available to assist him or her.
Cities Covered Guayaquil ,  Duran ,  Yaguachi ,  Bucay

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

Our journey to the Andes begins in Duran train station where we will board a convoy pulled by a carefully restored steam locomotive. The roaring engine, steam whistles and steel wheels over the railways will take us back in time to the early XIX century and the adventurous experience that is the Tren Crucero.

Our first stop is Yaguachi, were we will switch engines to continue our trip across vast plantations of sugar cane, banana, rice and pineapple until we reach the Naranjito station.

A short bus transfer will take us to a local hacienda were we will learn about the cocoa bean and we will be part of the chocolate making process. Ecuadorian cocoa beans are considered to be the best of the world and you would have the opportunity to taste them while we visit the hacienda.

In the afternoon a “montubio” show will welcome us before we taste the delicious food of the coast of Ecuador.
A bus transfer will take us to Bucay were we will take a hike around the tropical forest, home of countless plants, birds and orchids that will marvel us with their different sizes and exuberant colours.

We will check in at our hotel and prepare for dinner.

Meals:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Bucay ,  Riobamba

Our next day adventure continues by bus when we climb the Andes on a pleasant 4 hours drive. During this ride we will look at the amazing changes in, landscape from the peaceful green plains of the coast to the colossal Andean mountains that cast their shadows on the road. Our destination is the town of Alausi were we will embark on a thrilling adventure on board the famous Devil´s Nose train.

Upon arrival at Alausi Train station we will join a restored XX century convoy and we will start our trip to the Devil´s Nose pass, a 450-meter descend in barely 12 kilometres on a zig-zagging railway that allows the locomotive to pull forwards and backwards the convoy to reach its destination, Sibambe train station. At Sibambe a colourful Andean community ballet will welcome us. Many are the histories that tell us why this pass was baptized as La Nariz del Diablo or The Devil´s Nose, from the shape of the mountain that awakens our imagination to the number of human lives that took to overcome this nearly impossible obstacle.

After our thrilling adventure of The Devil´s Nose, we will take a bus ride to Guamote. Lunch will be served on board and afterwards we will continue or journey north to Colta were an impressive steam engine locomotive known as “The Black Monster” will be waiting for us. This huge steam engine was carefully overhauled and is strong enough to pull convoys over the railways of the Andes where the altitude and lack of oxygen makes this a titanic task. Once we arrive to Riobamba a bus transfer will take us to our hotel for a delicious meal and a good night sleep.

Meals included.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Riobamba ,  Urbina ,  Quito

We depart for Urbina train station, the highest point in our itinerary at 3,600 metres above sea level. There, on the eastern flanks of the Chimborazo Volcano, we meet the fascinating last ice merchant, Baltazar Ushca, to tell the tale of his ancestral trade.

We continue north across the Avenue of Volcanoes a term coined by Alexander Von Humboldt due to the impressive number of volcanoes present in this part of the Andean mountain range. In between the two flanks of the Andes colourful valleys extend for many miles, offering you unique landscapes along the way.

While our train continues making its way up north the devils will take over the train. A picturesque and ancestral tradition the “Diablada Pillareña” parade will add a touch of joy and music to this beautiful day.

Under the watchful eyes of the Cotopaxi our train will makes its way to of the local haciendas to take part on the daily farm activities. At the hacienda we will be greet by the “chagras” the cowboys of the Andes, who will share part of their culture with you.

We arrive to Quito train Station located in the traditional neighbourhood of Chimbacalle were a bus will be waiting for us to take us to our hotels for dinner and a peaceful night at this UNESCO Cultural Heritage City.

Meals included.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Quito

Our journey continues in the morning with a 2 hours bus ride north across rose plantations and charming mountains that seem to be patched up in different colours by the many plantations along the way. Our destination will be the valley of Otavalo in the Imbabura Province. Otavalo is home of ancient cultures, skilled craftspeople and the world-renowned Otavalo market.

We arrive at San Roque Train station where we will embark a panoramic convoy on a journey full of hidden wonders, musicians, painters, weavers and the skilful woodcarvers who keep the complicated Quito School of Art style alive. Delve yourself into this amazing world of colours and textures while we explore the northern routes of the Ecuadorian railway.

After our train trip we will visit Hacienda la Compania, located close to the equatorial line, this XVIII century hacienda will amaze you with its export-class rose plantation and exquisite Andean cuisine. After lunch we will return to Quito.

Meals included.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Cities Covered Quito ,  Lima

Check out of your hotel after breakfast.

While your tour ends today, we would love to offer you a number of the optional activities in and around Quito including:

Day at the Mindo Cloud Forest
City Tour of Quito and visit to the Middle of the World
Tour to Papallacta for a spa day at the hot springs.

After a day of sightseeing or relaxing, transfer to airport for departure to Lima to begin the next chapter of your South American Luxury Rail Tour. You are met upon arrival at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel to relax and refresh after your plane flight.

Overnight at selected hotel in Lima.

Meals:

  • Breakfast

 

Accommodations : Miraflores Park Hotel,Lima(Other) or similiar
Cities Covered Lima ,  Cusco

An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel to have a welcome coca tea, which may help relieve altitude sickness. The remaining of the morning is free to relax and slowly acclimatize.

Your comprehensive afternoon tour of Cusco includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a remarkable Inca building, and the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area. 

Overnight in Cusco.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
Cities Covered Cusco ,  Písac ,  Ollantaytambo ,  Sacred Valley

This morning after breakfast, you are driven to the Sacred Valley to visit Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Hundreds of visitors and people from remote communities dressed in their traditional and colorful attires travel to the Pisaq market to barter their products. Enjoy some time to stroll around the market and buy souvenirs, followed by lunch in a typical ‘hacienda’.  

Depart Pisac and continue along the valley to Ollantaytambo, location of the Temple of the Sun, formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons. The Terrace of the Ten Niches is another striking sight. Ollantaytambo was the site of the only successful Inca battle against the Spanish conquerors and the only town in the area to still retain its original Inca layout.

Return to your hotel later this afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. 

Overnight in Sacred Valley. 

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Cities Covered Sacred Valley ,  Ollantaytambo ,  Machu Picchu ,  Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes

This morning, transfer to the Ollanta train station for a 1 ½ -hour in Vistadome train ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. On arrival, board a small coach and travel along the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel.Machu Picchu remained for centuries undiscovered by the Spaniards, only to be found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The uniqueness of its location and the genius that went into its construction make this Inca archaeological site truly one of the great wonders of the world.

A well deserved buffet lunch is served after your excursion at the restaurant of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located within the very sanctuary of the Machu Picchu Inca citadel. Depart to your hotel in Aguas Calientes and stay overnight. 

Overnight in Machu Pichu.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes ,  Machu Picchu ,  Cusco

After breakfast, the remainder of the morning is yours at leisure to roam around the majestic site of Machu Picchu, climb the Huayna Picchu (3000 m) or to explore the interesting town of Aguas Calientes.

This afternoon, board the Vistadome train back to Cusco, where you are met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight in Cusco. 

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
Cities Covered Cusco ,  Lima

This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, one of the most important cities in South Americasince it was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Explore the historic quarter and modern districts of the city and the main square with its beautiful buildings. The Government Palace, the City Hall, the Palace of the Archbishop and the Cathedral are still the most important places in town. Continue on to the San Francisco Monastery, the popular Plaza San Martin, and the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.

Afterwards continue to Larco Herrera Museum, which is housed in an elegant 18th century mansion built over a pre-Inca pyramid from the 7th century. It displays the most extensive collection of pre-Columbian art in Peru (45,000 pieces) and boasts the finest gold and silver collection of ancient Peruvian cultures as well as the only collection of erotic ceramics in the world. The museum’s didactic galleries, full of highlights, make it easier to understand the 3,000 years of the Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Columbian art and have been displayed in the world's most renowned museums. Return to your hotel.

Overnight in Lima.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
Accommodations : Miraflores Park Hotel,Lima(Other) or similiar
Cities Covered Puno ,  Taquile

This morning after breakfast, you are transferred the airport for your departure flight home or to your next exotic destination.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Departure Dates and Rates

Cost of Airlines between Quito to Lima, Lima to Cusco and Puno to Lima (Approximately $500 per person) is extra and is subject to change due to airline pricing. Airfare will be provided at the time of booking.

What your journey prices includes:

Ecuador:

  • Accommodations in haciendas/hotels for the four nights you tour Ecuador with Tren Crucero; all meals (except dinner on day 4) for the duration of your tour; complimentary water, tea, coffee, juices, snacks, and fruits on board the train; transportation to and from, and participation in, off-train excursions as described in the tour itinerary as well as the services of bilingual (Spanish and English) guides.

Peru:

  • 8 nights hotel accommodation 
  • Meals as specified (8 breakfast & 4 lunch)
  • Private transfers and services
  • Experienced English speaking guide in each city
  • Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • Vista dome train to Machu Picchu
  • Andean Explorer train to Puno

What your journey price DOES NOT include:

  • Air tickets ( they are quoted by separate )
  • Services not specified, meals not specified
  • Expenses due to mishaps
  • Tips in restaurants, hotel, driver and guides
  • Liqueurs, laundry or other personal expenses
  • Prices subject to change without notice due to variations in taxes
Terms and Conditions

PAYMENT TERMS:

10% of total tour cost is due at the time of booking, with the remaining balance of 90% is due no later than 45 days prior to the tour's departure date.

If a customer wishes to change their tour dates and their original departure date is more than 45 days away, then they will be charged a $200 fee per person.

If a customer wishes to change their tour dates and their original departure date is less than 45 days away, then relevant cancellation fees will apply.

Children between the ages of two and up to 12 years of age at time of travel are priced at 75% of the adult cost.


CANCELLATION POLICY:

  • Palace Tours will issue a refund but charge a cancellation fee equal to 10% of the total tour cost if service is cancelled more than 45 days prior to departure.
  • Palace Tours will not issue a refund if the tour is cancelled less than 45 days prior to departure
  • If any customer is a "no-show," than they will not be issued a refund and they will still be responsible for paying 100% of the total tour cost.
  • When applicable, Palace Tours will charge an administrative fee equal to 15% of the total tour cost for any refunds conducted by wire transfer or credit card.

 

ITINERARIES:

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

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.






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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.