Experience the best luxury trains in South America in one trip - The Great South American Luxury Train Experience
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This morning after breakfast, you are transferred the airport for your departure flight home or to your next exotic destination.
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:
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:
What your journey price DOES NOT include:
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.
All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
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.
Tren Crucero: On-Board Facilities
Visa and Travel Documents
You can review this web site from the Ecuadorian Government to see the requirements for your nationality to enter the country. http://www.ecuador.org/nuevosite/serviciosconsulares_e.php
Ecuador does not require a yellow fever vaccine. Ecuador has no current malaria or yellow fever alert on any location.
Insurance (Personal and Otherwise):
Pre- and Post-Tour Hotel Accommodations
What is the weather like?
Peru’s climate can be divided into two seasons - wet and dry - though this can vary depending on the region. Temperature is mostly influenced by elevation: the higher you climb, the cooler it becomes.
Coastal areas - Lima, Ica, Nasca, Arequipa:
The coastal region of Peru is cool for its latitude and quite dry year-round. Temperatures are warmest during the summer months (December to March), with hot and humid days of around 29°C (84°F) and cool nights of just below 20°C (68°F). Winters (from April to November) are not too cold but extremely humid.
Highlands (Andes) - Cusco, Puno:
The highlands have a rainy season (November to April) and a dry season (May to October), when the days are clear and sunny but very cold at night especially at altitude. Dry season is therefore ideal for trekking and for mountaineering. Daytime temperatures will generally be between 16°C- 21°C (60°F and 70°F), although in the intense sunlight of midday it can feel warmer. Night time temperatures can fall as low as -7°C (20°F).
What clothing and other items are recommended to bring?
Please dress comfortably according to the local weather conditions. We recommend bringing sweatshirts, fleece jacket, raincoat, trousers, cargo shorts, t-shirts, hat, hiking shoes, sandals, swimsuit, toiletries, first-aid kit, insect repellent, aspirin, sun block and sunglasses.
What health precautions should I take before visiting Peru?
You should visit your personal physician for a check-up prior to taking your trip to Peru. The following are the recommended vaccinations for Peru: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhus, hepatitis A/B, rabies. P A yellow-fever vaccine is strongly recommended for trips to the Amazon (Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos). The vaccine is required for all travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or Latin America. The yellow-fever certificate is valid 10 days after vaccination and for a subsequent period of 10 years. Malaria is prevalent in northern parts of Peru and in Iquitos (Amazon). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) recommends taking anti-malarial drugs. Please refer to your doctor for the most up to date information about anti-malarial medication.
What precautions against mosquitoes do I need to take?
You will find mosquitoes and other stinging insects especially in the rainforest. A good protection not only prevents from itching but also from transmission of diseases such as Malaria or yellow fever. Wear light-colored clothing, long trousers and long-sleeved shirts; use mosquito repellents containing the compound DEET on exposed areas; avoid perfumes and aftershave. Use a mosquito net impregnated with mosquito repellent (permethrin). In case you have a very sensitive skin you could use an anti-allergic cream, for example ‘After bite’ or ‘Bite away’ that reduces the itchiness. Double-check that your lodge provides a mosquito net in your room.
Is the water safe to drink?
The standards for health and hygiene in the larger cities and tourist regions are relatively high. Nevertheless, travelers should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels, and try to avoid drinks with ice. If you’re trekking in the mountains or visiting remote rural areas where bottled water is not available, boil water to purify it or use water-purification tablets. You are safer eating fruits that you can peel or salads and fruits washed with purified water, as well as foods that have been thoroughly cooked. Your best bet is to avoid food from street vendors.
What should I expect regarding altitude sickness?
For a healthy person traveling to the Andes, there is just a minimal risk of suffering from altitude sickness. You should take enough time to acclimatize after arrival, especially in Andean cities like Cusco3,360m (11,023ft) or Puno 3,827m (12,556ft). We recommend avoiding physical efforts during the first few hours as well as alcohol. Try to eat light food and drink a lot of water. The local coca tea is recommended in case of altitude sickness. People with cardiovascular disease should not stay in an altitude over 2,000m. Altitude sickness can be counteracted by inhaling pure oxygen, and oxygen bottles can be purchased locally.
What is the official currency?
Peru's official currency is the Nuevo Sol, divided into 100 centavos. The US dollar is the second currency and many hotels, plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars across Peru accept US dollars for payment. Partly, the Euro is also accepted. Banks are no longer the place of choice in Peru for exchanging money: Lines are too long and rates are often lower than at ‘casas de cambio’ (exchange houses) or by using credit or debit card ATMs or ‘cambistas’ (money-changers), which are legal in Peru. Money-changers, often wearing colored jackets with "$" insignias and photo checks, can be found on the street. They offer current rates of exchange, but count your money carefully and make sure you have not received any counterfeit bills. We recommend bringing USD cash for the first few days.
How common are ATMs? Can I exchange traveler’s checks?
Peru is still very much a cash society. In small towns, it could be impossible to cash traveler’s checks or use credit cards. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are the best way of getting cash in Peru; they are found in most towns and cities. ATMs with the Maestro sign allow customers to withdraw money with a credit or debit card. Visa and MasterCard ATM cards are the most widely accepted. American Express and Diners Club are less common. You can easily pay with credit card in most of the stores in tourist cities. Note that many banks assess a 1% to 3% ‘transaction fee’ on all charges you incur abroad. Traveler's checks can be changed in the largest banks. Generally speaking you'll pay a service charge ranging from 1% to 4%. Most stores don’t accept traveler’s checks.
Will there be internet access or phone accessibility?
It is relatively simple to make local and long-distance domestic and international calls from pay phones, which accept coins and phone cards ‘tarjetas telefónicas’. Many of these cards can be purchased at newspaper kiosks and street vendors. Most phone booths display country and city codes and contain instructions in English and Spanish. Peru’s country code is +51. Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Mobile phones can be rented in Lima and the main cities. Internet access in Peru is very cheap. The rates vary between USD 0.50 and USD 1.00 per hour. Also, you will be able to find Internet Cafes, where most of the times you will be able to access for free via wireless Internet.
What are the guidelines for tipping?
A tip in Peru, like in most of the countries in South America, is given to reward good service. Porters in hotels and airports expect USD 1.00 for 2 luggage pieces. A 5-10% tip is sufficient in most restaurants unless the service has been exceptional. There is no need to tip taxi drivers. Fares are negotiated before departure. It is customary to offer your tour guides and driver a token of appreciation at the tour’s end, if you feel pleased with their service.
What should I know about taxis?
There are numerous taxi providers in Lima and other cities who offer reservations by telephone or hotel. These taxis are safer and drivers may understand some English. Street taxis are cheaper but not that safe. In any case, due to the fact there are no taximeters you should negotiate the price in advance.
Is bargaining common while shopping?
At stores and in open markets, bargaining (gentle, good-natured haggling over prices) is accepted and even expected. However, be careful of getting the haggling fever and trying to bargain beyond reason. Consider how important the one or two extra dollars are to you compared to how important they might be to the vendor. Bargaining is not common in restaurants.
What electric outlets are there?
All outlets are 220 volts, 60 cycles (except in Arequipa, which operates on 50 cycles) with two-prong outlets that accept both flat and round prongs. Some large hotels also have 110-volt outlets.
How much are airport taxes?
If the airport tax is not included you have to settle it after checking in at the airport. The amount depends on the place and kind of flight. It’s approximately USD 6.05 for domestic flights. You will be charged USD 30.25 for an international flight.
What safety issues do I need to be aware of?
Peru recognizes that tourism plays an important part in its developing economy and has taken great steps in the last few years to change its security record. The possibility of having a bad experience can be greatly reduced by taking a few simple precautions: - Copy all important documents (passport, air tickets) and carry only copies with you - Leave your valuables and important documents such as passport, international flight tickets, jewelry at the hotel, if possible in the safe. In case there is only one safe in the reception, obtain a receipt with each item listed. If necessary, carry important documents and cash in a belt under your clothes and do not leave items unattended. Be especially cautious in crowded places, especially at tourist hotspots such as Lima and Cusco; rural areas are widely safe. Remember that you are subject to the laws of Peru, and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these laws before leaving. Drug trafficking is a serious crime, and the export of cultural or artistic items from the country is not permitted. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night, travel in a group if possible and tell somebody where you go if you are alone. In case you get into trouble with authorities insist on seeing their identification. Check your change and check the banknotes and coins.
There is space for 54 guests on the train.
There train has the following staff :
Yes, the seats are pre-assigned and the guests can charge specialty drinks ordered on the train to their seat and pay at the end of the journey.
There are 4 bathrooms on the train.
Train is not designed for handicap guests, however they are welcome to travel with certain limitations (which we will advise while booking – a release form must be signed by the guest). Guides are not certified in sign languages or other type of special assistance. Guests can bring their own staff as an extra cost (regular fare).
Capacity is 50 passengers. 1 Expedition Leader, 1 guide per every 15 guests, 1 bartender, 2 waitress, 1 operational manager and 3 operation assistants. Seats are pre-assigned.
Smoking is not allowed on board the train or at stations.
No, both languages are spoken due to standard. German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese or Russian is available prior request and extra charge.
Yes, plenty distributed all across the train.
No internet is available on the train. Expedition leaders have a cell phone available 24/7 at +593 99 677 3894. On certain areas of the itinerary signal might be unavailable or very weak. In 90% of the itinerary 3G and 3.5G signal is available.
Soft/Non alcoholic beverages are unlimited and free of charge on board (hot or ice coffee, fruit juices, iced tea, coke, diet/zero coke, water, mineral water, infusions among others. We serve one AM snack and one PM snack. Snacks are based on local gastronomy.
They are not included. Cost ranges between US $10 to US $10 including taxes. Guests can open an account and settled it on the last day. Major credit card and US Dollars/Euros only are accepted on board. Travel checks are not accepted. US Dollar is Ecuador´s national currency. Euros are accepted with the daily rate exchange.
Alcoholic beverages or any other type of food not supplied by the train are not allowed on board. Itinerary is designed so they do not need to buy food/feel hungry while touring. The train has a boutique with a good selection of articles with the train branding. Lockers are free of charge and available any time on board for each guest.
Yes, there are two complete medic kits on board. Crew has first aid (including basic CPR) training every year, however they are not certified. They are capable to supply medical assistance while travelling. We do not supply or recommend any kind of medicine/drug on board due to allergies and train rules.
Luggage is taken on the buses while travelling. Lockers are small and designed to store small carry-ons, however valuables are recommended to be taken with guests all the time since the train is cleaned on every station and at the end of the day.
Train stations are located in central areas of cities. Most of the cities we pass through are small populations and they are easy to access. The address for every station on the itinerary is:
• Estación Eloy Alfaro, Chimbacalle | Address: Sincholagua s/n y Maldonado. Quito.
Esta estación es una de las Siete Maravillas de Quito. Horario de Atención Lunes a Viernes 08h00 a 16h30
• Estación Riobamba | Address: : Av. Daniel León Borja y Carabobo esquina. Riobamba. Horario de Atención Lunes a Miércoles 8h00 a 16h30 Jueves a Domingo 7h00 a 16h30
• Estación Eloy Alfaro, Durán | Address: Av. Abel Gilbert s/n y Ponce Enríquez. Durán. Horario de Atención Lunes a Viernes 08h00 a 16h30,Sábado y Domingo de 7h00 a 9h00
• Estación Alausí | Address: : Eloy Alfaro y Sucre esquina, Alausí. Horario de Atención Lunes a Domingo 07h00 a 15h30
• Estación Ambato | Dirección: Avenida Colombia y Chile, Ambato. Horario de Atención Miércoles a Domingo 08h00 a 16h30
Guests do have a meet and greet at Quito and Guayaquil for program starting. If a guest is joining on a different station, train staff will assist him/her.
99% we are on time. Delays do not exceed 20 minutes at the most. The Andes mountain range and certain areas of the Pacific coastare affected by rains and land slides on the rainy season (December to June) and this might affect the train operation. Itinerary is always subject to changes due to weather conditions and force majeure events.
Yes they are available during the whole trip. Native guides are part of certain activities, however the train guides always accompany guests. Tipping is included on the program price.
Yes, they might stay on board, however guests might understand cleaning staff could interrupt them. Crew might not be available all the time.
Yes. Room sizes vary depending on the hotel/hacienda. Room areas vary from 20 to 40 square meters approximately.
Yes. We recommend guests to use their own portable device or cell phone with wifi capacity.
No. Haciendas/Hotels in most cases do not provide a tub. Every room has private bathrooms. Interconnected rooms are available only at Cienega Hacienda on day 1 for the Quito – Guayaquil or day 3 on the Guayaquil – Quito program.
Ecuador uses 110. Adapters are not common on Haciendas/hotels, we recommend guests to bring their own.
Yes. Alcohol is always extra and calculated by bottle or glass.
Yes, we can handle vegetarians, gluten or lactose free diets at no extra charge. Special request for Asian passengers is not available.
Lunch is served from 12h00 to 14h00 depending the day. Dinner is served from 19h00 and no later than 20h00. We supply 2 to 3 options for dinner and is served to each guest. Guests can be accommodated separately by request.
We used modern and A/C coaches during the itinerary. Guests will share buses. As we used one or two hotels in the area, most of the time we use 2 coaches of 30 to 45 seats and separate guests by hotels. However this is not warranted and we might do several bus stops to collect guests in different hotels. This will not exceed 2 stops.
No. Doctors are available upon request/emergency.
Tipping is included on the program price. 10% is suggested for lunch dinner (main course can be calculated on a US$ 20 to US$ 45 per person). Haciendas/hotels do have attendants all the time.
Entrance fees are included in the price. In case of professional cameras (reporters or filming purposes) an authorization/fee must be paid in advance (before arrival) to the National Tourism Agency. We must receive a notification while booking.
Yes, on every hacienda/hotel. Price range from US $4 to US $10 per pound/piece of clothing. It is not pricy.
Ecuador national currency is US Dollar. ATMs are available only at Ambato and Riobamba cities. We make a short stop at Alausi train station (before of after the Devil`s nose) in case guests require an extra ATM machine.
Local and/or international food both for lunch and dinner. Menu is designed to avoid repetitive dishes. Ecuadorian gastronomy offers an excellent variety of options for vegetarians including quinoa and other grains (specially maize).
Water is ok for locals but not recommended to visitors. Water is always available on board the train/bus. Hotels/Haciendas supply one free of charge bottle of water per guest.
Casual attire is recommended for the train and dinner. Good walking shoes and dress in layers is strongly suggested.
Ecuador is GMT -5. Same time as NY.
Visas may be required. Please check with the the nearest/local Ecuadorian embassy/consulate. Palace tours doesn't assist guests providing visa or consultancy.
Ecuador do not require yellow fever vaccine. Ecuador has no current malaria or yellow fever alert on any location.
For Christmas/New Year we charge an extra fee for dinner. We offer special activities on board such as concerts with live music. We can make cake/fruit basket/champagne arrangements if required in advance.
Train is not designed for handicap guests, however they are welcome to travel with certain limitations (which we will advice while booking – a release form must be signed by the guest). Guides are not certified in sign languages or other type of special assistance. Guests can bring their own staff as an extra cost (regular fare).
Triple rooms are available with one matrimonial bed and two twin beds. This might vary from hotel to hotel.
No, transfer from the hotel to the train station for the start of the trip is not included. We would be happy to help you set this up.
Yes, these are included but to ONLY the following hotels:
Quito- Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissotel, JW Marriott
Guayaquil- Hilton, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Grand Hotel Guayaquil, Wyndham, Sonests
*2017: Please note that due to changes to the itinerary starting in January 2017, an additional fourth night stay at the Swissotel is included. Therefore, transfers to other hotels (such as Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, etc.) will not be provided or necessary. Please do not schedule flights or other activities for Day 4.
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