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Tren Crucero and The Galapagos Islands (From Guayaquil)


Packed to the brim with adventure, natural wonders and unique flora and fauna, this tour allows you to experience the luxurious Tren Crucero train as it passes through Ecuador. Here you get to delight in various local delicacies, like chocolates created from Cacao harvested in plantations. Then as you pass through the town of Quito and its lovely church, you will also be able to indulge in traditional soups like fanesca. After this as you travel to the Galapagos Islands, you can check out Giant Turtles and the nearby lava tunnels, and finish off this decadent experience with brown sugar harvested from local plantations.

Highlights of Tren Crucero:

  • Let history come to life as an authentic steam locomotive carries you through some of the most exciting parts of the journey.
  • Climb the Devil's Nose, a masterpiece of engineering that is known as the most challenging railroad anywhere in the world.
  • Meet the Last Ice Merchant, whose way of life gathering ice from volcanic slopes stretches back for countless generations.
  • Visit a rose plantation and cacao plantation and learn why Ecuador's crops are some of the best on earth!
  • Walk beneath sky-scraping mountains and active volcanoes in Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Enjoy breathtaking landscapes visible only by train!
  • Enjoy accommodations in historical farm houses, called haciendas, where you will experience local customs and cuisine!
  • Avail yourself of the professional staff devoted to attending to all your needs.

Highlights of the Galapagos Islands:

  • Make your way to the Charles Darwin research station to learn about conservation efforts and see several species of famous Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat!
    • Swim and snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, penguins, rays, and many species of tropical fish along beautiful coral beaches.
    • Observe animals in their natural habitats--like blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, iguanas, and more--and marvel at the lush vegetation of the islands. 
    • Walk through tunnels made of cooled lava and learn all about the Galapagos Islands' volcanic history!
    • Watch how cacao is harvested and produced at a family-owned cacao plantation.

Itinerary


Cities Covered Guayaquil

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

Welcome to Ecuador! Upon your arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and driven to the Wyndham Guayaquil, where you can enjoy a night to yourself and rest in preparation for your exciting journey in the morning!

Overnight in Guayaquil.



Cities Covered Guayaquil ,  Baltra Island ,  Santa Cruz Island

Make it to the airport bright and early for your flight from Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands!

Arrive at Baltra airport. Shared transfer in. In the morning, we will head to the El Chato Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Hiking through lava tunnels in El Chato's beautiful scenery with those lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see the fantastic formation of the twin craters with other highland wildlife such as: flycatchers, owls, anys and various number of Darwin finches on our hike.

The impressive underground tunnels southeast of the village of Santa Rosa are more than 1km in length and were formed when the outside skin of a molten lava flow solidified. When the lava flow ceased, the molten lava inside the flow kept going, emptying out of the solidified skin and thus leaving tunnels. Because they are on private property, the tunnels can be visited without an official guide. The tunnels have electrical lighting (you can also hire flashlights/torches).




Cities Covered Santa Cruz Island ,  Santa Fe Island

Breakfast. Full day exploration with lunch. Santa Fe offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies to the southeast of Santa Cruz within sight of Puerto Ayora. Like North Seymour, Santa Fe has been uplifted seismically and you can see underwater lava formations.




Cities Covered Santa Cruz Island

Breakfast. Island excursion. The headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located side by side on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. There is an interpretation center open to the public and visitors may view the tortoise breeding program. Those guests who do not have the opportunity to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz and see tortoises in their natural habitat will have the chance to see tortoises here. And for those who have already seen them in the wild, a visit to the research station will see tortoises from the other islands and expand their knowledge of this unique, iconic Galapagos inhabitant. Tortuga Bay is located to the southwest of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Its name means “turtle”, and the island received this moniker because it is favorite place for sea turtles to lay their eggs. Many consider the stunning white sand beach the most beautiful in the Galapagos archipelago. The beach is reached via a marked and cobbled two-kilometer path that starts at the west end of Charles Binford Street. Guests must sign in and out at the national park control point at the beginning of the path. It is open from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily.




Cities Covered Santa Cruz Island ,  Baltra Island ,  Guayaquil

After breakfast,  you will return to the airport to fly back to mainland Ecuador, so be sure to make the most of your last day in this paradise!

Once you land in Guayaquil, a driver will take you to the Wyndham, where you will enjoy a restful night before setting out on Tren Crucero in the morning!



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 ,  Otavalo ,  Ibarra

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

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.

 

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




Departure Dates and Rates

Departures
Oct 20188, 22Nov 20185, 26Dec 201810
Jan 20197, 26Feb 20194, 7, 18Mar 20194, 18
Apr 20191, 15Jun 201910Jul 20198, 22
Aug 20195, 19Sep 20192, 16, 30Oct 201914, 28
Nov 201911, 25Dec 20199, 23

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

ClassDatesSingle RateDouble RateTriple Rate
Gold
For departures October 8,2018 through October 22,2018 US$ 5,466 US$ 5,066 CALL US
For departure November 5,2018 US$ 5,466 US$ 5,046 CALL US
For departures November 26,2018 through December 23,2019 US$ 5,466 US$ 5,066 CALL US
Luxury - Double bed
For departures October 8,2018 through December 23,2019 US$ 4,215 US$ 3,868 US$ 3,868
Luxury - Twin bed
For departures October 8,2018 through December 23,2019 US$ 4,215 US$ 3,868 US$ 3,868

What your journey prices includes:

For the Galapagos Islands component of your tour:

  • Transportation: Comfortable sea and land transfers
  • Accommodations based in double occupancy: 3 nights’ accommodation in chosen category
  • Activities: Visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in the Santa Cruz highlands, navigable day tour to Santa Fe Island, visit to the lava tunnels of Santa Cruz and Tortuga Bay beach
  • Meals Included: 3 breakfasts and 1 box lunch
  • Gear: Mask, snorkel, fins and life vest
  • Trip Leader: Certified EPL expert English-speaking certified local naturalist guide

For the Tren Crucero component of your tour: 

  • 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.

 

What your journey price DOES NOT include:

  • Airfare (Domestic or international)
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance fees
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Additional toiletries
  • Laundry service fees
  • Any items of a personal nature, such as souvenirs
  • Any items not specifically described in the tour itinerary.
  • Unless specifically mentioned, any pre- or post-tour accommodations, transfers to and from hotels at the beginning and end of the tour, or tour extensions are not included in the price of your journey.
  • All Ecuadorian citizens participating in this excursion must pay an additional tax equivalent to 14% of their total tour price.  
  • Transit Control Card $20 per person (Payable in cash only at the time of arrival in the Galapagos Islands);
  • Park Entrance Fee $100 per person (Payable in cash only at the time of arrival) 
  • 10 USD p/person pier usage fee in Puerto Villamil
  • Wet suit for rent: 10 USD per day p/person


N: Prices are subject to change without notice in case of extreme circumstances. 

*Please contact us if you have any interest in a shorter itinerary, we could prepare a customize one according to your needs depending on availability.

Terms and Conditions

PAYMENT TERMS:

35% of total tour cost is due at the time of booking, with the remaining balance of 70% is due no later than 75 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 68 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 68 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:

(i) Palace Tours will issue a refund but charge a cancellation fee equal to 10% of the total tour value if service is cancelled more than 68 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS.
(ii) Palace Tours will NOT issue a refund; 100% of the total tour value will be charged if service is cancelled 0-67 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS.

When applicable, Palace Tours will charge an administrative fee equal to 15% of the total tour price for any refunds conducted by wire transfer.

 

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 please visit palacetours.com/insurance.
Please note that as of February 2018, all guests travelling to Ecuador are obligated to provide proof of health insurance when passing through immigration in order to gain entry into the country of Ecuador. Guests must be able to show valid proof of international travel insurance, whether public or private, for the duration of their stay in Ecuador. For further information contact the consulate office at destination. For any other questions or concerns, please contact Palace Tours.




Get a free room night at Wyndham Guayaquil



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