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Great South American Luxury Train Journey - Tren Crucero, Vistadome/Hiram Bingham and Belmond Andean Explorer

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 Quito to Guayaquil
  • Travel to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu on board the Vistadome or the famous Hiram Bingham train
  • Travel on board the Belmond Andean Explorer first ever sleeper luxury train of South America in Peru from Cusco to Arequipa

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.


The meeting point of the tour is at Swissotel in Quito. Please plan to arrive at 6:30AM 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 ,  Otavalo ,  Ibarra

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. Departing from Quito we drive north on a 2 hours bus ride across rose plantations and impressive mountains to the valley of Otavalo in the Imbabura Province. Otavalo is home of traditional 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 renowned 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.

We will return to Quito and spend the night in this world heritage city.+

Meals included:

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

We board our Tren Crucero convoy at Quito’s Chimbacalle station and begin our journey south along the Avenue of Volcanoes. If the weather permits, you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the train – most extinct or dormant for centuries, some active and full of life.

Here, the Andes range splits into two ranges that run in parallel. The fertile valley in-between these stone, volcanic walls hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity and a hive of agricultural activity. Our first stop is an Andean hacienda where we are treated to a rodeo demonstration performed by skilled local horseman – known as chagras. There’s also a chance to learn about rural life and meet the farm’s animals, such as fluffy llamas.

Upon arrival to Ambato Train Station 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.

In the afternoon, the tracks of the Trans-Andean train will take us to the inhospitable Urbina train station. During our trip we can observe the change in vegetation and landscapes as we slowly climb up to the chilly Andean highlands to Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary at 11,800 feet above sea level. Here, in the shadow of the Chimborazo Volcano, the closest point on the planet to the sun, we meet Balthazar Ushca, the last ice-merchant in the Andes, and learn the story of his ancestral trade.

Later on we will drive to our destination a typical Andean Hacienda in the hearth of the Andes were we will spend the night and be delighted by the delicious gastronomy of our hosts.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Riobamba ,  Bucay

Setting off early from Urbina, but this time aboard the “Black Monster” steam engine, we chug our way through the heart of the Central Andes, amid colourful quinoa fields flecked in purples, yellows and reds, alternating with endemic species of flora and wildlife, indigenous settlements and the remains of ancient cultures. At Colta, the train will make a complex manoeuvre to switch locomotives; we will leave the “Black Monster” to be pulled by a electric diesel locomotive and continue south. (Colta saw the birth of this charming nation when Spanish conquerors made its first settlement at its shores.)

At Guamote market, one of the last truly indigenous markets in the Andes, there’s time to wander, admire and barter for goods. We will have lunch before we take a transfer by bus to the mythical Devil’s Nose pass: a vertiginous train ride descent of 450 metres which includes zig zags carved into the mountainside. At Alausi train station we will board a carefully restored convoy. Beautiful XX century wagons will take you on this vertiginous descend to the Sibambe valley a unique and wonderful experience on board one of the most difficult trains of the world.

Returning to Alausi we will board our bus on a mesmerizing trip from the imposing Andes to the peaceful coastal plains. A dramatic change in weather and vegetation will mark the transition between these regions. After this four hours ride we will arrive to our hotels were we can rest and reflect upon the titanic labour undertaken by the Harman brothers to overcome the colossal Andean mountain range.


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cities Covered Bucay ,  Yaguachi ,  Duran ,  Guayaquil

A pleasant one hour bus ride takes us from the Andean slopes to the tropical planes that burst in colours with rice, sugar cane, pineapple, banana and cacao plantations.
We arrive at a traditional hacienda, were we will take a tour around its fields to learn about the farming and harvesting of the Ecuadorian cocoa bean, a bean so exquisite that is considered to be the best in the world. We enjoy a fine dining experience amid the lush gardens before continuing onwards.

A bus transfer take us to Naranjito were our cruise train will be waiting to take us to our next destination, Yaguachi. At Yaguachi train station a restored steam engine awaits us, ready to whistle and thrum its way across the fields towards the Pacific Ocean and the end of our trip at Guayaquil’s Duran train station. Transfer to hotels.

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Cities Covered Guayaquil

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by a day of leisure to reflect upon your experience aboard the Tren Crucero. You may choose an optional day trip or city sightseeing tour. 

Overnight is at selected hotel in Guayaquil. 

Cities Covered Guayaquil ,  Lima

After breakfast at the hotel. Pack your bags and prepare yourself for part two of this incredible journey: Peru.

Upon arrival in Lima, reception and transfer to selected hotel.

Accommodation at the hotel and overnight in Lima.

Cities Covered Lima

Enjoy a city tour of Lima this morning after breakfast. Lima has always been one of the most important cities in South America ever since it was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Your sightseeing tour explores 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 to the San Francisco Monastery, Plaza San Martin and the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.

You will have the afternoon at leisure for shopping or to explore the city on your own.

Overnight at the hotel in Lima.

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 remainder of the day is free to relax and slowly acclimatize.

Overnight at selected the hotel in Cusco.


Cities Covered Cusco ,  Machu Picchu

This morning, transfer to the Poroy train station where we will board the Vistadome or Hiram Bingham train to Machu Pichu (first class) 3.5 hour journey up to Machu Picchu. On arrival, board a small coach and travel along the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel where you will proceed for a guided visit. 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 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. Later this afternoon, board the Vistadome or Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco, where you are met and transferred back to your hotel.

Upon arrival, meeting service at the train station and transfer to the hotel. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

Cities Covered Cusco ,  Puno

Check out of your hotel in Cusco and transfer to the train station to board the spectacular Andean Explorer train for a journey south to the beautiful city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This classic and luxurious trip, recently voted ‘one of the top ten railway journeys of the world’ cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano. The first half of the journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains which towers over the deep valleys of the meandering Huatanay River. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicuña and alpaca can be seen. The observation car provides the perfect opportunity to view the beautiful scenery.

Stop briefly en route for a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. Visit Raqchi archaeological site. 

Lunch, tea time, cocktail and dinner will be served board.

Overnight on the train in luxurious train.

Cities Covered Puno ,  Taquile ,  Arequipa

Enjoy breakfast on board watching the sunrise over Lake Titicaca before heading out for an exciting excursion by boat.

Your first stop is the floating reed Islands of the Uros Indians on the way to Taquile Island. The boat trip takes just 75 minutes from Puno to Taquile. Disembark in the southern part of Taquile. Locals in this lesser known area are not visited by mass tourism yet and will introduce you to daily activities and customs of their Quechua community. The visit is capped off by a meal prepared with local fish and fresh produce from the Andes and typical dance show. Board the Andean Explore for tea time and departure to Arequipa. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight in luxurious train. 

Cities Covered Arequipa ,  Lima

Breakfast is served in Lagunillas. Later we make a visit to Sumbay caves, returning to the Andean Explorer train for lunch on board.

After disembarking from the train in Arequipa, a transfer awaits to take you to the airport.

Board your connection flight from Arequipa to Lima.

Arrival in Lima and connection with the international departure. 

Departure Dates and Rates

Apr 201810, 24May 20188Jun 20185, 19
Jul 20183, 17, 31Aug 201814, 28Sep 201811, 25
Oct 20189, 23Nov 20186, 27Dec 201811

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

ClassDatesSingle RateDouble RateTriple Rate
For departures April 10,2018 through December 11,2018 US$ 10,363 US$ 7,431 CALL US
For departures April 10,2018 through December 11,2018 US$ 9,874 US$ 6,942 CALL US
For departures April 10,2018 through December 11,2018 US$ 8,609 US$ 5,730 CALL US

Difference in class:

Diamond: Tren Crucero Gold + Hiram Bingham Luxury Train + Belmond Andean Explorer in Deluxe double bed

Gold: Tren Crucero Gold + Hiram Bingham Luxury Train  + Belmond Andean Explorer in twin bed cabin.

Silver: Tren Crucero Luxury + Vistadome Train + Belmond Andean Explorer in twin bed cabin. 

What your journey prices includes:


  • Accommodations in haciendas/hotels for the four nights you tour Ecuador with Tren Crucero;* all meals for the duration of your tour (except dinner on day 4 - on your own); 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.


  • 7 nights hotel accommodation 
  • Meals as specified (7 breakfast, 4 lunch & 2 dinner)
  • Private transfers and services except on board the Andean Explorer where clients will share services with other guests. 
  • Experienced English speaking guide in each city
  • Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program

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.
  • All Ecuadorian citizens participating in this excursion must pay an additional tax equivalent to 14% of their total tour price. 
  • Dinner on Day 4
  • Tips in restaurants, hotel, driver and guides
  • Liqueurs, laundry or other personal expenses.


Additional rates:

(Subject to change without previous notice)

Air ticket Lima/Cusco-Arequipa/Lima from US$ 300.00 to US$ 500.00 net per pax. Final rate will depend on the fare available for the date we ask for, as sooner we book a better fare we get.  


Very important:

Prices valid for foreign tourists

Prices subject to change without notice due to variations in taxes

Prices not valid on special dates (Holy Week 25& 26 March) Inti Raymi June 22-26, National Holidays July 27-31, Christmas and New Year).

     Belmond Andean Explorer train does not run on February


Terms and Conditions


25% of total tour cost is due at the time of booking, with the remaining balance of 75% 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.


  • 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 any 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

The above times are based on local time of the destination where the tour is provided. In order to provide enough time for processing cancellation, guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies to be refunded to the client will be charged prior to refund.


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


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

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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.