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Great South American Luxury Train Journey

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

Book NOW and get free add-on! Choose from the following add-ons -

  • One night at 5 star hotel in Quito before the trip OR
  • Cartagena luxury escape (2 nights in Cartagena - Colombia before or after your trip)


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 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.

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.


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

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 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. 

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. 

Cities Covered Cusco ,  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 remainder of the day is free to relax and slowly acclimatize. Overnight at selected the hotel. 


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 twin bed cabins.

Cities Covered Arequipa ,  Puno

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 twin bed cabins. 

Cities Covered 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

Difference in class: Luxury includes travel by Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu and Super Luxury includes Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu, everything else in the tour is the same.

  • Reduction for bunk bed Belmond Andean Explorer: US$ 178.00 per person
  • Supplement for Junior Double Bed: US$ 169.00 per person
  • Supplement for Deluxe Double Bed: US$ 338.00 per person

Children Under 12 (Should not have completed 12th birthday) allowed child fare but they have to pay along side with 2 Adults (triple room)

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
  • In Luxury Class: Vista dome train to Machu Picchu
  • In Super Luxury Class: Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu
  • Andean Explorer train to Cusco/Puno/Arequipa


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.
Terms and Conditions


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.


  • 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.



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.