Take the most luxurious train experience - The Tren Crucero in South America from Guayaquil to Quito
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! Your journey ends back in Quito, with a visit to its World Heritage Colonial Quarter.
Need an extension to your tour? Want to see other wonders of Ecuador during your visit? Click here!
Please Note: All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
Your tour meeting point will be starting at the Eloy Alfaro Station in Duran. Report at 7:00 AM to start your Tren Crucero Tous from Eloy Alfaro Train Station, Durán
(Address: Av. Abel Gilbert s/n & Ponce Enríquez, Durán)
Our first meeting will be at Duran station where a carefully restored steam locomotive will be waiting to transport us on a journey through time. With its roars and whistles, it will make us revive past times when these fabulous machines began to travel along the coastal tracks for the first time, changing completely the history of the country.
The first stop will be at the Yaguachi station, the first one in the country, where we will say goodbye to our steam locomotive to make a way for a diesel-electric, we will be able to observe the exchange of these impressive machines from outside the maneuver area. We continue through extensive plantations of sugarcane, banana, coffee, pineapple and a countless number of tropical products to Naranjito station.
Upon our arrival in this area a short bus ride takes us to our next destination, an agricultural farm where we will discover the process of harvesting and sowing Ecuadorian cocoa, we will be able to taste 100% cocoa and we will see why Ecuador has the best cocoa quality in the world. We will enjoy lunch in a beautiful costal hacienda prepared with products from the area and soon after we will continue our trip. The bus will take us along a road that climbs to the Andes, a very scenic bus trip in which we will ascend more than 2000 meters in altitude in just 4 hours. During this trip we can witness the abrupt changes of climate, vegetation and geography resulting from the presence of the Andean mountain range. This fact gives Ecuador an incomparable beauty and biodiversity. Our first day ends in the comfort of our hotel in this small town nestled in the sharp mountains. Walking on the evening through its streets will give us a feeling of returning several decades in time. Return to Hotel for the night.
The second day begins with the impressive trip aboard a different convoy, which dates from the twentieth century and will be waiting for us to descend through the fearsome pass of La Nariz del Diablo (the Devi´ls Nose); an intricate switch-back that allows the train to descend 511 meters in just 12 kilometers of railway. The Sibambe station awaits us down below, full of people and different activities in the surroundings, a small community depending merely on the touristic activity from the train. Back in Alausí, we will have a time for pictures and visit the local market, the quiet city lost in the time of the previous night, becomes the scenery of one of the most colorful markets in the area that serves more than a dozen communities from the area. A short bus ride will take us to the Palmira station where our train is. Lunch will be served on board.
Our train will run towards Colta where the "Black Monster" is ready to pull the train, an impressive Baldwin steam locomotive that has been carefully overhauled. There we can visit the first church in the country known as the Balvanera or another option for train-lovers, will be filming the run of this with the steam locomotive ahead.
The fields of quinoa, potatoes, onions, corn and other products of these fertile soils, will be decorating the landscape while waiting for the great Chimborazo to show up before we reach the capital city of Chimborazo province, Riobamba. Riobamba an enchanting city where we can take a short walk. Its cobbled streets and squares tell the history of the country at every step.
In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will show us the life in the Andes, we will be able to interact with them and see one of the best examples of community organization for work, such as the ancestors taught the different generations.
The tour continues towards the Urbina station. Located just over 3,600 meters above sea level, we will get to know the paramo ecosystems of the skirts of Chimborazo. Baltazar Ushca, the last ice merchant of Chimborazo, will tell us his story and explain the reasons behind his dedication despite the opposition and arrival of machines to the country.
The train will go through the valley near Cotopaxi but on the way, a group of devils will take the train by surprise when the Diablada de Pillaro (devils from Pillaro) is celebrated on board, a parade full of colors, music and joy that reminds us of the spirit of the Andean communities and their understanding of the world, this parade was declared national heritage. The final stop of the day will be the Latacunga station from where we can get to the different hotels in the area.Return to the hotel for the night.
We will travel to the Cotopaxi National Park. Within the park we are able to join a moderate walk around the Limpiopungo lagoon where it is possible to find different sorts of plants and birds adapted to the altitude. Natural photography will be part of this morning and then we will board our train. The set will continue near the slopes of Cotopaxi towards our next stop, a typical Andean hacienda where we will be part of the daily activities of it and its dwellers. Upon our arrival we will be welcomed by these Andean cowboys, the “Chagras”, who will show their skills as riders and teach us a little of their culture and traditions. Our last day of expedition ends at the Eloy Alfaro station with a short walk inside the property, where our guides will make us discover the secrets of this patrimony. The capital of Ecuador, the beautiful city of Quito, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, will welcome us at night. Return to hotel for the night.
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.
You can also choose a trip to the Galapagos Islands with us where you can enjoy a cruise or an island hopping tour - We got the best deals and experts that will make it happen for you.
Need more? Contact us and we will be happy to assist with more extensions.
Prices are subject to change without notice in case of extreme circumstances. Children Under 12 are allowed child fare but they have to pay along side with 2 Adults (triple room).
35% of total tour cost is due at the time of booking, with the remaining balance of 65% due no later than 65 days prior to the tour's departure date.
If a guest needs to change their tour date, an administrative fee will be charged at the discretion of Palace Tours.
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.
Cancellations up to 95 days prior to departure, no cancellation fees apply.
Cancellations between 89 to 61 days’ prior departure, a 35% deposit is held as cancellation fee.
Cancellations between 60 to 50 days’ prior departure, a 50% deposit is held as cancellation fee.
49 days or less or no show the day of departure, 100% cancellation fee applies.
When applicable, Palace Tours will charge an administrative fee equal to 15% of the total tour costs against refunds
The dates are according to international terms so there is an additional 3 days in order to process cancellations and refunds
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
No, both languages are spoken due to standard. German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese or Russian is available with prior request and extra charge.
Yes, plenty distributed all across the train.
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.
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.
Ecuador uses 110. Adapters are not common on Haciendas/hotels, we recommend guests to bring their own.
Yes, we can handle vegetarians, gluten or lactose free diets at no extra charge. Special request for Asian passengers is not available.
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.
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.
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).
Casual attire is recommended for the train and dinner. Good walking shoes and dress in layers is strongly suggested.
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.
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