Take the most luxurious train experience - The Tren Crucero in South America from Guayaquil to Quito
SPECIAL OFFER! Book the Tren Crucero for two guests (in double occupancy) now and choose any one of the following FREE :
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.*
Need an extension to your tour? Want to see other wonders of Ecuador during your visit? Click here!
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:
Please Note: All itineraries are approximate and subject to change based on availability and conditions at the destination.
Tren Crucero departs from the Eloy Alfaro train station in Duran (located just 9 kilometers from Guayaquil International Airport) at 8:00am, so be sure to arrive by 7:30am to check in. The train is pulled by a magnificently restored steam locomotive that travels through typical coastal plantations laden with bananas, sugarcane, mango, pineapple and rice en-route to Yaguachi. There we switch to a diesel electric locomotive and head for Bucay train station. The train stops near a cacao plantation where we go for a live presentation of how Ecuadorian chocolates are sourced and produced. We will then enjoy dinner and an overnight stay on the outskirts of Bucay.
After breakfast, we return to Bucay train station which is the starting point for our ascent up into the mountains. On this journey, we will witness the climatic transition between the lowlands of the coast and the highlands of the Andes. We may make a short stop at Sibambe view point to observe The Devil’s Nose, a major engineering achievement that was considered by its constructors to be the most difficult railway project in the world. The train then zigzags in order to climb 200 meters of altitude while traversing 3 kilometers of rail. We continue our train journey to the beautiful town of Guamote, where we may take lunch at the train station. Afterwards, we make a possible stop at IntiSisa, a nonprofit foundation that provides education and tourism workshops for the local community. In the afternoon, we return to the train and travel across stunning Andean landscapes to Colta, switching to the steam locomotive that will pull us up to Riobamba. We visit Balbanera church, the first mark that Christianity made upon these lands almost 500 years ago, before continuing our journey to Riobamba where we enjoy dinner and stay overnight.
After breakfast, we go by coach to Riobamba train station where we re-board Tren Crucero and head for Urbina, the highest train station in the country at 3,609 meters above sea level. It is here that we may meet the last ice merchant who shares with us his daily journey to the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano to collect glacier ice (if it is a clear day, we will also be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the Chimborazo volcano). While we continue our journey through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, we see changing landscapes along the way and experience a typical lunch. After a brief stop in El Boliche we will continue on to Quito where we will have dinner and stay overnight.
The "Last Ice Merchant" - a Humbling Story
This morning we will journey to Otavalo by bus. We will travel by steam locomotive across the northern valleys on the old rail line of Otavalo to Ibarra. Our trip may include a visit to the woodcarving workshops, discovery of local gastronomy in, show of local music and textile weaving, and a visit to a rose plantation.
We will have lunch at a local hacienda / hotel and bid farewell to four days of fun and activities. Later we will return to Quito
You can spend the evening at leisure enjoying Quito and having dinner at a local restaurant (on your own). Spend the night at Swissotel.
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.
Need an Extension? Add On One of These Tours for the Perfect Trip!
Consider any of these packages for an incredible addition to any Tren Crucero tour:
Cuenca Express, 3 Days/ 2 Nights:
Cuenca is a majestic city full of history and life, located in the Southern Andes of Ecuador. The third largest city in Ecuador, Cuenca is well-known for its close proximity to the famous Ingapirca Ruins, but this city has so much to discover on its own, starting with the main plaza can be dated all the way back to the mid-1500s! Do a city tour to experience Cuenca in its entirety, with stops at some of the most fantastic and well-preserved ruins in all of Ecuador!
Quito Express, 3 Days/ 2 Nights:
Discover the most important attractions in the world renowned city of Quito, Ecuador (an UNESCO World Heritage city). Experience the culture and history while sightseeing and visiting the cultural marvels of this captivating city including the famous Mitad del Mundo, or the "Middle of the World", monument. You won't want to leave!
Quito Transit, 2 Days/ 1 Nights:
Just passing through? Take your choice between an all-inclusive downtown city tour or Mitad del Mundo, or the "Middle of the World", monument. A perfect way to cover the highlights in little time.
Quito with Otavalo Experience, 4 Days/ 3 Nights:
Experience the majestic city of Quito with a full-city tour including the famous Mitad del Mundo monument and museum with an additional day excursion to the famous market town of Otavalo. Take in all of the incredible colors of the market, where you will be immersed in Ecuadorian culture more than anywhere else in the country. Do a little shopping to take a little piece of Ecuador home with you! Ride the Ecuadorian Railways on the famous Freedom Train, Tren de la Libertad to see even more of the incredible Ecuadorian landscapes.
The Ecuadorian Amazon by Cruise, 3 or 4 Nights/ 4 or 5 Days:
Ride through the Ecuadorian Amazon in the M/V Anakonda cruise boat, while experiencing the unique flora and fauna of the Amazon, visit Kichwa reserves and interpretation centers and visit the world-famous Yasuni National Park.
Baños Ecuador, 2 Day/ 1 Night:
Experience the magic of the adventure capital of Ecuador... Baños! Visit incredible cascading falls, and meet the local Salasaca people- both experiences not to be missed!
Otavalo Market, 2 Day / 1 Night:
Visit one of the largest markets in South America with this trip to Otavalo where you will experience a local fruit tasting, the beautiful natural Cuicocha Crater Lake, buy leather goods in Cotacachi- a town famous for their leather craft, and ride the Liberty Train through the incredible Ecuadorian landscapes to a salt mine museum, and experience a local Afro-Ecuadorian performance. All in 2 days! A trip not to miss.
Galapagos Islands Island Hopping 4 Day/ 3 Night:
The world-famous Galapagos Islands are one of Ecuador's biggest claims to fame. A destination unparalleled by any other, this trip gives you the opportunity to snorkel through the crystal clear waters, pose with sea lions, explore volcanic craters and see some of the hundreds of birds that are native to these islands.
Day Trips to Mindo or Papallacta to visit the birding capital of Ecuador or experience luxurious natural hot spring pools!
Call us at 1-888-LUX RAIL (589-7245) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and pricing information. We would love to help plan the trip of your dreams!
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).
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.
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
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 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.
Get a free room night at Wyndham Guayaquil
119 days after closing of the Cotopaxi National Park, government officials announced on December 11th, 2015, the reopening of the protected area to visitors. The decision is based on monitoring reports and follow up by the Geophysical Institute of the Escuela Politécnica Nacional (IGEPN) which demonstrate a decrease in volcanic activity in the last few […]
The best of Quito, Ecuador whether it be its monuments, sights and restaurants are increasingly well known thanks its burgeoning luxury tour sector. Added to this, the city has a number of grand churches, monasteries and a monument marking the equator all of which go to making it a tourist’s paradise. Also with the influx […]
Savoring food and wine in the many luxury restaurants in Ecuador, is one of the best ways to experience the textures and flavors that dominate the country’s cuisine. Especially if you are enjoying a luxury Ecuador tour in you will get ample time to experience the best food in each city. So if you are […]
To all our friends and clients, Today, we learned of Cotopaxi Volcano’s first eruption in 75 years. While we found this news surprising, we are happy to report that so far it has only deposited a slight coating of rained ash in the southern area of Quito. Ecuador is full of natural beauty, and Cotopaxi […]
When you arrive in the Galapagos Islands, you might notice the white sands of the beaches, or the crystal blue waters of the oceans, or maybe even the lush greens of the vegetation or the colors of the wildlife. And, while these are all things worth noting, try to look beyond them: Not at the […]
Like a box of chocolates, the Galapagos Islands offer a wide variety of treasures that both surprise and delight visitors. In fact, thousands upon thousands of tourists visit the Galapagos each year, enticed by the promise of experiencing the natural wonders of hikes along active volcanoes, treks into the highlands on horseback, snorkeling, getting up-close […]
If you’re next vacation is bringing you to the Galapagos Islands for some rest and relaxation amidst one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring natural paradises on earth, then you shouldn’t miss out on some of its key attractions just because they happen to be underwater. Explore the undersea wonders of the Galapagos and come […]
Palace Tours is the official representative in the US for :
Advantage of dealing with Palace Tours
20 Wall St, Princeton, NJ, 08540
Toll Free (US & Canada): 800-724-5120