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Taste of Luxury Rails in South America - Tren Crucero, Vista Dome 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 Guayaquil to Quito
  • Travel to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu on board the Vistadome train
  • Travel on board the Belmond Andean Explorer first ever sleeper luxury train of South America in Peru from Cusco to Puno

Book Now for the following Add-Ons : 

  • Sight Seeing tour of Quito Free!
  • Choose from -
    • One night at 5 star hotel in Guayaquil before the trip OR
    • Cartagena luxury escape (2 nights in Cartagena - Colombia before or after your trip)

This amazing combination tour allows you to experience the wonders of two South American countries by luxury rail. First, 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.

Then head to Peru to come face to face with the Sun centric religion of the Incas and the many monuments dedicated to the Sun God (Inti). Here as your journey from Lima to the capital of the Incas, Cusco, you will see remnants of the Temple of the Sun and the Sacsayhuaman fortress. As you travel along the paths taken by the Incas to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley you will discover many of the beliefs and rites that were held sacred by them. Also you get to travel on two trains the Andean Explorer and the Vistadome, bask in their luxurious surroundings and taste great food and wine.

Itinerary


Your tour starts in Guayaquil with the departure of the Tren Crucero. 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:

  • Prior to the train's departure, guests have a meet and greet in Duran
  • If a guest plans on joining Tren Crucero at a station besides Duran, train staff will be available to assist him or her.
Cities Covered : Duran ,  Yaguachi ,  Bucay

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.

Accommodation : Hosteria D'Franco,Bucay or similiar
Cities Covered : Bucay ,  Alausí ,  Colta ,  Riobamba

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.

Cities Covered : Riobamba ,  Urbina ,  Quito

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.

Cities Covered : Quito

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. 

 

Accommodation : Cultura Manor,Quito, Swisshotel Quito,Quito or similiar
Cities Covered : Lima ,  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.

After a day of sightseeing or relaxing, transfer to airport for departure to Lima to begin the next chapter of your South American luxury rail tour. You are met upon arrival at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel to relax and refresh after your plane flight. Overnight at selected hotel. 

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.

 

Afterwards continue to the new modern branch of the Golden Museum set in the open-air entertainment center Larcomar (Miraflores). The large exhibition hall of ‘Sala Museo Oro del Peru’ displays pieces from different pre-Inca cultures. One of the museum’s highlights is the Sican room, which showcases outstanding artifacts of this pre-Inca culture known for their lost-wax gold ornament production. The Sican society was the first in the New World to successfully produce bronze on an industrial scale. Thanks to detailed explanations for each displayed piece, the museum offers an insight of the well-rounded knowledge of metallurgy applied by Peru's ancient cultures.

 

You will have the afternoon at leisure to continue to explore the city on your own or relax in the hotel. Overnight at selected hotel in Lima.

 

Accommodation : Crowne Plaza,Lima, Marriot Hotel,Lima or similiar
Cities Covered : 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 remaining of the morning is free to relax and slowly acclimatize.

 

Your comprehensive afternoon tour of Cusco includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a remarkable Inca building and the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area. 

 

Overnight at selected hotel in Cusco.

Cities Covered : Ollantaytambo ,  Písac ,  Sacred Valley

This morning after breakfast, you are driven to the Sacred Valley to visit Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Hundreds of visitors and people from remote communities dressed in their traditional and colorful attires travel to the Pisaq market to barter their products. Enjoy some time to stroll around the market and buy souvenirs, followed by lunch in a typical ‘hacienda’.  

 

Depart Pisac and continue along the valley to Ollantaytambo, location of the Temple of the Sun, formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons. The Terrace of the Ten Niches is another striking sight. Ollantaytambo was the site of the only successful Inca battle against the Spanish conquerors and the only town in the area to still retain its original Inca layout.

 

Return to your hotel later this afternoon, where you have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing spa treatment (guests’ own account).

Cities Covered : Cusco ,  Machu Picchu

This morning, transfer to the Ollanta train station for a 1 ½ -hour train ride on the Vistadome train through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. On arrival, board a small coach and travel along the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. 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 train back to Cusco, where you are met and transferred back to your hotel. (B, L)

Cities Covered : Cusco

Spend a beautiful day at leisure, exploring the city of Cusco. You may choose to stroll through the streets of San Blas artisan quarter with its steeped cobblestone alleys that not only offer spectacular views of the city but are also lined with workshops and galleries, a great way to soak in the artistic atmosphere. San Blas church houses an imposing pulpit, considered one of New World’s finest woodcarvings. If you are in search of a good cup of coffee in a cozy atmosphere, you may visit the Coffee Shop of Bartolome de las Casas Cultural Center. Here you'll find international newspapers as well as interesting books in different languages. Or travel through Cusco’s old city on board an old wooden streetcar, now motorized. This tour lasts 85 minutes and departs several times daily from the Plaza de Armas. (B)

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. 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. Stop briefly en route for a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. A visit to Raqchi archaeological site, lunch, tea time and dinner will be included. Overnight on board in a luxurious twin cabin.  (B, L, D)

Cities Covered : Puno ,  Taquile

Enjoy breakfast on board before ending your train program. Prepare for an exciting excursion by boat on Lake Titicaca. 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. Return to your hotel in Puno later this afternoon. (B, L)

Cities Covered : Juliaca ,  Lima

This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. En route, enjoy a short visit of the burial towers in Sillustani. The engineering involved in their construction challenges the law of gravity; as the diameter at the top is larger than the diameter at the base. Sillustani is partially encircled by Umayo Lake, offering a picturesque landscape. You may also join a local family from Sillustani in their courtyard to learn more about their lifestyle, Andean crops and traditions. At proper time you are transferred to the airport for your international flight home or to your next exotic destination.

Accommodation : Crowne Plaza,Lima, Marriot Hotel,Lima or similiar

Departure Dates and Rates

Departures
Sep 201730Oct 201714, 28Nov 201711, 25
Dec 20179, 27

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

ClassDatesSingle RateDouble Rate
Deluxe
For departures September 30,2017 through December 27,2017 US$ 5,711 US$ 4,350
Luxury
For departures September 30,2017 through December 27,2017 US$ 6,933 US$ 4,948

Cost of Airlines between Quito to Lima, Lima to Cusco and Puno to Lima (Approximately $500 per person) is extra and is subject to change due to airline pricing. Airfare will be provided at the time of booking.

What your journey prices includes:

Ecuador:

  • 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.

Peru:

  • 8 nights hotel accommodation 
  • Meals as specified (8 breakfast & 4 lunch)
  • Private transfers and services
  • Experienced English speaking guide in each city
  • Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • Vista dome train to Machu Picchu
  • Andean Explorer train to Puno

What your journey price DOES NOT include:

  • Air tickets ( they are quoted by separate )
  • Services not specified, meals not specified
  • Expenses due to mishaps
  • Tips in restaurants, hotel, driver and guides
  • Liqueurs, laundry or other personal expenses
  • Prices subject to change without notice due to variations in taxes
Terms and Conditions

PAYMENT TERMS:

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.


CANCELLATION POLICY:

  • 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 a 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.

 

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 or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.






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Please note : 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.