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Train of Wonders

Quito – Guayaquil | 4 days – 4 nights | Tuesday to Friday
US$ 1,650 pp

Our journey begins in the northern Andes of Ecuador, in the valley of Otavalo, where we will discover traditional cultures, handicrafts, and modern export-class rose plantations. From Quito we will start our trip to the coast, first climbing to the Chimborazo volcano moorlands along the Avenue of Volcanoes.

The Mythical “Devil’s Nose” pass awaits with its vertiginous zig-zag. Riding along the Chanchán river canyon we leave the highlands behind. We cross a cloud forest, then ride along the tropical plantations to the end of our trip in Guayaquil. We reach the shores of the Pacific Ocean after 504 km or rail and a 12,000 ft. descent to the sea.

Day 1 – Tuesday

Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito

We depart Quito early in the morning for a one-and-a-half drive north. In Otavalo, home of a millenary market, a carefully restored steam engine awaits us.

 

At a slow pace we will discover the many wonders hidden in this part of the country: musicians, painters, weavers and the skillful woodcarvers who keep the renowned Quito School style alive. After a tasting of traditional Andean cuisine and a visit to very special export-class rose plantation we return to Quito.

Day 2 – Wednesday

Quito – Urbina

We board our convoy at Quito 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.

 

Here, the Andes range splits into two arms that run parallel down south. The fertile valley trapped between these stone walls hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity. From the comfort of our panoramic cars we watch the change of vegetation and landscape as we slowly climb the Andean highlands to Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary at 11,800 feet above sea level. In the skirts of mount Chimborazo we meet the last ice-merchant and learn the story of his ancestral trade.

Day 3 – Thursday

Riobamba – The Devil’s Nose – Bucay

We depart Riobamba towards Colta, where the Spanish conquerors built their first settlement in Ecuador. We cross colorful quinoa fields painted in purples, yellows and reds, alternating with endemic species of flora and wildlife, indigenous settlements and the remains of ancient cultures.

 

We visit Guamote market, one of the last indigenous markets in the Andes, before continuing south towards the mythical Devil’s Nose pass. A vertiginous descent of 450metres zig zag takes us from the Andean highlands down towards the coastal plains.

 

We continue our descent along the narrow Chanchán river gorge and crossing an impressive cloud forest towards the temperate city of Bucay.

Day 4 – Friday

Bucay – Guayaquil

The landscape changes again as the train leaves the tropical forest behind. Rice, sugar cane, pineapple and banana plantations pass before our eyes.

 

We have lunch at a traditional hacienda, where we can learn about the growing and harvesting of the best cocoa bean in the world. Later, the steam engine whites its way across the fields towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the end of our trip in a hotel in Guayaquil for overnight.

Rates

Luxury Experience Rates:

Double room: $1650,00

Children: $1485,00*

Single Supplement: $247,50

Gold Class Rates:

Double room: $2322,00

Single Supplement: $300,00

Luxury Experience Rates:

Double room: $1735,00

Single room: $2082,00

Children: $1560,00*

Gold Class Rates:

Double room: $2322,00

Single room: $2722,00

*Rates for children apply from 2 years old to 11 years and 11 months old sharing room with 2 adults.
One children for every 2 adults. Rates and Departures are subject to change without prior notice.

Departures 2017

TRAIN OF WONDERS
Quito - Guayaquil

3 / 17 / 31 jan | 14 / 28 feb | 14 / 28 mar | 11 / 25 apr | 9 / 23 may | 20 jun | 4 / 18 jul | 1 / 15 / 29 aug | 12 / 26 sep | 10 / 24 oct | 7 / 21 nov | 5 / 19 dec

Departures 2018

TRAIN OF WONDERS
Quito - Guayaquil

2 / 16 / 30 jan | 13 / 27 feb | 13 / 27 mar | 10 / 24 apr | 8 / 22 may | 5 / 19 jun | 3 / 17 / 31 jul | 14 / 28 aug | 11 / 25 sep | 9 / 23 oct | 6 / 27 nov | 11 dec

Departures 2019

TRAIN OF WONDERS
Quito - Guayaquil

8 / 22 jan | 5 / 19 feb | 5 / 19 mar | 2 / 16 apr | 28 may | 11 / 25 jun | 9 / 23 jul | 6 / 20 aug | 3 / 17 sep | 1 / 15 / 29 oct | 12 / 26 nov | 10 dec

4 days/4 nights Itinerary | Tuesday to Friday

Day 01 – Quito – Otavalo – San Antonio – San Roque – Ibarra- Quito

 

6:30

Check in at Swissôtel.
Address: 1820, 12 de October Av. & Luis Cordero | Phone: 593-2-567-600

7:00

Departure by bus towards through the North Pan-American towards Otavalo valley. A lovely restored Baldwin steam locomotive await for us. This machine is witness of the amazing history of the Ecuadorian railroad since it operated almost 5 decades ago the journey from Otavalo crossing mountains, rivers and tropical jungles to the northern Pacific coast.

9:50

Arrival to Otavalo. If times permits, visit to the colourful Otavalo market.

Our first stop is San Roque, like all train stations; it has been refurbished preserving its original structure based on clay bricks also known as adobe. Local gastronomy tasting based on the many ways ecuadorian eat corn! Show with Andean woodwind instruments.

Our next visit is Andrade Marin train station. Here the first textile factory in Ecuador, today restored as a museum, celebrates the textile traditions of Imbabura province. Between 1927 and 1983, the factory had 1,200 employees and contributed to the economic development of the region. Train departs to San Antonio.

Once in San Antonio de Ibarra, we will visit a workshop where skilled woodcarvers still use the Escuela Quiteña (Quiteña School), to create beautiful sculptures. The Quiteña and the Cuzco Schools are considered one of the most exquisite examples of the American baroque.

After San Antonio we continue by bus to Cayambe valley, where we visit an rose plantation. Ecuadorian roses are worldwide famous due of their extraordinary quality, mostly thanks to the soil and an increased exposition to sunlight, a main feature of the equatorial zone.

14:00

Lunch at Hacienda La Compañía, at the family dinning room, which has been with the family for more than 5 generations. Later visit to the museum and ancient chapel, both buildings from the XVII century, profusely decorated with spectacular rose bouquets of every colour. In the afternoon, return by bus to Quito.

18:30

Once in Quito, accommodation and dinner at Swissôtel

 

Day 02 – Quito – Cotopaxi – Ambato – Urbina

 

7:00

Departure from Swissôtel to Chimbacalle train station, located in southerm Quito.

The train continues it path northbound across and inter-Andean valley formed when the Andes mountain range slipt into two “cordilleras”, the Eastern and Western. The zone is known as the Volcano Avenue, named after the famous scientist Alexander von Humboldt voyage in the XIX century. More than 12 volcanos are visible from the train in a clear day.

Arrival to Boliche train station at the foothills of Cotopaxi volcano. Exploration through a beautiful Andean forest with patches of native vegetation.

12:30

Lunch is served on board impressive views of volcanoes, native forests, crops and grasslands.

From the train’s terrace or inside the confortable panoramic wagons, you can enjoy the unparalleled Andean landscape while we move towards the Chimborazo’s foothills at 3,600 meters above sea level. Upon arrival, Baltasar, who keeps alive the ancient job of extracting fossil ice from the Chimborazo’s glacier, welcomes us. Baltasar will share with us his daily life and how he digs ice from the volcano foothills.

17:55

Dinner and accommodation in Riobamba at Andaluza Hacienda.

 

Day 03 – Riobamba – Colta – Guamote – Alausí – Bucay

 

7:00

Transfer by bus to Riobamba train station. Another steam locomotive takes us southbound through colourful quinoa and vegetables fields. On our way, we reach Colta lake, where we will visit Balbanera, the first church established in Ecuador by Europeans more than 5 centuries ago.

11:00

We continue our journey to Guamote, where each Thursday a colourful and ancient market take place: more than 30 surrounding communities, with their brightly colour attires, still exchange goods using “trueque” (barter).

12:00

Lunch on board the train or at the Guamote’s train station.

14:00

Arrival at Alausí. The huge Chanchan canyon is the starting point from which the train descends to the Pacific Coast through a zigzag dug in almost perpendicular walls on the famous Devil’s Nose. Within minutes, we will descend from 2, 347 to 1,836 meters. By the end of the day, after crossing a dense tropical forest, arrival to Bucay at only 294 meters.

Panoramic Stop at Nariz del Diablo’s viewpoint for photographs and an historical overview of this impressive construction.

Departure towards Bucay. The foothills of the Andes that give Ecuador the world’s highest biodiversity per square kilometre creates an almost infinite variety of microclimates and temperatures. As the train descents it offers a rarely seen spectacle during a train trip: a climate transition. When leaving the Andes and go into the Pacific coast, mountains and its dry forest suddenly transforms into a tropical forest.

18:35

Arrival at Bucay. Dinner and accommodation at Hosteria D´Franco.

 

Day 04 – Bucay – San Antonio – Yaguachi – Duran

 

8:30

Transfer by bus to Bucay train station. The landscape during our last day journey changes again as we leave the tropical forest enter into enormous banana, sugar cane, rice and cocoa plantations.

9:55

Arrival to Hacienda Danesa. The Hacienda was founded in 1870 along with the first train stations in the coast. Opportunity to visit a plantation of world-renowned Ecuadorian cocoa. It’s a belief that cocoa was originated in the Amazon jungle millions of years ago, precisely between the Ecuadorian and Colombian border. Domesticated between 5,000 and 3,000 b.C. cocoa later sprood thanks to the pre-Columbian commerce routes towards Central America.

12:05

Typical lunch. The “farm to table” style warranties a flavour experience with local ingredients organic and sustainable produced.

14:00

Departure by train to Duran. On our last stop at Yaguachi train station, another steam locomotive awaits for us. The engine change manoeuvre is a spectacle for itself. The sound of the whistle and steam takes us back in time to the beginning of the Ecuadorian railroad construction.

16:30

Arrival to Duran. Transfer to Wyndham hotel for accommodation in Guayaquil.

End of services

What is Included?

The program includes transportation aboard Tren Crucero, all meals during the trip, snacks and soft drinks on board, guide in Spanish and English*, excursions according to the itinerary, transportation by bus/van during the program for excursions and accommodation based on double occupancy. In the Quito to Guayaquil route, once the train has arrived at Duran station (Guayaquil), you will be transferred to the hotel for overnight**.

 

*Guidance in languages other than Spanish and English as Italian, French, German, Portuguese and Japanese can be provided on request. It is subject to availability and applies an extra cost.

**For Day 4: Dinner is not included. Breakfast included for the next day.

What is Extra?

Taxes, alcoholic beverages (Tren Crucero offers wine, beer and whiskey), meals and excursions not included in the program, air tickets, personal expenses, gratuities or transfers to hotels different from the ones listed here. Passengers are recommended to purchase travel insurance.

Travel Tips

CLOTHING: Wear layers: a jacket for cold weather and a light coat for the rain (coast). Comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen with high SPF, repellant, sunglasses. Don’t forget your camera!

 

ALTITUDE: It ranges from 80 to 3,610 meters above sea level. The temperature ranges from 14 ° to 35 °C.

 

IMPORTANT: Duran station is 30 minutes away from Guayaquil. Take it into account to ensure you arrive on time for check-in. In Quito, Swissôtel is located in the city of Quito, Avenida 12 de Octubre y Luis Cordero. Unusued services are not refunded. Consult with our sales department about the possibility of boarding Tren Crucero Train of Wonders (southbound) in Otavalo.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: All itineraries are subjected to change due to force majeure or technical, operational circumstances. Please check our policy regarding refunds and cancellations. At Tren Ecuador we are committed to providing the best possible travel experience.

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