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Train to the Clouds

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

In this journey on board Tren Crucero we climb 3600 meters in barely 450 km, experiencing one of the most dramatic changes in vegetation and scenery in the world. From the fertile plains in the coast we climb to the highlands in the Andes through the mythical Devil’s Nose pass. Riding across the Avenue of Volcanoes we reach Quito, Cultural World Heritage by UNESCO, to continue to Otavalo, amidst the Northern Andes, where we will explore the quichua culture, skills and traditions and have lunch in a very singular hacienda, amidst export-class roses. In the evening we return to Quito.

Day 1 – Saturday

Durán – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay

*Stretch Durán to Yaguachi operated with steam engine

We depart from Durán in the coast early in the morning, our heritage convoy pulled by a vintage steam engine. We switch engines in Yaguachi and continue across rice, sugar cane, banana and pineapple plantations to Naranjito.

 

Lunch is served in a traditional hacienda, where we will learn about the best cocoa bean in the world and taste home-made chocolate.

 

After a show of Montubio culture we continue our trip towards Bucay. If the day is clear, we will get tour first glimpse of the Andes in the distance.

Day 2 – Sunday

Bucay – Huigra – The Devil’s Nose – Alausí – Colta – Riobamba

As we travel along the canyon of river Chanchán the vegetation and temperature change abruptly. The cloud forest clears out and the sparse vegetation of the highlands takes its place, while the stone walls of the Andes loom in the horizon.

 

The train makes a stop at Pistishi lookout, where we can get a good glimpse of the impressive feat of engineering ahead of us, before start the daunting climb of mythical Devil’s nose.

 

After a 450 meter climb in barely 12 kilometers of dizzying zig zag the train finally reaches the quaint village of Alausi, in the Andes. We continue our journey to Riobamba, crossing colorful quinoa fields. In Colta we visit the indigenous community of Palacio Real, where we learn about llama breeding.

 

We arrive in Riobamba pulled by a powerful steam engine, with time to visit the Train Station Artisans’ Square before heading to our hotel.

Day 3 – Monday

Riobamba – Urbina – Boliche – Quito

We depart for Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary at 3600m.a.s.l. There, in the eastern flanks of Chimborazo volcano awaits the last ice merchant, to tell the tale of his ancestral trade.

 

Then we ride north along the Avenue of Volcanoes, the fertile valley sheltered between the two arms of the Andes mountain range. In clear days you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the comfort of your seat. In the skirts of Cotopaxi volcano we will explore a singular Andean forest trail before continuing our ride towards Quito.

Day 4 – Tuesday

Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito

Our journey continues to the Northern Andes. In Otavalo, home to a millenary market, we board the train, pulled by a lovingly restored steam engine.

 

During the day we will discover the culture, traditions, music, gastronomy, paintings and the antique skill of woodcarving, learned from the renowned masters of the Quito carving school, back in the XVIIth century.

 

After having lunch in a very singular hacienda, we head back to our last night in Quito.

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 TO THE CLOUDS
Guayaquil - Quito

7 / 21 / 28 jan | 4 / 18 feb | 4 / 18 mar | 1 / 15 / 29 apr | 13 / 27 may | 24 jun | 8 / 22 jul | 5 / 19 aug | 2 / 16 / 30 sep | 14 / 28 oct | 11 / 25 nov | 9 / 27 dec

Departures 2018

TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS
Guayaquil - Quito

6 jan | 3 / 17 feb | 17 mar | 14 / 28 apr | 12 may | 9 / 23 jun | 7 jul | 4 / 18 aug | 1 / 15 sep | 13 / 27 oct | 10 nov | 1 / 15 dec

Departures 2019

TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS
Guayaquil - Quito

12 / 26 jan | 9 / 23 feb | 9 / 23 mar | 6 / 20 apr | 15 jun | 13 / 27 jul | 10 / 24 aug | 7 / 21 sep | 5 / 19 oct | 2 / 16 / 30 nov | 14 / 27 dec

4 Days/4 Nights itinerary | Saturday to Tuesday

Day 01 – Duran – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay

 

8:30

Check in at Duran’s train station. The No. 11 Steam Engine awaits us. The sound of the whistle and the steam, the sparks that comes out of its wheels transports us back in time a century ago, to the beginning of the Ecuadorian railroad.

During our first day we cross the coastal plain and we get into huge tropical fruits, rice paddies, sugar cane and banana plantations while traveling to Naranjito.

11:30

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.

13:45

Typical lunch. La Danesa cooking style is based on the “farm to table “concept in which local ingredients are grown in the hacienda and sustainable produced.

17:00

Arrival at Bucay. Dinner and accomodation in Hosteria D´Franco.

 

Day 02 – Bucay – Devil´s Nose – Alausi – Colta – Riobamba

 

7:05

Transfer by bus to Bucay train station.

7:30

Departure towards Devil’s Nose. The foothills of the Andes that gives Ecuador the world’s highest biodiversity per square kilometre creates an almost infinite variety of microclimates and temperatures. As the train ascends, it offers a rarely seen spectacle during a train journey: a climatic transition. When we leave the Pacific coast and increase altitude as the train climbs into the largest mountain range in the world, the Andes, suddenly, the tropical jungle will turn into dry forest and mountains.

9:50

Stop at Devil´s Nose viewpoint at the bottom of the Chanchan river canyon for photographs and learn about the dramatic history of this impressive construction.

We ascend 450 meters in a zigzag manoeuvre in almost perpendicular walls on the famous Devil’s Nose. Later, arrival to the picturesque village of Alausi.

12:40

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

While crossing colourful quinoa landscape, the train continues to Colta. At the end of our itinerary, we visit Calpi, where we will learn about the life style of an Andean indigenous community, their cosmogony and history.

14:45

Arrival to Riobamba. Time to visit the artisans’ square. Transfer to an Abraspungo Hacienda for accommodation and dinner.

 

Day 03 – Riobamba – Urbina – Boliche – Quito

 

6:15

Early departure from Riobamba train station. Departure by train towards Urbina train station in the foothills of Chimborazo volcano, the tallest peak in Ecuador.

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.

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.

12:30

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

16:00

Arrival to La Alegria Farm to learn more about the Andean Cowboys, the Chagras. Rodeo show.

17:55

Arrival to Chimbacalle train station in Quito and transfer to Swissôtel for dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 04 – Quito – Otavalo – San Antonio – San Roque – Ibarra- Quito

 

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 at Swissôtel.

End of services

 

Important notice  Hacienda La Alegria will be available from 2018 departures. On day 4 Tuesday, the stretch between Otavalo and San Roque is temporarily operated by bus due to maintenance. Also, the train for day 4, operates with a diesel locomotive. However, the program on day 3, Monday, we added an extra portion on steam locomotive: the train operates from Riobamba to Urbina station.

 

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 Guayaquil to Quito route, once the train has arrived at Eloy Alfaro Train Station (Quito), you will be transferred 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.

**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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