Train to the Clouds
Guayaquil – Quito | 4 days - 4 nights | Saturday to TuesdayBook Now
In this fascinating 4-day tour we will experience one of the most dramatic changes in vegetation, climate and geography when we make the transition between coast and mountains. To achieve this great feat, we will tackle the famous train of the Devil´s Nose and experience first-hand, how this magnificent engineering work, allowed the train to conquer the Andes. Join us on a journey without equal from the fertile plains on the coast to the colossal Andes and its spectacular Avenue of the volcanoes to reach the beautiful city of Quito, named the world´s first cultural world heritage by UNESCO more than 40 years ago. On the way we will enjoy the mighty Andes and its kind people, an experience perhaps, what will feel like a time capsule. The train to the clouds will be a wonderful experience full of unparalleled adventures, a journey of discovery through the Ecuadorian Andes that takes into account the local cuisine and cultures. A bus accompanies us during our journey and train lovers will be able to board it at given times, in order to take the best pictures from outside towards these signature trains, this bus will be available to pay our visits along the way, the journey will be escorted by expert guides.
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 built in this railway system, 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 area. Our 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. Accommodation.
The second day begins with the impressive trip aboard a different train which dates from the twentieth century, this one will be ready 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, serving more than a dozen communities of the surroundings. Lunch will be served on board after a short bus ride. Our main set 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 the set 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 the 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. Accommodation.
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. Accommodation.
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. Accommodation.
Luxury Experience Rates:
Double room: $1735,00
Single room: $2082,00
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.
TRAIN TO THE CLOUDS
Guayaquil - Quito
11 jan | 22 feb | 21 mar | 18 apr | 23 may | 6 jun | 4 jul | 1 / 29 aug | 19 sep | 24 oct | 7 / 28 nov | 21 dec
Day 1: Alausí: El Molino
Day 2: Riobamba: Andaluza / Andaluza Suite
Day 3: Lasso: Ciénega
Day 4: Quito: Swissotel/Plaza Grande
***Hotels are subject to change and will be confirmed upon reservation.
Tren Ecuador reserves the right to provide hotels of the same category.
The program includes transportation aboard Tren Crucero and other sets, all meals during the trip (but the last night at Quito or Guayaquil), snacks and soft drinks on board, guide in Spanish and English*, excursions according to the itinerary, transportation by tourist 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 (15 minutes from 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 under request, subject to availability and applies an extra cost. **For Day 4: In Quito and Guayaquil, dinner is not included. Breakfast is included for the next morning.
Applicable Taxes, alcoholic beverages (Tren Crucero offers wine, beer and whiskey on board), meals and excursions not included in the program, air tickets, personal expenses, gratuities or transfers to different hotels from the listed here. Tren Ecuador highly recommend our travelers to purchase travel insurance.
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.
LUGGAGE: There is no luggage limit, this will be transported on the bus that accompanies the passengers to the different daily excursions. The luggage will be returned once you arrive at the hotels, haciendas or hostels, so it is important to carry in your suitcase what is necessary for each day. Tren Crucero has on-board lockers for handbags. The train has switches to recharge electronic devices, the energy on board is 220 volts and frequency of 50 hz.
IMPORTANT: Duran station is 30 minutes away from Guayaquil. Take it into account to ensure you arrive on time for check-in. Unused services are not refunded. Check in starts at 07h30 am in the Eloy Alfaro train station, Durán. Adress: Av. Abel Gilbert s/n and Ponce Enríquez.
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.