The Tren Crucero shows you the wonders of Ecuador. You will have the chance to see beautiful landscapes that change from coastline and vegetation to rough mountains in the Andes. You will pass the Devil’s Nose, the train rides across the Avenue of Volcanoes in the direction of Quito and after Otavalo. During the tour, you can meet locals, experience traditional cultures, and see rose plantations. This train trip leaves you with a memorable experience of beautiful landscapes, gastronomy crafts, and folklore.
*Stretch Durán to Yaguachi operated with a steam engine
We depart from Durán on 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 homemade chocolate.
After a show of Montubio culture, we continue our trip towards Bucay. If the day is clear, we will get our first glimpse of the Andes in the distance.
Durán – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay
8:00 departure from Duran, steam engine
Cocoa plantation, chocolate tasting, and visit to Hacienda in Naranjito
Show of Montubio culture
Bucay. Dinner and Night
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 on 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 starting the daunting climb of the 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.
Bucay – Devil’s Nose – Alausi – Colta-Riobamba
Crossing of Chanchan river gorge
Pistishi lookout and Devil’s Nose pass
Lunch on board
Visit Palacio Rea indigenous community
Dinner and night in Riobamba
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. On clear days you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the comfort of your seat. In the skirts of the Cotopaxi volcano, we will explore a singular Andean forest trail before continuing our ride toward Quito.
Riobamba – Urbina – Boliche – Quito
Urbina: Artisans’ Square, last Ice Merchant of Chimborazo
Breakfast on board
Boliche recreational area by Cotopaxi: Andean forest trail
Quito: dinner and night
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.
Quito – Otavalo – San Roque – Andrade Marin – San Antonio de Ibarra – Quito
6:30 Departure from Quito, Swiss Hotel
Otavalo station: departure with a steam engine
San Roque: Music and loom weavers
Andrade Marín: Sampling of traditional cuisine and visit to Imbabura old textile Factory
San Antonio: the art of woodcarving
Lunch: Hacienda La Compañía
Return trip to Quito and transfer for overnight
*Duran Yaguachi, Colta-Riobamba, Otavalo-Ibarra, steam engine
*Quito-Otavalo/Ibarra-Quito by bus
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Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.Gulliver Terms and Conditions
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