By booking this tour, you are supporting various community & locally owned enterprises which you will be visiting on your way, also you are contributing to revive a very important part of Ecuador`s history, the train ride between Quito & Guayaquil.
DAY 1 TUESDAY
We depart from Chimbacalle train station in Quito at 8:00 am on board the Tren Crucero. We start our trip travelling on board the train to our next train station El Boliche located in the surroundings of Cotopaxi National Park. Once there, our journey continues on board modern coach buses to explore Cotopaxi National Park. Incredible landscapes will dominate our visit while hiking near Limpiopungo glacial lake. Cotopaxi is an important shelter for a variety of Andean fauna as caracaras, Andean gulls, Andean deer, wolves, the unique bear of South America, the spectacle bear and one of the last places to see occasionally the magnificent Andean Condor. Moorlands are also a highlight of the park as well as the impressive snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano rising almost 6.000 meters above sea level.
Our journey continues to San Agustin del Callo Hacienda for a delicious typical lunch. The hacienda features incredible Inca walls and constitutes the further place from Cuzco in the north were you can admire an imperial style palace. After exploring the hacienda, we will be part of a local festivity in Lasso Train station. The local community will display an impressive exhibition of syncretism with local dancers playing a typical ballet.
Overnight and dinner at La Cienega Hacienda. This hacienda once lodged important scientists as Alexander Von Humboldt and the members of the French Geodesic Mission while they attempted to measure the exact circumference of Earth for the first time in modern history. The hacienda also lodged the most important South American hero, the Liberator Simon Bolivar who led four countries to become independent from Spain. (- / L / D)
DAY 2 WEDNESDAY
After breakfast, we depart by bus to Latacunga train station. Once in Latacunga, we will board the train to continue our journey to the south. On the way we will explore a rose plantation to learn more about the world renowned Ecuadorian roses and how this flower grows. Next, we will continue on board the train to Ambato to enjoy the city´s warm weather. Lunch will be served at Roka Plaza hotel, an ancient colonial house. If weather conditions permit, we will have – from a safe distance – an impressive view of Tungurahua volcano, which is still active and occasionally offers nature´s most impressive scenery, an eruption.
After lunch we will continue on board the train to Urbina station located at 11,840 feet above sea level (3,609 msnm.). Urbina, the highest train station in the country, will reserve a special moment for us when we meet the last ice-trader who will kindly share with us his daily craft to the slopes of Chimborazo Volcano to dig ice from the very same glacier. If weather permits, we will enjoy a breath taking view of Chimborazo volcano. After this visit we will continue by bus to Abraspungo Inn for dinner and overnight. (B / L / D)
DAY 3 THURSDAY
We will depart early in the morning to Riobamba train station. Riobamba is located nearby Chimborazo volcano and it once was Ecuador´s capital. We will depart on board the train with an impressive restored steam locomotive across fascinating Andean landscapes to Colta community. Short stop at Balbanera church. Almost 500 years ago the location where the actual church is located was the first landmark Christianity made upon arrival to this lands. Back on the train, we will depart to Guamote where its impressive indigenous market awaits for you to discover it. This market is one of the last authentic markets in the Andes where traders still exchange products as they did 4 thousand years ago. Lunch will be served at our train station.
Afternoon depart by train to Alausi train station across impressive geological formations. Once in Alausi, we will start our descent by train to the emblematic Devil´s Nose. The train will perform a zigzag maneuver in order to descent 535 meters of altitude by traveling 12 kilometers. We will make a short stop at a viewpoint to appreciate this major engineering achievement that led engineers to call this train as the most difficult in the world. We continue by train to Huigra train station. Huigra is a small village located between the Andes and the coast lands. We will enjoy dinner and stay overnight in Eterna Primavera lodge, with this pleasant weather. (B / L / D)
DAY 4 FRIDAY
After breakfast, the bus will take us to Huigra train station. We will travel along the Chanchan riverbed to Bucay. As we travel, we will witness the impressive transition from the Andes to the coast. Once in Bucay we will explore a Shuar community, which migrated many years ago from the Amazon basin to the Coast. The community will share their ancestral customs and traditions with us.
We continue by bus to ranch San Rafael for lunch. Afterwards, we will board the train to continue our journey to Durán train station. With a restored steam locomotive, we will pass through typical coast plantations such as bananas, sugarcane and rice. Upon arrival to Duran, you will be transferred by bus to your hotel in Guayaquil. (B / L / -)
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- Bilingual naturalist guide
- Sharing transportation (Daily train rides and bus for excursions)
- Accommodation (La Cienega, Abraspungo and Hosteria Primavera)
- Entrance fees
- Meals mentioned on the itinerary
- Accommodation in Guayaquil or Quito
- Alcoholic and non-alcohilic drinks
- Personal Expenses
- Transfers to and from hotels at destination