If you want to live a luxury experience in a Latin American country, Tren Ecuador will take you from the hightlands of the Andes to the coasts of the Pacific.
In Tren Crucero you can enjoy two luxury cars, decorated in two different styles: one Colonial and the other Republican. In addition to these cars, the convoy consists of a car bar, an open air terrace, two observation lounges and a gift shop car. All of them are guided by two types of machines, depending on the area: modern electric-diesel engines and old steam locomotives exquisitely restored.
In this comfortable train, in addition to enjoying the views and travel, you will get to know the local gastronomy and you will always find soft dinks, fresh-made juices, coffee, tea or snacks, sweet and savory. Some meals will be served on board, while others are part of the tours.
To sleep, we will always have a room in the best hotels or haciendas in the area.
At any time you will be accompanied by guides and waiters who will always be ready to answer any questions that may arise about the area or customs of the country.
We can not forget the excursions, in which you will enjoy the nature, know the ancestral customs of the indigenous communities, and all the heritage of this country, always from environmental and social responsibility.
Quito – Lasso
Our trip will begin in Quito at the Chimbacalle station in the south of Quito where we will welcome our passengers in this building considered one of the 7 Treasures of the Material Cultural Heritage of Quito. To go south to the impressive "Avenida de los Volcanes"; This Andean area where there are more than 20 volcanoes, many of them inactive. We will visit a floriculture farm where we will know the activity that takes place every day to cultivate the most beautiful roses that Ecuador exports to the rest of the world, then we will have lunch. The trip continues on board a tourist bus to the Cotopaxi National Park to the Limpiopungo lagoon at the foot of the Cotopaxi Volcano. In the afternoon we will go to our hotel to enjoy a delicious dinner and rest in a comfortable room in a patrimonial establishment.
Lasso – Riobamba
Our second day we moved to Latacunga where we will board our Cruise Train heading to the city of Ambato while we enjoy the incredible postcards that give us the Ecuadorian Andes with plantations of Andean products and the amazing view of the Yambo Lagoon. During the journey we will be approached by colorful devils, part of a long tradition of the Sierra mountains of the country known as the Diablada Pillareña. We will celebrate with this folkloric demonstration and we will be part of this happy tradition. We arrived at the Urbina station, the highest point of our visit, located at 3609 meters above sea level. There we will be received by Baltazar Ushca, the last Hielero del Chimborazo who will share the secrets of his old trade. After midday we continue our journey until we reach Jatari, then we will take a short walk to reach the community La Moya, a community tourist center, which opens its doors to our passengers to know the close relationship of Taita Chimborazo with indigenous communities, their customs and traditions. In the end, we will delight ourselves with a lunch with typical ingredients from our mountains. In the afternoon, we will return to the boarding point to board the unit and continue the journey to the city of Riobamba. At night we will enjoy a peaceful night in a local hacienda and enjoy its gastronomy and hospitality.
Riobamba – Nariz del Diablo – Alausí
We will get up early to head to the Riobamba station, where we will board the old locomotive known as "The Black Monster". It will be waiting for us to take us through colorful quinoa fields, picturesque villages and unique landscapes. Upon our arrival to Colta, we will carry out a complex maneuver that will allow us to change the steam locomotive by a diesel-electric machine with which we will continue south towards the Guamote station. In Guamote we will visit an authentic Andean market, here people from various communities come together to trade a myriad of products. The trip continues to the Palmyra station while we enjoy lunch served on board the train. At the Palmyra station we will take our bus that will take us on a short trip to Alausí, where the convoy awaits us that will transport us through the mythical Nariz del Diablo. An intricate system of zigzags that allow the locomotive to descend into the Sibambe valley and which, during its construction, was considered one of the most important engineering milestones in the country. We return to Alausí where we will stay in the assigned hotel and dinner.
Alausí – Guayaquil
Our last day begins with the bus journey to Huigra, where we will know the old station of this town and the establishment where the matrix of the old Guayaquil & Quito Railway Company used to operate. Then continue the tour by bus to Bucay, where you will enjoy a refreshing drink of welcome to the Ecuadorian coast and an artistic presentation alluding to the culture of the Ecuadorian coast. We continue to the hacienda La Hacienda La Danesa, the passenger can see plantations of banana, cocoa, pineapple coffee and other tropical fruits. Upon our arrival at this historic hacienda in 1870, we will tour its plantations and learn about the sowing and harvesting of Ecuadorian cacao, which is considered the best cocoa bean in the world, lunch will be served at the hacienda and we will enjoy of the gastronomy of the coast. We board the train on the San Antonio platform in the direction of Yaguachi, the first station built within the Ecuadorian rail system, where a Baldwin steam locomotive awaits us to take us to our final destination on this trip full of wonderful landscapes. Arrival to Durán, transportation to selected hotels in the city of Guayaquil and end of services.
Tren Crucero does not offer accomodation on board, so the nights will always be spent in hotels or haciendas specially selected to maintain the level of comfort and the atmosphere lived in the train.
Hotel beds are standard queen-size.
In some hotels it is possible to stay in suites at an extra cost.
One of the cultural incentivesa per of this trip is to get to know the ancestral cuisine of Ecuador. Despite being a small country, its gastronomy is very varied, due to the existence of four different natural regions - coast, sierra, east and islands - with different customs and traditions.
During the tour you can try the typical dishes of each area that we pass by and enjoy the views of the large plantations of banana, sugar cane, rice, tropical fruits and quinoa crops.
Ecuador is the first exporter of banana, making this fruit a very important element in its gastronomy. It is also the eighth largest cacao producer in the world. You wil learn a lot about both products, its varieties and their use in the kitchen.
All meals are included during the trip, some will be done on board, and others during the tours. Non-alcoholic drinks, and savory and sweet snacks (we recommend the great variety of fresh fruit) are also available in the bar car at any time of the day free of charge. Do not miss our fresh-made juices on board.
nd if you have to follow a diet, we cn handle vegetarian, diabetic and vegan diets, and other restricted diets.
BEFORE THE TRAVEL
Preparing the suitcase
Although Ecuador has a very varied climate due to the diversity of its geography, there are only two marked season because of its equatorial location: a wet one, that goes from mid October until June, and another dry during the rest of the months. This makes the humidity and temperature very variable throughout the year, but temperatures are usually mild, except in mountain area. The altitude ranges from 80 meters to almost 3,610 meters above sea level.
This is why, we recommend that you prepare your suitcase with comfortable and light clothes, but do not forget warm clothes and a light coat for the rain. The best choice would be pack several layers, especially in the tours while travelling in the Andes hightlands, since the mornings and the nights are cold.
Being on the equator, you should not forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (at least SPF 50+).
The footwear for the excursions must be comfortable and must be taken into account that, in some paths, it is possible that we find mud.
One last thing to note is that the train does not have a laundry service. It is available in hotels and haciendas, however, depending on the time of arrival, there may not be enough time to be able to use this service. We recommend taking this into account when preparing the suitcase.
The official currency of Ecuador is the US Dollar, so only this currency is accepted on board. Anyway, all mayor credit cards can be used without any problem.
Traveling with children
Although Tren Crucero admits children from 7 years old, our recommendation is not to travel with children under 10 years old, due to the characteristics of the journey. The most important point is that parents are responsible for their children behaviour, and this should not disturb at any time other travelers.
Travelers with special needs
We do not recommend the trip to people with reduced mobility because some excursions are through uneven terrain and do not have wheelchair accessible areas.
Also keep in mind that the train travels to a considerable altitude in the Andes area, reason why there are places where the levels of oxygen can be low. Keep it in mind if your health condition may become worse by these conditions.
In any case, Tren Ecuador is an inclusive company: passengers with special needs are welcome on board; nevertheless we strongly recommend that they travel accompanied.
It is not mandatory to vaccinate for yellow fever or malaria to go to Ecuador. Regarding Zika, all the confirmed cases have been on the north coast, an area we do not visit. The virus is unable to live over 2000 meters above sea level. In any case we recommend you consult your family doctor before making any trip.
DURING THE TRIP
Electricity and wifi
The voltage on the train is 220V AC 50Hz, with 3-point round-pronged wall plugs on every seat.
As for the wifi and the use of mobiles, as the objective of the trip is to disconnect travelers from the outside world to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the train does not have radio or television cable or wifi. In addition, the crew may restrict the use of any device that may disturb other travelers during the journey. On the other hand, it should be noted that coverage can be poor or disappear in certain isolated areas.
Anyway, all hotels and haciendas have wifi.
To keep the train in perfect condition, every day it is cleaned when passengers go down to their lodgings, so they should always take their belongings.
For valuables and hand luggage, the train has a locker of 50cm x 40cm.
Smoking on board
Ecuadorian laws prohibit smoking in public areas, so you are not allowed to smoke on board, at stations or near railways.
Prices are based on € / $ change on 18 January. If this change is significantly modified, it will have repercussions, both upwards and downwards.
VAT not included.
I want to spend more time in Ecuador
If you want to stay longer in this fantastic country, there is the possibility of doing extensions in Quito and Guayaquil, before or after the trip by train. We also have programs to visit the incredible Galápagos Islands.
The trip includes transportation aboard Tren Crucero, as well as the meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) throughout the itinerary. Also non-alcoholic drinks and snacks on board unlimited. Guides in Spanish and English throughout the trip. The excursions included in the itinerary and the necessary transferss to realize them or to arrive at the lodging, that can be by bus or van. Accommodation in double rooms. In the hotels there is luggage service. In the route Quito to Guayaquil, when the train arrives to the station of Durán, there will be a transfer to a Hotel in Guayaquil for the last night. In this case, dinner is not included, but breakfast for the next day is included.
Alcoholic beverages on board are not included, but wine, beer and whiskey are available in the bar car. Nor do the meals or excursions not detailed in the program.
Taxes are also not included.
Neither air tickets nor transfers to hotels other than those specified.
Any personal expense are excluded.
Tips are neither included nor mandatory, although we suggest a discretionary daily amount from US$ 5 to US$ 10 per guest per day in recognition of the service offered.
Taxes not included.