Day 1 - Tuesday - Chimbacalle - Cotopaxi – Lasso
Temporary modifications for Tren Crucero itineraries due to Cotopaxi volcano yellow alert (increased activity).
A few days ago, ecuadorian authorities declared yellow alert status for Cotopaxi volcano due increased activity. This means that visits to Cotopaxi National Park and El Boliche recreation area are suspended as long as Yellow Alert persists. In order to preserve safe conditions and a pleasant journey, Tren Ecuador has modified Tren Crucero Quito – Guayaquil / Guayaquil – Quito itineraries, looking forward to avoid operations in Cotopaxi influence area.
It is our aim to provide our passengers a suitable itinerary for non-operation train stretches, so we have selected our latest new product – Tren de los Lagos, an impressive steam locomotive full day journey in the northern Andes, to replace Quito – Latacunga or viceversa stretches.
- The tour begins at 08:00, leaving Chimbacalle station aboard a traditional excursion train (coach).
- We travel towards Cotopaxi station close to the Cotopaxi National Park, where we will arrive on a bus. Taking a walk around Limpiopungo, a glacial lake located at in the folds of the volcano, we’re surrounded by typical Andean landscapes.
- The National Park is home to Andean flora and fauna: Andean gulls, caracaras, white-tailed deer, the moor wolf and the Andean condor. The páramo is the highlight of the day, together with the splendid Cotopaxi volcano, an almost perfect cone rising to 5,897 meters.
- Our journey continues to the San Agustin de Callo hacienda where lunch is a specialty of the new Ecuadorian cuisine accompanied by a performance by the local community’s dancers. The ruins of this estate are an example of Inca architecture. Before the colonial period the building was an Inca palace.
- After exploring the Hacienda, we return to Cotopaxi station to take the Cruise Train to Lasso from where we take a bus to the hotel.
- Overnight stay La Ciénega, Hato Verde or Rumipamba de las Rosas (Depending on availability). (-/A/D)
- Check in at Chimbacalle Railway Station from 6:00am. Departure at 06:30 northbound to Ibarra by bus.
- Ibarra – San Antonio – Andrade Marin – San Roque – Otavalo journey with steam locomotive on board patrimonial coaches, with lunch included at Puerto Lago Lodge.
- Afternoon departure to Quito by bus, accommodation and dinner at Hotel Quito. (González Suárez Avenue N27-142).
Day 2 - Wednesday - Lasso - Latacunga - Cunchibamba - Ambato - Cevallos - Urbina – Riobamba
After breakfast, we depart for Latacunga station to board the Cruise Train and continue our journey south.
Early departure southbound by bus to Cunchibamba. Visit to a Rose plantation in the area. Transfer to Cunchibamba train station to board Tren Crucero to Ambato. From this point on, the itinerary remains as usual
The day’s itinerary includes a visit to a flower plantation to learn more about Ecuador’s world-renowned roses.
The train then takes us to Ambato where we enjoy lunch at the Roka Plaza hotel, a converted heritage-style house. If weather conditions permit, you may witnesses – at a safe distance – a volcanic eruption of the majestic Tungurahua.
After lunch, the train travels on towards Urbina station, located at 3,609 meters above sea level. Here you will meet a very special person, Baltazar Ushca, the last ice-collector of the Chimborazo volcano.
Weather permitting, Chimborazo may provide a spectacular sight from the station.
After this visit, the train takes us to Riobamba station from where a bus transfers us to our hotel and dinner, either at Abraspungo or La Andaluza hotel(Depending on availability). (D/A/C)
Day 3 - Thursday - Riobamba - Colta - Guamote - Alausí - Sibambe – Bucay
In the morning, we depart by bus to Riobamba station. The town is surrounded by five volcanoes and is known as the "Sultan of the Andes". From there, we continue by train, this time driven by a steam locomotive through the Andean landscapes to Colta Station..
A stop provides time to visit the church of Balbanera whose walls, dating back almost 500 years, provide the first evidence of the arrival of Christianity in Ecuador.
Back on the train, we travel on to Guamote where the Indian market is waiting to be explored. Lunch is taken on board the train.
In the afternoon, the train continues its journey to the station of Alausí, following curious geological formations before beginning the descent down the emblematic “Devil's Nose”. Zig-zagging its way down the mountainside, the trains drops 200 meters in just 3 kilometers. A short break at a viewpoint enables us to appreciate the magnitude of this engineering feat that has earned the Ecuadorian rail system the “world's most difficult" tag.
We continue by train to Bucay, the gateway to the Coastal plains. Dinner and accommodation are provided in the D'Franco lodge in this pleasant and temperate area. (D/A/C)
Day 4 - Friday - Bucay - Yaguachi – Durán
After breakfast, we depart by train from Bucay station en route for Naranjito station.
We take a bus to the San Rafael hacienda where we have lunch and visit a cocoa plantation to learn about the history of this grain.
After this visit, we take the train to our final destination, Durán station, with a short stop at Yaguachi station to switch from a diesel electric locomotive a steam-driven engine.
The train weaves its way through plantations of banana, pineapple, mango, sugar cane as well as rice paddies, marking its trail with clouds of billowing steam.
The trip ends upon arrival at Durán station. Transport is provided to take you to Guayaquil’s main hotels (Hilton Colón, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Wyndham, Gran Hotel Guayaquil and Sonesta. (D/A/-)