Tren Crucero Ecuador
Riobamba, Central Highlands, Ecuador
At a Glance
Experience the famous switchbacks and dramatic scenery of the Devil's Nose
The climatic transition from Andean highlands to the Pacific Coast is truly breathtaking
Visit indigenous markets, stunning national parks and traditional artesania workshops on route
A leisurely way to travel between Quito and Guayaquil for those that have the time
Comfortable hotel accommodation provided along the way
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Ecuador is a year round destination. Daytime temperatures average 23-25ºC, while at night temperatures drop to around 10ºC. In general, days are clear in the morning and cloud over in the afternoon, with rain common in the afternoon. The drier season runs from the end of May to the end September, with another brief summertime in early December.
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A true feat of engineering, the Tren Crucero offers an unforgettable rail journey traversing the highlands and coastal towns of Ecuador from Quito to Guayaquil, taking in the dramatic switchbacks of the infamous Devil's Nose.
This iconic rail journey aboard the Tren Crucero is one of the best ways to travel from Quito to Guayaquil and allows you to get out and explore some of Ecuador's charming smaller towns at a leisurely pace.
Journeys follow a set, four-day route travelling from Quito to Guayaquil or the other way around, making a number of stops along the way to appreciate the culinary, cultural, scenic and historical diversity of this small yet exhilarating country. Pass through the spectacular Avenue of the Volcanoes, meet the last ice harvester in Urbina, shop until you drop at colourful indigenous markets and descend the infamous Devil's Nose.
The train itself reflects times gone by and the interior decor has changed little since the train's first journeys through the Andes despite being carefully restored, adding character and a sense of history to every itinerary. Each of its four coaches has a distinct style and two are fitted out with tables and chairs for dining, while a third contains a coffee bar and the last is split between a comfortable lounge area and viewing platform with large windows, ideal for observing the beautiful and varied scenery.
Accommodation each night is in comfortable hotels at selected stops on route and meals served incorporate the traditional dishes from each region.
Accommodation each night is in carefully selected hotels with overnight stays in Quito, Riobamba, Bucay and Guayaquil.
Day 1 - Otavalo to Quito - Tren Crucero
Begin your journey in the northern Andes, driving towards Otavalo which is famous for its vibrant indigenous market. Pass snow-capped volcanoes and fertile valleys as you travel through constantly changing scenery.
Day 2 - Quito to Riobamba - Tren Crucero
Today you will head towards Riobamba, passing through spectacularly dramatic scenery and visiting a rose plantation on the way to Ambato. Ecuador is one of the world's largest exporters of roses and this gives an insight into the importance of the trade.
Day 3 - Riobamba to Bucay - Tren Crucero
Day three of this epic journey begins with a visit to the Balbanera Church, the first church built in Ecuador, before heading to the enormous indigenous market at Guamote. The afternoon sees you head down the infamous switchbacks of the Devil's Nose.
Day 4 - Bucay to Guayaquil - Tren Crucero
Take in the coastal scenery on the way to Naranjito, where you will visit a traditional hacienda and cocoa plantation. Enjoy a delicious chocolate tasting along with a traditional lunch before heading to Durán, the final stop.
Location & directions
Riobamba, Central Highlands, Ecuador
The Tren Crucero journey runs from Quito to Guayaquil or the other way around. Along the way you will pass through Otavalo, Urbina, Alausi, Riobamba and Bucay along with a number of other towns and natural highlights, most renowned of which is the Devil's Nose section of the journey.
How to get there
A 14-hour flight from London will bring you to Quito or Guayaquil, where you can connect with the Tren Crucero.
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