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Tren Crucero "Train to the Clouds Route" 4-Night Itinerary A

On this trans-Ecuadorian “Train to the Clouds” journey from the lush Pacific lowlands to the snowcapped Andean highlands (or the return “Train of Wonders” route”) you will witness striking mountain panoramas of snow-capped volcanoes, picturesque coastal colors, astonishing valley views, and the sunshine of the equator — along with the kindness of its people. All these are features of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Train to the Clouds Route: On this journey on board Tren Crucero, we climb 3,600 meters in barely 450 km, experiencing one of the most dramatic changes in vegetation and scenery in the world. From the fertile plains in the coast we climb to the highlands in the Andes along the legendary Devil’s Nose pass. Riding across the "Avenue of Volcanoes" we reach Quito (a UNESCO-declared Cultural World Heritage Site) to continue to the Otavalo in the northern Andes. In and around that town we will explore indigenous Kichwa culture and traditions, as well as have lunch in a singular hacienda amidst export-class roses. In the evening we return to Quito, where our services end.


“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”Federica Novellini


Duran, Yaguachi, Naranjito, Bucay, Huigra, The Devil’s Nose, Alausí, Colta, Riobamba, Urbina, Boliche, Otavalo, Ibarra

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Duran – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay
Day 2: Bucay – Huigra – The Devil’s Nose – Alausí – Colta – Riobamba
Day 3: Riobamba – Urbina – Boliche – Quito
Day 4: Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito
Day 5: Quito
South America Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Duran – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay


8:00 a.m. departure from Duran by steam engine Cocoa plantation, chocolate tasting and visit to Hacienda in Naranjito Lunch Presentation of Montubio culture Stop at Bucay for dinner and to spend the night


We depart from Duran in the coast (near Guayaquil) early in the morning, as our heritage convoy is pulled by a vintage steam engine. We switch engines in Yaguachi and continue past rice, sugar cane, banana and pineapple plantations to the village of Naranjito. Lunch is served in a traditional hacienda, where we will learn about the finest cocoa beans in the world and taste home-made chocolate. After a demonstration of Montubio culture, we will continue our trip to Bucay. If the day is clear, we will get tour first glimpse of the Andes in the distance.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Bucay – Huigra – The Devil’s Nose – Alausí – Colta – Riobamba


Crossing Chanchan River gorge Pistishi lookout and Devil’s Nose pass Lunch on board your train Visit the Palacio Rea indigenous community Dinner and spend the night in Riobamba


As we travel along the Chanchan River canyon, the vegetation and temperature change abruptly. The cloud forest clears and the sparse vegetation of the highlands appear, as the stone mountain walls of the Andes loom in the horizon. The train makes a stop at the Pistishi lookout, where we can get a good glimpse of the impressive feat of engineering ahead of us before we start the daunting climb up the legendary Devil’s Nose pass. After a 450 meter climb in barely 12 kilometers of dizzying zigzagging, the train finally reaches the quaint Andean village of Alausi. We will continue our journey to Riobamba, crossing colorful fields of quinoa. On the way, in Colta we will visit the indigenous community of Palacio Real, where we learn about llama breeding. We will later arrive in Riobamba pulled by a powerful steam engine and with time to visit the Artisans’ Square Train Station before heading to your hotel.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Riobamba – Urbina – Boliche – Quito


Urbina: Artisans’ Square, meeting with the last ice-merchant of Chimborazo Breakfast on board your train Boliche recreational area near Cotopaxi National Park and volcano: Andean forest trail Quito: Dinner and spend the night


This morning we will head out for Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary, at 3,600 meters above sea level. There, on the eastern flanks of Chimborazo Volcano, the last ice-merchant will be waiting to tell the tale of his ancestral trade. Then, we will 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 20 volcanoes from the comfort of your seat. On the outskirts of the Cotopaxi Volcano, we will explore a singular Andean forest trail before continuing our ride to Quito to discover its UNESCO-declared World Heritage historic district.


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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito


6:30 Departure from Quito’s Hotel Otavalo Station: departure by steam engine San Roque: Music and loom weavers Andrade Marín: Sampling traditional cuisine and a visit to Imbabura textile factory San Antonio: the art of woodcarving Lunch: Hacienda La Compañía Return trip to Quito and end of our services Duran-Yaguachi, Colta-Riobamba, Otavalo-Ibarra by steam engine Quito-Otavalo/Ibarra-Quito by bus-Quito Swissôtel


Our journey for the continues to the northern Andes. In Quito, we will board the train pulled by a lovingly restored steam engine to travel to Otavalo, home to a millenary market. In that town, you will discover the culture, traditions, music, cuisine, paintings and the antique skill of woodcarving, learned from the renowned masters of the "Quito School" of art that dates back to the 17th century. After having lunch in a unique hacienda, we will head back to Quito, where you will spend the night at the hotel.


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Breakfast - Lunch
Day 5 - Wednesday

After breakfast at your hotel (included), your incredible trans-Andean locomotive journey will conclude.

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Price per person
Gold ClassLuxury Class
4US$ 2,722 PPUS$ 2,322 PPUS$ 2,082 PPUS$ 1,735 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Transportation on board the Tren Crucero
  • Accommodations on a double occupency basis
  • All meals during the trip, as per the itinerary
  • Snacks and soft drinks on board the train
  • Guide services in Spanish and English*
  • Excursions, as per the itinerary
  • Transportation by bus/van during the program for excursions, and accommodations based on double occupancy.
  • On the Quito to Guayaquil route, once the train has arrived at Duran station (Guayaquil), transfers are provided on a shared basis to the Hilton (airport), Oro Verde (downtown) & Wyndham (Santa Ana) hotels

(*) Guide services in languages other than Spanish and English (including Italian, French, German, Portuguese and Japanese) can be sought upon request, though these are subject to the availability of guides and are provided at an additional cost.

Not included in the price:
  • Taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages (Tren Crucero offers wine, beer and whiskey)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Excursions not indicated in the itinerary
  • International and domestic flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Transfers to hotels different from the ones listed in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)

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