Tren CruceroQuito to Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Tren Crucero (or ‘Cruise Train’ in English) started operation in June 2013 following a $280 million rehabilitation of the famous historic railway line between Quito in the Andean highlands to Guayaquil on the Pacific coast. This is not just a means of getting from A to B; it is a journey in its own right, with numerous stops at points of interest along the route. Take a look at our Travelogue Post and video of the train to give you a flavour of this wonderful new experience.
Daytime stops include the Cotopaxi National Park, where guests can admire the massive snow-capped cone of the world’s second highest active volcano; Nevado Roses, where Ecuador’s huge rose export industry comes to life; and a visit to a displaced Shuar indigenous group that have curiously established a new community on the western side of the Andes – hundreds of miles from their homeland in the Amazon.
We felt that a highlight of the journey was the stop at Guamote Market, where the indigenous peoples from the neighbouring villages come to town to buy and sell goods with most still wearing their traditional clothing.
The journey itself and the history of the railway is just as fascinating as the stops en route. The ‘Devil’s Nose’ which sees the train descend (or ascend) hundreds of metres on an almost sheer cliff including two switchbacks would be an incredible feat of engineering today – never mind when it was constructed at the end of the 19th Century. And all along the route there is wonderful scenery to admire… and friendly locals to wave to.
Overnight stops are made at three traditional haciendas or hosterias en route: these are not luxury establishments, but offer comfortable accommodation and good, traditional Ecuadorian cuisine.
Departures in both directions are limited (typically once a fortnight). Please contact us for more information about this interesting new way of travelling through the Ecuadorian countryside, whilst gaining new insights into the country.