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Ecuador Cruise Train

6 days from £1110pp plus international flights.

Set to become a modern 'classic railway journey' this is a superb way to see Ecuador.

The Tren Crucero or literally the Cruise Train, is a new experience in Ecuador and makes for an excellent few days on any Ecuador holiday. It's a really fantastic way to see some of the country. The railway line that runs from Quito through the Avenue of the Volcanoes and then down to the coast at Guayaquil has been fully restored and a 4 coach stylish luxury train now runs along this route. And the route also includes the famous section known as The Devil's Nose. As a multi-day luxury train journey using both diesel and steam engines, it is the first in South America and will become a modern classic of great railway journeys. 

The scenery as you pass through the Andes and down to the coastal plains is absolutely spectacular, changing from vistas of snow-capped volcanic peaks and rugged mountain valleys through seven distinct climatic zones through to tropical forests and the lush agricultural lands around Guayaquil. But this journey is not just about sitting on a train and enjoying the scenery - far from it. The train stops along the way and you spend a lot of your time visiting some fascinating places along the route, and staying in traditional haciendas at night rather than on board.


You'll see Cotapaxi Volcano, learn about the local culture and visit a traditional market, visit a rose plantation and a church, visit a Shuar tribal community and have lunch in a coastal ranch.

It's an amazing way to spend 4 days going though the heart of Ecuador at a very leisurely pace. This journey can be done in either direction and can be linked with a Galapagos cruise as flights to the Galapagos leave from Guayaquil or Quito.


NOTE: this trip can be taken in reverse (Guayaquil to Quito) and you can also take shorter sections of the trip too. Please ask us about this. 

The price of £956 is an introductory offer. The standard price is £1175 pp sharing in 2014. 2015 prices are available on request.

Itinerary
Patio Andaluz, Quito, Ecuador

DAY 1: QUITO

Today you will arrive in Quito, if you're not already here. Since the train leaves early in the morning, you need the night in the capital, so we've booked you into a lovely characterful hotel called the Patio Andaluz. 
Cotopaxi NP, Ecuador

DAY 2: QUITO TO LASSO (48 miles)

This morning you'll take a regular local train from Quito station to Boliche. here you'll catch your first glimpse of the waiting Tren Crucero, which will take you to Lasso, with an initial stop in Cotopaxi National Park. You'll visit this dramatic park with its volcanic snow-capped peak, lake and Andean condors. Lunch is at a very special hacienda built on Incan ruins. Today you also have a presentation from an indigenous community, before heading to you hacienda accommodation for the night. Full board.
Rose farm, Ecuador

DAY 3: LASSO TO RIOBAMBA (86 miles)

Heading further south today you will stop to visit a fair trade rose plantation, and have lunch at a heritage hotel.  You will also visit Urbina and see the Ice Men interpretation centre.  Tonight you are in a lovely hotel in Riobamba. Full board.
Steam train, ecuador

DAY 4: RIOBAMBA TO HUIGRA (71 miles)

Today's journey takes us even further south, but we also start heading towards the coast.  Part of the trip today will be with a steam engine pulling the train (if available), and you get to see the famous Devil's Nose (a stretch of rail track with is so steep that the train has to zigzag up it). You will also get to see Balbanera Church and the market at Guamote, which is also the lunch stop. Full board.
Shuar, Ecuador

DAY 5: HUIGRA TO DURA (72 miles)

The last day of this unique train cruise, and fittingly, there will be another part of the day where the train is pulled by steam. Activities today include visiting a Shuar community and a coastal ranch, where we will have lunch too. The train station is just short of Guayaquil, so you will be transferred into the centre of the city by bus, arriving around 7pm. Tonight you are the Hampton Inn.  Breakfast and lunch. 
last day of cruise train, Ecaudor

DAY 6: DEPART

This morning we will take you to the airport for your onward connections. You will be leaving with some great memories of seeing some beautiful scenery and a relaxed and unusual way.  Breakfast.
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1110 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

1 night in Patio Andaluz in Quito B&B); 1 night in The Hampton Inn in Guayaquil (B&B); 3 nights in accommodation included in the train cruise (in Lasso, Riobamba and Huigra); guides; transfers; excursions and activities as shown in the itinerary; meals as shown.

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; dinner on the first and last day; s​ingle supplements for accommodation; drinks; tips; visa, vaccinations and insurance.

Getting there: The 6-day trip starts in Quito and ends in Guayaquil. It can also be done in reverse.  A rough guide to flights in and out of Ecuador from £900 per person.

places you will see

places you will see

Quito & the Equator
Quito & the Equator
Quito is at an altitude of 2800m, and since it is only 25km south of the Equator, mostly has very pleasant days and cool nights. The city took its name from the Quitus tribe who lived here in the pre-Colombian era. The equator, which divides the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres and after which Ecuador is named. lies slightly to the north of Quito and is marked by a monument and a museum.
Guayaquil
The Coast and Guayaquil
Guayaquil is a busy city and port, and often a stopover to or from a trip to the Galapagos. Isla de la Plata is about a 90 minute voyage from the mainland and is known for its marine birdlife.
Cotopaxi National Park
Cotopaxi and the Avenue of Volcanoes
Situated about 40 miles south of Quito in the "Avenue of Volcanoes", Cotopaxi National Park was founded in 1979 and covers about 33,500 hectares.
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facts and information

Time: GMT -5 hours

Flight time: There is an international airport at Quito and at Guayaquil. KLM and Iberia have routes via Europe to both cities. The flying time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly via America.

Language: Spanish is Ecuador's official language.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.

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