Cruising the dramatic landscapes of the Andes, the fully
restored "Crucero" train, has reconnected capital Quito
with the City of Guayaquil. It was no mean deed, when
in 1897, President Eloy Alfaro commissioned the construction
of the 453km narrow-gauge railway, through the Valley of
the Volcanoes and down the steep Andes slopes, passing through
the Devils Nose Pass; It took until 1908 to finish.
Overtaken by much faster roads, the railway system had
fallen in disarray by the 1990s. By 2008, only about 10%
of the Ecuadorian train network was operational; A whole
generation had never seen or heard a train.
Since then, the Ecuadorian
government has spent some $280 million revamping the national
railway, reviving the old tracks and restoring antique steam
engines, diesel locomotives and wagons in their original
state of repair, and better! Since a few years, the steam
whistle of a bright red or a pitch black steam engine can
be heard again through the central valley of the Andes and
down the steep canyons of the Andes, as it pulls luxurious
passenger wagons from Quito to Guayaquil and visa versa.
As tourist trains go, there is nothing like it anywhere
in the Americas! Yes there are some cute narrow-gauge tracks
in the USA and Canada, but nothing as long as the track
in Ecuador, and the luxurious train to Machu Picchu does
not compare, neither in length nor in the fact that it is
operated only by diesel engines. So, Train Buffs
and Railway Buffs, this is your chance to experience
something totally out of this world!
Ecuador Train Day Rides
A great variety of 1-day Ecuador Train Rides are offered
at affordable prices in beautifully restored trains. For
Tren de la Libertad:
Ibarra – Salinas – Ibarra 6 hours 10:30 Wednesdays to
Sundays and Public Holidays
Tren de los Volcanes:
Quito – Tambillo – Machachi – El Boliche 8 hours 08:00
/ 09:00 Thursdays to Sundays and Public Holidays
Tren del Hielo:
Riobamba – Urbina – Riobamba 3 hours 40 min 08:00 Thursdays
to Sundays and Public Holidays
Tren del Hielo:
Ambato – Urbina – Ambato 8 hours 08:15 Friday to Sundays
and Public Holidays
Sendero de los Ancestros:
Riobamba – Colta – Riobamba 4 hours 12:00 Thursdays
to Sundays and Public Holidays
Nariz del Diablo:
Alausí – Sibambe – Alausí 2 hours 30 min 08:00 / 11:00
/ 15:00 Thursdays to Sundays and Public Holidays
Baños del Inca:
El Tambo – Coyoctor – El Tambo 1 hour 30 min 09:30 /
11:00 / 12:30 / 14:30 / 16:00 Wednesdays to Sundays
and Public Holidays
Tren de la Dulzura:
Durán – Bucay – Durán 10 hours 08:00 / 08:15 Thursdays
to Sundays and Public Holidays.
The Cuyabeno Loop explores
the breathtaking scenery of lower Cuyabeno and Zábalo
Rivers and the Cuyabeno Lake. Watch the amazing birds and
wildlife. Pass 2 nights with the amazing Cofan Indians in
the Cofan Lodge and enjoy 2 nights of comfort in the famous
The Lagarto Cocha Expedition on hidden
creeks and lakes is the best Amazon journey in Ecuador!
Discover Indian tribes in Ecuador, Monkeys, Sloths,
Dolphins. No other Amazon rainforest in any of the
Amazon-Andean countries can match the wildlife viewing
of Cuyabeno and it is far better than Yasuní!
The Cuyabeno Lake Program
explores all the wild places surrounding the Cuyabeno Lake.
Bonsai-shaped Macrolobia trees with the whispering of the
mysterious prehistoric Hoatzin birds and the noisy Blue and
Yellow Macaws. Our Cuyabeno Lodge is on the best location,
because we were the first and chose the best location on a
seasonal island in the Cuyabeno Lake itself.
Our Northern Andes Tour lets you get a
taste of some of the best Andean National Parks,
visiting the highest groves in the world: the Polylepis
trees, the highest mountain in the world calculated from
the center of the Earth, the Chimborazo with Vecuñas and
Lamas, the highest active volcano in the world, the
Our National Parks Tours take you on a fantastic
journey along the best possible sample of Andean and coastal
parks. They have been designed to complement
Galapagos and/or Amazon cruises. They can start from different places, particularly Quito,
Guayaquil and Cuenca. While the full program lasts 9 days, it is possible to
make a limited selection of parks, like the 6 days' "Andes
and Coast" module.
A fabulous program for visiting the most
famous cultural highlights Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the
Sacred Valley. At the same time it serves as the Lima hub
for the Peru National Parks Tour. This module is an
extension to our National Parks Tour Ecuador and/or Galapagos National Park
and/or Amazon Cruises.
The flagship of the railway's renaissance is the "Tren Crucero",
a 54 passengers luxury steam train service operates
between Guayaquil and Riobamba.
“Tren Crucero” has 4 deluxe air-conditioned luxury wagons pulled
by a restored steam or diesel engine with 4 luxury
carriages built in Spain. 2 coaches have tables
and chairs for travelling and dining, while the third wagon
has a fine bar serving snacks and drinks. The observation
lounge wagon has sofas and a large balcony.
On the train, the guests are served delicious meals
while at enjoying Ecuadorian cuisine at night.
“Crucero” train of Ecuador combines comfort, fantastic
scenery, adventure, culture, and romance all in one epic
journey. Take the train
and you will ride the rails through the Avenue of the Volcanoes,
descend the famous switchbacks of the Devil’s Nose, and
experience enriching excursions away from the tracks.
As the train rides in 4 days
from Quito to Guayaquil it passes by the Avenue of the volcanoes,
stopping near Cotopaxi National Park, Andes cities of Latacunga,
Ambato, and Riobamba, from where it navigates down the Andes
flanks via the “The Devil’s Nose”, where it switchbacks
back and forth to lose altitude. On the 4th day, the train
completes its journey in the Harbor city Guayaquil. At
night, guests are hosted in beautiful colonial
haciendas such as La Cienega Hacienda, the Abraspungo
Inn, and the Eterna Primavera Lodge.
While the Crucero train is rather costly, there are also affordable day-trips
- varying anywhere from 1,5 - 8 hours - giving you the
opportunity to ride a historical train with classical
steam and diesel locomotives.
ASK FOR PRICES!
Photos of the Crucero Train Tour
The grand old days of Steam trains train travel in Ecuador
from Quito to Guayaquil have been restored to their old
Perfectly restored locomotive blowing its whistle and throwing
out its black smoke as it takes of on its way to Guayaquil,
passing through deep canyons along the Andes flanks.
Starting in Quito or Riobamba,
the Crucero train of Ecuador navigates passes through the
fascinatingly beautiful landscapes of the valley of the
Volcanoes and then navigates down the breathtakingly steep
slopes of the Andes, after which it rolls down to its destination
in Ecuador's lowlands, the harbor city of Guayaquil.
Dining room in the Crucero
Landscape watching from the
panoramic windows in the lounge in the Crucero train.
Watching from the balcony
of the luxurious Crucero Train.
Relaxation at the lounge wagon
of the Crucero train.
Scenes of the Crucero Train.
Beautifully restored Chambacalle
Railway station main entrance.
The renovated Riobamba railway
station with the Chimborazo in the background.
Photos of Day trip trains
Passengers enjoying having
their picture taken at the famous red steam locomotive in
Skillfully restored oil wagons
at display at the Chambacalle train station.
Three restored historical
locomotives at the Chambacalle train station.
A day-trip train departing
from Chambacalle train station in the early morning for
an affordable ride.
coach at railroad station.
Boarding heritage train.
Interior historical train.
Enjoying the landscape rolling
Much of the train service
until the late 70s was done in converted busses on train
wheels. Several of such train-busses have been fully restored
and converted to comfortable tourist trains.
ECUADOR TRAIN SYSTEM RIDES & TOURS
PARKS & TRIBES and the COFAN LODGE
have their sales office inside: