In 2008 the president Rafael Correa named the railroad a “national cultural patrimony” and indicated that it would be restored. The government of Ecuador started to rehabilitate the railway and service was restored between Guayaquil and Quito by 2013.
Tourist trains and rail busses (autoferros) are running from Quito via Cotopaxi national park to Latacunga, between Alausi to Sibambe (Devil’s Nose / Nariz del Diablo), between El Tambo and Baños del Inca, between Duran and Yaguachi and between Ibarra and Salinas.
Tren Crucero is currently the most stunning vintage transportation. The train will take you on an exceptional trip across different ages and periods of Ecuadorian history. Its convoy features four different coaches, each one with its own style reflecting Ecuadorian history and culture.
Upon your arrival, a professional crew will await you with the warmest welcome. The crew will join you throughout the journey, offering unmatched service.
Selected hotels on every location have been carefully chosen to provide you with the comfort, care and relaxation you require in this exquisite journey.
Landscapes, the whisper of volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, the picturesque colours of the coast and the astonishing views of valleys, the equatorial sunshine, the kindness of its people, all these are features of a true lifetime experience.
Train travel in Ecuador began in 1908, when the first train chugged its way into the Ecuadorian capital from the second city, Guayaquil. The opening of the Quito–Guayaquil line was a momentous achievement that had taken 30 years, huge financial investment, and had cost many lives. The route was immediately acclaimed as one of the “great railway journeys of the world,” reducing to two days a former nine-day trek along a mule path often impassable due to rain.
The most technically challenging part of this route – and the most thrilling part of the section that still operates today – is the rightfully world-famous Nariz del Diablo (the Devil’s Nose) between Alausí and Sibambe. This daredevil piece of engineering takes the train or autoferro plunging down the steep switchbacks of a precipitous descent crossing spindly bridges over heart-stopping deep ravines. There are frequent stops for passengers to get out and marvel at the spectacular views as well as the engineering. Several times the train has to reverse to negotiate a radical switchback. Clouds of diesel smoke add to the atmosphere.
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