Tren Crucero is the perfect combination of modern and antique. Known as the Leading Luxury Train in South America, Tren Crucero’s contemporary design provides luxurious comfort and wonder for onboard guests. The Tren Crucero Collection of carefully selected experiences will enable you to discover Ecuador’s best-kept secrets. You may find yourself roaming through ancestral markets, hiking through the rainforest, or learning the culture of indigenous communities.
Get inspired with this 7-day itinerary which includes accommodations, ground transfers, train journey, indicated guided activities and meals. This itinerary is available on scheduled departure dates as indicated below. Land Rate: from $3995 per person double occupancy (minimum 2 travelers required). For availability and reservations, please email us or call 800-701-4278 extension: 104 (office hours: 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Time, Mon-Fri)
DAY 1 | QUITO
Welcome to Ecuador.
Upon arrival to the airport in Quito, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your overnight stay in Quito will be at the Hotel Plaza Grande, located in the heart of Quito UNESCO World Heritage old quarter and with five centuries of history. Hotel Plaza Grande stands on the corner from the Presidential palace and is built on the lot that was originally granted to Francisco Pizarro, Governor of Peru. The original building is the first colonial house built in the newly founded city of Quito. It suffered multiple renovations during its long history, being home to different wealthy families. The hotel offers 15 luxury suites with breathtaking views of the city’s historic quarter and a renowned restaurant offering a spectacular terrace and a well-stocked cellar.
Overnight Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel
DAY 2 | QUITO
Enjoy a full day tour of Quito focusing on its colonial history and culture.
Quito is sure to impress! Drive up to Panecillo Hill for a bird’s eye view of the city and an in-depth look at Old Quito (Colonial Quito) with its main square where the presidential palace, the main cathedral, and other important buildings can be appreciated. Walk through one of the oldest streets in the town called “La Ronda Street”, where you will see how the colonial houses were built and how the Quitenos lived in the 1600’s. Your walk will take you through the city museum to San Francisco Plaza. Making a quick stop to try the typical sweets of Quito before visiting San Francisco, the oldest church in Quito full of history and legends. Outside San Francisco, feel free to visit merchants offering fine art and exclusive designs made of silver. You can also take in La Merced church where you can see the arabesque and baroque style decor throughout the church. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to step inside La Compañía de Jesús church, one of the most beautiful churches in South America or perhaps even the world!
In addition to an included lunch, you will also be able to experience the Equator, which lies just 12 miles north of Quito. Here, you can see the historical point where the French Geodesic Mission measured the circumference of the earth in 1736 and found the latitude zero. You will also visit the INTI ÑAN site museum, which contains interesting explanations of natural facts applicable only at the Equator.
Overnight Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel
DAY 3 | QUITO / OTAVALO / IBARRA / QUITO
Commence the Tren Crucero journey from the Andes to the Pacific. Today’s journey route is Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito.
Our journey begins in the northern Andes of Ecuador, in the valley of Otavalo, where we will discover traditional cultures, handicrafts, and modern export-class rose plantations. From Quito we will start our trip to the coast, first climbing to the Chimborazo volcano moorlands along the Avenue of Volcanoes. The Mythical “Devil’s Nose” pass awaits with its vertiginous zig-zag. Riding along the Chanchán river canyon we leave the highlands behind. We cross a cloud forest, then ride along the tropical plantations to the end of our trip in Guayaquil. We reach the shores of the Pacific Ocean after 504 km or rail and a 12,000 ft. descent to the sea.
You will experience Tren Crucero’s Gold Class accommodation level. For those looking for a deeper cultural experience, Tren Crucero Gold class offers accommodation in signature buildings that allow a unique journey through the history of Ecuador. From Quito’s colonial, UNESCO World Heritage main square or the city’s early XXth century cultural center, to historical haciendas and restored public buildings dating from the cocoa boom in XIXth century Guayaquil, these properties have been selected for their singular character, their attention to detail and their excellence in service, to guarantee a unique experience.
We depart Quito early in the morning for a one-and-a-half drive north. In Otavalo, home of a millenary market, a carefully restored steam engine awaits us. At a slow pace, we will discover the many wonders hidden in this part of the country: musicians, painters, weavers and the skillful woodcarvers who keep the renowned Quito School style alive. After a tasting of traditional Andean cuisine and a visit to very special export-class rose plantation we return to Quito.
Overnight Accommodation: Plaza Grande Hotel
DAY 4 | QUITO / URBINA (NEAR RIOBAMBA)
Continue with the Tren Crucero journey from the Andes to the Pacific. Today’s journey route is Quito – Urbina.
We board our convoy at Quito Chimbacalle station and begin our journey south along the Avenue of Volcanoes. If the weather permits, you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the train –most extinct or dormant for centuries. Here, the Andes range splits into two arms that run parallel down south. The fertile valley trapped between these stone walls hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity. From the comfort of our panoramic cars, we watch the change of vegetation and landscape as we slowly climb the Andean highlands to Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary at 11,800 feet above sea level. In the skirts of Mount Chimborazo, we meet the last ice-merchant and learn the story of his ancestral trade.
Your hotel overnight is at Hosteria La Andaluza at Hacienda Chuquipogio, dating back to mid-XVIth century. Situated on the outskirts of Riobamba, it offers elegant rooms decorated in sober, tasteful style that matches the historical, countryside setting. Stay at the historic ranch house, in large rooms with views of the elegant gardens or the impressive Chimborazo volcano.
Overnight Accommodation: Hosteria La Andaluza at Hacienda Chuquipogio
DAY 5 | RIOBAMBA / THE DEVIL’S NOSE / BUCAY
Continue with the Tren Crucero journey from the Andes to the Pacific. Today’s journey route is Riobamba – The Devil’s Nose – Bucay.
We depart Riobamba towards Colta, where the Spanish conquerors built their first settlement in Ecuador. We cross colorful quinoa fields painted in purples, yellows, and reds, alternating with endemic species of flora and wildlife, indigenous settlements and the remains of ancient cultures. We visit Guamote market, one of the last indigenous markets in the Andes, before continuing south towards the mythical Devil’s Nose pass. A vertiginous descent of 450metres zigzag takes us from the Andean highlands down towards the coastal plains. We continue our descent along the narrow Chanchán river gorge and crossing an impressive cloud forest towards the temperate city of Bucay.
Your hotel overnight is at Hacienda La Danesa which was erected in the last decades of the XIXth century while the railway was being built. Situated next to the tracks –there has been a stopping place outside the property since the construction of the railway- the Hacienda benefitted from the proximity to the tracks to move its products to the markets. This lush family-owned 500-hectare dairy, cocoa and teak wood farm is also a unique tourist destination. Here guests will enjoy an unmatched farm-to-fork tourist experience and exclusive accommodation in Montubio-style decoration.
Overnight Accommodation: Hacienda La Danesa
DAY 6 | BUCAY / GUAYAQUIL
Continue with the Tren Crucero journey from the Andes to the Pacific. Today’s journey route is Bucay – Guayaquil.
The landscape changes again as the train leaves the tropical forest behind. Rice, sugar cane, pineapple, and banana plantations pass before our eyes. We have lunch at a traditional hacienda, where we can learn about the growing and harvesting of the best cocoa bean in the world. Later, the steam engine whites its way across the fields towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the end of our trip is in Guayaquil.
Your hotel overnight is at Hotel del Parque. This beautiful, clapboard building is steeped in history and forms a vital piece of Guayaquil’s past. The property was built in 1891 by Guayaquil’s oldest charity. Originally situated in a location in the center of the city, it was built in the eclectic style that is typical of Guayaquil’s golden age as the center of the cocoa export boom. It survived destruction in the 1980’s by being moved board by board to its current location on the Parque Historico, an eight-hectare (around 20 acre) urban park that recreates the Guayaquil-that-was, with restored buildings that belonged to wealthy families hailing back to the prosperous XIXth century, and surrounded by luxuriant tropical forests by the river. Today it has been transformed into a five-star boutique hotel. Two inner patios with tinkling fountains and old trees offer quiet and relaxation to guests. The games and reading room are open for drinks, snacks, and entertainment while the 44 exquisitely decorated rooms are the perfect ending to your Tren Crucero Gold Experience.
Overnight Accommodation: Hotel del Parque
DAY 7 | DEPART ECUADOR OR EXTEND YOUR STAY
Your trip ends today. You can extern your stay in Ecuador by adding on a trip to the Galapagos Islands or Cuenca or the Amazon Rainforest!
2018 DEPARTURE DATES
Jan 14 Jan 28
Feb 11 Feb 25
Apr 8 Apr 22
Jun 3 Jun 17
Jul 1 Jul 15 Jul 29
Aug 12 Aug 26
Sep 9 Sep 23
Oct 7 Oct 21
Nov 4 Nov 25