Last updated on April 16th, 2018 at 06:22 pm
All Aboard the Tren Crucero Ecuador Train Tour.
Ecuador is a fantastic destination for anyone who wants to experience South America’s unique gems without having to travel long distances. Although Ecuador is a small country on the Pacific Coast, it nevertheless has some of the most stunning areas throughout South America. While the Galapagos is the big draw for most people traveling to Ecuador, I would highly recommend looking into the newly opened Tren Crucero (Train Cruise). This Ecuador train excursion is a perfect complimentary activity that takes you from the Andes to the coast in style!
Tren Crucero History
The Tren Crucero started operating 2 years ago and is a luxury Ecuador train trip like no other. You’ll experience some of the most stunning landscapes the country has to offer and cruise along the historical tracks in beautiful and comfortable train cars. Your journey will begin in Quito, Ecuador and include 4 days and 3 nights traveling through the country’s highlights ending in Guayaquil (Guayaquil to Quito trains are also available). Each day is filled with several unique activities, some of which include; meeting local legends, eating delicious local cuisine, and viewing the magnificent Avenue of the Volcanoes. In the evenings, guests stay in historic hotels and enjoy authentic Andean music.
Style of the Train
These Ecuador train cars were built with comfort and style in mind. There are 4 cars that train passengers can explore on the journey while enjoying magnificent views and ever-changing landscapes. The construction of the Quito to Guayaquil railroad started in 1873 and was finally finished in June of 1905. In the 1970’s, the railways experienced a decline due to competition from road transportation and general lack of funding from the government. By the late 2000’s the train experienced a comeback and is now the main tourist attraction that brings tourism and commerce to the local communities. I particularly enjoyed this nostalgic ride on the fabled steam engine, traveling through landscapes that have remained unchanged for decades and the Andean culture that is still strong and vibrant.
Activities Off the Train
Tren Crucero is so much more than just a train ride. This Ecuador train seamlessly integrates well-guided tours, walking adventures, and culinary masterpieces eaten at beautiful venues. I can guarantee you will not be bored on this trip, there’s always a surprise around the next bend!
1. Visit the Oldest Hacienda in Ecuador
You’ll have the chance to visit the oldest hacienda in Ecuador. Enjoy a fantastic dining experience while surrounded by Inca walls and breathtaking views of Cotopaxi Volcano.
2. Meet the Last Ice Merchant.
This is the last ice merchant in Ecuador. He still treks 4 hours up, 4 hours down to cut out to sell glacial ice. After meeting him, eat some delicious glacial ice cream!
3. Visit a Chocolate Plantation.
Enjoy an exquisite lunch at an award-winning chocolate plantation and learn how the best chocolates in the world start in Ecuador.
4. Visit an Authentic Local Market.
Go back in time and experience a weekly local market that’s thousands of years old and remarkably untouched by the changing times (only on the Quito to Guayaquil route). This is no tourist market and the experience is awe-inspiring in its authenticity.
The Ecuador Train Tour Experience
From the Andes to the Coast or vice versa, the changing landscape is incredible. From dry, arid, mountain tops, surrounded by volcanoes, to dense, cool, cloud forest and humid, flat, farmlands, the rapid changes are stunning.
The chance to ride down the Devil’s nose is also unforgettable. Dubbed as the most “difficult railway in the world,” you’ll experience first hand this engineering feat. A unique view into the country and its people, the experience is simply unforgettable! The Tren Crucero successfully brings back the charm and glamour of the Iron Horse era and should definitely be added to everyone’s bucket list!
To read more about train rides through South America, check out our blog post on The Best South America Train Tours.
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