Amazingly, breathtaking trip. Through the Andes to the Pacific Coast, four days in Tren Crucero traveling inside the spine of Ecuador. Endless landscaping: mountain chains, snowcaped nevados, rainforests. If you are in this journey, you will experience the scent of Ecuador; feeling chilly for a couple of hours and wanting to grab a cozy jacket; later in the same day like a magic turn you will be sweating because of the heat of the sun following the train. History is part of this journey, guides will provide you with information and facts about Ecuador, its geography and history and culture.
Tourist will travel by train to conect cities stations. During the time outside the train tourists will visit haciendas, and other sightseeing spots. These visits will also present you folklore shows.
Now I will up load several pictures, me as an spectator of this natural setting, some inside the train itself. The train is very confortable, with lounges, bar and open air terrace. The service is increible nice. While you traveling there is a cathering service with ecuadorian food, nicely decorated and presented. Your palate will taste: colada morada, jam, ceviche de chochos (lupinus), quinoa, green platain, coffee fresfly brew, juices of varierity of colours. At the end of each day tourist will get in private buses that take you to comfy and luxury hotels/haciendas. Very important, food nevers stops to be served in the train, or in restaurants or at the haciendas.
Another aspect that caught my attention is security, motorized police will follow the train journey all the way (when there were roads); and also toursim buses will wait at every train station to take to us to sightseeing atractions, restaurants or haciendas.
This journey was spectacular from beggining to the end, full of colours, aromas, unbelivable landscapes; it is something you must do if you live in Ecuador; and it is a remarkable trip if you are planning to visit Ecuador.
From Quito 2850m in the Andes to Duran 88m in the Pacific Coast
Ridding along the Volcano Avenue, if you came not prepare for this kind of weather, there is a craftshop at the entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, where tourist can buy at low price clothing and souvenirs like wool hats, cozy gloves, etc.
Cotopaxi National park has an area of 33.393hectares, the highest point is Cotopaxi an active snow caped volcano (5897meters). The part we visited was Limpiopungo Lagoon (3800metres) a montane rain forest area. While strolling around there is cold breeze that gives you a sensation of cleaness air and quietude.
After the visit to Cotopaxi National Park buses took us for lunch. The meal was hosted in an historical hacienda San Agustin del Callo.
We stayed overnight in hacienda. The following day we travelled to Ambato city and had lunch there.
After the stop in Ambato, the ridding took us to admire a marvelous moutain in Ecuador Chimborazo (6268meters). We even meet Baltazar Ushca “El último hielero del Chimborazo”. In an article published by the New York Times about this Ecuadorain celebrity says “For over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest mountain, to harvest the glacial ice that covers this dormant volcano” The ice is sold at the market in Riobamba to make smothies called “rompenucas”
Finally we arrived to a beautiful hacienda called Abraspungo. We stayed overnight there.
In the morning from Riobamba to Colta the trip was ridding on a steam engine.
After visited Colta we depart to Guamote. In this town we saw an open market; special fair that runs every Thursday in Guamote.
Market’s day in Guamote
Continuing into the railway ridding, from Guamote to Alausi there is arid area, empty land with nothing but arid soil and patches of pines in some areas, this place is known as “Desierto de Palmira”
Finally Alausi, most know as the Devils of the Nose (Nariz del Diablo). The Devil’s Nose railway is ridding by the locomotora in reverse of track up 800 meters up to the mountain “Pistishi” or Cóndor Puñuna; however the giant bird “Condor” is not longer found in this area. This part of the railway was built in 1902 by hand with local and caribean labor, most of them originary from Jamaica.
In the afternoon we took a 20 minutes ride bus to Huigra, a town inserted in a tropical rain forest. This village is located right after passing the arid lanscapeds and mostly indigenous towns; we entered into a new a fantastic paisaje the beggining of the tropical forest, desceding to 122meters, this town is still located in Chimborazo province.
Next day after having a nice breakfast: tropical fruits, tigrillo (green platain), fresh brew coffee we head to a Bucay village to be part of a ancestral show performarce by a Shuar community. Shuar originally are from the Amazon region of Ecuador, however at the beggining of 1900 some families migrated to this part of Ecuador. They have been living in Bucay from most of a century, preserving their culture and costume. The Shuar community presented a typical ancestral dance, dialogues in shuar language, stories about their migration and how they have lived during this time in Bucay.
Finally the train rode in direction to Duran, the last stop in this journey. This part of the ride is called “Tren de la Dulzura” due to the vast offer of tropical fruits and large plantations of sugar cane.
From Duran to Guayaquil there is a one hour bus ride and it is part of the trip.
Here some pics inside the train
Tags: #travel #ecuador #train #trencrucero #narizdeldiablo #haciendas #tourism #Andes #Cotopaxi #Thecruisetrain #Riobamba #avenidadelosvolcanes #chimborazo
*all pictures for the trip were taken by the author of this blog Y.B.
Links for more tourist information:
Tren Crucero journey Ministerio Turismo Ecuador (English) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qYceT0gjbg
Tren Crucero journey Ministerio Turismo Ecuador (Español) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DFitD7cBLQ
Tren Crucero brochure http://www.trenecuador.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/brochure_EN.pdf
Ecuador tourism web http://ecuador.travel/es
Hacienda San Agustin del Callo (Cotopaxi) http://www.incahacienda.com/
Restaurant/hotel in Ambato http://www.hotelrokaplaza.com/
Article in the NYT and documentary about The Last Ice Merchant: Baltazar Ushca http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/travel/the-last-ice-merchant-of-ecuador.html?_r=0
Abraspungo Hacienda (Riobamba, Chimborazo) http://haciendaabraspungo.com/
History about the construction of the Ecuador railway from Guayaquil to Quito http://spanish.ecuador.usembassy.gov/uploads/4x/4v/4x4v19nyPx6gxUOD70UbRA/archer-harman.pdf
Article about the story of “Nariz del Diablo” railway http://www.eluniverso.com/2011/02/01/1/1356/ecuador-reencuentra-nariz-diablo-tren-mas-dificil-mundo.html
Huigra: Hosteria Eterna Primavera http://www.hosteriaeternaprimavera.com/
Curso online Tren Crucero http://trade.allyouneedisecuador.travel/images/webinars/tren-crucero/ES-Tren-Crucero-Ecuador-Curso-Online.pdf