Rail South America

Ecuador's Tren Crucero

4 Days | Individual Trip | Maximum 50 Guests

Experience the wonders of Ecuador on board the Tren Crucero. Modern, electric-diesel and restored steam locomotives pull a convoy of two passenger carriages carrying a maximum of fifty passengers from Quito to Duran or vice versa. A bar car with lounge and an observation car complete the setup of the Tren Crucero.

The guides and train staff are passionate about the train and its journey and are always ready to reply to your questions and serve you.  That you enjoy the breathtaking scenery a maximum, you travel on the Tren Crucero during the day and spend the nights in characterful countryside hotels and haciendas along the railroad.

Explore Ecuador during the excursions that are organized daily from the Tren Crucero. Learning about the cacao bean and chocolate production, stroll through traditional indigenous markets, visit artisans’ workshops, meet the last “ice-harvester” in Ecuador are only a few activities among many other adventures you do during the trip.

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a comfortable train journey aboard the luxurious Tren Crucero. Relax being papered by staff members of the train. 
  • Breathtaking, contrasting scenery passes in front of your train window when the train travels during 3 days across the Ecuadorian Andes and 1 Day across the tropical, flat coastal region. 
  • Take the pleasure in traveling over the Devil’s Nose and live one of the most famous train adventures in South America. The train overcomes an altitude difference of 500 m on 12 km railroad. 
  • Participate in the daily excursions that are organized daily from the train. 
  • Stay overnight in haciendas and historical inn’s along the railroad.
Tren Crucero

Dates & Rates

Departure Dates 2019 Tren Crucero from Quito to Guayaquil: 

Oct 15, Oct 29, Nov 12, Nov 26, Dec 10

Departure Dates 2019 Tren Crucero from Guyaquil to Quito: 

Oct 19, Nov 02, Nov 16, Nov 30, Dec 14, Dec 27

Departure Dates 2020 Tren Crucero from Quito to Guayaquil: 

Jan 07, Feb 18, Mar 17, Apr 14, May 19, Jun 02, Jun 23, Jul 28, Aug 25, Sep 15, Oct 06, Nov 03, Nov 24, Dec 15

Departure Dates 2020 Tren Crucero from Guyaquil to Quito: 

Jan 11, Feb 22, Mar 21, Apr 18, May 23, Jun 06, July 04, Aug 01, Aug 29, Sep 19, Oct 24, Nov 07, Nov 28, Dec 19

  • All Tren Crucero Departures from $1735


Air transportation within Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru; all excursions in the company of an English speaking expedition leader and local guides; all accommodations in excellent upper middle-class hotels; most meals; all entrance fees; arrival and departure transfers in Buenos Aires and Lima.


Airfare from your home city/Buenos Aires and Lima/home city; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages and other incidentals; and email/Internet/fax/telephone charges.

Day by Day Itinerary Quito - Guayaquil

Day 1: Quito - Lasso - Latacunga

Check-in at the Chimbacalle Railway Station in Quito. Train journey aboard the Tren Crucero across “Volcanoes Avenue”. At the Boliche Railway Station, you leave the train for a visit to a nearby rose farm. Discover the production process of the famous Ecuadorian Roses. You have lunch at the Cotopaxi National Park. After lunch, you do a moderate walk around the small Limpiopungo lagoon. Later in the afternoon, you reach your hotel-hacienda where you stay overnight.
Tren Crucero and Cotopaxi

Day 2: Latacunga - Riobamba

The Tren Crucero departs from the Latacunga Railway Station. In Urbina, the train  reaches the highest point of the journey at 3609 meters (11’000ft) above sea level. At this high altitude, you will meet the last Ice Merchant in Ecuador. After the visit to “La Moya Comunity” where you get introduced to the Quichua – Puruha Culture, the Tren Crucero reaches Riobamba.  You have time to explore this small city before we go to the hotel where you stay overnight.
Tren Crucero and Chimborazo

Day 3: Riobamba - Alausi

From Riobamba, the Tren Crucero is pulled by a Steam Locomotive to Colta. The Train journey continues to Guamote where you have time to visit an authentic Andean market. A short trip by bus will take you to Alausí, where you travel on a regular train the switchbacks over the famous Devil’s Nose. The train loses 500 m of altitude on a distance of 12 km railroad doing spiral curves and one switchback. You stay overnight in a hotel in Alausi.
Train at the Nariz del Diablo

Day 4: Alausi - Guayaquil

Due to problems with the railroad, the journey out of the Andes is made by bus traveling from Alausi to Bucay. Between Bucay and Naranjito, you visit a Cacao Farm where you discover the Ecuadorian Cacao bean and the process to produce Chocolate. You have lunch at the hacienda. The journey on the Tren Crucero continues from Naranjito to Yaguachi where a Baldwin Steam Locomotive is waiting to pull the train all the way to the Duran Railway Station where the Tren Crucero trip ends.
Tren Crucero in Yaguachi

Day by Day Itinerary Guayaquil - Quito

Day 1: Guayaquil - Alausi

Check-in to the Tren Crucero at the Duran Railway Station. A steam locomotive pulls the train to Yaguachi. A diesel-electric locomotive will pull the train from Yaguachi to Naranjito across Pinapple, Banana and Sugarcane fields. In Naranjito, you visit a Cacao plantation where you get introduced to the cacao bean and the procuction of chocolate.  A Tour bus brings us to the small town of Alausi where you have dinner and spend the night.
Tren Crucero crossing Farmland
Day 2: Alausi - Riobamba
You travel on a regular train the switchbacks over the famous Devil’s Nose. The train loses 500 m of altitude on a distance of 12 km railroad doing spiral curves and one switchback.  A short ride on the tour bus brings you to the Palmira station where the Tren Crucero is waiting. In Colta will be a Baldwin Steam Locomotive waiting for the Tren Crucero pulling the train all the way to Riobamba.
Tren Crucero at the Nariz del Diablo

Day 3: Riobamba - Latacunga

In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will receive us and show as about their daily life; we can interact with them and observe them doing their daily chores. The tour continues towards the Urbina train station, located just over 3,600 meters above sea level.  The Tren Crucero will advance during the afternoon into the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Latacunga where we stay overnight.
Tren Crucero near Colta

Day 1: Latacunga - Quito

We meet at the Latacunga Train Station to travel by bus to the Cotopaxi National Park. Within the Park, we make a moderate walk in the lagoon of Limpiopungo from where we have breathtaking views of the Cotopaxi Volcano. The Tren Crucero will wait near the National Park entrance and bring us to a colonial Hacienda where we will be part of the daily activities of the hacienda. Our tour ends at Quito’s Chimbacalle Railway Station where a private vehicle brings us to our hotel in Quito.
Tren Crucero near Quito

Travel Insight

Read our travel notes and articules about the destinations we visit during this journey.
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