In June 2013, the “Tren Crucero” was launched, a wonderful project to knit together 4 sections of the surviving track of Ecuador’s Great Southern Railway that once linked the port of Guayaquil to the capital Quito.
Over 5 days, passengers can now experience 280 miles of the original route which dropped some 3600 metres from the heights of the glacier-topped volcanoes and peaks of the high Andes into the lush Pacific coast. Each day, passengers experience a separate section of track interconnected by road and which includes the breathtaking “Devil’s Nose Train” which plunges down the mountainside via a spectacular series of switchbacks.
The trains are mix of electric-diesel engines and feature two magnificent 19th century steam locomotives whose elegant carriages and observation cars have been lovingly restored to their former glory.
The journey is combined with visits to breathtaking national parks, colonial towns and indigenous communities with each night spent in a comfortable lodge, hotel or hacienda.
For the full itinerary, please consult our “Ecuador’s Great Southern Railway” itinerary although a brief summary is as follows:-
Day 1: Board the train in Quito and head south into the Cotopaxi National Park. Overnight in a colonial hacienda
Day 2: Continue by train to Urbina, Ecuador’s highest station at 3,609m above sea-level under the shadow of the Chimborazo Volcano.
Day 3: Experience a classic section of track pulled by a magnificent 19th century steam locomotive. In the afternoon board the iconic Devil’s Nose Train.
Day 4: Drop from the heights of the Andean Sierra into the lush sub-tropics, a final stretch pulled by an historic steam engine. Finish your trip in Guayaquil.
The “Tren Crucero” is one of South America’s great rail journeys and runs on set departures. Please contact an Oasis travel consultant for dates, costs and how it might best fit into your itinerary - 1300 720 443.