Classic Journeys
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Ecuador

Back on Track: Ride the new trans-Andean Railway

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 Back on Track

The principal focus of this Escorted Journey, as you might reasonably infer from the title, is Ecuador’s trans-Andean railway. The track bed and ballast has, over the last five years, undergone a major overhaul, the locomotives refitted, and new rolling stock introduced. The first few days are spent in Quito and the nearby cloud forest of Mindo, then we continue southwest by train, partially hauled by steam, through the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes' to the coast at Guayaquil.

Summary of nights: 10 days, 9 nights: Quito 2; Mindo 2; Quito 1; Cotopaxi 1; Riobamba 1; Huigra 1; Guayaquil 1. 

  • Spend 4 days on the Tren Crucero railway as it passes by age old villages and Andean landscapes.
  • Quito –historic capital in a dramatic high-altitude mountain setting.   
  • Stay in the shadow of Cotopaxi, one of South America's most iconic volcanoes.
  • Visit Mindo cloud forest, a bird spotters paradise with a stay in a relaxing lodge. 

Brief Itinerary

UK clients depart Thursday arriving Quito, Ecuador, the same day.
Day 1 Arrive Quito and transfer to your hotel in the old town.
Day 2 Tour of the colonial part of the city and visit to the Equatorial Monument.
Day 3 Drive to the Mindo cloud forest.
Day 4 Excursions from your lodge to spot local flora and fauna.
Day 5 Travel back to Quito and overnight in the capital.
Days 6-9 Spend 4 days travelling on the trans-Andean railway, partially hauled by steam engine, from the high Andes to the coastal lowlands of Guayaquil. By day watch the beautiful scenery from the
panoramic windows before stopping for the night in local towns along the route.
Day 10 Travel to the airport for your international flight or continue on your extension.
UK clients arrive home the following day, Sunday.

Trip Profile

Transport: 4 days of scenic rail and road journeys; 2 road journeys.
Accommodation: Tourist class hotels, a lodge in Mindo and traditional haciendas.
Meals: Breakfast daily, lunch days 2 and 9 and full board days 3-8
Guides: You will be accompanied by local guides throughout.
Included excursions: City tour of Quito including the Equator line; Excursions in Mindo cloud forest; 4 days on board the Tren Crucero.

A few days to spare?

Extend your trip to visit the Galápagos Islands. There are a number of cruises and itineraries that can be easily be added on to this tour, so please enquire for details of what boats we can offer.

A recent article 'Shovelling White Steam' in our online Papagaio Magazine expands on the trans-Andean railway.

If you can't travel on these dates, why not consider our suggested tailor-made holiday:

By Rail and River - an all new exploration of Ecuador in style

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A Baldwin 'Mogul' 2-6-0 steams through Ecuador's Pacific lowlands
A Baldwin 'Mogul' 2-6-0 steams through Ecuador's Pacific lowlands

A girls' day out in the highlands of Ecuador
A girls' day out in the highlands of Ecuador

Cotopaxi's perfect cone is one of several volcanoes the railway passes in the high Andes
Cotopaxi's perfect cone is one of several volcanoes the railway passes in the high Andes

View more imagesThe skyline of colonial Quito, with snowcapped Cotopaxi beyondThe switchbacks of the Devil's Nose take the railway from high Andean Sierra to Pacific lowlandsTraditional dancing in Andean EcuadorMindo cloud forest - lush foliage, magnifcent birds and flowing streams.


 
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