Ecuador Luxury Experience
Ecuador may be relatively small, but in addition to its many giant volcanoes, Amazon destinations, beach towns and cloud forest resorts, it offers an unparalleled cultural experience. Enjoy a train ride as it passes through the dramatic highlights of the Andes, including the impeccably preserved colonial centers of Quito and Cuenca, then descending thousands of feet towards the coastal metropolis of Guayaquil.
- Quito to Riobamba by train
- Riobamba to Bucay by train
- Quito city & Middle of the World tour
- Otavalo local market tour
- Visit a rose farm
Upon arrival in Quito you will be met for your private transfer from the airport to your selected hotel.
Quito City tour & Mitad del Mundo. This interesting city tour goes through diverse neighborhoods for a look at both colonial and modern Quito, and visit top Quito attractions such as historic plazas, churches and colonial buildings, like the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop Palace, the Municipal Building (City Hall), and the Cathedral. The visit to Compañia church cannot be missed, one of the most impressive of Latin America. Finally, head to the most famous hill in Quito, Panecillo viewpoint, where you'll notice the contrast between colonial and modern Quito. In the afternoon you will continue to the middle of the world, the origins of this place goes back to the First Geodesic Mission which came to our country for the purpose of study and determine the exact curvature of the planet. This mission, managed by the French scientist Charles Marie de la Condamine and the Ecuadorian scientist Pedro Vicente Maldonado, determined where the equator crossed. You will have the opportunity to visit Intiñan museum just 200 meters north of the Mitad del Mundo monument, here is the actual “middle of the world," marked. This museum showcases what modern-day GPS has proven to be the true site of the equator line. Here your device will actually read zero degrees latitude and zero degrees longitude.
Visit of a Rosefarm. Ecuador is the third largest producer of roses and harvesting the famous "freedom" of 1.8 meters in height, the longest variety in the world. The majority of roses in Ecuador are produced in Cayambe due to its privileged location in terms of luminosity (hours of light), height (2,600 to 3,000 m), optimal temperature (17 ° to 25 ° C) and fertile soil . Visit the field and post-harvest area of a rose farm located in Tabacundo. You can see the process of selecting and packaging the roses. The lunch at the rosefarm is included. Furthermore we visit the peaceful Cotacachi Village, famous for its leather, and meet the local craftsmen. After a last visit to the charming Cuicocha crater lake where you can hike around or take a boat for a trip around the lake (extra cost). In the afternoon head back to the hotel.
Visit Otavalo market. You will start the day early visiting the famous Poncho market of Otavalo. The city holds the Indian Market every day on the main square. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the market extends to all surrounding streets. The market is an ancient tradition and cultural exchange site among the Otavalo community. You can find a lot of souvenirs like handmade blankets, tablecloths, paintings, woolen socks and jackets, bags, dolls and way more.
After breakfast you will travel to visit the first textile factory in Ecuador, today restored as a museum, celebrates the textile traditions of Imbabura province. Between 1927 and 1983, the factory had 1,200 employees and contributed to the economic development of the region. Train departs to San Antonio. Once in San Antonio de Ibarra, you will visit a workshop where skilled woodcarvers still use the Escuela Quiteña (Quiteña School), to create beautiful sculptures. The Quiteña and the Cuzco Schools are considered one of the most exquisite examples of the American baroque. Then travel to Peguche Waterfall . Back to quito.
After breakfast you will board the convoy at Quito Chimbacalle station and begin your journey south along the Avenue of Volcanoes. If the weather permits, you can spot up to twenty volcanoes from the train –most extinct or dormant for centuries. Here, the Andes range splits into two arms that run parallel down south. The fertile valley trapped between these stone walls hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity. From the comfort of our panoramic cars we watch the change of vegetation and landscape as we slowly climb the Andean highlands to Urbina, the highest point in our itinerary at 11,800 feet above sea level. In the skirts of mount Chimborazo we meet the last icemerchant and learn the story of his ancestral trade. The train makes a stop at Pistishi lookout, where we can get a good glimpse of the impressive feat of engineering ahead of us, before start the daunting climb of mythical Devil’s nose. After a 450 meter climb in barely 12 kilometers of dizzying zig zag the train finally reaches the quaint village of Alausi, in the Andes. Then continue your journey to Riobamba, crossing colorful quinoa fields. In Colta you will visit the indigenous community of Palacio Real, where you will learn about llama breeding. You will then arrive in Riobamba pulled by a powerful steam engine, with time to visit the Train Station Artisans’ Square before heading to your hotel. You will spend the night at Hostería Andaluza, an historic hacienda which has more than 250 years and was the witness of the plan details of one of the episodes of national history: Revolution of the three pesos.
Transfer by bus to Riobamba train station. Another steam locomotive takes us southbound through colourful quinoa and vegetables fields. On your way, you will reach Colta lake, where you will visit Balbanera, the first church established in Ecuador by Europeans more than 5 centuries ago. Continue your journey to Guamote, where each Thursday a colourful and ancient market take place: more than 30 surrounding communities, with their brightly colour attires, still exchange goods using “trueque” (barter). Enjoy lunch on board the train or at the Guamote’s train station. Arrival at Alausí. The huge Chanchan canyon is the starting point from which the train descends to the Pacific Coast through a zigzag dug in almost perpendicular walls on the famous Devil’s Nose. Within minutes, you will descend from 2, 347 to 1,836 meters. By the end of the day, after crossing a dense tropical forest, arrival to Bucay at only 294 meters. Panoramic stop at Nariz del Diablo’s viewpoint for photographs and an historical overview of this impressive construction. Departure towards Bucay. The foothills of the Andes that give Ecuador the world’s highest biodiversity per square kilometre creates an almost infinite variety of microclimates and temperatures. As the train descents it offers a rarely seen spectacle during a train trip: a climate transition. When leaving the Andes and go into the Pacific coast, mountains and its dry forest suddenly transforms into a tropical forest. Arrival at Bucay. Dinner and accommodation at Hosteria D´Franco.
Transfer by bus to Bucay train station. The landscape during your last day journey changes again as you leave the tropical forest enter into enormous banana, sugar cane, rice and cocoa plantations. Arrival to Hacienda Danesa. The Hacienda was founded in 1870 along with the first train stations in the coast. Opportunity to visit a plantation of world-renowned Ecuadorian cocoa. It’s a belief that cocoa was originated in the Amazon jungle millions of years ago, precisely between the Ecuadorian and Colombian border. Domesticated between 5,000 and 3,000 b.C. cocoa later sprood thanks to the pre-Columbian commerce routes towards Central America. For lunch enjoy the “farm to table” style warranties a flavour experience with local ingredients organic and sustainable produced. Departure by train to Duran. On your last stop at Yaguachi train station, another steam locomotive awaits you. The engine change manoeuvre is a spectacle for itself. The sound of the whistle and steam takes you back in time to the beginning of the Ecuadorian railroad construction. Arrival to Duran. Transfer to Oro Verde hotel for accommodation in Guayaquil.
Private transfer from your hotel to Guayaquil airport to take the International flight .
- Accommodation based on standard double room including breakfast
- Transportation in mentioned days
- English-speaking guide and driver in mentioned days
- Excursions, visits as mentioned in the program
- 4 days / 3 nights Luxury Experience Train Crucero
- ACE Insurance (liability insurance)
- Excursions and meals not mentioned in the program
- Meals not mentioned in the program; drinks, tips and personal expenses
- International flight