Visitors Can Now Travel in First Class Fashion from the Pacific to the Heart of the Andes
QUITO, Ecuador, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Discover the most scenic route in Ecuador aboard the "Tren Crucero," originally constructed in the late 1800s to connect a country separated by its majestic mountains. The train's renovations have just been completed, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the fascinating culture, diversity and flavors of Ecuador, with exceptional onboard facilities and services. The train itself comprises a reconditioned, authentic steam engine and four carefully restored carriages, built in Spanish Baroque style. Passengers also have the option to stay overnight in carefully selected hacienda style hotels along the route.
Dubbed as the "Most Difficult Train in the World," the construction for the Tren Crucero was an engineering marvel. The route crosses dramatic and challenging landscapes as it advances from Guayaquil, at sea level, to the cloud forests at the heights of the Andes. Its highest point reaches almost 12,000 feet (3,600 meters) on the slopes of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, and continues through valleys, rivers and mountains, through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, with over ten volcanoes, and ends in Quito, Ecuador's capital, which was the first city declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1978.
The three-day/four-night train journey travels 280 miles (450 km), with a wealth of fabulous experiences. Travelers will be surprised by the colorful villages on the coast and in the Andes, enjoy nature's incredible tapestries and dramatic mountain scenery. Throughout the journey, guests will overnight in traditional haciendas and be accompanied by knowledgeable bi-lingual guides who will share the secrets of this ancient land.
The route can be taken in either direction – from Guayaquil to Quito or from the Andes to the Pacific Coast. It is also possible to select segments of the trip, which could include visits to incomparable sites for outdoor activities and natural wonders such as El Boliche Station near Cotopaxi National Park.
The trip enables each guest to absorb the cultural diversity of Ecuador. In addition to the passing scenery, each station, hacienda stay or stroll through indigenous markets brings visitors close to the Ecuadorian culture and its people. The renowned Devil's Nose is the route's most exciting moment and an engineering masterpiece. To pass through the craggy mountains near Alausi, the train travels in reverse along the cliffs, stopping in the middle of the steep slope and zigzagging for three miles (two km) with a drop of 1,300 feet (400 meters) before continuing with the journey. It is amazing to think that this route was constructed with picks and shovels a century ago in this magical country.
Winner of the Best Tourism Product Outside of Europe at the 2013 World Travel Awards, the Tren Crucero is currently a candidate for the Best Train in South America at this year's World Travel Awards.
About The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador
The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador is the institution entrusted with the direction, regulation, control, planning, management, promotion and dissemination, in order to position Ecuador as a preferred touristic destination in view of its exceptional cultural, natural and living diversity within a responsible tourism as an activity leading to sustainable social and economic development.
Contact: Natalia Lopez, 212-715-1600, [email protected]
SOURCE: The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador