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Ecuador Train journeys

Enjoy the romance of train travel and watch the scenery change throughout the journey from the comfort of your seat.

Ecuador Train journeys

The train is many people’s favourite form of transport, offering you time to admire the ever-changing views from the comfort of your seat. Trains take many guises from puffing steam engines to the modern high-speed variety. In Ecuador there are 2 particular trains of note, either of which can be included in your holiday.

The Devil’s Nose refers to a specific length of track on the railway linking the central plateau with the coastal plains on the Quito to Guayaquil line. This portion presented quite a challenge for the engineers back at the beginning of the 20th century, with a change in elevation of around 500 metres over just 12 kilometres. They tackled this with a series of switchbacks, with the train zigzagging back and forth. It’s an amazing sight and an exciting ride. You can experience this for yourself on a ride over these 12 kilometres between Alausi and Sibambe. The journey takes about an hour and operates daily apart from Monday.

If you have the time, treat yourself to a trip on Tren Crucero, travelling along the same track between the Andes and the Pacific, including the Devil’s Nose, in fine style. This is the epitome of luxury train travel, a maximum of 50 passengers aboard a train consisting of 2 stylish observation cars, a dining car, bar and boutique. For most of the journey the train is pulled by a modern electric diesel train, and for one section you’ll have the added bonus of a restored steam locomotive. The ride takes in highlights such as the Avenue of the Volcanoes, the afore-mentioned Devil’s Nose pass, and Chanchan river gorge, and travels through varied terrain. There are stops along the way allowing you to meet the last ice merchant of Chimborazo, visit an Andean market, see a horsemanship display by traditional cowboys and enjoy a traditional lunch in an historic hacienda. You do not sleep on board. Each day you are taken to high quality hotels or haciendas en route. It’s a very special trip and equally good travelling from the highlands to the coast or starting at the coast and gradually winding your way from the tropical plains up into the Andes.


  • Sit back and enjoy the ride
  • Travel on the famous Devil’s Nose pass
  • Take photos as you ride the switchbacks
  • Refurbished carriages on the Devil’s Nose train
  • Take your time on the 6-day Tren Crucero trip
  • Steam train between Yaguachi and Duran
  • Stunning scenery throughout

2020 Dates

Quito – Guayaquil
7 Jan | 18 Feb |17 Mar | 14 Apr | 19 May | 2 / 23 Jun | 28 Jul | 25 Aug | 15 Sep | 6 Oct |3 / 24 Nov | 15 Dec

Guayaquil – Quito
11 Jan | 22 Feb | 21 Mar | 18 Apr | 23 May | 6 Jun | 4 Jul | 01 / 29 Aug | 19 Sep | 24 Oct | 7 / 28 Nov | 19 Dec

When to Visit

Both train journeys operate throughout the year. The Devil’s Nose train currently runs every day except for Monday. Tren Crucero has scheduled departures roughly twice a month in both directions.

Places to Stay on route