Ecuador: Road and Rail Journey: Quito - Cuenca RC04

3 Days From £0 (659 USD)

Join us as we journey along the Avenue of the Volcanoes from Quito to beautiful Cuenca in the south; spectacular scenery with segments aboard the Autoferro, with stops along the way for close contact with indigenous cultures.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Private Tour
Start Location: Quito, Ecuador
End Location: Cuenca, Ecuador
Accommodation: Hotels
Period: All Year Round
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travelers

About The Operator

Accreditations: LATA Awards 2008, 2009, Environmental Commitment, Corporate Environmental Policy
Years In Business: 57

Tour Highlights
- DAY 1 (Monday) - The adventure starts at the Station of Chimbacalle in southern Quito, which has been restored to its old glory, to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the first steam train of the Guayaquil & Quito Railway Co. to Quito in 1908, an event that joined Ecuador's main cities (Guayaquil and Quito) and became the backbone that would forever change the politics, economy and the lives of the Ecuadorians. Here awaits the "Autoferro", a one coach train, like a bus on tracks, ready to take guests on a trip along the stunning Andean region of Ecuador. On Mondays, the Autoferro is chartered by Metropolitan Touring for the excusive use of its guests. The first leg of the rail ride goes from Quito to Tambillo, where guests disembark for a short ride by bus to visit the dairy Hacienda La Alegría, where they are welcomed by the owner, observe the milking process, horses and llamas and enjoy a snack. Then, take the bus on to the Station of Machachi and re-board the autoferro to go up the slopes of Cotopaxi Volcano to the Station at El Boliche, up high. From here guests continue by bus along the Pan American Highway, down into the fertile Valley of Latacunga for a visit to a rose plantation to observe the beautiful variety of Ecuadorian roses, ready for exportation, and a taste of the products of the land, specially broccoli and potatoes- harvested that same morning- with lima beans and fresh cheese. Continue by bus to Urbina Train Station, the highest along the railway route, at the foot of imposing Chimborazo Volcano, visit a Tagua workshop and warm up with a canelazo and local bread by the fireplace and, if the Chimborazo is clear, an amazing sunset. Then continue by bus to Riobamba for dinner and overnight.
- DAY 1 (Friday) - The adventure starts at the Station of Chimbacalle in southern Quito, which has been restored to its old glory, to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of the first steam train of the Guayaquil & Quito Railway Co. to Quito in 1908, an event that joined Ecuador's main cities (Guayaquil and Quito) and became the backbone that would forever change the politics, economy and the lives of the Ecuadorians. Here awaits the "Autoferro", a one coach train, like a bus on tracks, ready to take guests on a trip along the stunning Andean region of Ecuador. On Fridays, the Autoferro ride is shared with other passengers, and the ride is only beween Quito and Tambillo. Upon reaching the Tambillo station, guests disembark for a short ride by bus to visit the dairy Hacienda La Alegría, where they are welcomed by the owner, observe the milking process, horses and llamas and enjoy a snack. From here guests continue by bus along the Pan American Highway, down into the fertile Valley of Latacunga for a visit to a rose plantation to observe the beautiful variety of Ecuadorian roses, ready for exportation, and a taste of the products of the land, specially broccoli and potatoes- harvested that same morning- with lima beans and fresh cheese. Continue by bus to Urbina Train Station, the highest along the railway route, at the foot of imposing Chimborazo Volcano, visit a Tagua workshop and warm up with a canelazo and local bread by the fireplace and, if the Chimborazo is clear, an amazing sunset. Then continue by bus to Riobamba for dinner and overnight.
- DAY 2 (Tuesday or Saturday) - After breakfast, explore the city of Riobamba, one of most important cities in Ecuadorian history due to its geographical location; it has been the center of politics and commerce from the Colonial and through modern times. The city of Riobamba is surrounded by parks and plazas filled with colonial architecture. The history of this city is marked by its location, a key point linking the coastal and mountain regions of Ecuador. In 1830, when Ecuador became independent from the Gran Colombia, the first Constitution of the new republic was signed in Riobamba.

Continue by motorcoach to visit a community that has developed a project to rescue a true and symbolic Andean character the "Llamas", locally known in Ecuador as Llamingo, one of the most popular camelids in Latin America and known worldwide for its ancestral presence in the Andes and for the role it has played in the lives of the inhabitants of the highlands in South America. Currently in Ecuador a new interactive and didactic small museum has been dedicated to the llama, where visitors can learn more about this surprising animal. The museum of "Las Llamas" is located in the Province of Chimborazo, in the outskirts of the city of Riobamba in the community of "Palacio Real" This community project portrays the Llamas as an integral part of their way of life and as part of our ancestral traditions.

Advance towards the South, leisurely enjoying the ever-changing scenery in an astonishing ride, twisting and turning over the Andes, along bridging ravines and river gorges. Stop at Guamote, an Indian town, for a short visit to an Educational Center for Adults' Development and Sustainability. Then continue to Alausí, with a stop for a brunch and southward along the Andes by motorcar to Cuenca, visiting the Inca Ruins of Ingapirca to arrive to Cuenca at dusk. Arrival to Cuenca for dinner and accommodations.

-DAY 3 (Wednesday or Sunday) - Today guests will enjoy a full day to discover, at a leisurely pace, the beauty and charm for which Cuenca has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Its red tiled roofs, cobblestone streets, flowery plazas and museums make it very special. Lunch is served at a cozy restaurant. Late afternoon transfer to the airport to take the flight to Quito. Air ticket Cuenca/Quito is not included.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- Accommodation
- Meals

Excludes
- Flights to and/or from Quito
- Drinks and personal expenses
- Airport transfers
- Entrance fees to national parks/reserves

Notes
- Accommodation in Cuenca at hotels Santa Lucía or Carvalho Accommodations at Mansión Alcázar have extra cost.
- Guests can continue the next day to Guayaquil by road via El Cajas or by plane; or on to Loja, overland.

Travel Facts
Dress in layers (T-shirt, blouse, sweater, coat) and rain protection. Sun protection (SPF 40) even if the day is cloudy. Hat or cap. Good walking shoes.
- Altitude: 2,550 meters (7,750 feet) to 3,000 meters (10,000 feet)
- Average Temperature: Day 10° to 25° C / 50° to 77° F. Night 6° to 10° C / 43° to 50° F.

Prices per person, based on 2 people traveling - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Quito - Riobamba
Day 02. Riobamba - Cuenca
Day 03. Cuenca and depart.