Discover magical Ecuador by historic steam train and enjoy the old-world glamour of Tren Crucero’s first-class carriages. Travel from the shores of the Pacific high into the Andes Mountains, through volcanic scenery and cloud forests. Meet the locals and explore colourful plantations and bustling markets.
A Rail Adventure
Experience the famous Devil’s Nose and zig zag down the Andes in Alausi, a true feat in engineering dating back to the 19th century. Then visit the country’s highest train station at Urbina in the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Tour a traditional cacao plantation and enjoy a chocolate tasting. Meet Ecuador’s last ‘ice merchant’ who still extracts ice from the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano, and visit the lively Otavalo Indian market, the largest and most important in the Andes.
Enjoy the serenity of the beautiful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. Explore the misty forest on a guided bird-watching hike and spot the world’s most recently discovered mammal – the olinguito! Relax and enjoy the rejuvenating natural hot springs of Papallacta, just outside your hotel room.
Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 1. Arrive Guayaquil
Welcome to the city of Guayaquil, on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2. Guayaquil – Duran – Bucay
Board the Tren Crucero, a restored steam train, for a stunning journey on Ecuador’s railway in the sky! Visit an Ecuadorian cacao plantation and enjoy a chocolate tasting this afternoon. [B,L,D]
Day 3. Bucay – Riobamba
Today you’ll experience the famous ‘Devil’s Nose’, where the train zigzags as it climbs 200 metres in just 3 kilometres – a true engineering feat dating back to the 19th century. You’ll also visit a local Andean community that raises llamas. [B,L,D]
Day 4. Riobamba – Quito
Today you’ll visit the country’s highest train station at Urbina and meet Ecuador’s last ‘ice merchant’, who still extracts ice from the slopes of the Chimborazo Volcano. Then enjoy beautiful views over the active Tungurahua volcano that occasionally offers a spectacular eruption. [B,L,D]
Day 5. Quito
Explore the lively city of Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Your sightseeing tour will include the beautiful Church La Compania, almost entirely decorated with gold leaf, San Francisco Monastery and El Panecillo. [B]
Day 6. Quito – Bellavista Cloud Forest
Today we travel into the beautiful Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, stopping at the equator to visit the Middle of the World and Intiñan Museum. This afternoon enjoy a guided bird-watching hike amidst the misty trees. Bellavista is also home to the most recently discovered mammal – the olinguito! [B,L,D]
Day 7. Bellavista Cloud Forest – Papallacta
Today take the scenic drive to Papallacta, known for its volcanoes and rejuvenating natural thermal springs. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. [B]
Day 8. Papallacta – Otavalo
Relax and enjoy a soak in the hot springs just outside your room this morning. Then travel by road to Otavalo, famous for its weekly market, stopping along the way to enjoy afternoon tea at a traditional hacienda. [B]
Day 9. Otavalo – Depart Quito
Visit Otavalo’s lively Indian markets, the largest and most important in the Andes and the perfect place to pick up some traditional handicrafts. You will then be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. [B]
- Private airport transfers
- 3 days on board the ‘Tren Crucero’ historic steam train
- All ground transportation in airconditioned vehicles
- All sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
Accommodation & Meals
- 8 nights in a combination of boutique hotels and luxury historic haciendas (3-4 star)
- 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
- English-speaking locally based guides
- Travel through the countryside on the famous Tren Crucero
- Discover why Ecuadorian cacao is among the best in the world at a traditional plantation in Bucay
- Zig-zag up the famous Devil’s nose
- Meet Ecuador’s last “ice merchant” who extracts ice from the slopes of Chimborazo volcano
- Witness the spectacular Tungurahua volcano
- Enjoy a city tour of Quito
- visit the Equator at Mitad del Mundo and Intiñan Museum
- Bird-watch in the misty landscapes of the Bellavista Cloud Fores
- Relax in the hot springs of Papallacta
- enjoy afternoon tea at Hacienda La Compania
- Visit the colourful Otavalo Indian market
Hotel Oro Verde, Guayaquil
Hotel Oro Verde is located downtown in Guayaquil’s modern business district, just a short trip from historic Malecon. A European-style hotel with luxurious accommodations. Along with 5 restaurants, this hotel has a full-service spa and an outdoor pool, a health club, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar are also on site. All rooms feature thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers.
Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities
D´Franco Lodge, Bucay
This charming property features rooms with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and Free Wi-Fi. Other facilities include a garden, year-round outdoor pool and on-site restaurant.
Facilities: free wifi; safe deposit box (at reception)
Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo
Hotel Hacienda Abraspungo features chic rooms with garden views, flat-screen cable TV, and private bathrooms with free toiletries. All rooms include free Wi-Fi. You can also enjoy the Spanish galleries that open to the garden.
Facilities: free wifi; safe deposit box (at reception)
Featuring wood accents and Egyptian cotton linens, rooms at Swissôtel Quito are bright, air conditioned and equipped with free Wi-Fi access. They all come with cable TV channels, minibar and in-room safe. Five on-site restaurants offer a range of dishes from renowned French, Swiss and Japanese culinary traditions.
Facilities: free wifi; minibar fridge; safe deposit box
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, Bellavista
This beautifully located lodge is set amongst the treetops in the cloud forest reserve. The property is home to rare and endemic birds, orchids and other flora and fauna unique to this ecosystem. The lodge offers cosy and comfortable accommodation, a restaurant, bar/lounge and laundry services.
Facilities: safe deposit box
Termas de Papallacta, Papallacta
Rooms at this beautiful property feature thermal pools in unspoilt natural surroundings right on their doorsteps, for exclusive use by hotel guests. The hotel restaurant offers delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine using ingredients from the organic kitchen garden.
Facilities: heating; free wifi; outdoor thermal pools
Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui, Otavalo
Constructed in 1790, Hacienda Pinsaquí was originally a colonial textile enterprise, employing over 1,000 weavers and spinners. To this day, the Hacienda retains the character and authenticity of its earlier incarnation, making for a truly unique experience. It is situated in the heart of Ecuador’s lake district at the base of the Imbabura Volcano, just north of the world-famous Otavalo market, and only an hour-and-a-half from Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Features include: 200 year-old grounds, a restaurant offering International and Ecuadorian cuisine, a terrace snack bar, room service and its own chapel.
Facilities: free wifi
Ecuador, US Dollar
The official currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar (US$)
- 1 US Dollar = 100 cents
- Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1
- Coins are in denominations of $1, 50 cents, 25 cents (Quarter), 10 cents (Dime), 5 cents (Nickel) and 1 cent (Penny)
Levels of Fitness
To get the most from your Bunnik tour, you will need a good level of fitness and mobility and an open mind. Many of the best sights can only be accessed on foot. Sightseeing includes lots of walking, getting into and out of boats and other forms of transport and extended periods at high altitude.
You should be able to walk at least 3.5km or for 2-3 hours on uneven ground with no walking aids and climb several flights of stairs. You should also be able to carry your own bags – porterage is not included in our tipping costs and extra services may not always be available.
Passengers who are 70 and over will be required to obtain a doctor’s clearance before travelling.
- Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
- Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
- T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here