Board your Tren Crucero at Quito's Chimbacalle station and begin your journey south, along the 'Avenue of Volcanoes'.
From the comfort of your seat and depending on the weather, you will be able to spot up to twenty volcanoes. For the most part inactive, some of these volcanoes have been dormant for centuries and others are very much active.
Along the way, the Andes split into two separate ranges that run parallel with each other. The fertile valley in-between these volcanic walls hosts a treasure trove of biodiversity and a hive of agricultural activity.
Your train will stop at an Andean hacienda where you will be treated to a rodeo demonstration performed by skilled local horsemen known as 'chagras'. This is also the opportunity to learn about rural life and meet the local farm animals, such as fluffy llamas.
Arriving at Ambato train station, some local devils will board the train. The 'Diablada Pillareña' parade, a picturesque and ancestral tradition will add a touch of playfulness and music to your memorable day.
In the afternoon, the tracks of the Trans-Andean train veer towards the inhospitable heights of the Urbina train station.
Over your journey, the landscapes and vegetation change drastically as the train painstakingly climbs up to the chilly Andean highlands all the way to the town of Urbina, the highest point of your itinerary at 11,800 feet (3600 m) above sea level. Here, in the shadow of the Chimborazo Volcano, the closest point on the planet to the sun, you will meet Balthazar Ushca, the last ice-merchant in the Andes, and learn the story of his ancestral trade.
Later in the afternoon you will drive to another typical Andean Hacienda in the heart of the Andes where you will spend the evening and be delighted by your hosts' ravishing cuisine.
Overnight at your hotel in Riobamba.
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Lunch onboard
- Dinner at the hotel