Tren Crucero Experiential Travel
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Tren Crucero Experiential Travel
Tren Crucero in Ecuador is proud of its commitment to the communities through which it travels.
The Club highlights Tren Crucero Experiential Travel - or immersion travel - because re-opening the railway line through the Ecuadorian Andes has re-invigorated villages along the route. Tren Crucero passengers have an unique access to Andean indigenous peoples and their cultures, arts and crafts.
About Tren Crucero Experiential Travel
Ride across Ecuador´s Andes watching the transition from moorlands through to cloud forests, to tropical coastal landscapes whilst crossing spectacular terrain and traversing mountains. Along the route, there are opportunities to meet Andean and coastal indigenous communities whose welcome is memorable. Visit local museums and enjoy authentic experiences.
Tren Crucero's ethos is to support local people by bringing tourism to them. The hotels are locally owned.
Tren Crucero is committed to the principles of Sustainable Tourism and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. All managerial and promotional decisions are made ensuring that they contribute to the strengthening of local economies by sustainable use of the heritage associated to the historic railway we operate.
The involvement of local communities and their leading role in the product is the real innovation in this business model in which public, private and community-based actors are partnered as equals with a common goal, which is to create value by preserving and sharing the material and intangible heritage associated to the railway.
Tren Crucero took 1st place in the Lonely Planet’s Train Journeys as well as 4th place among the world’s unforgettable train trips. Also, 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards Winner, being chosen from 13 worldwide finalists. Many newspapers and websites recommend this voyage as the best option for exploring Ecuador.
Here is an illustrated 8-page booklet about Tren Crucero with details of the restaurants, hotels, attractions and heritage sites visited en route, Guayaquil to Quito.
Here are frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Tren Crucero.
Part 1 - Artisan Squares
There are 14 Tren Crucero Experiential Travel Artisan Squares located in restored railway stations across the country.
More than 100 artisans have been carefully selected from their local communities along the railway line. They showcase and sell their creations to travelers and their neighbors.
The craftsmen and craftswomen use different techniques and ancestral skills. They translate their world through an artistic and aesthetic viewpoint. This reflects railway memories and its influence. Skills include loom / hand weaving, embroidering, leather work, jewelry, woodcarving, ceramics, lute-making, brocade, filigree, stonework and more.
From fashion, decoration and utilitarian pieces - here is a small sample of artisanal talents working on different materials: Vegetal fibers, wool, cotton, wood, stone, copper, tagua (vegetal ivory) clay, metal, silver and more.
When you buy a souvenir from the Tren Crucero Experiential Travel artisans, you not only contribute to supporting local economies, but also help preserve the heritage of the Ecuadorian railway.
Tren Crucero Artisan Squares Locations
Ibarra Station Acosta avenue and Eugenio Espejo street (In front of Obelisco Ibarra). Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 09h00 to 13h00 | 15h00 to 18h00.
Salinas Station 12 de Octubre and Federico González Suárez. Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 08h00 a 14h00.
Chimbacalle Station Sincholagua s/n and Pedro Vicente Maldonado. Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 07h00 to 09h00 | 16h00 to 17h00
Tambillo Station Panamericana south road, Km. 32. Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 08h45 to 10h00
El Boliche Station In front of El Boliche Area. Open Friday to Sunday from 10h00 to 13h30
Latacunga Station Av. Marco Aurelio Subía, José Peralta, Moraspungo y Pastocalle. Open Saturday from 09h00 to 17h00
Ambato Station Av. Colombia and Las Américas. Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 07h00 to 16h45
Urbina Station Urbina train station, cantón Guano. Open Friday to Sunday and holidays from 08h00 to 11h00
Riobamba Station Daniel León Borja ave. and Carabobo. Open Monday from 16h00 to 18h00 | Tuesday to Thursday from 09h00 to 18h00 | Friday to Sunday and holidays from 08h00 to 18h00
Alausí Station Eloy Alfaro and 5 de Junio. Open Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 08h00 to 14h00
Sibambe Station Sibambe train station Open Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 08h00 to 14h00
Bucay Station Eloy Alfaro and Garcia Moreno. Open Saturday to Sunday and holidays from 09h00 to 16h00
Naranjito Station Guayaquil and 9 de Octubre. Open Saturday to Sunday and holidays from 09h00 to 12h00
Durán Station Abel Gilbert avenue and Ponce Enríquez. Open Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 07h00 to 09h00
Part 2 - Café del Tren
There are 24 Cafés del Tren operating in restored railway stations along the Tren Crucero Experiential Travel route. They serve to connect travelers and the local communities they are visiting.
The warm climate of the Andean valleys accounts for a large variety of crops: greens, potatoes, legumes, corn, quinoa. Their flowers color the fields with their brilliant hues and their produce enriches the restaurant tables of the local Café del Tren.
Operated by local entrepreneurs, the Cafés del Trenoffer the best of local gastronomy with a touch of modern cuisine that turns even the most humble traditional dish into a culinary experience.
The Tren Crucero Experiential Travel Café del Tren network offers traditional recipes with the best ingredients, lovingly prepared by licence holders, who have been carefully selected and trained to be an important part of Tren Ecuador experiences.
When you eat at Café del Tren, or hire them for your events,
you are not just supporting local economies; you are also
becoming part of the preservation of the regional cultural heritage.
Part 3 - Palacio Real
Palacio Real Community is a must-see aboard the Tren Crucero “Train to the Clouds” route, Guayaquil-Quito.
Palacio Real lies in the small Santiago de Calpi parish, about 15 km outside of Riobamba, the provincial capital of Chimborazo. Here, the community has been working on a tourism project since 2006, which integrates a visit to the modest museum, tasting the local cuisine and learning about the breeding of llamas and alpacas – all designed to contribute directly to the economic development of the local people.
Eighty indigenous families live in Calpi. Their traditional livelihoods have depended on agriculture, producing grains, pulses, tubers, potatoes, etc. In 2004, they began a llama- and alpaca-breeding business. They use the camelids’ meat for food, their skins to protect themselves from the Andean cold, and their wool to weave garments to sell beautiful handmade textiles and clothes.
Passengers learn about the community's way of life from the women entrepreneurs, usually accompanied by their faithful llamas. The women always start the visit by telling visitors about their llamas - the llama is known as the “Queen of the Andes”. They impart they derive income from these animals, as well as talking about the important relationship of the llamas in Andean culture.
The Craft Center has dozens of products made with llama wool, made by women of the Nuevo Milenio (New Millennium) organization. They display fine sweaters, hats, scarves, coats, gloves and bags of different colors, sizes and models, as well as shoes made from llama hide, and pomades and ointments to treat different health conditions.
Part 4 - Weddings
Honeymoon aboard the Tren Crucero - Enjoy an unforgettable and romantic honeymoon aboard Tren Crucero.
Consider upgrading your travel to Tren Crucero Gold.
Civil Wedding on board Tren Crucero - Celebrate your marriage on board Tren Crucero as you travel with your partner and guests through the stunning landscapes of Ecuador. US$670 per person, plus taxes for a min. 40 guests.
The Civil Wedding package includes: 40 guests including the bride and groom on a journey from Quito to Ambato or from Durán to Alausí aboard the Tren Crucero. This is full service with: A judge for the civil ceremony, Bilingual guides, Unlimited snacks and soft drinks onboard, Sweet and savory snacks, Lunch onboard, Artistic on-board entertainment, Transfer from the destination by bus, 1 stop in one of the stations for a photo shoot, 1 handmade wedding souvenir for each guest, 1 special wedding souvenir for the bride and groom, Note: corkage fees for wines and spirits.
*Departures depend on availability. Prices, subject to change. Reserve at least 2 months’ in advance. The package only includes services mentioned.
Transfer by train to the wedding
Arriving at your wedding destination on Tren Crucero with snacks and drinks on board. US$625 per person, plus taxes for min 40 guests.
Quito-Machachi Route: Depart Eloy Alfaro Station in Chimbacalle, south through the Avenue of the Volcanos to Machachi station, where you’ll be received by a traditional chagra (cowboy) dance accompanied by a local brass band. From here we depart to Hostería La Granja La Estación.
Durán-San Antonio Route: Depart Durán station, from where we travel through the beautiful cacao, banana and pineapple plantations and huge extensions of rice fields, culminating in an exclusive visit to Hacienda La Danesa.
The package includes: Bilingual guides, Unlimited snacks and soft drinks, Sweet and savory snacks, Transportation from Hostería La Granja to the Eloy Alfaro station in Chimbacalle/ Hacienda La Danesa, bathroom use, bathroom assistant, parking, 1 artistic show, 1 handmade wedding souvenir for each guest, 1 special wedding souvenir for the bride and groom.
Extras: corkage fee extra, services not mentioned extra, photographer, DJ, cake or flowers, Hostería La Granja/Hostería La Danesa - lodging, catering, decoration, lightning, ambiance, waiters, bartenders and music.
*Departures depend on availability. Referential prices subject to change. If needed, cake service can be offered.
Contact us to book Tren Crucero Experiential Travel or to ask any questions.
Tren Crucero Route Map
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