Tren Crucero FAQs
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Tren Crucero FAQs
Tren Crucero is a 4 day/3 night journey along Ecuador, from Quito to Guayaquil (Train of Wonders) or Guayaquil to Quito (Train To the Clouds).
There is an additional complimentary night in Quito, either at the beginning or end of the journey More information here.
This is a useful list of Tren Crucero FAQs to assist your travel planning.
WHERE DOES THE JOURNEY START/END?
Train of Wonders (Quito – Guayaquil)
Start: Tuesdays 6:30AM at Swissôtel.
End: Friday 5:00PM at Durán Railway Station (free shuttle to selected hotels in Guayaquil).
Train to the Clouds (Guayaquil – Quito)
Start: Saturday 7:30AM Durán Railway Station.
End: Tuesday at Swissôtel, Quito. (check out: 12:30 PM Wednesday)
HOW LONG IS THE TREN CRUCERO JOURNEY?
The Tren Crucero journey takes 4 days and 4 nights.
WHAT KIND OF COACHES ARE AVAILABLE ON BOARD TREN CRUCERO?
Tren Crucero has two luxury Colonial and Republican-style themed passenger cars carrying just fifty passengers. Passengers can also enjoy a bar, two observation coaches and an open platform. Tren Crucero is an interconnected-style train with no doors to access from coach to coach. The train environment and temperature are electronically controlled.
DO YOU OPERATE STEAM LOCOMOTIVES?
Yes. Lovingly restored steam locomotives pull the train on certain stretches for approximately 1 hr 30 mins each between Riobamba - Colta and Yaguachi - Duran train stations. Modern electric-diesel locomotives operate the remaining stretches. For the Northern Andes, we operate steam locomotives on a full day itinerary from Otavalo to Ibarra.
IS SLEEPING ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE ON BOARD TREN CRUCERO?
The train does not offer accommodation on board. Hotels and haciendas (best available in the area) are used for overnight stays.
WHAT ARE THE HOTELS LIKE ON THE TREN CRUCERO JOURNEY?
Nights are spent in characterful countryside hotels and haciendas. Suites are available in certain hotels at extra cost. Please check with us for more information.
WHICH HOTELS ARE USED DURING THE TRAIN CRUCERO JOURNEY?
Quito to Guayaquil. Train of Wonders: Swissotel (Quito), hacienda Andaluza(Riobamba), DFranco (Bucay) and Oro Verde (Guayaquil).
Guayaquil to Quito, Train to the Clouds: DFranco (Bucay), Abraspungo (Riobamba) and Swissotel (Quito).
Quito to Guayaquil. Train of Wonders: Plaza Grande o Casa Gangotena (Quito), Hacienda Andaluza Suites (Riobamba), Hacienda La Danesa (Bucay) and Hotel del Parque (Guayaquil).
Guayaquil to Quito, Train to the Clouds: Hotel del Parque (Bucay), Abraspungo Suites (Riobamba) and Plaza Grande o Casa Gangotena (Quito).
Subject to change and availability.
WHAT SIZE ARE THE BEDS AT HOTELS AND HACIENDAS DURING THE JOURNEY?
Standard queen-size or twin beds.
ARE MEALS AVAILABLE ON BOARD?
A wide variety of sweet and salt snacks as well as coffee (hot and cold), soft drinks (fruit juices, coke, water, etc.) and local fruits are unlimited and free of charge. The bar also serves a fine variety of white, red and sparkling, local and artisan beers as well as whiskey and wine.
CAN TREN CRUCERO CATER FOR SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Yes. Tren Crucero can handle vegetarians, vegans, diabetics and other diets. They regret not being able to provide kosher or halal food.
ARE ALL MEALS, ACCOMMODATION AND EXCURSIONS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Breakfast, lunch, accommodation and excursions are included as well as land transportation. Off train beverages and snacks are not included. Alcoholic beverages are extra off and on board the train. Dinner is included on the 4th night.
DOES A DRESS CODE APPLY ON BOARD TREN CRUCERO
Smart casual attire is fine. Tren Crucero travels though a variety of climatic zones. While travelling in the Andes (highlands) we recommend dressing in layers and including warm clothing for cold mornings and evenings. While travelling in the Pacific Coast, weather is very warm, lightweight trousers / pants and sweaters and short-sleeved shirts are recommended. With regard to off-train excursions, we strongly recommend comfortable walking shoes (you might find mud at times). During your visit to Ecuador, sunglasses, sunscreen (at least SPF 50+) and hats are a must. You should expect sunny mornings, afternoon rains and cold while night falls.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER, ALTITUDE AND TEMPERATURE?
Ecuador has a dry season from July to mid-October and a wet season for the rest of the year.
Altitude ranges from 262 ft. / 80 mts to 11,844 ft. / 3,610 mts. above sea level.
Temperature ranges from 14ºF / 57C ° to 95ºF / 35°C.
WHAT SERVICE CAN I EXPECT ON BOARD?
Expert tourist guides will escort you during the whole journey on excursions, on board the train and while overnight. Service is always available while guests are on board the train. The Expedition Leader is available during the whole journey to assist you and accompanies guests during the train journeys and overnight.
WHAT LANGUAGES DO THE STAFF SPEAK ON BOARD THE TRAIN?
The official language on board the train is Spanish. Guidance and announcements are always in Spanish and English. We can provide guidance in Italian, German and French at extra cost. Japanese, Russian and Chinese can also be provided at extra cost, upon request and availability.
ARE TIPS INCLUDED IN THE JOURNEY?We suggest a discretionary daily amount from US$ 5 to US$ 10 per guest per day. It is customary to give gratuities in recognition of exceptional service.
WHAT CURRENCY DO I NEED?
Only United States Dollars are accepted on board. Tren Crucero accepts all major credit cards on the train. Ecuador´s official currency is the US Dollar.
IS THE TRIP SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Tren Crucero admits children 7 years old and older.
Parents are totally responsible for their children behaviour, which must not interfere in any way with other guests right to enjoy the journey. For an awesome experience, we recommend our journey for children from ten years old.
CAN PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS TRAVEL ON TREN CRUCERO?
Guests with special needs are welcome on board. We do not recommend the journey to guests with reduced or no mobility. Certain excursions at remote zones do not have facilities for wheelchairs or they go across uneven terrain. Depending on the wheelchair type, the train internal dimensions might not be suitable. We strongly suggest guests with special needs to travel accompanied.
High altitude and lower oxygen availability need to be considered for medical conditions that might be aggravated when traveling across the Andean region. Please check with us for more information.
IS SMOKING ALLOWED DURING THE JOURNEY?
Ecuadorian laws prohibit smoking in public locations, on board any train, at train stations or near railways.
ARE THERE AN ON-BOARD GIFTS ON TREN CRUCERO?
Yes. Tren Crucero accepts cash, however credit cards are preferred. Handcrafts are also available for purchasing on every train station (cash only).
ARE THERE LOCKERS FOR MY LUGGAGE ON BOARD TREN CRUCERO?
There is one locker per guest for storing hand luggage and other personal belongings while on Tren Crucero. The locker size is 19,68 in. (50cm) x 15,74in. (40cm).
IS THERE A LAUNDRY SERVICE ON THE TRAIN?
No. Laundry service is available only at hotels and depends on arrival time. Hotels might not have enough time to provide laundry service; we recommend bringing enough clothes for the whole journey.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRICITY VOLTAGE ON THE TRAIN?
The train operates 220V AC 50Hz, 3-point round-pronged wall plugs on every seat.
CAN I USE A MOBILE PHONE ON BOARD? IS WI-FI AVAILABLE ON BOARD?
Tren Crucero aims to help guests escape while traveling in stunning landscapes and isolated/exclusive locations. Tren Crucero has no radio, cable TV or Wi-Fi on board.
In certain areas of the journey, especially while traveling across the Andes, mobile phones might have limited service due to poor signal. Internet will be available at hotels and haciendas. The use of any device that might disturb other guests while travelling is not allowed; the crew on board will restrict their use.
DOES THE TRAIN HAVE SECURITY?
Ecuador is a safe and peaceful country to visit. Since the train is always cleaned at every station, all valuables must be kept with you daily. While guests are not on board the train, all personal belongings must be left inside the lockers.
DO I REQUIRE VISAS TO ENTER ECUADOR?
Ecuador policy is to welcome any visitor. Visas are your responsibility and you should check with your local Ecuadorian embassy or consulate. For most countries, Ecuador does not request a visa, however a valid passport is mandatory to enter the country.
WILL I NEED INSURANCE FOR MY TRIP?
Travel insurance is required to cover medical or travel incidents. It is also recommended for any cancellation charges,
DO YOU ARRANGE FLIGHTS?
Tren Crucero does not arrange flights. Luxury Train Club can assist with regional and domestic flights, transfers, hotels and other pre- and post-train activities throughout South America as part of our South America Combo service.
If you need to return to Quito or Guayaquil on the same day of your arrival, we suggest booking flights departing no early than 20h00. Even though the tour ends at main hotels or includes shuttles, traffic jams from train stations or hotels to airports are common in Quito and Guayaquil. Tren Crucero does not operate shuttles to airports at any cities. For luggage restrictions on local flights, please check with your airline.
IS YELLOW FEVER VACCINE COMPULSORY?
No. Ecuador is free of yellow fever and malaria.
Regarding Zika, Ecuador has had few cases confirmed, all of them in the northern coastal provinces which are not included in the train itinerary. Zika is not a fatal disease, however for pregnant women we suggest to take precautions. The virus is unable to live over 2,000 meters above sea level.
IS A ROAD COACH USED FOR SOME OF THE ROUTE?
Some portions of the rail track were affected by an unusually heavy rainy season in 2017. These sections and some hotels and sites are currently covered by road coach for passengers´ safety.
Day 1: From Quito to the Imbabura province and the other way (2h30); Day 2 - from Machachi to San Agustin del Callo Hacienda and from San Agustin to Latacunga train station (1h30); Day 3 - from Palmira to Alausi and from Alausi to Bucay (3 hours); Day 4 - from Bucay to la Danesa Hacienda and from la Danesa Hacienda to Naranjito train station (1 hour).
WHICH THE SECTIONS OF THE RAILROAD ENABLE CURRENT OPERATIONS?
Total 394 kms. Day 1 - from San Roque to Ibarra station; Day 2 - from Quito to Machachi and from Latacunga to Urbina; Day 3 - from Urbina to Palmira and from Alausi to Pistishi (Devil´s nose); Day 4 - from Naranjito to Duran.
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