Metropolitan Touring has launched a new itinerary through the Ecuadorian Andes that includes the famous “Devil’s Nose” section of track—one of the most difficult engineering feats in history and one of the most dramatic railways in the world. The “Spirit of the Andes” promises a four-day/three-night journey to the heart of the Andean world, through the region’s history, spirituality, cuisine, customs, traditions and legends.
The inspiring scenery of the Ecuadorian Andes, including the highland moorlands of Cotopaxi National Park and visits to 300-year old haciendas, is now complete with the addition of the thrilling train ride along the famous zigzag of the Devil’s Nose. The Ecuadorian Railways Company (EFE) has invested millions of dollars in track, rolling stock and station infrastructure over the last years, making the experience of riding the rails in Ecuador a fun, safe and exciting experience for all.
“Metropolitan Touring is delighted to be able to include various rides on the rails in their portfolio of tours,” says the company’s President, Paulina Burbano de Lara. “These include the Spirit of the Andes, Quito to Cotopaxi National Park, and a ride from the coastal city of Guayaquil.”
Guests board the train on day three of their journey. Before that, they visit the Cotopaxi National Park, lunch in a historic hacienda, visit a rose farm and overnight near the Tungurahua Volcano. The next day, they pass through the friendly town of Baños and nearby roaring waterfalls, then coil up the Andes to where herds of wild vicuñas roam at the foot of imposing Chimborazo Volcano.
Following the train ride, guests wind south through fertile hills and mountains to explore the Inca ruins of Ingapirca, and arrive at Cuenca, Ecuador’s most beautiful city and a World Cultural Heritage Site. The fourth day is spent discovering the charms of Cuenca with its rivers, churches, museums, squares, courteous citizens and (misnamed) Panama hat workshops. Spirit of the Andes programs are offered on private or shared basis, with itineraries of four or three days.
Metropolitan Touring, www.metropolitan-touring.com; www.vimeo.com/20077218 (Spirit of the Andes video)