G&Q Railroad Line
- Full Itinerary
- Price & Contact
- Devil's Nose
- Chimborazo Volcano
- Cotopaxi National Park
- Otavalo Market
- All meals
- All transfers
- All accomodations
- 4 workshop visits
- Gran Hotel Guayaquil - Guayaquil
- San Rafael (New Montubio) Culture Hotel - Bucay
- La Quinta - Alausi
- Abraspungo - Riobamba
- La Cienega - Latacunga
- Alameda Real - Quito
- Chorlavi - Otavalo
Day 1: Tranfer in & Guayaquil City Tour
Transfer Inn & City Tour
Welcome to Ecuador Dinner.
Overnight at Grand Hotel Guayaquil.
Day 2: Duran Workshop & railcar Duran to Milagro
Coach transfer across the river from Guayaquil to the Duran workshops. After exploring the workshops we will our board our Railcar depart through the streets of Duran. We continue on through a flooded area of rice plantations and marshlands. We will reach the historic town of Yaguachi on km 21 and will continue as far as we can to the town of Milagro. Here we can find several traditional sugar mills that begun operating during the steam era.
Overnight at San Rafael û New Montubio (Coastal Cowboy Culture) Culture Hotel near Bucay.
Day 3: Bucay Workshop & Steam Bucay to Devil's Nose & Alausi
In the morning we head out to Bucay located on the edge of the coastal plains at 300 meters. We visit the Bucay workshops to visit the dilapidated locomotive shed where the coastal steam engines where exchanged for mountain engines to begin the steep climb up the Andes. We board engine No 58 towards Huigra riding through a section that has not seen steam since 1997. The line climbs inside the spectacular Chan Chan River gorge where there is no road access. The vegetation transitions from tropical to cloud forest as it gains altitude all the way to Huigra at 1200 meters. Huigra is the site to the old headquarters of the G&Q and also where John Harman is buried. We continue our ride from Huigra to DevilÅs Nose on our Charter Steam. This section of the line was closed due to a landslide that blew 800 meters of the railway in 1998. The Nose comes to view, an immense natural obstacle that was surmounted by building two spectacular zigzags high on a mountainside. There will be a great photo opportunity for those who wish to climb the hill directly ahead from the Nose. From this point you can get a panoramic view of the zigzags with Sibambe Station. We continue climbing the Andes until we reach the town of Alausi in the late afternoon.
Overnight at La Quinta.
Day 4: Steam Alausi to Guamote
In the morning we will do some run pasts in the colonial Alausi streets. Further ahead there also a spectacular steel bridge we pass over upon leaving town. From this section on we ride high above the Chan Chan river gorge all the way to Palmira, a bleak station at 3200 meters. We continue on with spectacular views of high Andean Plateaus to Guamote, a traditional and very colorful indigenous town where it seems the way of life has not changed for hundreds of years.
Overnight at Abraspungo.
Day 5: Railcar Guamote to Riobamba
We return to Guamote to continue our journey by charter railcar northwards to Riobamba. We climb through many spectacular landscapes, Indian villages and the Colta Lagoon. From here we get the first sights of the snow capped Chimborazo volcano. We enter the city of Riobamba, a major town located in the centre of the country with a rich colonial history. Riobamba also has the busiest workshop in the G&Q line.
Overnight at Abraspungo.
Day 6: Railcar Riobamba to Urbina & Mocha
We rejoin our railcar in Riobamba Station we run out of the city on the streets of this busy town before we continue our journey northwards through the Avenue of the Volcanoes. We climb through open moorlands and indigenous communities all the way to Urbina summit, the highest station of the line at 3600 meters. The Urbina Station lies right at the base of the 6,300 meter Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador. After a little time to explore and some highland tea, we continue by railcar descending the Chimborazo slopes through a scenic ravine known as DevilÅs Ear and on to Mocha station. Mocha is known for the preparation of the traditional Guinea Pig. We continue from Mocha by coach to our hotel near Latacunga.
Overnight at La Cienega.
Day 7: Railcar Latacunga to Cotopaxi & Steam Cotopaxi to Quito
We reach the recently rehabilitated Latacunga station to meet our railcar. We ride through the Inter-Andean valleys and begin our ascent to Cotopaxi Station. The line runs within Cotopaxi National Park through a pine forest. Here you can get awesome views directly across to the highest active volcano in the world standing at 5,900 meters. In Cotopaxi we meet our steam Charter Engine No 18 which spent 20 years in Duran Station since it last operated. It was repaired in 2008 before it was shipped back to Quito. From Cotopaxi we descend to the Machachi Station through a rich agricultural valley where we find many beautiful colonial haciendas rich in History. We run through Tambillo before entering Quito, finally arriving to beautifully refurbished Chimbacalle Station. In the afternoon we visit the Chiriyacu Workshop.
Overnight at Alameda Real.
Day 8: City Tour, Northern Ecuador Highlights & Otavalo Market
A morning city tour of QuitoÅs colonial center, includes colonial houses, churches, sculptures and carvings, designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site. From Quito we transfer by coach to the Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador, home to lakes, lush valleys, volcanoes and traditional indigenous towns and markets. Otavalo is EcuadorÅs best known Indian market which offers a good market of tapestries, jewelry, ceramics and wood carvings.
Overnight at Chorlavi.
Day 9: Railcar Ibarra to Primer Paso & Return to Quito
We reach the Ibarra workshops the starting point of the line that used to reach San Lorenzo, a natural port in the Pacific Coast. This line was built in the 1960s, but only operated for about 20 years before it was interrupted by landslides. Today only the first 40 kilometers run to Primer Paso. However this is a spectacular railway filled with tunnels and bridges which descends through a unique subtropical ecosystem in the Salinas Valley. We meet our charter railcar for our tour down to Salinas and Primer Paso where we use a turntable for our trip back to Ibarra. We return to Quito in the late afternoon.
Overnight at Alameda Real.
Day 10: Transfer Out
Hotel - Airport Transfer.
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