Ecuador is not an ideal country for building rail lines. You’ve got high mountains to cross, active volcanoes, and locations where tracks can get washed out or buried in mudslides.
So while the cities of Ecuador were once connected by train, over the years the lines have gotten broken up into short runs that are for tourists. They will be connected again soon—more on that later—but the video above is from one famous ride that’s definitely worth doing: the Devil’s Nose. This goes from Aluasi station down into a canyon. This was no easy feat to pull off from an engineering standpoint and as you’ll see from the video, this is some very steep terrain. The really unique part about the trip is that at one point the train stops and reverses direction down switched tracks. The back becomes the front.
We just posted a featuring on touring mainland Ecuador with Metropolitan Touring and part of it is on two train trips I was on. One left Quito and went near the Cotopaxi National Park, the other down the Devil’s Nose.
Sometime this summer though, the whole train line between Guayaquil and Quito will be working again, thanks to a major investment by the government that I saw in action while I was there. Once that happens, Tren Ecuador will be running a luxury coach tour between the two cities, with a few overnight stops along the way, and it should be a fantastic experience.
Meanwhile, check out our latest Ecuador tour story, which goes from Mashpi Cloudforest to the Devil’s Nose.